Sunday, April 20, 2014

He's Here!

Introducing the latest member of the Peachy family:  little Sprout, who, due to some genetic quirk I blame entirely on The Pit's side, appears just a tad bit Asian.

Here he is, as a happy Buddha:


And here, as a North Korean dictator:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

22 Months


1)  For the first time, Fuzzy started referring to himself by name this month.  Except his real name has an 'r' in it, and he can't say that letter yet.  So he omits it, which is funnier in real life than on the blog.  But for illustrative purposes, let's say he calls himself Fizz instead of Fuzz.

2)  He's also expressed emotions for the first time - we have a book where the puppy is sad because he can't wag his tail, and Fuzzy points at his frowning face, and says "puppy fad...no tay wag."  Similarly, he can now also articulate that he, himself, is 'fad.'  He's been playing with the same stick in the basement for months now, and the other day he broke it.  Afterward, he came up to me making a sadface, and said "Fizz fad...tick boke."


3)  Fuzzy is also trying to find some semblance of agency in his adult-controlled world.  He doesn't like brushing his teeth, but he usually puts up with it when The Pit does it for him in the bath.  The other day however, he got himself all worked up about not brushing teeth, and when Daddy held him down and did it anyway, he composed himself long enough to imperiously point at the bathroom door, and say "Daddy bye-bye!"  Fortunately for The Pit's hurt feelings, this was a one-time occurrence.

4)  Although Fuzzy understands the word 'turn' and even applies it appropriately on the playground, he isn't so good at sharing at home.  When Mama or Daddy are using their phones for example, he always grabs them out of our hands, yelling "Fizz toyn!"  Somehow, it then never gets to be Mama's or Daddy's turn, ever again.  Similarly, when another person is touching the object he wants, Fizzy firmly says "Mine!" and grabs it away.  When he's feeling particularly possessive, he yells it louder and adds an 's,' thusly: "MINES!"


5)  Fuzzy's grandma came to spend a week with him while Maya was out of town, and one day after I got home from work, I asked him if he had a good day with grandma.  The baby considered the question for a bit, and then replied, "No...fine."  Ah, okay then, glad you realize the distinction.

6)  The Pit, while clipping Fuzzy into his carseat, somehow slipped and managed to punch himself in the ear.  At which point, quite justifiably, he let loose with a heartfelt "FUCK!"  Fuzzy looked up in worry at me, and said, "Daddy fuuuuuuckk!"  He then made a crying noise, presumably to indicate that Daddy hurt himself, and followed it up with a rather cheerful, "Mama fix!"


7)  When Fuzzy was a much smaller baby, and required constant rocking and singing to go to sleep, I made up a song to accompany the motion, which went like so:

"Baby Fuzz, baby Fuzz,
He's so tired and so sweet.
Baby Fuzz, baby Fuzz,
He just wants to go to sleep."

Now we go through exactly three songs prior to bedtime, and Fuzzy picks out which songs he wants.  A few weeks ago, he demanded a new song, and, searching my memory in desperation, I came up with a blank.  So I started singing the baby Fuzz song.  It instantly became the new favorite, and a few days ago, I heard him softly muttering "Baby Fuzz, babbbbby Fuzz" to his bathtub ducks as he flipped them over one by one - presumably putting them to sleep, rather than drowning them as it appeared.

In other singing news, he also made up a brand new song the other day when we asked him to sing.  He stared at us with wide eyes, and proceeded to yell at top volume: "Gooon gooon GAHHHH.  Goooon goooon GAHHHHHH!"  Not sure where that came from, but it was quite amusing nonetheless.  Apparently he's gotten his pitch from Mama though.  As I'm completely tone deaf, it would have been better if he inherited this trait from his father.

8)  In the last month, our house has required constant fixing of appliances large and small - we had both the microwave and dryer break, as well as assorted more minor objects.  Being the very handy sort, The Pit has tackled these challenges himself, and now, Fuzzy loves to help Daddy 'fix' things.  For a while, we got away with handing him things like paintbrushes when he demanded to help Daddy with tools.  However, now he looks at these objects with scorn, and demands a "weal tool."  The Pit, always cautious about safety, took away the screwdriver I handed him, and replaced it with the smallest wrench in his toolset.  Now Fuzzy wanders around the house with it, putting it against various surfaces and then joyfully announcing that he's fixed them.


9)  Somewhere along the way, Fuzzy picked up the concept of racing.  Or 'wacing,' as he calls it.  Now, when we go down to the basement to play, he pulls out a long string, sets it up as his starting line, and then crouches down, saying "Weady, set, go!  WACE!"  Then he proceeds to race across the room, plops himself down on the mattress we have set up in one corner, and raises his arms in victory.  The fact that he has no opponent does not seem to phase him in the slightest.


10)  As I said above, Fuzzy is beginning to exhibit more agency, now that he can communicate better.  One of his more used expressions this month has been:  "No like it, that X."  When he knows the name of the object in question, he says it.  For example, when asked if he wants to read a particular book, about half the time he will now say "No like it, that book." If he doesn't know what the thing is called, he will firmly exclaim, "No like it, that one!" while pointing to whatever it is.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

21 Months

1)  As promised, I have discontinued the detailed list of Fuzzy's new words - but be assured there was a lot of language progress this month.  In addition to him randomly knowing words like "dragonfly" and "nurse" that we have never used in everyday conversation,  the baby has also started stringing together three or four-word sentences.  For example, looking at people at the bus stop on our street, he pointed and explained to me, "Bus wait in go!"


2)  At the beginning of the month, Fuzz started counting to two - everything of which there was two was quickly enumerated - eyes, socks, feet, hands, etc.  Then he added in three, which he pronounces as "fwee."  It did not phase him when there was only two of something to count - one duck, two duck...point at the the first one again...fwee duck!

By the middle of the month, after a week of religious drilling by his grandma, I saw him counting pinches of salt into a pot, going all the way up to seven accurately.  Alas, when grandma went home and we skipped on the rehearsals, Fuzzy quickly adopted a lazy man's counting approach, eliminating all those confusing and unnecessary middle numbers - "One, two, fwee...eight, nine, ten!"


3)  For as long as I can remember, Fuzzy has hated windup toys.  It's a puzzling dislike, since normally mechanical things fascinate him.  However, he screamed at a wind-up toy around 5 months, and though he can now articulate himself better, the basic feelings haven't changed.  We went over to the neighbors to watch a bit of the Super Bowl, and their daughters tried to show Fuzzy small wind-up butterflies, caterpillars, and ladybugs.  Fuzz took one look and ran into my lap for shelter, yelling "No bugs! No! No! No!" the whole way.

I should note that it's not specifically bugs that he dislikes - at the Natural History Museum, his favorite part is their live bug display.  However, his natural caution kicked in when he was offered the opportunity to pet a giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.  "Mama twy" he demanded the first time he saw them, grabbing my hand and using my finger to touch the bug first.  Once it was demonstrated as safe, he consented to pet it with his own precious appendage, giggling the whole way.

It may have helped that the real bugs were relatively silent - Fuzzy exceptionally dislikes loud noises, and when threatened with such, covers his ears and scuttles to me, yelling "No noize, no noize!"


4)  In an indication that we probably should have potty trained him months ago, Fuzzy now imitates us when we go to change his diaper.  The other day I laid him on the changing table, opened up the diaper, and before I could articulate my findings, the baby said "Oh god!"in a close approximation of my voice.

After several incidents of him pooping in the tub during bath time, we've taken to asking him if he needs to use the potty.  To this question, he's hit on a fool-proof response: "No poop! Jus pee!"  This is also the answer we get when we ask if he's pooped in his diaper...give-away smell notwithstanding. 


5)  One of Fuzzy's favorite books is a about a little panda that causes havoc when sneezing, and Fuzzy has gotten to the point where he can recite a large chunk of it from memory.  The best is that he gets a joke - there's a page where the panda goes "Ahhh....ahhh....ahhhh...no!" and doesn't sneeze.  Fuzz recites the line, and then giggles at the "No!" part before moving on.

6)  Fuzz has gotten pretty good at wheedling his way into whatever he wants.  He's picking up on the phrase "one more" while holding up a single finger.  So at bedtime, it's one more book, then one more song, and then one more, and one more, and one more.  It never ends, of course, so eventually Mama must put her foot down - but oh, it's hard to resist that cute little face and that cute little finger.


7)  In a less adorable development, at the end of the month, the child started throwing tantrums for the first time.  Typically, this involves him going as limp as possible so that I cannot pick him up, and then wailing while very carefully placing himself face-down on the floor.  Typically, a minute of ignoring and/or a distracting activity will solve the issue, and as The Pit observed, Fuzzy has yet to really commit to the tantrum.  I hope things stay this way, and Fuzzy's cautious nature prevents full-on flailing, as our hardwood floors are not the best surface for complete freak outs.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

20 Months

1)  I think after this month, keeping a list of Fuzzy's new words will get unrealistic - he added so many in the last few weeks that I've only managed to write down a fraction.  Clearly he's still having trouble with 'r' and 'l,' but his pronunciation has improved significantly, and he's now occasionally using two words together to convey his thoughts.

nes = nest
cut = cut
coo coo coo = chicken
ah ooh ooh = monkey
ba = fish
na = cat
bubba = butterfly
noyze = noise
nissse = nice (as in petting something gently)
epee = zipper
hoyse = horse
dert = dirt
bump = bump
poop = poop
piece = piece
pop = pop (mostly in reference to balloons popping, a noyze he found shocking the first time he heard it)
poon = spoon
houf = house
umbo = rainbow or flamingo
toyrn = turn
tay = tail
wain = rain
wide = ride
weep = sleep or sweep, depending on context
woom = room
wight = light


2) This month we spent two weeks in California, visiting the family over Christmas/New Years.  Our home base was my mother's house, where Fuzzy developed an obsession with her cat.  Although fully capable of pronouncing cat - I got him to say it once - Fuzz decided that a better name for the creature was "Na."  For those who have not encountered him, I should clarify that Na is particularly unfriendly: Dina once perfectly captured his personality here.

Na's alternating disdain/fear/loathing of Fuzzy did not, however, discourage the baby.  If anything, his continual attempts at escape only made Fuzz more ardent in his affection, both for the cat, and the cat's tail, which he treated as a whole separate entity.  When the cat was captured and briefly held immobile for Fuzzy's benefit, Fuzz came over to the face area, said "HIIIIIII!!!!" and waved frantically.  Then he repeated this procedure, only now facing the wildly agitating tail.  Below is another encounter between Fuzz and the cat that my sister filmed:


Following this encounter, we would have long conversations about tails, and who does or does not have one.  "Na tay?" Fuzzy would ask, waving in the general direction of his backside for added explanation.  "Yes, the cat has a tail." I would respond.  Then Fuzzy would go down his list of people with Names - Bebe (himself), Mama, Dada, Noooom, Dindy, Baba, Anya, the unpronounceable thing he calls my dad, etc., asking if each had a tail.  On the plane ride home, he then started pointing at all of our fellow passengers, asking if each had a tail. 

3)  The other most memorable moment of our trip was the haircut Fuzz received from my mom.  It was just a light trim, but we did it in the bath with his full cooperation, explaining that hair cuts were a thing that periodically happened.  He was pretty good about sitting still for it, but the best part was that he remembered it every couple of days thereafter, and demonstrated this memory by grabbing at his hair and saying "Baba cut."  Now that several weeks have gone by, the remembering is less frequent, but he still points to scissors and says "cut," and sometimes, after going through who does and does not have a tail, then repeats the whole list to inquire about whether each person has experienced a haircut. 


4)  His pretend play has expanded somewhat - not only does he want to feed his toy horse, but he also wants Mama to pretend to be a horsie.  Whenever I unwisely get down on the ground at his level in the basement, he clamors up to my back, yelling "Mama hoyse, mama hoyse!" and sometimes "Neeeeeeeeeey!"

5)  It only took two months, but now Fuzzy manages to get a tiny little bit of air when he jumps.  In further progress from last month, he is also now able (and willing) to build much higher block towers.

6)  Showing new understanding of the whole diaper situation, Fuzz has taken to talking about "dert" when we go to change him, and also mentions being "keen" afterward.  Sadly, this has made no impact on his desire to use the potty - in fact, when we ask if he's pooped and needs his diaper changed, he resolutely lies, shaking his head 'no' and going to hide in the farthest corner of the room from us.  This despite all olfactory evidence to the contrary.


7)  However, this month does bring some progress on the counting, reading, and colors fronts: 

Counting:  Previously, the baby was obsessed with the way that "eight" and "nine" sounded.  Sometimes he would yell out just those two numbers, apropos of nothing.  Now, he seems to understand what "one" means, and can also say it.  He still follows it up with nine, but I'm not looking a gift hoyse in the mouth.

Reading:  In the last few months, I suspected that Fuzzy was recognizing the letter "A."  I'm still not certain about that one, but he for sure knows "O."  I've seen him point to it on multiple occasions, in his books, on public signage, and sometimes on the keyboard.  He has also taken to "reading" aloud when he encounters letters out in the world.  At the moment, his reading sounds something like "ay oo eeeee ooo ay i."  Apparently we are fans of vowels.

Colors:  Previous to this month, Fuzzy showed no interest in colors whatsoever.  The beginning of this month brought some improvement, as he started calling every color "gren."  For a while, our color conversations would go thusly:  Mama points to green object, asks what color it is.  Fuzzy says "gren" and Mama gets all excited.  Daddy then points to another object of any other color, and Fuzzy promply says "gren."  Mama is less thrilled.  However, by the end of the month, he could, more or less reliably, also identify purple and orange - or "purpo" and "oren," as the case may be.

8)  My belly has grown to the point that it's impossible to ignore, so we finally explained to Fuzzy that Mama is growing a baby in there.  When he sees me changing, he will occasionally point to my stomach and say "bebe," but has not connected things any more with his life.  As far as Fuzz is concerned, there are at least two more important babies in the world - himself, and his stuffed toy elephant (this is his little comfort toy - he sleeps with it, and sometimes goes through periods of dragging it around with him everywhere). 

9)  Unlike the baby concept, Fuzzy's understanding of people and their ownership of objects is improving significantly.  For example, for breakfast the other day I gave him a bowl of strawberries.  He picked one up, said "Mama," and gave it to me.  Then he picked up a second berry, said "Bebe," and ate it himself.  For his grand finale, he picked up a third berry, said "Dada," and pointed up to the ceiling, where we could hear The Pitt showering upstairs.  I applauded his generosity of spirit, but encouraged him to eat the rest of the bowl himself.


10)  This post is already getting way too long, but I would be remiss if I didn't document the kid's new-found love of stop signs.  Or 'top sighs,' as he calls them.  He likes to stand by them, and as cars approach, holds up his hand in a stop gesture, yelling 'TOPPP!" the whole time.  Then he relents, and tells them to "GOOOO!"  I'm sure the drivers appreciate his assistance.  Similarly, I'm sure our taxi driver on the way home from the airport was very thankful for these instructions, yelled at top volume from the backseat, whenever we got to a red light or green light. 

11)  Okay, one more thing, because it is adorable.  We got a huge snowstorm in the middle of the month, and afterward The Pit went outside to dig out our cars.  While he was doing this, I thought of some urgent question I had to ask him, and so I opened the window in the house and yelled his name.  The baby observed this with interest, and then for the rest of the day, copied my exact intonation and facial expression, screwing up his eyes, leaning his head back, and yelling "PIIIIIITTT" at the top of his lungs.  The Pit did not find this nearly as amusing as I did, so I suppose it's good for me that the kid got bored of it after a day.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

19 Months

1) New words this month:
off = off (demonstrated when he saw me getting ready to leave for work: I put on my jacket, and he started tugging on it and saying "off")
onn = on
in = in
hi = hi
bye = bye
guy= guy
sky = sky
turtur = turtle
anka = hanukkah
cook = cook
keen = clean
et = eat
go = go
gone = gone
com = come
keewee= kiwi
orn = orange
top = stop (with accompanying hand gesture)
dus = bus
gas = eye glasses or grass, depending on context
tar = guitar or star, depending on context

2)  At the beginning of this month we hosted a bunch of relatives for Thanksgivingukkah.  The Pit's mom was here, as well as his sister, brother-in-law, and step-niece.  My sister and new brother-in-law also joined us, and the baby had a grand time playing with everyone for a week.  He only got down two names though - my brother-in-law first - referred to as Noooooom, and then my sister's new name - Dindy.  After everyone left, the baby would point to random people/cars moving past the house, and hopefully say "Nooooom? Dindy?" This went on for weeks, until we actually came to California for Christmas and he saw everyone again.


3)  This month brought a lot of pretend play.   He started feeding various toy animals his milk, with specific emphasis on his pony and his bee. He also received a set of play pots and pans from Noooom and Dindy for Hanukkah, and he immediately got the concept of pretending to cook.  He grabbed a spoon, started stirring, then brought the empty spoon to his mouth, squinted his eyes in pleasure, and said "Mmmmmm!"  Then he made the rest of us try his creation.


4)  Since Fuzz stays home with Maya all day, he hasn't had a lot of opportunities to practice toy sharing.  However, we had friends from out of town stop by for an evening, and they brought their 4-year old (I can't believe I made this kid a quilt four whole years ago) and 6-month old to play.  We stuck the baby in Fuzzy's old Bumbo while the rest of us sat around playing and talking.  When Fuzzy saw this impertinence, he immediately got jealous, and tried to sit in his Bumbo himself - right on top of the baby.  This does not bode well for the arrival of his baby brother.*

5)  Fuzzy is getting much better climbing - we have a large plastic storage container in the basement, and the other day Fuzzy wanted to climb up on it.  Except he had his milk bottle (with straw) in his hands.  You could see the indecision on his face, as he glanced back and forth between the milk and the box - then he decided he could have his cake and eat it too.  He stuck the straw in his teeth, clenched down, climbed on top of the box, and then leapt down at me while screaming with joy - all somehow without spilling a drop a milk.


6)  For the first time this month, Fuzz showed an interest in building block towers.  Previously, he would happily come over and knock over a tower you built, but would not really care to take a stab at making one himself.   Now he can occasionally be coaxed into stacking blocks one on top of the other, although of course, the knocking over remains his favorite part.


7)  Thinking to encourage Fuzzy's social development, I asked Maya to take him to story time at the library.  Apparently, Fuzzy wasn't too thrilled with their book selection though - halfway through the story, he decided to pre-empt things a bit.  He started clapping his hands and saying "don don don," apparently hoping that the reader would take up his cues.

*  Have I mentioned that we are expecting another baby?  This puts me rather in a quandary, as when I started the blog, I did not expect to require multiple peach-themed nicknames. Oh well, I have until late April to think of something.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

18 Months

1) Lots of new words this month, but I think I have most of them listed here:
coo coo = hiding (the equivalent of peek-a-boo in Russian)
appa = apple (no longer buh buh!)
plumpbpb = plum
hooom = home
noon = moon
indy = window or windy, depending on context
issss = ice
gump = jump
dunce = dance
bebe = baby
don = down or done, depending on context
unda = under
in = in
up = up


2)  Fuzzy got the head shake for "no" down pat a long time ago, but previously had no equivalent affirmative gesture, despite The Pit's persistent attempts to teach him to nod.  When asking him a series of questions, we thus had to watch him like hawks until he stopped shaking his head, indicating that he did indeed want whatever item was being offered - either that, or he had stopped paying attention entirely.  This led to a lot of prematurely peeled bananas.  This month he finally got nodding down.  Except it isn't nodding exactly, it's one very emphatic nod.  That is all you get, and woe to you if you happen to miss it.

3)  Unlike last year, when we managed to put him into his costume no problem and then photograph extensively, this year Fuzzy chose not to cooperate on Halloween.  He acquiesced to the body portion of his lobster costume, but the head piece was a step too far.  He was, however, perfectly happy to laugh at me when I put his lobster head on in a futile attempt to convince him that this was a good idea.


4)  Last month Fuzzy conquered the up portion of stairs, and this month he learned the complementary down portion, at least when there's an appropriate handrail.  He grabs on and just - steps down.  Most of the time he doesn't even fall after.

5)  Fuzzy has a new love in his life - it is the moon, which he persistently refers to as the "noon."  He asks after the noon all day, and when it finally comes out in the evening and we can show it to him, he yells its name over and over again in excitment.  If we go for a twilight walk, he likes to always have it in sight, and gets upset if the noon is momentarily hidden by trees or clouds.  At this point, he wails "NOOOOOOOON???" in a heartbreaking and very loud voice.


6)  While not loved quite as much as the noon, he has also taken much more of an interest in his stuffed animals recently, and in particular to a little toy dog that his great-grandmother gave him months ago.  When switched on, this beast walks in circles and alternates very annoying barking with very annoying whining noises.  When we first got it about 6 or 8 months ago, Fuzzy was actually quite scared of it, and thus it has been relegated to the back of the toy bin.  The other day Fuzz pulled it out, indicated that he wanted it on, and then rapturously followed it around the room, smacking it's back (where the walking button lives) every time the thing paused.  I am not nearly as in love with this thing as he is, but it is quite adorable to watch him hug it to his chest.

7)  Fuzzy has always liked dancing, and in particular dancing with mama.  As previously described, this involves me setting him on my hip, grabbing one of his hands in a ballroom pose, and spinning across the room.  Sadly, between mama's growing belly and Fuzzy's ever increasing weight, it's getting harder and harder for mama to keep this up.  Being a baby, Fuzz does not care for my excuses, and this month he really increased his demands - not only did he want constant music and dancing during the day, but when I was rocking him back to sleep after a nightmare, he turned to me with his eyes closed, clearly talking in his sleep. "Dunce," he commanded, "Mama, dunce."    


8)  After figuring out how to say the word "under," Fuzz has been obsessed with a new game.  He demands that mama and daddy both get down on all fours, crouch next to each other, and thus form a human fort.  Then he crawls under us yelling "UNDA!!" repeatedly.   When he gets bored with this, he wants to play "coo coo" - this involves us throwing a blanket over him, and saying "Where's Fuzzy?" over and over again until he manages to get his head clear.  Then he yells "Coo Coo!"and we have to say "Oh! There he is!".

9)  Fuzzy really likes the concept of jumping.  He makes his toy grasshopper jump in the bath, and accentuates this with his new word: "gump!"  Apparently the grasshopper really likes to gump on mama's head for some reason.   Fuzz has also been experimenting with gumping himself.  He stands up straight, then bends his legs, throws his arms back, and says "Gump!" excitedly.  Unfortunately, there's a key component missing - he never actually lifts off the ground.  His form is perfect, but he just straightens up after the leg bending and applauds himself without ever achieving any air whatsoever.  Maybe next month...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

17 Months

This month's major milestone was a haircut given by Mama.  Clearly Mama needs more practice in order not to make her child look like a character in Dumb and Dumber.


1)  New words this month:
ka = crab or cloud, depending on context
na = nuts
na na = tomato (previously this referred exclusively to bananas, but now it can - confusingly - be either)
nananana = running
oh oh = exactly what it sounds like - he says this whenever something is wrong, from a giant spill to his slipper coming off
 
2)  As I mentioned in my last post, Fuzzy has a highly idiosyncratic way of saying apple - he pronounces it as "buh buh."  This was driving The Pit crazy, and he kept trying to explain to the baby that you say it thusly: "aaaah puuuulll."  Fuzzy listened intently to this explanation, and then when The Pit asked him to repeat, he said "Aaaaah..." and The Pit said "Now pullllll!" and Fuzzy grabbed at The Pit's shirt and pulled for all he was worth.


3)  Fuzz has recently expanded his love of running around in circles to a new game: he holds his arms out and spins round and round until he gets dizzy.  Then he staggers about with a grin on his face until the inevitable crash into either the floor or another immovable object.  Then the grin disappears and he looks at us with a wounded expression, hitting himself in the head to indicate that he went boom.

4)  Fuzzy has really figured out hand holding too - not so much as a sign of affection, but more as an effective technique to lead me places.  He will come over, grab my hand, and drag me to whatever object he wishes to be examined, lifted up, or otherwise engaged.  When my hands are held too high for him to reach, he makes do with a pant leg.  Once, when I was down on the ground with him, he grabbed me by the necklace and started dragging me along like an animal.  When I told him Mama wasn't a doggy, he merely laughed with delight and pulled harder.


5)  The baby demonstrated his reasoning skills when we went out to eat the other day - it was at a Mexican restaurant, where Fuzzy loves the tortilla chips, which he calls cackers.  When he saw the basket placed on our table, he yelled "cacker" over and over until he was handed a chip.  However, after trying one or two, he started playing with them - or so I thought.  First he demanded a drink from my water glass, and then, when I obligingly brought the water close to him, he quickly pushed his hand in the water, chip and all.  I started scolding him for playing with my water, telling him it wasn't there to drop in chips - but then The Pit stopped my lecture by pointing out that the baby was actually not releasing his chip in the water at all.  Apparently, he was softening it.  After a couple of seconds, he pulled it out and happily ate the thing.  How he learned to do that is beyond me - I don't think anyone has actually previously shown him that water softens hard food.

6)  Fuzzy's balancing has really improved this month too, to the point that he can now go up stairs like a real person - he grabs the handrail, and walks up natural as you please.  Watching him do this makes him seem like such a big boy - until you see the lurching disaster that is walking down those same steps.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

16 Months

This month was chock-full of new and cool Fuzzy developments.


1) Several new words this month, with a couple of them doing double duty:
buh = book or ball, depending on context
buh buh = apple
bellalala = umbrella
blablabbala = granola, watermelon, or any other word with lots of L's
ahmmm = arm (said exactly like an elderly Bostonian)
ower = flower, or sometimes shower, depending on context
cunga = corn or acorn

2)  In addition to his new words, Fuzzy came up with several new games.  His very favorite currently involves running around and around an object.  The object in question isn't that important - I've seen him circle me, a chair, our bed, and the coffee table with seemingly equal enjoyment.   This enjoyment is conveyed by laughter, an occasional shriek, and a huge grin when he catches you watching him.  Another new game is grabbing something on a string - again, the actual object isn't that important, and then dragging said object all over the house.  I've seen him do this with several toys specifically designed for it, but also with a heavy paper bag we use to store a lot of his stuffed animals and various trinkets - the bag has thick string handles, and Fuzzy pulled and pulled on one of them until he managed to get the whole thing clear across the family room, dining room, and living room.


3)  In the mornings, Fuzzy often plays with a set of four plastic balls we keep in our room.  He gets great joy out of throwing them all over the place, hearing them bounce on the hardwood floors, and watching them roll around.  Sadly, the balls have a tendency to end up under the bed.  Fuzz knows this, and in the past, he's whined until one of us got the ball out.  However, one day this month, I watched him kick a ball under the bed, get down on his knees to look at it, and then whine for me to get it.  Unfortunately, he had kicked it right to the middle of the bed, where I couldn't actually reach it.  I told him this, and then watched as he seemingly lost interest in the ball and wandered over to my closet, where he started tugging on a hanger and whining when he couldn't get it down.

I thought he just wanted something new to play with, so I gave him the hanger.  He went over to one of the balls not currently under the bed, glanced up to make sure I was watching him, and then hit the ball with the hanger.  Then he handed the hanger to me, got down by the bed, and pointed at the stuck ball.  Lo and behold, I could in fact reach the ball with the hanger.  The Pit didn't believe me when I described this feat of reasoning - so a few days later, I saw the scenario play out again, this time with The Pit in the room, and the ball much closer, under a dresser.  When Fuzz went over to the closet, The Pit said, "I think he just wants something new to play with."  I was greatly vindicated when the baby pulled out a hanger, wandered over to the dresser, and started to waving the hanger underneath until he got the ball out himself.


4)  Speaking of The Pit, he is once again on Fuzzy's favorite list.  As astute readers may recall, in his first few months the baby adored daddy, and was relatively indifferent to mom.  Then things switched, and for months and months I was the only one able to calm him down when he was crying, put him to sleep, or give him a bath.  Now The Pit is resurgent, with Fuzzy calling for him when he's in a different room, crying when he leaves in the morning, and generally wanting to be picked up and held by daddy.  I find this a great relief, as having a baby attached to your hip 24/7 is not the easiest way to go about your day.

5)  However, there are still several activities reserved for just Fuzzy and mama.  One of these is reading in bed in the mornings.   When we have time on weekdays, but usually on weekends, I'll get the baby up, and while dad is in the shower, we will lay together on my pillow, with me holding a book above our heads and reading.  Fuzz will lay still and pay attention to some relatively long books this way, and his current most demanded story is about Elmo.  Elmo is definitely Fuzzy's favorite character - possibly because he can say the name with at least some clarity - when Fuzzy wants to read about Elmo, he yells "EHMO!!"over and over until the book is presented to him.


6)  In other signs that the baby is growing up, he now only wants to feed himself.  This is a bit of a disaster, because many of the foods he likes do not lend themselves well to fingers, and we are only now starting to get the rudiments of spoons.  For example, the other day I watched him assiduously try to pick up some peas with his spoon - only to be thwarted over and over because he was a) holding the spoon in a death-grip with his fist, leaving it completely unmaneuverable, and b) holding the spoon scoop-side down.


7)  Fuzzy has also developed a new laugh - expect it's not so much a laugh as a snicker, and it sounds remarkably like he is mocking us when he deploys it.  In combination with the fact that he now finds pinching people hilarious, the overall impression he gives off is remarkably similar to a tiny, pint-sized school bully.  Pinch - shriek from victim - "heh heh heh."

8) In a more adorable development, he now uses the sign for "more" to indicate not just food, but whatever else he wants - I was doing patygoosingkey, and when I stopped, he signed "more" repeatedly until I gave him more.  Similarly, he was freaking out in the tub for some unknown reason, and I started singing "Wheels on the Bus" to get him to calm down.  A couple of verses later, he had stopped crying and was listening raptly.  I finished, and he signed for "more" until The Pit made up some new parts of the song.

9)  Finally, Fuzz has grown two new teeth - oddly, not the ones adjacent to his previous front six, but instead two lower molars.  Or at least I think they are molars - they are pretty far back, and he won't really let me investigate for too long before he starts to bite.  You can sort of see one in the picture below.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

15 Months

1)  This month did not start out well.  Just two days after Fuzzy turned 14 months, he ran full tilt into the side of the bathtub, resulting in a severely bit lip.   Then, two weeks later, while we were visiting my parents' house in California, I took my eyes off him for a few crucial seconds, and he fell all the way down the stairs.  Fortunately, there wasn't any damage from that fall, but I've never been so scared as when I ran down those stairs to scoop him up.

2)  In happier news, we were visiting California to attend my sister's wedding, in which Fuzzy had a short but starring role.  He did not have a job to do, per se, but was expected to walk down the aisle with two other very small people, all wearing adorable tiny suits.


The other little boys in the wedding were a year or two older than him, and when Fuzzy saw them for the first time, he ran over and immediately tried to hug them.  The older boy was quite receptive, but the younger one got scared, and tried to get away from this aggressively friendly baby.  Fuzz saw his running as a challenge, and proceeded to chase him all over the place to get his hug.  Eventually the other kid acquiesced due to sheer tiredness - it was like watching endurance hunting in action.  Now whenever Fuzzy sees another small person near him at a social function, his first reaction is to run over and hug them, whether they are interested in said hug or not.

3)  The California trip brought other joys as well - Fuzzy met and then immediately tried to feed some real-life cows.  They were not quite as picturesque or as tame as I envisioned them, and once I saw the dairy farm, I expected Fuzz to be a little scared of these giant, dirty creatures and their accompanying mass of flies.  However, my expectations were completely upended when it turned out the cows were actually scared of Fuzzy - I guess they aren't used to small human creatures running at them excitedly waving hay.  In order to get the shot below, The Pit's cousin actually had to lock them in the place so they couldn't shy away.  Once they were forced to confront Fuzzy, they eventually allowed themselves to being fed, so I guess all's well that ends well.


4)  In other hugging developments, Fuzz has also invented a game he seems to play solely with me.  I'm not entirely sure what the point of it is, except he likes to run up to me, pry my legs apart, squish himself through, and then tackle me in a giant hug from behind.  This is all accompanied by shrieks of pure joy, especially if I manage to reach behind and awkwardly hug him back.

5)  Fuzzy has always liked music, and in the past has made movements - well, if one were incredibly generous, and also maybe blind, one could call them attempts at dancing.  However, this month he really upped the ante and made very clear dancing moves, consisting primarily of tapping his feet really really fast when music starts to play.   He also loves it when one of us picks him, holds his arm out in a formal dancing position, and swings him round and round the living room.


6)  In addition to his new-found dancing skillz, for the first time this month, Fuzz started trying to climb on things.  It doesn't really matter what the thing in question is - the back of the couch, the bathtub, mom's legs - he grabs on tight and starts swinging his little leg up, grunting with effort and occasionally farting.  I found out the hard way about his new abilities when I left him alone for a second while running the bath.  He had been cheerfully throwing his bath toys in the water when I went out, and when I came back with his towel less than 20 seconds later, he was sitting fully-clothed in the tub, grinning up at me happily.

7)  There's been some cognitive development as well - Fuzzy is getting better and better at reasoning, generalizing, and extrapolating.  For example, the other day we found a single detached cicada wing laying on the sidewalk.  Fuzz picked it up, fascinated, and I told him it was a wing.  He immediately started waving it around in a flying motion, making a zzzz noise.


8)  This month also brought another milestone - recognizing his new big boy status, Fuzzy started refusing all baby food.  This has made life a little harder, because although we hadn't been giving him jars for every meal, they were a nice convenient option at least once a day.  Now Maya and I have to plan ahead and have real food for him three times a day.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

14 Months

It's a good thing I took copious notes of the child's activities in the first half of this month, because the second half was all a sleepless blur.  For some inexplicable reason the baby just stopped sleeping through the night one day, and then, just as inexplicably, went back to normal a few days ago.  Let us all hold our breath and pray this continues, because mama can't take any more sleepless nights.  Okay, onwards to milestones:


1)  New words in our vocabulary: "cacker," which is cracker, "bubba," which is bubbles, and "gaga," which is paka and the Russian word for bye-bye.  If we count all the random noises Fuzzy uses to communicate as words, I believe this brings us to a total vocabulary of twelve whole "words:"  mama, dada, nana = banana, ado = avocado, haaa = hot, ayyy = eye, da = duck, zzzz = insect, and brrrr = car (or anything mechanical that moves - boats, wagons, etc).

2)  One of Fuzzy's favorite activities this month was picking up a toy cell phone, holding it up to his ear, and then self-importantly marching in circles while he babbled into it.  After seeing him do this a few times, The Pit decided we should probably cut back on cell phone talking in front of the baby.  The image he was reflecting back at us was not exactly flattering.


3)  In addition to his verbal skills, Fuzzy has a few signs that he uses, most of which I've chronicled before.  One that I don't think I've talked about is his "boom" sign.  This involves Fuzzy hitting himself on the head, as in, "I just fell down and my head went boom."  He makes this sign both to indicate that he's hurt himself, and to let us know that a loud noise is happening.  The most comical use of this sign was on the 4th of July.  We decided to show him a video of fireworks to prepare him for what he would see that evening - and like an idiot, as he was watching it, I said "The fireworks go boom, but aren't they pretty?"  Fuzz stared at the video with wide eyes for a few seconds, looked at us gathered around him, and then started hitting himself in the head with great concern.  All attempts to explain to him that his head was in no danger were met with even more frantic gesticulating.  Fortunately, when we went to see the actual fireworks, they were far enough away that the noise wasn't scary to him, and he watched the show quite calmly.


4)  Around the same time as the fireworks issue, Fuzz started to pay attention to airplanes flying overhead.  And once he noticed them, they terrified him.  He would point to the plane, grab onto my leg, indicate that he wanted to be held, and when situated in the safety of my arms, repeatedly make the boom sign.  I thought I could fix the issue by showing him a toy plane we had at home, that he had played with for months and months.  After a walk where he got particularly scared of a low-flying jet, I showed him the toy, and explained that this was an airplane, and nothing to be scared of.  Fuzzy stared at me, stared at the toy in his hand, and then tentatively waved it around above his head in a questioning way.  When I confirmed that this was indeed what planes did, he dropped the toy like it was suddenly hot, made the boom sign again, and started to cry.  For the next two weeks, he would grow very concerned whenever he heard a plane fly overhead - and there are, as it turns out, a whole lot of planes flying over us every day.

5)  Although the previous paragraph doesn't support this assertion, this month Fuzzy did get quite a bit more independent.  He now wanders away by himself and flips through his favorite books without involving nearby adults, he tries to feed himself with a spoon, and just recently I witnessed Maya asking him to help when she was putting on his pants.  He gamely grabbed at the cloth around his ankles and pulled up.


6)  Fuzz has also been imitating adults to the best of his ability - he saw my sister snap her fingers when she was visiting, and he's been trying to do it ever since.  He also watches intently when Maya makes tortillas, and then points at her and uses the exact same hand gestures, flipping invisible dough back and forth between his hands.

7)  I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it, but Maya does presentations regarding traditional Mayan cooking, weaving, and childrearing at museums and various cultural festivals.  For the latter demonstration, she has a lifelike yet incredibly creepy baby girl doll.  One day she came in after doing a presentation, and Fuzzy saw the doll.  He immediately grabbed it, hugged it, and then started dragging it back and forth across the living room by the hair.  Observing this behavior, Maya exclaimed "He needs a little sister!"


8)  We've been trying to introduce Fuzzy to the whole potty-training concept.  I got a potty several months ago, and it's been sitting in his room, where we will periodically point to it and explain the basics - "You go pssss and 'ah ah ah' in there."  Fuzzy dutifully pointed to it and made the appropriate noises, but did not show much indication of ever wanting to sit down.  When my sister was visiting, she and her fiance brought Fuzzy a potty-training book, which covers the travails of a baby who wants to use the potty.  At the end of the book, there is a picture showing him going on the potty, followed by applause from his family.  Fuzzy grasped the concept right away - he now comes into his room, sees the potty, sits down on it fully clothed for approximately two seconds, then applauds himself with great vigor, stands up, and goes on his way.  I'm not quite sure where to go from here.

9)  Fuzz has always liked music, but this month he developed a new habit - when he hears it, he will clap his hands with joy.  This applies to CDs we play, music he hears from the TV, and music from some of his many toys.  The best though, is when he hears a blast of music from a passing car - whether it be country, rock, or some hard-hitting rap, the baby pauses, cocks his head, then applauds for a few seconds before waving bye-bye.