Sunday, November 16, 2014

7 Months

1)  As predicted, this month was indeed all about movement.  Once Sprout learned to lift his body up, he spent a little while using a unique and painful method to get around:  he would get up on all fours, and then fall forward onto his face.  Then he would get up on all fours again, and fall forward a few more inches...and so on.  After a few days of this, he started Army crawling a little bit - sort of slithering around on the floor without lifting himself much.  Then a few days later, he began combining the two movements:  he started getting a few forward movements on all fours, and then would plop back down and Army crawl.

This opened up all sorts of new vistas for him, and whenever he spotted a previously un-tasted object, he would get a gleam in his eye and scuttle to it as fast as possible.  In this manner he tasted a plastic bag, a wide variety of discarded tissues, and multiple pairs of shoes before we wised up.  Somewhere in all this motor movement, he also figured out how to get to a sitting position by himself.

2)  By the beginning of November, about two weeks after his first attempts, the baby was legit crawling.  Apparently he's an overachiever though, because as soon as he got crawling mostly down, he started trying to stand by pushing his arms against the floor and doing a sort of downward-facing dog yoga pose.  Within a week, he managed to pull himself up to a standing position in the crib, and is now working on other, more slippery surfaces.  It should be noted that even at this stage, he still hasn't fully mastered sitting - he periodically just tips over and bumps his head for no apparent reason.

3)  In other developments, Sprout also enjoys kissing his Mama.  Unfortunately, this is a rather rough form of affection - he grabs at the hair on either side of my face, and jerks my head forward until he can slobber on my cheek.  His excited, huge grin makes this experience worth the lost hair I then have to pick out of his chubby clenched fists.

4)  Sprout was never particularly cooperative with diaper changes, but this month he's taken the wiggling to a new level.  It now requires either two people to hold him still, or one person with a dazzling new toy or inventive noise.  Otherwise, forget it, the kid twists and turns and twists and turns, making a five minute diaper change last about six times longer than necessary.

5)  Fuzzy has been bringing home cold after cold from preschool, and then giving said cold to Sprout.  This is bad on a lot of levels, not the least of which is that the child struggles like a feral animal whenever a tissue comes near his nose.  Paradoxically, tissues also happen to be his favorite snack - if a box is left unattended somewhere in Sprout's reach, he will lunge toward it, grab a tissue, and quickly stuff it in his mouth while chewing energetically.

6)  We've been slowly introducing Sprout to solid foods, prompted by an interest on his part: when he sees us eating now, he will smack his lips like an old man missing his dentures, while pointedly staring at whatever delectable object we are putting in our mouths.  So far, he's liked almost every baby food we tried, although, par for the course, he quickly grows bored and refuses to eat more than an ounce or so.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

29 Months

1.  Potty training progressed well this month - when nobody is paying attention, Fuzzy now moves his potty to middle of room, pulls down his pants/underwear, does his business, and then stands up and starts tugging his clothes on again.  At this step he usually runs into trouble and starts calling for us, at which point we also decide if wiping is necessary.

2.  In another independent move, the kid has figured out how to open his bedroom door.  I was sitting at the dining room table working on the laptop during one of his naps, and glanced up to see him standing next to me quietly, clutching Dot Baby and watching me with wide eyes.

3.  We were invited to a birthday party for one of Fuzzy's classmates, and Fuzzy could not have been more excited.  All the way to the party, this is what I heard from the backseat: "Maybe Max will have cake?  Let's go see!  Maybe it will be chocolate cake?  I like chocolate cake!"

Then, when we arrived, Fuzzy glanced with disinterest at the pile of presents, turned to me, and said, "Where is da cake?"  When I told him that we had to wait, he said, "Okay, I have to be patient!"  I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that the interrogation was over.  However, apparently Fuzzy and I have very different definitions of the word 'patient.'  Based on the evidence Fuzzy thinks waiting for less than a minute qualifies, because after 30 seconds, he turned to me and the whole "Where is da cake?  Is it chocolate cake?" line of questioning was repeated.  Fortunately, we discovered a trampoline in the birthday boy's backyard, and cake was shortly thereafter forgotten.

However, the party clearly made a lasting impressing.  Weeks later, whenever we get in the car, he asks if we are going to Max's birthday party again.  Thus far, explanations of 'only once a year' have made no noticeable impact.

4.  In other news, despite the excellent birthday party, Fuzzy suddenly hates preschool, and insists he has no friends there.  His attempts to get out of going to school are pretty inventive and hilarious however.  He began our conversation thusly:
"I don't want to go to pweeschool, I want to to go play at the park wit Maya."  When that didn't work, he turned on the tears, and through his sobs, wailed:
"I want to sleep! In my crib! Not later, now!"  When that didn't work, he tried a different tactic:
"Mama," He said, "You tired.  You take off that firt and put on you nightgown and go sleep in you bed....and me too!"

5.  After nightly struggles for several weeks, Fuzzy relented and allowed me to brush his teeth without any issues.  I tried positive reinforcement: "You made Mama so happy! Thank you baby!"  He glanced up at me, and primly said, "You vewe welcome."

6.  Maya collected a box of acorns for Fuzzy to play with outside.  When we poured out the acorns, we discovered a couple of little grubs in the bottom of the box.  Fuzzy put one of the grubs in an acorn top, and held it up, admiring his work.  "He vewe happy in his new hoooome!"

7.  Fuzzy was sitting in the tub one night, and in between playing with his bath toys, glanced up at me, and said:
"Mama, yous eyes are red!"  I explained it was probably because I was tired.
"Oh, I will be a doctah and fix them!"
"How are you going to do that?"
"I will poke will be a...SURPRISE!"

I declined his kind offer, but really, all things considered, it would have been surprising indeed.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

6 Months

1)  Sprout has a new fun idiosyncrasy this month - as we hold or rock him in the few minutes before he falls asleep, he starts making this strange moaning noise.  It sounds pretty terrible, but I don't think it's a sign of distress - my mom described as singing himself to sleep, which it may be.  If that's the case though, it's the worst singing I've heard.

2)  Whenever the baby is done eating now, he will not just turn his face away, but without any warning, try to escape with his whole body.  Since usually he is precariously balanced on a nursing pillow at the time, his sudden twisting and lunging is a little disconcerting, as I have to be ready to catch him before he hits the floor.

3)  Another fun game Sprout has invented involves him grabbing his hands together, and then shaking them back and forth in front of his face...this is all very fun for a minute or two, and then he gets overly enthusiastic and wallops himself in the nose.  Then he is less amused.

4)  Motor development has been interesting this month - he started off the month sort of sitting upright if he was placed in that position by an adult.  Once left to his own devices though, he would eventually tilt to the side and fall over.

Undeterred by his lack of mastery of this basic skill, Sprout nonetheless decided he was ready for more advanced action - he started trying to crawl.  Trying was the operative word though, as he didn't initially have much success.  He would lay on the floor with his face down, and lift up his butt like he was doing the butterfly swim...and then stop, utterly confused about the next step.  By the end of the month, he got to the point where he could lift up his body on his hands and knees, but this was quickly followed by a fall on his face.

Next month though, I think we'll see some fairly rapid progress on the movement front, as this child *really* doesn't like to sit still.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

28 Months

1)  The preschool had an open house to get the kids used to their classroom.  We went, and while his compatriots were all crying and clinging to their mommies, Fuzzy confidently marched into his classroom, found a box of toys, picked out a digger, and began playing with it.  When I pointed out his cubby, he said "Oh, dis my box?"  Then he collected all the dinosaurs from around the room and deposited them inside.  I took him to the bathroom, and he surveyed the Sesame Street toilet seat.  "Dis nice potty," he pronounced.

On the actual first day of school, he was pretty excited as I got him dressed, put on his backpack, and handed him his lunchbox.  As I got him all positioned for a picture on the front steps, he was hopping from foot to foot with impatience.  I begged him to smile, and was rewarded with the following: "'No Mama, no pikur, we have to go to pwee-school!  My little digga is waitin fo' me!  WAIT DIGGA, WAIT!  I COMIN!!"

As I dropped him off, I expected a few tears, maybe some confusion - after all, we have never before left him with anyone other than family or his familiar nanny.  However, he was so excited to be reunited with his digger that he completely ignored me when we got inside the class.  I literally had to get down on my hands and knees, wave my hand into his face, and tell him I was leaving.  "I'll be back to pick you up after lunch!"  He glanced at me briefly with absolute disinterest - "Okay."

2)  Fuzzy continues to say amusing things at home.

Exhibit A:
"Mama, I couldn't get my shoes on by myself...I twied and I twied and I twied! I had a wittle twouble."

Exhibit B:
Me: "Do you want to read a story?"
Him: "No, not wight now."
Me: "Okay, when?"
Him: "On the weekend!"

Exhibit C:
We're rocking in his room prior to bedtime, and a thunderstorm starts.  Crash!  "What dat?"  I explain that it was thunder.  Fuzzy is not convinced.  "No, it dinosaur."  I decide to play along - "The dinosaur was stomping?"  "Yah, it stompin up stompin up Fizzy's stompin up Fizzy's woof!"  "Oh really?"  "Yah, I tink it T-Wex!"

Exhibit D:
As I'm carrying Fuzzy to bed, I kick over a glass of water The Pit has placed next to his chair in the living room.  Fuzzy is instantly hyper-alert, "What happened??"  Then he explains the situation to himself and me:  "Mama kicked glass, and all DAT water went on floor.  It's okay, Daddy will clean it. It okay Mama, she didn't mean it.  Have to walk slower Mama, yous walkin too fast!"

Exhibit E:
He's sitting in his high chair, and is clearly done with his blueberries.  He takes them one by one, squishes them with the bottom of his bowl, and then throws them to the ground.  "Don't throw those berries!" I yell as I step on one.  "I have to Mama, it fun!" replies the child.

Exhibit F:
We're walking onto the playground, where Fuzz ran his head straight into a metal pole the previous day (because he was running forward while looking over his shoulder at one of his friends).  "I won't do dat again." he says.  "Do what?" I ask, wondering if he's remembering the pole incident.  "Wun into pole...I be mo' careful!"

3)  While Fuzzy hasn't quite mastered putting on his own clothes yet, he's getting better and better at taking them off.  I was in the shower the other day when he ran into the bathroom.  Before I knew it, he had stripped naked and decided to join me.

4)  Fuzzy was being rough with Sprout one day while I was watching both of them and trying to get dressed for work in the morning.  After several warnings to be nice, I pulled him off the baby and sort of flung him onto the other side of the bed.  He immediately burst into tears, and in between loud sobs wailed, "Don't do dat Mama, dat not vewy nice!"

5)  In his bath, he's invented a new game to avoid having to brush his teeth.  As I get out the toothbrush, Fuzz now turns to the faucet and pretends to turn a steering wheel.  "I drivin' to ice ceam store.  Wait here, I be wight back!"  Then he waves his finger at me admonishingly as I ineffectually wave the toothbrush.  "Wait Mama, I bwing you ice ceam!  You wait at my hooome."

6)  As I was singing him his bedtime song in the rocking chair, Fuzzy kept sticking his finger in my mouth.  I told him to stop it, and when he wouldn't, I put him to bed rather firmly.  He started crying.  Then, after about 30 seconds, he perked up.   "Can I poke you arm?"  He asked.  "I suppose so," I said dubiously.  Then I felt his little figure poking at my elbow, followed by a disappointed, "But there no hole in you arm!"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

5 Months

1)  Sprout discovered feet this month, but unlike his older brother, he is not particularly interested in them.  After finding his feet as a baby, Fuzzy would not let go them, keeping 'em in his mouth for weeks and looking like a little rolly-polly bug.  In contrast, Spout desultorily picked at his toes and tasted them a total of once.  Periodically, he will notice his socks and try to either eat them or pull them off, but that is the sum total of interest he has in his lower appendages.

2)  This month the baby rolled from his back to stomach, and can now propel himself in a full 360 degree circle if placed on a solid surface.

3)  In another contrast with his brother, Sprout desperately wants to hold his bottle.  Fuzzy was content to have someone else hold his milk for him up until he stopped drinking from an actual nipple.  Sprouting, on the other hand, clutches at the bottle with his chubby little hands, and so excited is he when he grabs it, that about half the time, he ends up wrenching it out of his own mouth with enthusiasm.  He keeps trying though, gamely shoving the nipple into his nose.

4)  Sprout loves seeing himself in mirror.  As soon as he is placed in front of it, his face lights up with a huge grin.  He can be mid-cry, and then he spots himself, stops, and starts smiling instead.  He also loves it when we nuzzle him and make loud kissing noises.  When these are done in front of the mirror, Sprout is in heaven.

5)  He is walking much better in his little car, but still gets stuck in corners.  When this happens, he makes a few attempts to free himself by shoving straight through the wall, and when that tactic fails, wails for assistance.

6)  Sprout's banshee screeching has returned this month, I think probably because he's working on a tooth.  I can see the white spot on his gum where the tooth should be coming through, but so far, it has remained stubbornly inside, causing the baby (and by extension, the rest of us), much grief.  As you can see below, Sprout constantly has a finger in his mouth, and sometimes, he will even grab my finger and shove it firmly into place, practically ordering me to massage his aching gum.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

27 Months

1)  Potty training progress remains approximately the same as last month.  The other day, I came outside, where Fuzzy was playing next to a large container we've designated as a sandbox.  After a little while I started smelling  I crouched down, and sure enough, there was a suspiciously wet patch of sand.  Knowing that The Pit had just been out here with Fuzzy, I started the following line of questioning:

Me: "Did you pee on the ground here?"
Fuzzy: "Mmmmhmmm."
Me: "Huh, why didn't it get cleaned up?  Did Daddy put sand on it?"
Fuzzy:  "No, Daddy say 'DAMMIT!'"

2)  Apparently imitating myself or Maya, Fuzzy now says "oh dear" whenever anything goes wrong.  Dish falls off high chair? "Oh dear."
Truck breaks? "Oh dear."
Squirrels eating the bird food? "Oh dear."

3)  Similarly, "join me" is now a favorite phrase: "Join me Mama, join me!" as he runs naked in circles around his room, pretending to be an airplane.  "Join me, Mama!" as he heads down to play in the basement.  "Come onnnnnn Mama, basement is fun!"  Sadly, this last was during a day when I was trying to work from home...needless to say, little work was actually accomplished.

4)  My mother was visiting us, and her back started acting up.  I made an appointment for her with the chiropractor.  As she was going out the door, Fuzzy perked up, and said "Where Baba goin?"  I explained that Baba was going to the doctor because her back hurt, and that the doctor would make her feel which point Fuzzy clutched his back with both hands, bent over like an old man, and said "Oh oh oh, my back hoyts! I need to go to the doctor!"

5)  We left the lid off the previously mentioned sandbox, and of course, that night it rained, turning the box into essentially a container of cloudy mud.  The child who refuses to put his face into the clean bathtub water took to this immediately, coating himself head to toe.  He even dipped his forehead in it, allowing his bangs to drip gooey sand down his face.  Then he turned to me: "Let's go show Baba how hansome Fizz is!"

6)  On August 17th, Fuzzy, completely unprompted, turned to me and said "I wuv you...and Sprout wuvs you too!" Since then, he has periodically repeated these sentiments to both The Pit and I, effectively pulling out our hearts and smushing them.

7) The other day Fuzzy wasn't feeling well.  Whenever this happens, he demands to a) hold his comfort toy - formerly called "Any Baby" and now more specifically christened "Dot Baby," and b) be rocked (or wocked, as he says).  On this day, while rocking him, I also started massaging his back.  He quite liked it, and now requires to be "assaged" periodically.  If I stop before he's done, I get ordered to "Assage me again! Again Mama, assage me again!"

8)  We finally converted Fuzzy's crib into a toddler bed.  When shown the results, Fuzzy climbed in by himself, turned to us with a shining face, and said "I like my new bed!  It just like Mama and Daddy, I like it!"

9)  We enrolled Fuzzy in two-day/week preschool, and two weeks before classes started, the school held a picnic to get the kids familiarized with the setting.  They asked everyone to bring some sort of snack, so the day before Fuzzy personally selected a box of crackers at the grocery store.

Of course, as soon as we got home, he also wanted to eat his box of crackers.  I explained that these were special crackers, and that we had to take them to preschool the next day.  Clearly, this made a big impression, because upon waking up the following morning, Fuzzy was very excited.  The first thing he said to me was, "Mama! We goin to take special cackers to pweeschool!!"  Then, in the car on the way to the picnic, the crackers were once again the only topic of conversation.

Upon arriving at the picnic, Fuzzy immediately tore into the box, then bounced around the playground for a bit, helpfully pointing out spiders to terrified children and stealing food from their resulting unattended plates. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

4 Months

1)  Baby Sprout is now rolling over from his stomach to his back unassisted.  However, he continues to prefer standing.  When he's being held, his very favorite new trick is clutching a bundle of hair tightly in his tiny fists, and trying to eat it before it gets pulled away from him. 

2)  After learning to stuff his fist in his mouth last month, in the last few weeks he's refined his technique, and now energetically sucks on a few fingers at a time.  Periodically the sucking gets to be more vigorous than usual, and he will gag himself.

3)  Sprout's hand-eye coordination is much improved, and he grabs at things much better than before.  Not only can he actually hold on to an object for long enough to bring it to his mouth, but he can also reach out and pull said object to him if it's placed anywhere in his vicinity.  However, he isn't particularly loyal to any one toy, and mostly seems to enjoy being handed every available option in rapid succession.  He will feel the offering to determine if it shakes, rattles, or crinkles, then taste the object in question for a few minutes at most.  Then he gets bored, and turns to you with big eyes and plaintive little wails, demanding something else to entertain him.

4)  When Fuzzy was about 6 months old, his aunt sent him a little car walker, which got much use until he actually learned to walk by himself.  We placed Sprout in it quite a bit earlier than his brother, but he also receives significant enjoyment from being upright and self-propelled.  Although in his case, "self-propelled" might be a little generous.  His teensy tiny toes can just reach the ground, and he uses them to hop forward, while at the same time throwing both arms in the air frantically to propel himself as much as possible. 

5)  We have come up to the screeching milestone, when sweet burbling and quiet spit blowing turned overnight into sounds of delight loud enough to wake the dead.  Thankfully, the baby's banshee wailing period only lasted about two weeks, and he has, for the most part, subsided back into small squeaks of pleasure and occasional bear grunts of distress.

6) Bath-time continues to be Sprout's very favorite time, when he turns the full force of his toothless smile upon a captive audience.  For his first few months of life, the baby expressed his boundless enjoyment of the tub by frantically churning his arms and legs back and forth, generating tidal waves and splashing for his own enjoyment.  Now he instead tries to suck at the fingers and washcloth cleaning him.  The tightness of his grip on said washcloth seems to indicate the following train of thought: "Mmmm, most delicious washcloth...whyfore can I not have it always?"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

26 Months

Our toddler is developing into a real person.

1)  This month, he started saying 'I love you'  ... although mostly only when coached, and not as an independent thought.  However, after a few weeks of coaching, we did have the following exchange, after we heard sirens and I ran him through the entire house in time for him to see a fire truck go by out the front window.

Me:  "Mama ran so fast so you could see that!  Do you love Mama?"

2)  I finally coaxed the child into coming to the public pool near our house.  This took some doing, as when we originally asked him if he wanted to go, Fuzzy said "No! Dat pool too wet!"

However, after pointing out that his hero Caillou had been to a pool, Fuzz finally consented.  The pool we selected has a little wading area for toddlers, and Fuzzy took a liking to it...all except for  two plastic circles on the bottom.  As I was unsure of their function when he questioned me, I made up a lie on the spot, and confidently told him they were drains.  He then proceeded to be terrified of them for several visits, going so far as to warn the other children to stay away.  "Be careful boy!" he would yell whenever one of the other kids ventured too near the drains.

After our fourth visit, he was a little less frightened of the drains, and a lot more willing to independently crawl around in the baby pool.  "I swimmin!  Swimmin is fun!!  I love swimmin!" he screamed.

3)  Dina and Noam visited us this month, and brought a little rocket launcher (similar to this) for Fuzzy.  There was pure joy on his face as he yelled "One, two, fwee...BLASTOFF!!" while throwing his arms ecstatically in the air.

4)  In honor of said visit, my mother made a run to the Russian store, and amongst various delicious and disgusting foods, purchased some sprats.  The leftovers got put in the fridge, and a few days later, The Pit was at a loss for what to give Fuzzy for lunch.  He threw these in a bowl, and the kid gobbled them up like they were candy.

5)  Potty training has remained more or less the same as last month - if Fuzzy is induced to sit on his throne at regular intervals, all is good.  If we forget, his reminding us is rather hit or miss, and will often happen *after* he's already gone in his pants.  Sadly, he is rather resistant to actually using the potty throughout the day, as he appears to be under the misimpression that it only needs to happen once - "NO, I already did dat today!" he will exclaim when we suggest he sit down. 

6)  The other day, I was getting ready for work and Fuzzy was running around naked.  As he ran past it, Fuzzy glanced at himself in the mirror, then paused, cocked his head, and murmured, "So handsome..." before running off again.

7)  When he really wants me to do something, Fuzzy will now ask for it in the following manner - "Little [whatever it is] fwee times?"  Apparently, just one of anything is now for chumps.  For example, if he wants more bedtime songs after I've already announced "last one," instead of saying "one more," as he used to, he will now beg, "Little song fwee times?  Pwease!"

8)  The defining characteristic of this month has been incessant questioning.  "What dat Mama...what dat?  Mama, what dat could be?"  or "Where dat noise come from?"  Over and over and over again, about objects both novel and familiar.  Often, when I ask him what he thinks the thing is, he will answer correctly, or even name the thing in his question - I'm thus puzzled as to why he torments me with exchanges like the following:
"What dat motorcycle could be Mama?"
"Err...a motorcycle."
"What dat motorcycle Mama?"
"It's a motorcycle baby, you just said it yourself."
"What *is* it Mama??"

9)  We ordered pizza for dinner earlier this month, and Fuzzy got very excited when he was informed he could have some.  Then I handed him a slice, and he immediately got concerned "Dis yucky...want CLEAN pizza!" he said.  So I carefully picked off the tomatoes and bell peppers from his slice, handed it back, and set about eating my own.  He studied me critically, and then said, "No, want Mama's pizza!"  Then he shoved his half chewed piece at me, and gobbled up all of my slice.

10)  Fuzzy was given a tricycle as an early birthday present about two months before he turned two.  At the time, he could not seem to master the concept of pedaling.  I'm proud to report that he's now mastered it, although in keeping with Peachy-side-of-the-family laziness, he only pedals downhill.

11)  Fuzzy now pronounces banana as boonana, and mango as manga.  As in, "Want manga juice Mama!"

12)  Other recent exchanges amusing because he's talking more or less like an adult:

The Pit: "Do you want to help me mow the lawn?"
Fuzzy:  "Not wight now Dada."

Sprout starts to cry.  Fuzzy:  "Mama, hug Fpout"
Me: "Do you want to do it?"
Fuzzy, while clutching his Thomas the Train: "No fanks, I holding Thomas wight now."

During dinner.  Me: "Do you want watermelon?"
Fuzzy:  "Not wight now, I eating corn now Mama."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3 Months

1)  Sprout is a...solid baby.  Unlike his older brother at this age, he has a plethora of folds.  So many folds, in fact, that I noticed a rash creeping in, and discovered that it is actually very difficult to get at his very inner neck.  The operation entails much squirming, and requires two adults.

2)  July 1st, the baby did me a solid and slept for 6 hours.  Sadly, apparently I only get one of these respites every month, as the rest of the time he continued his waking twice per night routine.

3)  Sprout finally put all of last month's tongue explorations to use, and started blowing spit bubbles.

4)  Sprout's legs continue to demonstrate prodigious feats of strength...when he is put down to nap on the mattress in the basement (best spot for napping as it is furthest away from Fuzzy), he will eventually wake up and propel himself forward until he travels several feet and falls off the mattress.  At this point, we hear much wailing, although the mattress is about three inches off the ground from carpet, so he is always unhurt.

5)  He's begun grabbing at cloth burp rags, blankets, and his own onesies, trying to stuff them in his mouth...although his hand-eye coordination could still use significant work, as these efforts are only successful about 30% of the time.  He's also made a few attempts at grabbing toys, but only when they've been held directly next to his hands...he makes zero effort to reach for anything dangling a few inches away.

6)  Yesterday Sprout made big progress.  He finally managed to stuff his fist in his mouth on purpose.  I watched him clench his little chubby hand, and then weave his arm all over the place in concentration until he finally brought it near enough to chomp on.