Saturday, March 28, 2015

34 Months

1)  Fuzzy had another ear infection, and got used a nightly bribe of some chocolate-covered berries in order to take his disgusting antibiotic mixture.  He kept right on demanding these berries even after the medicine was done, so I tried linking them to other useful behavior.  The results were...less than exemplary:

"Can I have my chocolate berries?"
"Well, did you do something nice today?  Good boys get chocolate berries."
"Ummm...I pushed Sprout!"
"That isn't a nice thing!  Poor Sprout, we don't want to push him!  Can you tell me about something *nice* that you did?"
"Ummm...I bit Sprout's finger.  Now can I have chocolate berries?"
"That's not a nice thing at all!  We don't bite people, that's very naughty!  Naughty boys don't get chocolate berries.  Did you do something nice today?  Did you help anybody?"
"I pushed Andrew!"*
*Andrew is one of his best buddies at preschool, which he hadn't been to the day in question.
"That is not nice, not helpful, and also not today."
"Ummm...I massaged children.  Dat a nice thing!"
I was a little taken aback and confused by this reference, but relieved that it didn't have to do with pushing or biting.  However, I wanted more.  "Did you do anything else nice today?"
"We done."
"What do you mean, 'we done'?"
"We done talkin' 'bout dis now.  Can I have my chocolate berries?"

2)  Fuzzy is still obsessed with the Jack and the Beanstalk story, and has been requesting it almost every night for more than a month.  Consequently, I have several amusing anecdotes regarding our nightly telling.  Now that he's established the plot more firmly in his mind, he's asking slightly deeper questions, and requesting different versions of the story.  Thusly on two different nights, we had the following exchanges:

Me: Jack grabbed the goose and started to climb down the beanstalk.  Just then, the giant came out and started climbing after Jack..."
Night #1 Fuzzy:  "Dat giant not nice to chase childrens!  Why da giant climb after Jack?  He can go to da store an get another goose!  Da aminal store!"
Night #2 Fuzzy:  "No Mama, da giant not climb after Jack!"
Me:  "...Okay...just then, the giant looked out his window and saw Jack taking the goose.  He said 'Fe fi foe fum...I don't feel like going outside today.'"
Fuzzy:  Smiles and murmurs approval..."Mmmm hmmmm."

3)  Fuzzy also enjoys when he is introduced into the story, and Fuzz and Jack successfully bring back the goose together.   When I get to the end of this telling, he always smiles beatifically as I say that Jack's mama hugged and thanked the boys.  "We did a good job!"

4)  Since I tell the story the same way every time, we've gotten into a routine where he finishes my sentences.  For example, I always say, "The beanstalk grew taller and taller, taller than a house, taller than a tree, taller than a mountain!"  And for a long time, Fuzzy was quite satisfied to say "house," "tree," and "mountain" at the appropriate spots.  If I forgot to pause and said the ending word, he would get quite upset.  "I taut I was gonna say dat!  Say it again!"

One night, instead of saying "house," he substituted "mushroom" (or mufwoom, in his pronunciation).  I laughed, and Fuzzy took this as his cue to repeat the joke...over and over and over.  Every sentence ended with muffwoom, all the way down to the goose laying a golden muffwoom.

5)  As you might be noticing, Fuzzy is very into his routines.  Bedtime at our house goes like this - Mama gives him a bath, brings him downstairs, and he and Daddy read stories on the couch.  Then Mama is summoned back to take him and put him to bed.  Every night, The Pit asks Fuzzy if he can put him to bed instead, and every night, Fuzzy very emphatically says, "NO!"  When questioned why, he states, "Dat Mama's job!"  One night, The Pit decided to get more clarity, and asked what his own job was...Fuzz replied, "Youse job is taking me to pweeschool." *

*Please note that Mama takes him to preschool 99% of the time.

6)  I was giving Fuzz and Sprout a bath at the same time, and Fuzzy was standing, such that his junk was directly in front of Sprout's face.  Sprout of course immediately focused on this new and interesting bit of anatomy, and grabbed at Fuzzy, pulling on his penis quite hard.  Fuzzy yelped in surprise, and I removed Sprout to the far end of the tub, where he commenced wailing about being denied this new toy.  Fuzz, in an uncharacteristic bit of generosity, looked at his baby brother and said, "It's okay Sprout, you can play with my penis!"

7)  A more common interaction between the boys took place on the playground:  Sprout crammed his mouth full of sand, so I took him away from sandbox, where Fuzzy was happily occupied with some trucks.  Fuzzy was not pleased by my absence, and ran right over to me.  "Mama, come play wit me!"  I explained that I couldn't, as Sprout was not to be trusted over there, and would eat more sand.    Fuzzy was undeterred.  He gestured vaguely at the far corner of the playground, a good distance away - "No Mama, come play wit can put Sprout down over der!"

8)  From the backseat of the car, The Pit and I also overheard this exchange:

Sprout:  "Dada."
Fuzzy, apparently deciding to be pedantic:  "The Pit."
Sprout:  "Dada."
Fuzzy:  "The Pit!"
Sprout:  "Dada."

9)  The Pit and I, in a fit of sleepless delirium, where having an argument in the kitchen about who exactly had it worse the previous night.  Fuzzy did not like our raised voices, and immediately ran over to us from the living room.  "Stop doin' dat!!"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

11 Months

1)  Sprout got his second tooth at the beginning of the month, but has made no further progress.  This is a shame, since the kid wants to eat people food more than pretty much anything else in the world.  He's taken to loudly smacking his lips together when he's hungry - which is all the time, the child has an insatiable appetite.

2)  I've sporadically been trying to teach Sprout a few signs - 'more,' 'milk,' 'water' - and for a while I was optimistic that the kid was a genius and picking up on the milk sign.  Then I realized that Sprout has determined that this sign means "I want."  Thus, he makes it whenever he wants anything, be it milk, food, a toy, or to be picked up.  This is less than useful in the communication department, as his previous sign for wanting something - whimpering - was perfectly sufficient in its vagueness.

3)  This month the baby learned to push himself to a standing position without leaning on something.  He now grabs a toy, stands up, and then toddles around self-importantly.  The toys he loves best are all balls, and he will grab them, clutch them tightly while properly positioning himself, and then throw then down the stairs or across the room with great joy.

4)  In other mobility progress, this baby is a climber.  He loves to climb up on his little chair, and will stand there banging as high up on the wall as he can reach.  I've also witnessed him climbing up the side of his stroller to get a few cheerios I left in the kid's cup holder compartment.

5)  Sprout is so good-natured, that even when he's feeling miserable, he manages to find a way to smile.  Case in point, he caught the latest cold Fuzzy brought home from preschool, and started running a fever.  Despite this, when he heard some music playing, he began bouncing up and down and waving his little fists around, dancing and grinning at us happily.  Of course, he did this when he was supposed to be settling down to sleep at night, but it was too cute to be grumpy about bedtime.

6)  Sprout is still mostly pointing vaguely upward, but now jabs with more emphasis, and sometimes directs his finger ever so slightly horizontal, enabling us to better guess his meaning.

7)  The baby has started sharing his food, carefully taking masticated bits out of his mouth and putting them in ours, then grinning broadly at his own cleverness.

8)  Sprout used to try to eat tissues on the floor - now he picks them up and wipes the floor with them carefully.  He is also interested in the broom, and will happily drag it about while 'cleaning.'

Saturday, February 28, 2015

33 Months

1)  I needed to go to dentist, and when informed of this fact, Fuzzy started whining and crying that he didn't want me to leave.  I left him in the living room throwing a little tantrum.  A few minutes later, he came into the kitchen and said, "Mama, I feel betta' now.  I will let you go to the dentist."

2)  Ever since our visit to California over the holidays, Fuzzy hadn't sleep all the way through the night - he either crawled into bed with The Pitt, or made Daddy sleep in his room on a mattress on the floor.  Finally, I decided enough was enough, and we had a serious conversation/bribing session.  I began by telling him that he's was a big boy, and that big boys sleep by themselves.  Fuzzy presented a counterargument: "But Daddy *likes* to sweep on the mattress!"

At this point I decided to capitalize on his new interest in fairy tales, and presented him with a book I'd purchased for the occasion.  I showed him that it had *so* many new stories, and and then informed him that unfortunately, these stories were only for big boys who slept in their own rooms without Daddy.  Further discussions on this topic led to him actually leaving us alone at night.*

*Sort of related and funny - after I told him that the new book had stories and fairy tales, he kept asking me where the tails were in each story.  Explanations of homonyms did not help.

3)  On the morning of my birthday, Fuzzy started throwing up at 3 AM.  Daddy took care of him until about 7 AM, when he proceeded to crawl into bed with me.  I left him watching cartoons on the iPad while I showered, only to hear the unmistakable sounds of puking as I turned off the water.  After I stripped the bed, pulled off Fuzzy's pajamas, and put him in the shower to wash off, he finally stopped crying, and instead started apologizing: "I sowee I few up on your bed Mama."

I reassured him that it wasn't his fault, and after a few minutes, he started to smile. "Happy Birthday MAMA!" he said, as I finished washing the puke from his hair.  While it wasn't precisely the scenario I had anticipated to start the day, The Pit salvaged it with an amazing Pavlova cake, which we fed to our puking child.  I mean, if you're going to throw up anyway, you might as well throw up cake.

4)  After Fuzz spent one afternoon constantly smacking Sprout, I set him aside and to try and explain why this was a bad idea. "You need to be nice to your brother, show him how to do things, show him how to play.  Not hit him.  If you are nice to him and show him how to do things, he'll grow up and be able to play with you."  Fuzzy gave this some thought, and then brightened up, "...and THEN I can hit him!"

As evidenced from the picture below though, he is sometimes nice to his brother:

5)  Then again, a few days ago, I found myself saying something I never thought I'd have to say: "Stop wiping your nose on your brother's hair!"

6)  I guess it's a right of passage of some type for toddlers - Fuzzy has started adorably mispronouncing the word 'animal.'  For example, once he gathers all his stuffed toys, he turns to me and announces:  "All my aminals are on da bed!"

Saturday, February 14, 2015

10 Months

1)  Around the 9.5 month mark, Sprout had a really big week.  He *finally* got his first tooth and took his very first unassisted steps.  Then, typically for him, he turbocharged walking.  He went from his first tottering steps in the morning of February 1st to taking 4-6 steps unaided steps in the basement that evening.

2)  Sprout is starting to use objects for their intended purposes.  The other day he was playing with a an empty cup under the dinner table while I cleaned up in the kitchen.  Suddenly, I heard a loud slurping noise, and when I went to look, saw the baby pretending to drink from the cup.

3)  He's also taken to copying some gestures - for example, when I leave in the morning and both Fuzzy and Maya wave to me, Sprout waggles his fingers at me too.

4)  Although this month Sprout started walking on his own, he still loves to push something in front of him.  However, not something specifically designed for this task like a walker toy - no, he likes to find a box, a foot stool, or a really heavy chair, and then push those in front of him as he toddles around.

5)  He's been doing a lot of tongue waggling recently, and like his brother at this age, is making a really adorable burbling noise - ablalblahlah, and so on.  Periodically he will wake up in the middle of the night and talk to me like this for 5 or 10 minutes, at which point it is less cute, but still charming enough that I don't want to put him down.

6)  Towards the end of the month, Sprout started points at things.  Well, sort of pointing.  He tends to keep his arm at a 45 degree angle, such that we keep guessing like so:  "...that's...a tree...another tree...a...streetlight...possibly a cloud...likely a power line?"

7)  The baby loves his big brother, and especially his hair.  Whenever they are in the bath together, he practically lunges at Fuzzy, and grabs at his hair.  Understandably, Fuzzy is a little disgruntled at this, and will quite indignantly let me know: "Mama! Tell Spout to be gentle with me!"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

32 Months

1)  Fuzz seems a little unclear on how to use certain words.  For example, he feels that saying "already" once is insufficient, and insists on appending it at both the beginning and end of each statement.  For example:

Me: It's time to brush your teeth.
Fuzzy:  I already did dat already.

Me: Do you need to go potty?
Fuzzy: No! I already went potty already!

2)  Fuzzy has been pretty into hearing stories this month, ever since we regaled him with Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears on a long car ride.  The other day, he asked to be told Jack and the Beanstalk several times in a row, and when I tried to speed up one version by omitting the giant, I was thoroughly chastised: "MAMA, you forgot da giant.  Say it again."  I tried to start at the point where the giant would normally enter the story, but he insisted I start over from the beginning.

After the last retelling, Fuzzy settled himself more comfortably on my lap, and relayed his own version of events:  "When I older, I will get beans and throw dem out da window.  And I will watch da beanstalk get tall and taller like a mountain, and den I will climb up.  Den I will go to market and buy a cow, and I will have golden beans."

3)  Fuzzy has also figured out the general format for a story, and, when asked to create an original version, will center his plots on whatever actions he's taken that day.  Here are a few recent examples when I asked him to tell me a story:

"Once der was a little boy named Fizz, he went to a birthday party, and den he came home and saw his daddy cookin' dinner."

"Once der was a little boy.  He went to the neighbors and gave 'em some boonana bread."

Each of these stories is followed by preening and the clear expectation that he will praised for his excellent story-telling skills.

4)  When he wants something, the kid wants it, and he isn't above using a command voice to get it.  Generally speaking, his tantrums start like this:

Me: "Time to eat some lunch Fuzz."
Fuzzy:  "No! I want to keep playin'!"
Me:  "We can play more after lunch, now it's time to eat."
Fuzzy:  "NO!" Stomps one foot in anger, pouts lower lip.  "I want to play wight NOW!" Stomps foot again, glares at me significantly.  "WIGHT NOW MAMA!"

He resembles nothing so much as a tiny Napoleon, clearly expecting everyone to fall in line and obey orders.

5)  The child has the rudiments of swearing down, but is a little confused about the details.  Upon breaking his crane the other morning, I heard him say, firmly but quietly under his breath, "Fook it me."  When he tried and couldn't open the bathroom room, he murmured "Dammit me."

6)  The concept of time is still quite blurry for Fuzzy, but he's taken to describing all events from the past as happening yesterday, or, as he puts it, 'yesarday.'  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

9 Months

1) Over the last month Sprout's balance has really improved, and he can now stand by himself for almost 10 seconds, and walks relatively well if held by the hands or using his walker.

2)  My favorite of Sprout's activities is probably his dancing.  If he hears music, he gets on all fours and sways backward and forward gently, while giving everyone around delighted grins.

3)  Based on Fuzzy's interests, we have a preponderance of four-wheeled toys: cars, trucks, tractors, more trucks, etc.  Sprout has been relatively disinterested in this bounty of vehicles until recently, when he found one oversize car at his grandma's house over the holidays, and played with is as nature intended.  This caused great consternation on Fuzzy's part, as it was the first time that Sprout really wanted a toy meant for Fuzzy.

4)  In the bath the other day, Sprout grabbed the washcloth away from me, and, after first stuffing it in his mouth and sucking it relatively dry, he reached over and slapped it carefully against my face, clearly trying to reciprocate my attention.

5)  Much like his brother at this age, Sprout will now look up as you desperately yell his name or scream the word "no."  He does not, alas, in any way respond to the intent of the screaming, and after carefully glancing back at you, will continue with whatever dangerous activity he was previously engaged in.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

31 Months

1)  This month brought a new adventure for Fuzzy.  He spent two weeks in California alternating between grandmothers, with Mama and Daddy back in Virginia.  Although he was generally well-behaved, and had awesome enriching experiences (see various new settings in pictures below), he apparently clung to my mother like a barnacle, to the point that she couldn't get a decent shower the entire time he was with her.  A couple of times a day, he also turned to her solemnly, and said, "Mama is goin' to come soon and take me hooooooome."

2)  Fuzzy's comfort elephants have been renamed again - the favorite one covered in dots is still Dot Baby, but the identical one with guitars on its shirt is now Daddy Baby.  Reflecting a recent trend where The Pitt has to come comfort Fuzzy in the middle of the night, Dot Baby does not like to sleep without Daddy Baby nearby.  However, only Daddy Baby requires a blanket covering at night, as Dot Baby is generally clenched tightly in Fuzzy's fist.

3)  Fuzzy is convinced he knows how to sing the ABC song.  However, his version generally goes like this: "ABCDEFGHIJKL...QRSTUVWXY and Z.  Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing wit me."

4)  The kid's language skills are really progressing, and he's beginning to understand the rudiments of turning nouns into words.  For example, he other day he was telling us about an elevator: "Da elevator...{pause for thought and word selection}...elves up, the elevator elves down."  Eventually, and completely on his own accord, he changed 'elves' to 'elevates,' and then impressed everyone at a Christmas party, when he said a car that went flying was 'elevating.'  He meant that it was moving like an elevator, of course, but the other guests all decided his vocabulary was genius-level.

5)  I'm sad to say I was the only witness to this incident, because it may be my favorite moment of Fuzzy's ever.  He was pretending to be an airplane, running around the room with his arms out like wings while narrating events for my benefit:

"Mama, Mama, I'm a biplane!  Whoooosh...I flyin!"  Then he paused, stopped, and announced, "Mama, my gears are broken."   I told him to fix them, thinking he was going to ask me to be the mechanic.  Instead, he said 'okay,' pulled down his pants, and began adjusting his..err...well, let's say dangly bits.  After a few seconds, he looked up at me, grinned happily, and exclaimed, "My gears are all fixed now!"  Whooshhhhh!"

In retrospect, I'm glad he didn't ask me to be the mechanic.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

8 Months

1)  Sprout continued his domination of gross motor development this month, learning to pull himself to a standing position on virtually any surface, crawling up the stairs, and *finally* mastering sitting.  He can now even stand for approximately one second completely unsupported.

2)  The baby is putting all his motor skills to good use...when Fuzzy starts getting rough, Sprout now eyes him askance, starts whimpering, and then quickly crawls to me to get away from his brother.

3)  In a surprising development, Sprout's eyes appear to be changing color.  When his eyes stayed blue all through his 6th month, I figured that was just going to be his final color, and was pleased that one child had inherited my coloring.  But in the last month, he's lost most of the blue and gained a little green, leaving his eyes a sort of blueish, greenish, grayish color not easily described to others.  We'll just have to wait and see if they stay this way, or shift all the way to brown eventually, as The Pitt insists will happen.

4)  About a week ago, Sprout started to really babble.  His first consonant is definitely 'b' - he says either "blah blah blah" or "ba ba ba" or "bum bum bum" depending on his mood.  It may be wishful thinking, but I believe I've also heard a "ma ma ma" noise, although this is far less frequent and I can't get him to repeat it ever.

5)  It's not a new development, but I'm not sure I've written about Sprout's love of smooches before.  He loves it when we hold him and kiss him, especially when the kisses are accompanied by loud smooching noises.  He will always react with a smile when that happens, and if he's in an especially agreeable mood, smooches can sometimes elicit peels of laughter.