Sunday, June 15, 2014

2 Months

Sprout has spent the last month staying awake for longer and longer periods of time.  One the minus side, this makes things a bit more difficult for us, as gone are the blissful days when we could set the baby down on his lounger and go about our business.  On the upside though, we get to see more of his sweet personality.

1)  About the middle of the month, he started smiling while he was awake, and although it still wasn't clear whether it was truly reciprocal, we all cooed at him with renewed vigor.  Around 7 weeks, or about a week after his first real awake smile, I noted an actual social exchange - I smiled, he smiled back, and the sun came out from behind the clouds.

2)  He started cooing this month too, but at first, it was clearly an unhappy noise, more of a whimper than anything else.  After about a week or so of that, the coos began to take on happier overtones, and now, we have little happy chats whenever he wakes up from his nap or gets his diaper changed.

3)  To go along with the coos, Sprout has been obsessive about his tongue - he will stick it out, and we will see his eyes go wide with interest as he feel it with his lips and licks a little bit.  Then he will move it to the other corner of his mouth, move it in and out of his mouth, and look even more fascinated.

4)  When he isn't entertaining himself with his tongue, Sprout likes to have this tinkling elephant toy dangled in front of him.  This was Fuzzy's favorite toy at this age too, so there's clearly a genetic affinity for elephants in the family.

5)  Sprout's chunky little legs are incredibly strong.  He likes to be dangled from the armpits with his toes on the ground, and he will push and kick himself up and down, exercising happily.

6)  I'm happy to report that on June 2nd, Sprout ate at 10:30 PM, and then went to sleep until 4:40 AM, resulting in a glorious five uninterrupted hours of sleep for Mama.  May this day be repeated soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Two Years

You know that adorable picture of Fuzzy sleeping that ended the last post on him?  I should have known that Fuzzy keeping still and quiet outside of nap time meant something terrible was going to happen.  The pestilence presented itself the next day, when Fuzzy woke up my mom in the middle of the night, said "Fizz tummy hoyts," and proceeded to puke all over his crib, then her bed, then the bathroom.  This went on for approximately one week, during which the rest of us also succumbed, one by one.  Then we had a two week respite, and then we all went through a second round of that norovirus-type crap again.  So...this month could have gone better, all things considered.  However, there are several awesome, non-puking related stories to relate:

1)  First and foremost, the penis-related conversations.  One night in the tub, Fuzz stood up and peed. After surveying the frothy results with excitement, he looked up at me and said, "Fizz made bubbles wit peenis?"

Then, a couple of days later, Fuzzy was observing as I changed Sprout, when the baby let loose and peed straight up in the air.  Watching this, we had the following exchange:

Fuzz:  "Water come out! Water come out of DAT little fing!"
Me:  "That's not water, it's pee.  And it came from Sprout's penis."
Fuzz:  "Fizz have penis too! And Daddy...Daddy have biiiig one!"

2)  All month, Fuzzy has been particularly affectionate and attached with me.  I guess this isn't a surprise, since his baby brother demands an inordinate amount of Mama's time.  However, the result is a lot of Fuzzy wandering up to me and randomly rubbing his face on my legs, in a sort of cross between a normal person's kiss or hug.  When I change him, he will grab by arm, mouth it a little bit, and announce that he's "eating Mama."  Periodically, he will also pinch Mama - not so much to hurt, but because at that moment, he seems overwhelmed with the need to hold a piece of Mama very tight.  Needless to say, I prefer the hug/kissing, even if it does result in lot of tripping.

3)  Given that Sprout is his main rival for Mama's time, Fuzzy has been surprisingly good about his baby brother.  He periodically wants to hold/hug/kiss Fpout, but that is about the sum total of his interactions with the baby....except on those rare occasions that Sprout loses his patience and really starts wailing.  When Fuzzy is around to witness this, he gets incredibly upset, starts wailing too, and requires somebody to hold him while he emphatically mumbles under his breath, "NO LIKE IT, that baby crying."

4)  Fuzzy's been doing some funny non-literal things with the English language recently.  For example, we got take-out Mexican one night, and Fuzzy started devouring the chips.  Then he saw The Pit dip one in salsa, and demanded to do the same.  Unsurprisingly, once he sampled it, the reaction was, "Fizz no like that fing.  Fizz no like that spicy fing."  And that seemed to be the end of that.  However, later that day, we were looking at cars out the window, and I asked him what color the passing red car was.  "WED!" he responded, and followed up with: "Dat car spicy?"

Another time, we were at Target, and I was attempting to pick out a swimsuit for him.  I must admit, they were all pretty garish, but I was not expecting Fuzzy to explain that he didn't want one because it was "too loud."

While I would like to assume that my kid is a genius and is independently making up idioms all by himself, I think the more likely explanation is that he heard these things somewhere.  I just have no specific knowledge of when or where, so all I get is the surreal results.

5)  When I'm at loss as to how to entertain Fuzz, we find rocks, turn them over, and study the undersides for creepy crawling things.  Fuzzy really likes it when we find worms, although he'll take slugs in a pinch.

Despite my numerous explanations that worms like it best in the dirt, for some inscrutable reason, Fuzzy insists on picking them up and placing them in the nearest tree branch.  "Fizz wescue dis worm!" he will say proudly, surveying his wiggling handiwork.  When I suggest that the worm might appreciate a rescue down into that nice flowerpot, Fuzzy will acquiesce only grudgingly.

When we find a slug, Fuzzy likes to place it in a cup, and then go show it to Maya.  "Show Maya yucky sug?" he will say...or, on one memorable occasion when he found the largest slug I've ever seen: "Maya, Maya, Fizz find biiiiig sug!"  Maya is a bit on the OCD-cleaning spectrum, so the look on her face when presented with these treasures is always priceless.

6)  As I've mentioned before, Fuzzy has two comfort toys - his "babies" that are always in his crib.  Several evenings this month, he's unceremoniously thrust them at me and ordered me to put them away in the drawer as I sing him his bedtime songs.  Once I comply and leave the room, these requests are inevitably followed by screaming from Fuzzy 10 to 15 minutes later.  The Pit will go in his room, retrieve the babies for him, and peace will reign once again.  I guess he isn't quite ready to give them up yet.

Since his unending affection tends to leave the babies dirty, it's always a little tricky finding a non-nap/non-bedtime preceding interval in which to wash the things.  The other day, Maya said to hell with it, and shoved them in the washing machine shortly before Fuzz went down for his nap.  Somehow, she calmed him down when he discovered them missing, explaining that they were being washed.  When he woke up though, his first words were: "Maybe babies done washing now?" I was happy to facilitate a touching reunion.

7)  Ever since I got Fuzzy a little toy digger, he's been obsessed with construction machinery, which he indiscriminately calls big trucks...or actually, "tucks." This is already much better than some of his playground compatriots, who refer to them very loudly and excitedly as "fucks."  Fortunately for Fuzzy, there are two nearby houses undergoing demolition/renovation, and every day, Fuzzy demands to go and see the progress.  "Go outfide? Fizz see big tucks!  Maybe man workin?" he will say, and tug at my hand until I agree to take him.  Then he will stare at the machines for hours if we let him.

8)  While my mom was here, she would get up with Fuzz every morning.  Between the illness and his sensing weakness in grandma, "morning" got progressively earlier and earlier, with Fuzzy going from a usual wake-time of 7:30 to 8:00 AM, to something between 5:30 and 6:00 AM.  After her visit ended, The Pit and I decided to divide and conquer - he's been sleeping in the guest room and trying to make Fuzzy sleep later every morning, and I've been up in our room feeding the baby at all hours of the night.  The Pit's strategy includes taking Fuzzy out of the crib to nap with him until at least 7 AM - and he reports that he is now lovingly awakened by Fuzzy fingering circles round and round his mouth every day - apparently because Fuzz likes the way the stubble feels.

9)  Although he still isn't saying "yes," Fuzzy now responds with an "Okaaaay!" when he is asked whether he wants something.

10)  The terrible two tantrums have started...although I have yet to see Fuzz really throw himself on the ground, he has cried hard enough to puke (though that might have been more do with the stomach bug than the tantrum).  Usually he just cries or screams incoherently - when he gets that upset, it actually becomes much more difficult to figure out what he wants, as his language skills degenerate to "MAMA! MAMA!"

11)  We had a locksmith come and fix the deadbolt on our front door, and the man used a drill.  Fuzzy observed with interest, then asked me if he could use it.  After I told him that the drill was just for the repair man, Fuzz thought it over, and then confirmed with me: "Only dis guy can play wit dis dill?"

12)  Fuzzy doesn't have a huge interest in drawing yet, but he will occasionally pick up a crayon, draw
misshapen circles, and sprinkle liberally with dots.  When asked what he drew, he will say one of the following:  Fizz, Daddy, Fpout, Mama, or elephant.  All of us tend to have more than two eyes, apparently.

13)  I've mentioned it before, but Fuzzy has always had a fear of wind-up mechanical toys.  On my mom's latest visit, she brought a small friendly-looking wind-up frog for the bath.  All was well until we made it move, at which point Fuzzy shrieked, skittered over to the furthest end of the tub, and yelled "Fizz scared dis fog!"

14)  Fuzz has been stringing more and more words together into complex sentences.  For example, after he and I dropped a letter in a postal box, he came home and yelled at The Pit:  "Daddy, daddy, Fizz put mail in mail box - man pick up?"

A month or two ago, The Pit planted a bunch of radishes in our backyard.  Some have now attained sufficient size to be worth pulling, and Fuzzy likes to select one, yank it out, and then pop it in his mouth more or less covered in dirt.  To combat this tendency, I've taken to brining a tupperware of water with me, and make him dip the radish in to remove at least the worst of the soil.  This is Fuzzy's description of the process as he dips each one in the water:  "Wadishes!  Fizz pick dis big wadish!  Now tip!"  Then he proceeds to stuff his face.

15)  Fuzz has known that he gets a happy birthday song for a while now, and after some relevant episodes of his favorite cartoons, can even sort of approximate the tune.  When we actually sang to him on his birthday, he demanded that we do it again and again, complete with candle lighting and blowing out.  It was pretty adorable, although not quite as adorable as when he randomly and completely unaware of events sang Happy Birthday in his crib on the morning that Sprout was born.  Here he is, blowing out his candles for the second time on an already partially eaten cupcake.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

One Month PostScript

My sleep deprivation apparently means that I forget to list two of the kid's main accomplishments in his One Month let me add the following:

6)  Taking a bottle.  Yes, that's right, Sprout is a rockstar bottle drinker, latching on and sucking one down right from the very first try, even with his older brother having a distracting meltdown next to him.  (Fuzzy reaaaaalllly wanted to either feed the bottle to Fpout, or, failing that, drink it himself).

7)  Tracking with eyes.  Although he shows little emotion when presented with various objects, Sprout will follow them with his eyes, and turn his giant (80th percentile) head as they go out of his field of vision.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

One Month

Some distinct similarities between children are emerging:

Then there is their preference for sticking the butt up in the air as they fall asleep - although I mysteriously don't have a picture of it, Fuzzy still falls asleep in exactly this position:

But enough comparisons, let's talk about Sproutling as his own person, with his own numbered list of descriptions and milestones:

1)  Although there is a little bit of squeaking, groaning, and sighing, the creaking is Sprout's main noise.  It always starts off softly, and then escalates, like so: "Ehhhh.  Ehhhhhhhh.  EHHHHHHH."  He sounds exactly like a cranky old man getting comfortable in his favorite chair.

2)  Sprout is a patient creature.   He doesn't cry when his diaper is being changed, or when he's being passed around the household like a hot potato.  He just settles into the arms of whoever is holding him, creaks a little bit, and fall asleep.

3)  There is only one issue with him, and that is burping.  Unlike his big brother at this age, he likes to burp... a lot.  After a feeding, I will tilt him upright, and he will immediately let out a large belch.  "Great," I will think to myself, and put him down again to continue eating.  Except things, as it turns out, are not great.  Sprout will creak and creak, eventually escalating to actual crying, all while frantically trying to nurse again.  But this is a ruse!  He doesn't actually want to nurse - he actually wants to be tilted upright again, to continue burping at least six more times.  Then he wants to fall asleep again, preferably on somebody's chest.

4)  Sprout's most distinct expression is a sort of pursed-lip pout, which he likes to assume in his sleep.

5)  While he has smiled quite a bit in his sleep too, he hasn't actually graced us with a real reciprocal smile while awake yet.  But based on what we see when he dreams, it's going to be good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

23 Months

1)  Fuzzy demonstrated his ingenuity at the beginning of the month.  He wanted to turn the light in the basement on by himself, and I suggested he stand on a box to do it.  He cocked his head, having never considered this option before, and then went and dragged a plastic bin over to the light switch, climbed on, and flipped the light back and forth in ecstasy.  Then he was given his usual evening bottle of milk, which he promptly dropped in his excitement.  A little bit of milk spilled, and he noticed.

"Little spill? Clean up?"

Answering his own question, he got off the bin, pushed it over to the bookshelf, climbed up, pulled a single tissue from the kleenex box I hid from him up there, and then went to clean up the milk.  Because apparently this was a fun activity, he then proceeded to repeat it about 10 times, each time saying "One more!" as he got down a tissue.

2)  In a similar vein, he also drank from Daddy's bottle of juice - taking one sip at a time, screwing in the cap, then saying "Little more" and opening the cap again.  Repeat about 30 times - the fun part was that we were Skyping with the grandparents at the time, so they witnessed this for about 10 minutes.

3)  As chronicled in the last posting, Fuzzy has been helping Daddy fix things around the house recently.  Shortly before Sprout's arrival, we went shopping at Ikea, and got not only a dresser for the baby's room, but also a toy toolset for Fuzzy.  He very proudly wielded his own hammer, screwdriver, and wrench as he helped build the dresser, talking about being a "big bother" when the baby came.

4)  As I believe I've mentioned before, Fuzzy is particularly sensitive to loud, unexplained noises.  Hearing any type of bang, buzzing, whistling, bumping, etc., he will run to my leg, hug it tight in terror, and say "Noize?" Sometimes, this is followed up with a quivering "Thunda boom?" because he saw two separate episodes - one of Caillou, and one of Peppa Pig, where the kids are scared of thunder storms.  He himself has not yet experienced a storm, but we live in fear of the day.

Anyway, when we explain what the noize is, Fuzzy always calms down.  Often, the explanation is something along the lines of: just Daddy/Mama/Maya walking/washing dishes/etc. upstairs/downstairs.  Apparently this narrative has stuck, because the other day, Fuzzy ran to me - "Noize?" he said, and then followed it up with his own explanation: "Jus Daddy downsairs fixin stuff."

5)  Fuzzy has expanded his song repertoire.  When asked to sing a song a few weeks ago, he burst out with: "Twinkle lit sta...goon goon GAAAAAAAAA!" - apparently because he couldn't remember the rest of the lyrics.  Then, later in the month, I heard him at top volume, singing to himself at nap time - "TWINKLE TWINKLE LIT STA, HOW WONDA WHAT ARE."  Personally, I found the rendition less than soothing, but what the hell do I know.

6)  Fuzz is picking up random words here and there, and at this point, I have no idea where he gets any particular thing.  Case in point - during bath time a few days ago, he asked for the faucet to be turned on, and then requested his cup.  When he drank deep, I asked if the water was good.  "Deeeeelicious!" the baby replied.

7)  We've been trying to teach Fuzz to say 'please' and 'thank you' at appropriate moments.  Although he figured out 'peas' very fast, until a little while ago, he really had to be prompted every time for the thank you part.  The other day though, he asked for some toast at breakfast, and when I handed it to him, completely unprompted, he said "Fanks Mama."

8)  I've been writing these notes in more or less chronological order, so only at the end of the list are we getting to the most significant event of the month - Sprout's arrival.  Fuzzy's reaction to the birth of his baby brother is better than anything I could have imagined.  He first laid eyes on the baby when The Pit brought him for a visit to the hospital, and he grinned hugely, pointed to the bassinet, and yelled "Baby!!" excitedly.  When informed that the baby was named Sprout, he asked, "Fizz kiss baby Fpout?"

After he was afforded the opportunity, he kept asking to do it again.  When it was time to go, he cried bitter tears, and as The Pit carried him out of the room, I could hear the yelling down the hall "NO! NO! NO! FIZZ KISS BABY FPOUT MORE!"

9)  The day after I came home from the hospital, The Pit took Fuzzy on a walk so I could feed the baby in peace.  As they approached the house, I could hear Fuzzy excitedly yelling something.  When they opened the front door, this resolved into "MAMA! MAMA! Fizz bought Mama flowers!!"  And indeed, he had.  He clambered up the stairs, and then entered my room triumphantly, clutching two wilted and rather smushed dandelions in his little fist.  These he proudly presented to me, making Mama tear up just a tiny bit.

10)  Fuzzy has two comfort animals - they are essentially identical elephants, although he greatly prefers one to the other.  They do not have names, per se, but are instead referred to as "Any Baby" for the favorite, and "That Baby" for the other.  It is a measure of Fuzzy's devotion to his new sibling that, upon seeing the baby laying there sleeping, he grabbed an extra blanket, put it on top of Sprout, and then followed this up by placing Any Baby next to his head.

11)  A few days ago, Fuzzy saw a cartoon featuring a marching band.  Now he grabs his toy frying pan and spatula, starts banging them together, and marches around the room, repeating "Fizz MACHING!" over and over.  Usually our applause is not enough for him, and he demands that we too stand and march behind him.  Apparently he is already wise enough to know that adults cheat, because as he marches, every few seconds he will glance backward to make sure we are still with him.

12)  In a very recent development, Fuzzy will return from walks with shouts to whichever parent wasn't with him - "Mummy, mummy!! Fizz saw duck!!"  So far, I have been informed of the existence of ducks, flowers, bees, and ants.  It's super cute how excited he is to share.

13)  For whatever reason, Fuzzy has taken to calling me "Mummy" recently - not all the time, but his usual call of "Mama, Mama!" now goes something like: "Mama! Mama! Mummy! Mama!"

In other language developments, as noted by his pronunciation of Sprout, he now turns 's' into 'f' - although once again, not in any sort of consistent manner.  But sunglasses become fungasses, shoulders become folders, and upsidedown is upfidedon.  For our final picture, here is little bunny exhausted from too much playing outfide:

Monday, April 21, 2014

1 Week

Having a second child is a revelation in differences.

1)  To date, Little Sprout is a much more mellow baby, possibly because he does not insist on keeping all his precious burps inside.  Unlike his big brother, he readily belches and spits up when turned upright, and then happily goes back to sleep.

2)  The sleeping - oh my god, the sleeping.  I seem to remember Fuzzy being up constantly at this age, looking around, making a fuss, and insistently demanding to be fed and/or held.  Baby Sprout occasionally has intervals where he feeds every two hours, but for the most part, he goes about four before making his presence known.  In the intervals, he lays happily on his infant pillow and sleeps.  Even loud noises from his big brother, along with the occasional poke and/or kiss, fail to disturb him.

3)  On the downside, once he wakes up, he is a very slllloooowww eater.  He'll latch on for a few minutes, then pull off, and stare at the nipple in amazement for a bit.  Then he'll want to be burped.  Then he'll nap for a few minutes, and the cycle will repeat.  It can take over an hour for him to finally get full enough to really get back to serious napping.  This is all fine and dandy during the day, but can get rather frustrating at night, when all I want is to feed him, change him, and get back to sleep myself.

4)  And let us not forget the peeing.  By the time he was a week old, Fuzzy had persisted until he peed on every single member of the household.  Sprout has been much better behaved, always waiting until a diaper is back on to let loose.

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 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 "!" 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.