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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

30 Months

1)  Fuzzy is getting better and better at telling stories.  He has a microwavable bunny, intended to keep him warm at night.  Unfortunately, after repeated use last winter, the bunny has acquired a distinct and not particularly pleasant smell.  I brought it into his room the other day, and Fuzz demanded to know where the smell was coming from.  When I explained about the bunny, Fuzzy launched into quite a long spiel:

"Da smell is going to go up da tree, and the birds in the nest will wake up and say 'oh no!'  Then the smell will go down, down, down, into a hole.  Da squirrel dug da hole, and da smell will go in it wit da acorn!"

2)  In addition to the smelly bunny, Fuzzy is also the proud owner of a towel with a hood on it.  However, he refuses to use the towel for it's intended purpose, and instead calls it his 'hooded blanket.'  When he gets upset, he sometimes demands to be wrapped in his blanket, and he always wants it to cover him at night.  One evening after I covered him with it and said 'good night,' he told me the following:

"Mama, you no have a hooded blanket!  Next time we go to store, we buy you a hooded blanket.  And next time we go to the bunny store, we buy a bunny fo' Sprout, so we can be nice and warm together!"

3)  In anticipation of a visit by The Pitt's father, Fuzzy told me the following:  "Gandpa Pitt is on a train.  Choo choo!  He's going through da tunnel and down the tracks and to my hoooooome!"

4)  Mid-way through the month, we experienced a series of unfortunate events - one evening Fuzzy demanded to be picked up while I was heading upstairs with an armload of stuff, and when I tried to scoop him up, he ended up flipping over my arm and falling back to the hardwood floor, right onto his head.  That night he woke up and threw up twice, so I thought he might be coming down with a stomach bug.  But in the morning, he was fine, so we went down to the playground.  There, after playing happily for a few minutes, Fuzzy saw one of his friends approaching, and ran to greet him.  The boys ended up hugging on the sidewalk, and then promptly got into a shoving match and fell over.  At 25 pounds, Fuzzy ended up on bottom, smacking his head hard against the cement.

Usually Fuzzy shakes off injuries pretty fast, but after this bump, it took me almost ten minutes to calm him down.  Then he threw up all over both of us.  After I got him changed he started whimpering again, so I sat on the swing and rocked him, at which point he fell asleep.  Around this time it occurred to me that kids throw up after concussions, not just with stomach bugs, and we called the pediatrician, who asked us to come in.   By the time we actually got to the doctor's office, Fuzzy was his usual cheerful, babbling self, and he aced all the neurological tests.

Unfortunately, the repeated vomiting after hitting his head had the pediatrician rather concerned, so she sent us to the ER for more observation.  There we sat for a few hours before seeing a doctor, who asked Fuzzy what happened.  "I bumped my head on da' cement!" This doctor went through the same neuro tests as the pediatrician, and then sent us home with a concussion diagnosis.  Except two-year olds can't really be treated for concussion, so the only advice we got was "try to avoid him hitting his head again!"

We did our best, but now whenever Fuzzy is feeling a little sick, he tells us that we need to take him to the hospital.

5)  Fuzz is now asking 'why' questions instead of 'what' questions, and also talking nonstop.  He also sometimes talks in his sleep about the events of the day, and occasionally wakes up at night wanting to chat.

6)  Fuzzy has gotten wise to the fact that visitors bring him presents.  For example, we were driving to preschool when we had the following exchange:

"Mama, mama, der no mo' pumpkins - Hawoween is almost here!"
"Err, no, when there are no more pumpkins, that means that Halloween is over.   But Thanksgiving is almost here.  Do you know who's coming to visit us for Thanksgiving?"
"No, I wish Baba was coming too, but Dina and Noam are coming!"
"OH!" Considering pause, then, "Will dey bwing me a surpise?!"
"I think so baby."
Very wistfully "...maybe it will be a cane tuck."

Luckily for him, Dina and Noam indeed brought him a crane truck, and there was much rejoicing.

7)  After a month of hating preschool, Fuzzy made a friend, and now likes going again.  "Is Andoo at pweeschool?  I want to see Andoo!"

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 the middle of the 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.