Saturday, December 26, 2015

3 Years 7 Months

1)  Last month I posted a bunch of pictures of Fuzzy on a camping trip with his dad, uncle Noam, and some big cousins.  The kid had a great time, but unfortunately, came back from that trip talking like a teenager.  "Stupid Mama, I don't want to put my socks on. God!"  And in another gem, as I tried to wash his hair in the tub: "Stop botherin' me! I'm playing. God!"

2)  This entry really involves both kids - trying to get them out of the house is like an endless sock/shoe olympics, and pretty much the most frustrating thing in the world.  For example, here was a recent scene:

I chase both kids around the living room until I catch Sprout.  I stuff him into his socks, and then he wiggles loose.  I catch Fuzzy and put his socks on, turn around to grab his shoes, and discover that Sprout has pulled his socks off.  Fuzzy takes advantage of my moment of dismay and pulls off his socks.

We begin again.  This time I manage to put Sprout in both socks and shoes first, in the hopes that he will remain ready while I deal with Fuzzy.  One half of my work done, I begin the socks/shoes routines with my big kid, and turn around to find Sprout barefoot again.  I finish Fuzzy, catch Sprout again, begin tugging socks on a wiggly bundle of energy, glance up, and see Fuzzy taking his shoes off.  I lose it, howling to god knows who.

The kids settle down, I finally get their socks and shoes on, and we get in the car.  Five minutes later, I glance in the rearview mirror when I hear an ominous giggling.  Both little monsters have pulled their socks and shoes off.

3)  For a couple of days, Fuzzy complained of his butt hurting.  He did have a bit of constipation, but eventually would poop, and the pain would go away until the next day.  On the third day or so of him complaining, I asked him if he had eaten anything that wasn't food.

"What?  You did?  What did you eat?"
"One of my mans."
"One of your toy men?  But they're all really big, you couldn't eat one of them."
"No, it was a policeman.  He had glasses and hat, so that made him a policeman."

This took me aback, because we did indeed, several months ago, have a Lego man with glasses and hat, who in a preschooler's imagination, could easily be a policeman.  Of course, he hadn't been seen for months, but maybe Fuzzy had in fact found and then eaten him.  I attempted several times to ascertain if what Fuzzy was telling me was just pretend, or if it had happened in real life.  The kid was adamant that he really ate "a mans."

I called the doctor, and reported the conversation and the previous symptoms.  She said that it didn't sound like an intestinal blockage, but we should probably bring him in to be sure.  One x-ray later, we were certain there was no policeman anywhere inside Fuzzy.  However, the kid stubbornly stuck to his story.  "No, he's in there, you just can't see him because it's dark!"  And then the next day, "Mama, the policeman somehow turned into poop!"

4)  We discovered that preschool apparently teaches the kids patriotic songs, when out of nowhere, Fuzzy burst forth with a version of "You're a Grand Old Flag," complete with hand gestures.  There's really no way to do it justice except to link you the video:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

20 Months

1) New words this month:
lady = lady
boke = broke
adin = again
wat = watch (as in, Youtube, as in, he's now interested.  But only in very selected clips involving balls, animals, or classical music played by children)
boot = boot
boooooger = booger
jean = jeans
nite = knife
poon = spoon
monkey = monkey
nuts = nuts
butta = butter
havy = heavy (just last month it was 'howie')

2)  My mom brought the kids a large twirling top, and at first Sprout was afraid of it.   He hid behind Fuzzy and peaked out at the toy.  Eventually he decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and gave his brother a large shove to move Fuzz closer to the toy and evaluate its deadliness.

3)  One day we gave some coins to the Salvation Army lady in front of the grocery store, and now every time we go by, Sprout gets very excited.  "Lady! Money! Lady! Monkey hat!"  That last reference is to the lady's unusual headgear, which, sadly, is not in fact a monkey, but is instead a more seasonally-appropriate penguin.  Sprout is very insistent though, so we just roll with it.

4) Before Halloween, we went to a pumpkin patch with the kids, and in early December, we drove by that same street.  Sprout excitedly pointed at the lot, which now holds a Christmas tree sales place, and started yelling, "Pumpa, pumpa!"

I was very impressed.  It's been over a month since we've been to that place, it's down a street we don't otherwise drive on, we were coming from a different direction, and the lot itself is now covered with Christmas trees instead of pumpkins.  But the kid remembered immediately.

5)  Sprout really enjoys being the buffest baby on the block.  Whenever he lifts anything, he puffs out his chest, pants, and and grunts, "Haaavy!"  He's clearly extremely proud of himself.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

3 Years 6 Months

1)  At the playground on the day of Halloween, Fuzzy was super excited about eating candy later that night.  The community center nearby then had some sort of daytime event, the result of which was a bunch of teenagers wandering around littering candy wrappers.  I found Fuzzy with a wrapper in his mouth, which he had clearly picked up off the ground.  "Fuzzy, don't eat that, that's gross!"

The child looked wounded.  "It's not poop!"

2)  After going trick or treating, I let Fuzz have several pieces of candy.  After I forbade any more, he snuck one in, and I took it away from him.  The Pit was away on a business trip, and Fuzzy requested that I call him, because Fuzzy wanted to tell him something.

"What do you want to tell Daddy?" I asked.

"That I didn't get any lollipops, and that I was eating that candy, and you took it away and then I cried.  But it's okay, when Daddy comes back, he will put on his magic pants, and he will give me a lollipop from his pocket."

This exchange might be clearer if you knew that a couple of days before he left, The Pit convinced Fuzz that one of his pockets gives out lollipops to good boys.

3)  Fuzzy is still unclear on the concept of jokes.  A recent example went like so:
Fuzzy: "How does the bucket get filled up with water?"
Me:  "How?"
Fuzzy: "By getting water!"

Me: "Knock knock."
Fuzzy:  Silence.
Me: "You have to say 'who's there?'"
Fuzzy:  "MAMA!"  Laughs hysterically.

4)  Alas, my child has begun to demonstrate anti-girl sentiments.  He was jumping on an extra mattress we put on his floor.  "Mama, this exercise is for booys, not gurls!"  When I pointed out that girls are equally capable: "But MAMA, this would take a lot of practice and skills for gurls!"

5)  A few days ago, when I accompanied Fuzzy to the bathroom, he announced that he wanted "not company" on the potty.  "Oh, you want privacy?" I asked.  Fuzzy confirmed, so I went downstairs and told him to call me when he was done.

I heard him yelling several minutes later and went upstairs, only to be informed that, "I still want not company, Mama!"

"You called me up here to tell me that you don't want me here?"

"Yes, close the door."

6)  In a note home from Fuzzy's preschool, I read that that they were doing thankful journals for Thanksgiving.  I asked Fuzzy what he was thankful for.  "Nothing!"

This is his standard answer when I ask about anything school-related, so I was not too wounded.  But I proceeded to tell him I was thankful for him and Sprout and Daddy, and then left the topic alone.  Out of nowhere several hours later, while Fuzzy was helping me sort laundry, the kid came to a decision.  "Mama, I know what I'm thankful for."

"Oh, what?"

"You and Daddy and Sprout."  Awwww, just a long thinker, and not a sociopath after all!

5)  Sometimes the kids play well together, and sometimes we get scenes like this:
Fuzzy: "Sprout, hurry, we have to spring into action!  There's monsters!"
Sprout: Unimpressed, continues to play with his toy.
Fuzzy: "No, Sprout! Spring into action!"  Starts pulling on the baby's arm.
Sprout: Wails and then hits Fuzzy.

6)  I usually give the kids some kind of berries or fruit while they are in the tub.  One day, Fuzzy invented a new game, wherein he decided to stuff all his blueberries in the bathtub spout.

"Fuzzy, stop that!"

"But Mama, it's available for blueberries!"

Hard to argue with logic like that, especially when he uses his big vocabulary words.  We were all very excited when the blueberries came back out after I turned on the water.  Sprout continued to try to stuff various other things in the spout for weeks and weeks after.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

19 Months

1)  New words this month:
et = eat
eck = egg
Haha = Sasha (my dad, his grandpa)
diwi = kiwi
hap = help
yick/dick = stick
dump = jump
hock = sock
dowel = towel
ningo = flamingo
beak = big
howie = heavy
werk = work (he says this when he sees Daddy getting ready to go to work)
Elmo = Elmo

2)  Sprout wanted to be turned upside down, but didn't know how to say that.  He kept muttering "don" for down as he climbed up me.  Then I said, "But you're going up!" and he threw his head backward and said "don" until Mama figured it out.  I felt a little slow on the uptake.

3)  We tried sleep training for the second time in Sprout's life this month.  The first time was around 11 months, resulted in two solid hours of crying, and was abandoned after one attempt.  This go-around was infinitely more painful, but sadly no more successful.

The first night the kid puked after 15 minutes, and finally succumbed about 1 hour and 45 minutes after we left his room (with all the puke clean up, this probably meant about 45 minutes of crying).

On the second night there were 15 minutes of crying, a minor throw up, and then 30 more minutes of crying before he fell asleep - followed by another 40-minute struggle in the middle of the night (though thankfully no throw-up, just what The Pit called a 'resistance poop').

The third night was slightly better, with only 30 minutes of crying in the evening, and only 5 minutes in the middle of the night .  No puke, and we breathed a sigh of relief that the worst was behind us.  Silly parents.

The fourth night was a disaster - puke even before we left his room in the evening, then an hour and 15 minutes of crying, followed by another hour and twenty minutes of crying in the middle of the night.

On the fifth day, Sprout puked twice in middle of day, and we realized we were terrible people and the baby had been coming down with a stomach bug the entire time.  Sleep training was terminated, and we have yet to resume.

3) Sprout recently developed a fear of slides - he sits on top, says "boom," points down, and then stands up and climbs back down the stairs.  However, he also does not want other children to either approach him or go down his slide.  He will stand at the top and put his hand up in a 'stop' gesture if anybody else comes up.  If the kid keeps approaching, Sprout will firmly push him/her away.

4) Sprout started calling his Elmo doll by its rightful name this month, and also began feeding Elmo his water.  This is quite sweet, especially on the day he was feeling sick and miserable.

5)  The kid is interested in counting, but in a very particular way.  He wants us to count things in books.  He will grab my finger, poke it at the picture, and say, "One!"  If I don't follow up with "two," "three," and so on, he will insistently keep poking my finger at the book and repeating "One!"  All attempts to get him to count by himself have been firmly rebuffed.

6)  A recent interaction I witnessed in the kitchen.  Sprout: "Wan diwi!" {grabs towel} "Hap! Hap Baba!"  He not only wanted to eat the kiwi, I guess he wanted to help Baba wash it.

7)  Sprout has started asking "Why?" after every interaction we have with him.  For example, I point out a dog in the street.  Sprout: "Why?"

I figured out that this isn't so much him understanding what the word "why" means, as it is the kid recognizing that if he asks "why," he will get additional details about the scene in question.  For example, after he queries "why" about the dog, I will explain that dogs like to go on walks, or that dogs go to the bathroom outside, or whatever.  It's actually quite clever of the little guy.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

3 Years 5 Months

1)  "Oh Sprout!" is Fuzzy's most helpful response when Sprout kicks something, grabs at a toy Fuzz is holding, falls on the floor and cries, etc.  Less helpful responses include coming over and shoving his brother and grabbing the toy back so hard that Sprout falls over.  "Oh Sprout!" is a good one though.  Occasionally it even lets Mama know that the little one is doing something dangerous.

2)  We've also seen some very heart-warming interactions from Fuzzy.  When Sprout has hurt himself, I've witnessed Fuzzy come over, pat him on the back, and softly whisper ,"Shhh, Sprout, shhhh - it's okay."  When I was gone for a business trip, The Pit also put both boys together in one bed, and Fuzzy repeated the same gentle patting and whispering when his brother was having a hard time falling asleep.

3)  "Ow ow ow!" is another recent favorite saying, especially when nothing is hurt.  I'm not sure what that's all about, but I'm guessing preschool is the culprit.  

4)  We were going to go on a hike with my sister and brother-in-law once the kids woke up from naps.  Of course, on this particular day, Fuzzy woke up super grumpy, and cried as we were getting him dressed, in the car, and as we were putting him in the hiking backpack.  Somewhere about mid-hike, the kid started to feel better, and post-hike, was in great mood.  On the way down the hill he asked me, "Mama, why was I so grumpy in the car?"  Kid, I wish I knew.

5)  The Pit has been wanting to start Fuzzy on board games for a while, and I kept telling him that Fuzz was much too young.  Well, turns out Mama was wrong on this one.  Father and son played Candy Land with much joy for the first time this month.  Two peas in a pod.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

18 Months

1)  New words this month:
wan da = want that (often accompanied with a quick grab of the object in question.  This is particularly awesome when what he wants is a food item Fuzzy is holding.)
han = hand
hane = plane
eye = eye
ba = bath (in addition to book)
daaak = dark
hone = phone
pumpa = pumpkin
wet = wet

2)  Sprout can now easily identify mouth, nose, ears, hair, hands, legs, feet, and toes.  Tricksy body parts like elbows continue to give him trouble.

3)  Our new California nanny lives in the hood in Oakland, and she is continuously amazed at how tough Sprout is.  "Sprout is the toughest 18 month old I've ever met.  I could take him home to my street, and those kids wouldn't be able to push him around!"  Part of his toughness is that he won't let big brother push him around.  If Fuzzy comes in and hits or shoves him, Sprout will return the favor two-fold.  The other part is that he barely cries when he gets hurt - even when the injuries seem like they would really smart.

4)  In addition to toughness, the baby's coordination continues to astound.  He now walks down stairs relatively well when there's a handrail or I'm holding his hand.  He continues to be a super climber, although we still hover nervously, particularly when he has a food item in his hand and refuses to let go while climbing

5)  At the playground, Sprout saw Fuzzy peeing against a tree, and was not satisfied until he was granted the same privilege.  He tugged down his pants, and kept gesturing at his diaper until I took it off.  Then he proudly peed all over his own shoes and took off.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

3 Years 4 Months

1) Recently I've noticed Fuzzy really picking up idioms and expressions.  Looking at a bug in the yard, he turned to me and said, "What that little guy doing?"  The use of 'little guy' wasn't something I've ever heard from him before.

Then, he heard our nanny say "Home sweet home" after they got back from the park.  That afternoon, returning Sprout's toy to his crib, Fuzzy repeated with genuine joy, "Home sweet home!"

2) I shouldn't laugh when Fuzzy throws a tantrum, but sometimes it's really hard.  After a late night and associated misbehavior, he started throwing a tantrum after bath time because I told him he couldn't watch Reading Rainbow.  He was going crazy in the bathroom, stomping his feet and flinging his towel around.  "NOOOO, I want to watch Reading Rainbow!!! NOO!"  Then he paused, and went in an unexpected direction.  "I want to fweak out up here with you!!"

I had to clarify.  "You want to freak out?"

"YES! With you! Hold me!"

3)  Lately the kid has been having fun pretending to be a cat.  Typical interactions go something like this: "Mama, I a kitty."
"Oh, does the kitty want some berries?"
"Meow. That means 'yes'!"

Another time I found him splayed out on the stairs.  "Fuzzy, what's going on?"
"I dead Mama.  The kitty is dead."
"Oh no, can the kitty get up?"
For this inane comment, I received a well-deserved withering look. "No, because the kitty is dead!"

In yet another incident, he was sitting on the couch with a bowl of Cheerios.  He got down and tried to lick them like a cat, scattering Cheerios in all directions.
"Can you eat those like a person instead of a kitty?"
"No Mama, kitties eat like this {demonstrates}.  And I a kitty, so I have to eat like this.  Not like a person."  It was hard to argue with that logic.

4)  Fuzz goes to a Jewish preschool, and the other day came home with a burning desire to tell me something about Rosh Hashanah.  "We had Rosh Hashanah at pweeschool, let me talk about that.  Um...we had muuuffffiiins, and piwate booty.  Annnnd - that's all I know."  The muffins were apparently apple and honey, so that makes sense, but I'm still not sure what pirate booty had to do with anything.

5)  One of the kid's favorite expressions is "oh man!"  Except it's Fuzzy, so he stretches that out to something like "oh mannnnnn." And now Sprout is copying him, stretching the word out even longer - "mannnnnnnnnnn!"

Saturday, September 19, 2015

17 Months

1)  Loads of new words this month:
appa = apple (or any other apple-shaped fruit, really)
all done = all done
bubba = bubbles
baoon = balloon.  It is now it's own distinct word, easily distinguishable from ball.
naaaaa mmmm mmmm = no
baby = baby
ommm = home
up = up
um = um
eee = tree
bik = bike
doe = door
weeng = swing
mou = mouth
wun = run
dadul= turtle
wa dat = what that?
weah dada = where daddy?  He never really asks about anyone else.

2)  Walking past a picture of himself, Sprout says "Mine!"  At first I thought he was pointing at himself, but gradually, I came to understand that this is what he calls his brother.  You can draw your own conclusions about how often Fuzzy says this around Sprout to make Sprout think it is his name.

3)  The night of 8/27-8/28 was a momentous occasion - Sprout slept through the night in his own crib for first time.  Sadly, this was not the start of a trend.

4)  Another night this month was more typical.  The baby woke up freaking out and making "ooh oooh oooh" noises at 2 AM.  It turned out he wanted his huge, clanking, totally unwieldy monkey on a stick toy (see picture below).  I tried to give him a small, soft monkey toy instead, but he yelled "NAAAA" over and over, and then when I set him down and handed him the soft monkey anyway, he grabbed it, opened the kitchen cabinet where we keep the trash can, and threw the monkey inside, all while giving me an extremely significant look.  He ended up falling asleep with the stick toy, which I then gingerly removed from his grasp before falling back asleep myself - at 4 AM.

5)  Sprout is an amazing climber.  The other day we watched half in horror and half in admiration as he climbed to the top of ladders meant for much older kids at the playground.

6)  In addition to his athletic prowess, the kid is also a neat freak - he insists on always putting his books back where they belong and his blocks in the basket, and is thrilled when given the opportunity to throw something in the trash.

7)  Sprout is actually kissing people upon request  Previously when asked to give somebody a kiss, he would just present *his* cheek to be kissed.  I've even witnessed the baby giving a few spontaneous kisses, the cutest of which was one for his brother after Fuzzy spent a weekend away with grandma.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

3 Years 3 Months

1)  Fuzzy's vocabulary is really expanding - reading a book with fold-out characters, he looked at me knowingly.  "That's vewee complicated!"

2)  Our new neighborhood has a pool club, which houses both a regular pool and a baby pool.  Fuzz has been characteristically cautious of the big pool, but his joy when he finally got in was tangible: "MAMA, MAMA, I IN DA BIG POOL!! BECAUSE I A BIG BOY!!"

3)  Although Fuzzy is very sensitive to certain things, he is oddly unaffected by others.  I avoided reading him The Gingerbread Man fairytale for a long time, thinking he wouldn't like the ending.  However, when I finally read to him about the gingerbread man getting eaten, the kid was unmoved:  "Oh, dat woman is going to have to make anodder one."

4)  While staying with my mom, Fuzzy picked up her habit of saying 'oh god.'   Except he says it with her Russian accent and exact intonation: "Oh got!"

5)  The other day, Fuzz announced that he wanted to pee standing up.  He pulled down his underwear, got ready, and then looked at me with a little confusion.  "But Mama, I can't operate my penis."

"What do you mean, you can't operate it?"

"When I operate it, the pee goes there, there, and there," he said pointing all around the toilet.  "How do I operate it?"

Kid, if I knew, lots of ladies would want the secret.

6)  Fuzzy is getting very good at pretend play.  For example, he pretended to be dolphin in the pool.  "I have a tail and flippers, and I have one two free fou five dolphin fwiends.  We like to splash and make bubbles in the water, and we go on a dolphin caraswheel - we sit on the horses with our tails, and hold on with our flippers."

7)  In a triumph for our new dentist, she finally got Fuzzy to start brushing his teeth with real fluorinated toothpaste, like a big boy.  He only swallows it about half the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

16 Months

1) New words this month:
nigh nigh = night night
moo = cow
mooooon = moon
mine! = mine! (always said very definitively, with that exclamation point on the end)
hi = hi, or high, or occasionally butterfly
eye = butterfly (usually, except when its 'hi')

2)  We're still sort of confused about down and up.  Sprout will often say 'dunnnn' and hold his arms to be picked up.  However, he gets an insane amount of joy from saying 'buh bye' and waving.  Seriously, the grin on his face is worth somebody leaving.

3)  For the first time, I heard the baby utter two words together this month, and in multiple situations.  For example, pointing at my mom's bed: "Baba nigh nigh," or when leaving a fountain: "buh bye wawa!"

4)  Despite his still limited vocabulary, Sprout understands pretty much everything that is going on, and can point to relevant household objects, as well as parts of the body.  I can usually get him to point to eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears, hands, feet, tummy before he grows bored of our game.

5)  Perhaps because he understands most everything but can articulate so little, he's settled on a really unfortunate banshee scream when he wants something.  Everyone on our new block is hoping this passes soon.

6)  Sprout continues to be the toughest baby on the block, not taking any shit from his big brother.  If Fuzzy pushes him, accidentally or on purpose, Sprout will come back twice as hard with his little fists.  For the most part though, the baby adores his older brother, and tries to copy everything he does.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

3 Years 2 Months

1)  Fuzzy has finally, FINALLY learned to tip his head back when I'm washing his hair - "Oh, dat feels nice!"  Yes, yes it does, as I've been trying to tell you for years, you wretched child.  We've ended bath time in tears so very very often, because *someone* refused to either close his eyes or tilt his head backward when the shampoo was washed out.

2)  Fuzz recently requested to stop wearing diapers to bed, and in a major achievement, slept through the night with only underwear on for two whole nights in a row.  No accidents or anything - and then, of course, we moved.

3)  Upon being offered half of The Pit's falafel pita - "No Daddy, give me real food, dat kids eat!"

4)  Fuzz absolutely refused to go down for a nap, and ran away from me screaming to hide in the garage.  I bring out an M&M, he magically appeared.  "Can I have dat?"  "Well, who gets candy?"  "Little boys!"  "Little boys who..." "Listen! Bed!" and ran to lay down.  After dinner, he then asked if he could have more candy, because, and I quote, "I already pooped out the other candy, and now I need more!"

5)  In preparation for the move, we were in the basement sorting toys when Fuzzy turned out the light.  After I implored him to turn them on so I can see the toys, he said, "No mama, we don't need light.  We can pretend we dolphins, and use echolocation."