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What a day!

April 22nd, 2009 | Posted by Brinestone in Kids | Random Musings - (4 Comments)

Crazy things that happened today:

1. I found out this morning that my grandparents would be arriving this afternoon, not tomorrow with the rest of my family. Unfortunately, my house was not exactly ready for company. I’m not sure how I was so out of the loop, but it was nice to get an unexpected visit with just them anyway.

2. Duplo took his first steps—in front of Granny and Grampy, no less! He actually walked a few steps several times during the evening, so Kenneren and Flyboy got to seem him walk too.

3. Our upstairs neighbors’ baby arrived (they’re adopting). They are really good friends of mine, so this baby has been highly anticipated for a while. They have two boys, so they’ve been trying to accumulate pink everything since the ultrasound tech said the baby was a girl. Here’s the crazy part: he’s actually a boy. Hahahaha! They actually had to run to the store to get an outfit to bring him home in, and they didn’t have a boy name picked out at all.

4. I reorganized our storage closet using some new wire shelves. Everything is so much more organized and accessible now, and it looks much, much better. Unfortunately, I’m totally sore from doing that and cleaning the house. Sometimes it’s fun to be sore, though, to show you worked hard.

I’m ready for tomorrow to be somewhat more normal, no matter how cool today was.

Leaps and bounds

April 21st, 2009 | Posted by Brinestone in Kids - (0 Comments)

Duplo has been developing at an alarming rate lately. He has learned to wave, and he also likes to “shake” his head if you shake yours at him. His strength is increasing so that he can bounce pretty vigorously when standing, and he’s starting to cruise one-handed. There have been a few times when he has (unknowingly) stood for about eight seconds. He loves to walk with help (sometimes holding only one hand), and we’ve been practicing walking alone with him. So far I’m not counting any first steps, but he has done two or three stumbling steps between us.

Last night, I caught him holding a toy phone to his ear and babbling into it. Unfortunately, he’d stopped doing it by the time I got the camera out.

Kenneren and I are trying to guess whether he’ll walk or talk first. My money’s on walking; she’s going for talking. She might win, though—lately, Duplo has been saying “num num num” at dinnertime and when he’s about to be put into his high chair. Like the stumbling steps, though, I’m not sure whether or not to count it as his first word.

He has had a series of fevers, poor kid, and finally found a doctor who got a good enough look in his ears to prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection. Suddenly he’s sleeping longer periods, both during the day and at night, and he’s doing much better at self-settling when put into his crib. I’m wondering now how long he’s had that infection. 🙁

And as for Lego, he’s mastered pooping on the potty. He just took some convincing the first time, and after that, there have been no problems. He’s loving being outside and has spent most of the last two days in the sunshine. His speech continues to impress us on a daily basis.

I’m so proud of my boys but a little scared of how fast they’re growing up “to be daddies,” as Lego says.

Lego’s Third Birthday

April 4th, 2009 | Posted by Brinestone in Kids - (2 Comments)

I don’t have time to do pictures tonight, but if you want some, I posted a whole bunch to Facebook.

Mostly I just wanted to talk a little bit about my three-year-old boy. Last year I blogged every day for a month (almost) about him, but somehow March slipped right by and I didn’t have time to do that again. So here’s the short version:

1. Lego loves putting little things inside any kind of container.

2. Lego has a definite interest in music. One of his favorite shows on TV is Little Einsteins, which teaches musical terms, rhythm, dance, names of musical instruments, classical composers, famous visual artwork, and even a little geography. He loves to sing, dance, and “play” instruments. He told me today that he’d like a violin for Christmas.

3. Lego can identify every letter of the alphabet, both upper and lower cases. He also knows what sounds most of them make. Last week, he sounded out the word go for my dad. I didn’t even know he could do that.

4. Lego eats almost everything, when he’s in the mood to eat at all. He doesn’t prefer spicy Mexican food, and he won’t eat onions or bell peppers cooked (but he begs for them raw when I’m making dinner).

5. He talks nonstop, and very well. While he still says things like “goed” and “comed,” he has a grasp of most English grammar, and his pronunciation is excellent. I don’t think there’s anyone who can’t understand him anymore.

6. He basically decided to potty train and hasn’t had more than a handful of accidents in the months since. However, he still won’t go #2 on the potty. He absolutely freaks out if I try to get him to do it. One day, I asked him when he’d learn to do that. He answered, “When I’m a big daddy like Daddy.” I explained that he should learn much sooner than that and suggested that he do it after turning three. Since that conversation, he’s told anyone who mentions his birthday that he’ll learn to go poop on the potty when he’s three. We’ll see how it goes. Wish us luck!

7. Lego is a very nice boy around other children, especially for his age. His nursery teachers at church say that when other kids take his toys, he usually just lets them and walks away, though last Sunday he apparently held on tight. Today, his friend came over to watch him open presents. His friend was playing with Lego’s new airplane, which Lego wanted. Lego brought another toy airplane over and swapped it for the one his friend was holding, completely avoiding a fight. I’m so proud of my little boy sometimes.

8. Lego is very particular and set in his ways. He always has been. He probably always will be.

9. Lego is the most difficult to handle when he’s bored. When he gets bored, he gets angry at me and lashes out at both me and Duplo in the ways he knows will be the most annoying to us. But when he’s like that, I tend to not want to play with him, making the situation worse. I’d appreciate advice as to how to deal with this, especially on days when I’m so busy with other work that I can’t play with him as much as he wants.

10. Lego is very polite and very affectionate. We’re still working on please, but he has thank you and you’re welcome down. He’ll spontaneously say, “I love you,” to me, Duplo, Jon Boy, and his grandparents. He gives hugs and kisses freely. He’ll even hug and kiss his friends, which, honestly, usually startles them. He is very caring toward Duplo and concerned about his welfare. If Duplo is upset, Lego tries to cheer him up with toys, songs, silliness, soothing words, or hugs. And Duplo adores his big brother too.

We are lucky to be Lego’s parents. I’m excited to see what changes the next year brings. Happy birthday, little son.

One of Lego’s favorite TV shows is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I hate it. At first it was just annoyance at the garishness of the colors, the squeakiness of Mickey’s voice, the bizarreness of the plots, and the theme song that would get stuck in my head for days on end.

I have now watched enough episodes to hate it with a fiery passion. Here’s why:

1. The show has negative educational value. Sure, they kind of teach numbers, colors, shapes, sizes, etc. But they also teach, less directly, that Mars has very low gravity, that dogs eat bones, that you should eat a green apple if you have a stomachache, that you can float around inside a bubble (your bubble might get stuck on top of a cloud, but you can remedy this by putting three rubber duckies on top of your bubble, which will cause it to sink), and an astounding number of other stupid things. C’mon. Would it hurt you to actually teach kids how the world works instead of making up random stuff for no reason at all?

2. Minnie Mouse rubs the feminist in me the wrong way. She giggles like a bimbo, always wears pink and heels, needs Mickey to save her in almost every episode, and is really only useful for things like making soup for a character who gets sick. Daisy Duck is better, at least.

3. Mickey Mouse promotes slavery. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. So, there are these “helping hands,” which look like Mickey’s gloves on sticks. These hands pop out of the floor, wall, ceiling, whatever, and do things for the characters, like opening doors, putting on clothing, and preparing meals. In one episode, the helping hand machine broke, so Mickey and friends had to fix it. Which is fine. If it’s a machine, it’s not weird. But when the machine first broke, there were friends at the door waiting to come in. Everyone stalled for a moment, not knowing what to do. Someone even said, “What do we do? Do we open the door ourselves?!” Um, yeah. It’s not hard. And then Mickey kept talking about the hands as “our friends.” No. Friends do not make their friends do all the work while they play. And at the end, Mickey said, “You helping hands are as important as any of us at the clubhouse!” No. If they were, you wouldn’t have to assure them of it. And sane creatures do not make friends with machines. The only thing I can conclude is that the helping hands are sentient and thus essentially slaves. Creepy.

4. Mickey’s clubhouse looks like him—in pieces. What sort of sadistic person builds his house to look like his head and torso, with a hand-shaped hot-air balloon, a foot-shaped car, a leg for an entrance, and a pool that looks like the other foot? What kind of crazy person builds a house that looks like himself, even intact?

5. Mickey appears to be of normal intellect, but he is surrounded by idiots. Donald is jumpy, cowardly, stupid, and weak. As mentioned before, Minnie is a bimbo. Goofy’s a klutz and a goof. Daisy’s got a brain, at least, but Mickey’s still always running the show. I see none of the normal interaction I expect from a group of friends.

Every time I watch it, I want to yell at the screen. At least Lego’s interest in it seems to be waning a little. Here’s hoping he moves on to something better soon.

Duplo on the Go

January 20th, 2009 | Posted by Brinestone in Kids - (2 Comments)

Duplo’s officially crawling! He started creeping about six weeks ago or so but was never as fast at it as Lego was. It was obvious even from the start that his goal was to crawl on all fours. About a week ago, he took his first crawling “steps,” but he could only do a few at a time. On Sunday he crossed about half a room, yesterday he was doing that often, and today he’s more or less crawling all the time.

He’s also learning to point, which is really cute. He’s fascinated by tongues and will point to my mouth and try to find my tongue. If I stick my tongue out, he gets all excited and tries to grab it before I pull it back in.

Also, he’s decided that baby food and infant cereal are no longer for him. Because of Lego’s food aversions at this age and much older, I had no idea what to feed him. But I now have bananas, pears, salt-free canned peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes in the house, along with Cheerios. Duplo has also tried some of my oatmeal and pasta. So far he’s liked almost everything.

It seems like he’s made a whole bunch of leaps all at once. I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast.