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not only but also
Month 16 - quest for the other shoe 
5th-Jan-2010 08:51 pm
looking outside
Hamish has recently taken up copying us around the house. I worked out he was carting clothes around from his room to the laundry to the lounge because he sees me or goldengrove do that. He slumps on a beanbag with a game controller on his stomach because he's seen bjj_moves do that. He blows his nose (well, makes nose-blowing noises anyway) and drops a tissue in the bin, because etc. We're also not the only one he copies - Sophie, his eldest cousin was here for Christmas, somersaulting around. Guess who now tries to somersault? However, its not all cute. Hamish loves (LOVES) being outside, so I used to go out into the backyard with him and while he puddled around, I would weed. Hamish apparently has no way of discerning between the grass I am pulling out and the plants I would like to keep, so I can't do that any more.

However, outside remains the holy land that we cruely refuse to let him enter just because its, I dunno, 38degrees and midday or thunder-storming and soaking wet. We cannot have the front or back doors open without there being the happy sound of a contented baby and then either the crash as he hits the screen door or the clattering of the bead curtain (yes, it is very 70s, but we need it to keep the pigeons out. This is true). The backyard is more or less safe (random spiderbites notwithstanding) but the front leads straight out onto the street, and if we let him, he toddles his way out and down toward the playground at the end of the road. Presumably. I mean, its not like we let him go one day just to see, but that's the direction he heads.

The playground is a popular place to be. It allows for all sorts of games like try and kick dad in the face while on the swing, fling tanbark all over the place, go the wrong way up the slide and tottering perilously close to the edges of raised platforms. If there are other kids already there, he stares at them, apparently caught between outrage that they are using his playground and fascination with how they are playing with his playground. He watched a 3yo girl shoot down a slide and copied her - sadly 3 year olds can catch themselves on their feet, whereas Hamish shoots off the end and onto his bum... back... face... Nonetheless, once the tanbark was brushed off and it was ascertained there was only discontent at the unfairness of the universe and no actual blood, he ran back around to the ramp to get back to the top of the slide again.

Its hard to deny that he is actually running already. Its a little bit ungainly, rocking left and right as he tries to get somewhere as fast as possible, and he can end up in a positive feedback loop where each rock is just a bit further than the previous one as he tries to compensate for the insability, until he falls over suddenly, outraged. Even walking can still be a bit of a hit and miss endeavour, as he focuses on something ahead of him rather than the toys, rugs or shoes on the floor that he is about to walk into. Nonetheless, he is getting more agile at this whole self-mobile thing, and except when we make him wear shoes, he can move about for whole minutes without falling down and screeching.

Hamish is now back to one sound for expressing discontent. When he was tiny, it was the wail, a generic sound of "something is wrong". Presumably this is because in his limited experience things were either ok or wrong, and both extremes required an extreme response. Then came the period where he was able to be more discerning in vocal range, and there would be a miffed noise, one for peeved, one for discontent, etc. Sadly, the wheel has turned again, and now whenever something is wrong, he screeches. It has some degree of shriek as well, but its mostly a screech. Dropped a toy? Screech. Tripped over? Screech? Can't get outside? Screech? On fire? Screech. Unable to follow the plot in this movie? Screech. We are learning not to respond to the sound any more, because we have actual seen him looking up and making the noise to see if we come running, so next month expect me to say "Hamish is now 30% carbonised, but understands 'Peter and the Wolf' on a visceral level".

Despite my cries of "speak! just tell me what's wrong!", words are coming very slowly. He's clearly said a few words only once, baffling us as to why. I've heard him say "tickle" and "shoe" .. once. There was context at the time, so it was not over analysing the random noises that he does make, like "beeubbeeubbeeub" or "gudjegudjegudje". Maybe its some sort of achievement system, once he's managed to say the words he doesn't need to reach that goal again.

Shoes are a sore point in our house because, like all objects that are about shoe sized, and generally stored at 2' or lower, they may often not be found quite where you left them any more. Hamish can often be spotted stumping from one room to another carrying something or other he's found, right up to the point where he finds something else more interesting. Thud. He'll also often go to put goldengrove's shoes on, but even if he does get them around the right way, being sandal-ly things they fall off straight away. Screech. We appear to have lost one of his shoes, and all of his clothes that were in green bags in his room are now scattered in a more or less even patina across the floors. He got a set of blocks for Christmas, and they too are scattered as evenly as possible through the house. This seems to be an extension of his philosophical stance that "no two things may be stacked on top of one another" - it appears that Hamish is intent on helping entropy win and creating a universe where no two molecules may be bonded to one another.

Christmas was a lot of fun with the various kids and family. Hamish got a big load of loot as he was spoiled rotten all over the place. Pretty much all the presents have been solidly manhandled except for the few that we put away to bring out in March or something. It took over an hour before he was able to be distracted away from the ping pong balls that he got, for instance. Hamish also went to Barham to visit his greatgrandparents for their 70th wedding anniversary, on the return from which we learned that chicken in a biscuit will keep him quiet for 5-10 minutes before screeching starts again. He went to the beach twice, Jells Park twice, Jeremy's first birthday, more than a few mum's group things, christmas parties, Judith's birthday party, a manic month culminating with an overnight stay with one of his grandparents on New Year's eve, so that both myself and goldengrove could go along to a party.


Hopefully the next month will be a bit quieter.... :)

Obligatory, and primarily rectangular photos for the month.
Comments 
5th-Jan-2010 10:11 am (UTC)
These posts are as legendary as ever!
5th-Jan-2010 10:12 am (UTC)
:-) i aim to amuse. I am also sending them to my grandmother in Orbost to read (on dead tree :-))
5th-Jan-2010 10:28 am (UTC)
Children are, I have decided, basically entropic creatures at heart. Good to see Hamish keeping up that fine tradition, along with the "me against the universe" mindset :-)
5th-Jan-2010 10:30 am (UTC)
Its certainly how my aunt described me as a youngster. And by youngster I mean 3 months ago :)
5th-Jan-2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
I sympathise with the wanting to teach him about Peter and the Wolf over the whole screeching thing.
We had young girls as neighbours who thought that squealing was the be-all and end-all of entertainment; usually when they were outside my bedroom window while I was trying to sleep in.
I've often said that if my children (when I have some)ever squeal I will cut out their tongue.
5th-Jan-2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Sadly I would imagine that neither squealing nor screeching like a pterodactyl require much of a tongue - you might make it worse :-)
5th-Jan-2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
True.
5th-Jan-2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
If he is anything like Althea, who has just turned two. You will find that all of a sudden he will go from random noise making to being quite verbal and repeating every word you through at him in the space of a couple of weeks. Having an 18 month baby saying chartruese and champagne cocktail is made of funny. Well, she wanted a story and the only book I had on me was Phyrne Fisher short stories :)
5th-Jan-2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
*giggles a lot* I watched my neice go from individual words to whole sentences in about 2 weeks - I am expecting something similar...
6th-Jan-2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
My grandmother started to think I must be mute I took so long to start talking. And then I went straight to full sentences "I want a glass of orange juice", skipping straight through the random words stage :)

As for the stuff everywhere, be grateful he's not at the age of marbles I guess, otherwise everyone would be having a rolling old time *ducks hurriedly* :-)
5th-Jan-2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
Must stop saying things like cockgobbling douchecanoe around the baby.
5th-Jan-2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
douchecanoe is fine, because it makes no sense... but.. yeah me too.
6th-Jan-2010 09:49 am (UTC)
I always wondered what a proto-Warren Ellis would look like...
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