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not only but also
Month 20 - "ZAP!" 
3rd-May-2010 04:58 pm
uhoh
In his increasing arsenal of cute and charming behaviours, which can be used to obtain whatever he wants, Hamish has started coming up to people and giving them a kiss. Randomly. Somewhere on their head. Or maybe hand. We'd have been totally smitten if I hadn't seen him do the same thing to a picture in the book later that day.

Books have also started to be my favourite things in the house. It has become possible in the last week to take Hamish and a handful of books into the bedroom, read the books for a while, and then turn the lights out and have Hamish go to sleep. This may not sound like anything amazing, but speaking from the point of view of the people that have had to rock all 11kg of him to sleep for the last 18 months, its brilliant. It does mean that I have read every single book he owns 300 or so times, but for the most part I am willing to take that bullet in preference to locking my lower spine while walking back and forth.

I spend a lot of the time I am with Hamish out walking around. He's reached a point where he can effectively do some of the walking, rather than just riding around in his chaffeur driven pram. There's been a couple of times when he's pushed his own trolley down to the playground at the end of the street while I walk along - for some reason he likes to drive over the rockiest bits he can find. We went for a long walk through Valley Reserve recently, which basically went 'I walk 10m ahead, turn around and wait while Hamish explores everything on the way'. Every rock - on a gravel path - had to be checked. Sticks had to picked up. Plants poked with that stick. And so on. He points at things and says "this?" a lot too, which can lead to logical, yet strange results. If you (correctly) tell him that the foot high plant is 'grass', he will try and walk on it. Ah. Wrong sort of grass. You end up spending a lot of time thinking about what you're saying and hoping it makes sense. Sometimes its a matter of picking your words so he can follow them a bit better - 'park' instead of 'playground', for instance, both because it has less syllables and because he seems to have mastered the '-k' words, like rock, park, duck, milk, etc.

Playgrounds seem to go through surges in fun. He was getting bored with the one at the end of the street, because it was all too familiar and he had mastered everything that he could manage at all. Two weeks pass, and suddenly he's a bit more confidant about more of the equipment, and its all interesting again. We started playing chasey around and around a sort of house thing. I've been teaching him about jumping by sitting on some of the equipment, and lowering him almost all the way down before dropping him the last couple of inches on his own (possibly one of the "not in front of mummy" activities). He also will now whizz down the slide on his own rather than needing to hold hands while being guided down. This means when you touch him at the end, there is often a static spark. This is apparently hilarious beyond words, accompanied by yelling 'zap!' and giggling hysterically, then demanding to do it again and again. (shemjaza's quote on raising children is "never start any game you're not willing to play 100 times" - frighteningly accurate). goldengrove started this all off by rubbing a balloon to make a static charge and teaching him to say zap, then it was happening when tacomonkey was pushing the shopping trolley through Safeway, all with endless giggling. He'll probably end up with some sort of lightning-bolt-throwing super powers, which I am ok with, as long as its not near my computers.

Part of the rejeuvenated appeal of playgrounds has been because Hamish has a better hand-eye coordination now. He can kick things reliably, or almost certainly manage to climb on a chair as long as he's not also carrying something, or use a crayon to hit the paper he's aiming rather than the tablecloth. He's started taking his books, and then carefully stuffing them under the couch, poking them under as far as he can. Hamish has also been hiding toys under the table, or even under me if I am laying chocked up on my elbow. He's become some sort of deranged squirrel hiding books and toys for long winter to come.

Its been a month of much visiting. We stuck our heads in at Conquest for a couple of hours as Hamish stared at all the weirdos, and then on the Saturday we went to Barham for goldendrove's grandfather's 95th birthday. The place we stayed at had fruit trees all around, leading to the discovery that all fruit was 'nana' - this is still the case, as he points at bright red berries and says 'nana' too. Hamish and Calum ran around and around for a couple of days, and caused entertaining havoc. Later in the month, me and Hamish stuck our heads in to say hi to Jeremy for an evening. Both of these visits sort of highlighted something I've noticed - for some reason Hamish is fascinated by older kids, but completely ignores everyone his own age. (Admittedly the latter household has cats, which trump people of any sort).

We also went to surprise visit my grandmother in Orbost, (well, in Marlo technically, that's where we went for lunch) and he watched the older second cousin for a while, while ignoring the other one about his age (although both were spurned for the chance to draw on things). I am not sure how he goes at mum's group because I don't see him there - it might be that a lack of older kids means the younger ones are alright to interact with. I guess I'm not really expecting him to be sitting around with his friends and chatting, but its sort of interesting to see how much interaction he has with adults and then mark that he seems to be less interested kids his age. We ran into some more of my cousins back in Orbost proper, but by that point Hamish had passed out in the car so further testing will have to wait.

Fortunately most of this several thousand kilometres of driving was done at night, and Hamish flakes out unconscious easily enough in his car seat - otherwise you spend a lot of time trying to amuse him, or distract him with food. He's usually good for a while amusing himself, but there's only so much Victorian countryside that can entertain anyone, let alone someone who has no idea why you have tied him into this seat and won't at least let him wander through the car.

The obsession with particular youtube videos has fortunately turned out to be short term. We've gone from "ay ay ay!" (ABC song) to "loop d loop!" (Tiggr's Whoop de dooper loop de looper ally ooper bounce) and now to "mah mah" (The Muppets Mahna Mahna song). Sticking one - or several - of these on, and on repeat means that I can put Hamish on my lap for 10 minutes and check out email and similar for anything urgent without him deciding its his turn to type, or possibly use the mouse. They appear to be the Best Thing Ever for about a week, so we'll have to keep finding new ones. There's several They Might Be Giants videos that he sort of likes - I am hoping that whatever he chooses doesn't lead to me going a bit mad while its on repeat.

things i took with my camera
Comments 
3rd-May-2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
"He's usually good for a while amusing himself, but there's only so much Victorian countryside that can entertain anyone, let alone someone who has no idea why you have tied him into this seat and won't at least let him wander through the car."

Oooh, flashbacks to my childhood, and the horrors of enduring multi-hour car drives across Victoria.
3rd-May-2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yes. Always in summer. With 3 boys in the back. the paaain.
3rd-May-2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
Yep. I almost mentioned the sibling component, so I guess Hamish is lucky.
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