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not only but also
Month 23 - "If you vomit on my face, we can no longer be friends" 
3rd-Aug-2010 09:56 am
cheeky monkey
This has not been the most ideal of months. We got to have our first emergency department visit when Hamish came down with the megagastro that ripped through our friends. It turned out to probably be not necessary to bundle him up and take him along at 10pm to Monash Med, but given that the night previously a number of people had been "puking up organs", it seemed to be a good preemptive move when he threw up twice in as many hours. As it turned out, he seemed to have the milder version of the virus, and by the time we saw a doctor at 2am, he'd had 3 hours sleep on me (and puked on me and goldengrove a couple more times) in the waiting room and was much chirpier. It took a week or so before he was entirely well again - a bit too much dairy too soon after the Tuesday made him throw up some more - but it didn't seem as devastating as some of the primary contact folks found it.

The second fun thing has been the arrival of Tantrum Season. He's thrown the odd wobbly before, but this was the sudden onset of full on, hearty screaming, with feet stomping and wailing at a volume and tone that could probably be used to knock down buildings. And it would come whenever he was thwarted, even for the smallest of things - turning the page wrong? That's a tantrumming. Sitting on the wrong part of the couch? That's a tantrumming. Feeding mum a biscuit when he wanted it (despite having one in his mouth and another in his hand)? That's a tantrumming. (Also, there's something surreal about seeing a 2 year old scream "moooooorrrrre" in anguish because he wants more biscuit, while bits of half-chewed biscuit fall out of his mouth). It started with not going the direction he wanted to go to get to the park, and didn't stop for a whole week. It might be any combination of more teething, tiredness, our rearranging bits of the house, being nearly two, or hangover from sickness, growth spurt, or even just putting it on to see if we'll change our minds. It was happening a lot with putting him to bed, something he definitely hates. I've found the tactic of just ignoring the shrieking and continuing to read his books works in the end - he runs out of puff, and eventually comes back to the bed. Turn the light out? That's a tantrumming. One way of breaking its momentum is singing nursery rhymes in stupid faux-german accents. It makes him stop to listen to what you are saying, and that short pause in vigiliant tantrumming often means he passes out.

Prior to this, we had decided that the bed thing was working so well that we'd set up his proper bed rather than putting him into the cot once he was settled - this way we can settle him in his bed, and in theory, eventually we can settle him without having to lay with him till he sleeps. This involved squashing his room around even more, because we didn't want to pack the cot up if it wasn't going to work. So now there is a distinct shortage of space in his room, and many bits and bobs in the cot. I've contemplated erecting a bit of wood at chest height and calling it a mezzanine level for Hamish, but it will make changing his pants a bit difficult. When he's not throwing a complete wobbly, you can manage to read him to sleepiness in his bed, but its a little bit more awkward to get out of for an adult than ours is. "Ok, left arm bracing against the wall, right arm out from under Hamish, try not to bang into the stand-light and make it ring like a bell, swing legs out behind me and hope that my thigh muscles don't cramp..." Its had some good effects - rather than waking up and eventually screaming because he's trapped in the cot, he gets up and wanders into our room. Now we just have to remember to shut the doors to the various rooms around the house overnight. We should be right as long as he doesn't figure out how to open up the fridge and drink all the milk.

His amazing brain continues to make connections. You can now ask him meaningful questions and he will say "no" to all of them, regardless. I am hoping that he will develop a bit more of a tendency to say 'yes' sometime soon for the things he does actually want. He is actually happy to make choices, but you have to present them right. Currently the two ways to get around the automatic no is to offer him things physically, like showing the vegemite or peanut butter and getting him to pick one, or running through the words and waiting for him to repeat one of them (water? no. juice? no. milk? milk!).

We've been trying to make food a little less of a trial by being more firm about what's available. For a long time it was hard to get him to eat anything - he just wasn't interested in food - and so we'd go through a bunch of options to get him to eat something. As he becomes more sentient, we've started offering two things, and letting him make a choice but once he's made the choice that's all that's on offer. This does occasionally lead to him stealing my food instead, but that and fruit and vegetables are exceptions to the "that's what you get" rule, and even then I draw the line when he steals my toast and either just licks the peanut butter off it, or tries to feed it to his dinosaurs or monkey.

Hamish is starting to interact with various animal toys and trying to feed them (noms) or get them to read (read!) or sit (sit! sit!) with him. He gets the bath toys to walk along the edge of the bath and then, in what is frankly a bit creepy, aligns them all up on the ledge facing into the shower, saying "look". If we used that shower, the sight of 20 odd weird swimming creatures looking at me through the glass would be a bit off putting first thing in the morning.

He's also starting to interact with other kids more. Until fairly recently if they were older he's stared at them, watching to pick up insane things to try on playground equipment and if they were younger, mostly ignored them as if they were part of the landscape. This month there's been some more realisation that they are actually alive, like a cat. He spent a chunk of Gab & Michael's baby shower running around in circles with some of the other kids. Mum's group involves more interaction too - mostly snatching or having toys snatched off each other, but its a start I guess. He's been able to say some of the kids' names and actually associate them with the right kid too.

Physically he appears to have gone through another growth spurt. He can now see over our dining room table, and reaching up to grab hot and sharp or otherwise dangerous things off the bench is easy. There's a rough calculation that kids tend to grow to double their height as it is at somewhere between 2 and 2.5. At a month shy of 2, Hamish will easily top my height, and should clear 6' without any hassles. I'll be curious to get the 'official' numbers from his 2 year visit to the maternal nurse, but I'd also be shocked to find that he's much less than 13kg.

Other bits (mostly so I remember them): going swimming with me on a day when goldengrove was sick, visiting his grandmother, fairy bread and lots of it as well as running around with Emily-Rose a lot at Gab & Michael's, running around with tacomonkey a lot at geekweevil & delphaeus's Mad Hatters tea party, visiting his cousins for a while and playing with their train set for 95% of the time, going to the play centre in East Bentleigh.

"'tos? 'tos? 'tos?? 'tos?!? 'toooooos!"
3rd-Aug-2010 12:06 am (UTC)
Hahaha I am such a dork. We totally went exploring in geekweevils garden too, it was ace.

"Blue! Blue! Blue!"
3rd-Aug-2010 01:16 am (UTC)
He knows the set of words that are colours, but he doesn't always get them right :) "Red!" no, that's blue. "Blue.... Blue!" no, that's green.
3rd-Aug-2010 01:15 am (UTC)
He still is bearing the essence of cute. Which I'm sure is all that sometimes stands in the way between a lingering and painful death after yet another tantrum.

I'm impressed with your move to a Real Bed. I'm working on putting that off as long as I can. A bed-shaped baby-cage is what a cot is. Brilliant!

Also... Cute!
3rd-Aug-2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Oh there was a time or two where he nearly got thrown out a window, yes. But the cute does not remain where there is tantrum - red face, drool, stomping feet yes, cute no.

The problem with it being a babycage is that when he woke up, he screamed until we come and got him. Now he gets up sometimes and comes and finds us. Much nicer on frosty, frosty mornings.

Of course, he fell out twice last night. :)
3rd-Aug-2010 05:55 am (UTC)
Maybe he's having his Terrible Twos early :P
4th-Aug-2010 05:45 am (UTC)
yeah, basically - it was just the sudden transition that was so baffling. I think there was a catalytic cause, even if its just something he's going to do for the next year or so.
3rd-Aug-2010 06:21 am (UTC)
I used to deal with my niece's tanty's by either holding her upside down by the ankles or tickling which had the added bonus of also tiring her out.
4th-Aug-2010 05:46 am (UTC)
I would be worried that his eyes or brain would explode before he stops.... :)
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