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not only but also
Month 24 - Year 2 - "two years, two years, two years onward" 
8th-Sep-2010 04:13 pm

There was a distinct moment after Hamish was born where both goldengrove and myself had the thought "what, no, don't leave us with this baby! we don't know what we're doing!??" You might think that after two years, it's gone, but you would be wrong. Incomphrehensibly wrong. A couple of weeks will go past, and we'll have worked out how to things work in terms of taking care of Hamish, and relax. This is a mistake, because in the span of a week, everything changes and you're left going "argh, I don't know what I am doing" again.

This is not to say it isn't also fun, or changes for the better. We can now sit him down with some cars or trains and he'll amuse himself for up to 30 or 40 seconds before we have to help push them around too, or build a house for a dinosaur, or help draw. It's sweet that he wants us to participate, but sometimes you really need a minute or two to stop tea from boiling over or your brain from imploding. We're working on getting across the concepts of time - not right now, or later, or soon - and it's sort of working. He definitely understands wait. Or rather, 'waaaaaaaait'. He grasps that you can't take stuff off the shelves at the shops and have it straight away, you have to buy it at the front with money (unless he wants it Right Now, in which case that consideration falls by the wayside). We make an effort to keep up our side of the deal tho - if we say "in a minute", we actually make sure we do whatever it is he wants, not just use it to constantly put him off.

What he actually wants is becoming easier to understand as he gets more and more words under his belt. goldengrove misread a developmental schedule and thought it said "Two year olds should know 20 words", and we were baffled for a while because Hamish knows almost 20 colours, let alone words all up. Apparently it's 'at least 20 words', and more in the range of 50-100, which sems more realistic. There seem to be some standard questions that parents find themselves asking kids to either help along or demonstrate language development. Maybe it's instinctual to ask your child "what colour is this?" or "who's that?", because I see people doing it all the time, and then found myself doing it as well. Asking Hamish what colour something is is a two part process. First, ask the first time. He says 'red'. Then ask again, and he will tell you the right colour. I have no idea why - perhaps he likes red, or it's the easiest colour to say, or statistically he thinks it will be more likely. His grasp of names is getting better too; he can name most of the kids in the mum's group and the adults he sees a lot. He self-identifies as "Hais", which is pretty close. He even seems to cope with multiple people with the same name, something I apparently had problems with (and solved by renaming one of the people involved 'Charlie').

As he gets more competant at communication, he seems to be more interested in interacting with people. The phone has always been interesting because it makes weird noises and lights up, but now he seems sure about how it works. He'll hold a phone up to his ear and yell "Ho? Ho? ho? ROAD! ROAD!". Apparently it's vitally important that whoever is on the other end knows about roads. But he also seems to be trying to interact with other kids more - it's not just sitting and staring at older kids, learning their evil habits while ignoring the younger kids. Currently he is mostly happy to share things (as long as he doesn't really want it), but we'll see how that lasts. He is beginning to master 'mine' as a concept as well as snatching things away from you, so there's him practising that to look forward to.

It's become clear Hamish needs some more space, so we've been rearranging the house. Eventually he'll end up with the master bedroom at the front, which will have enough space for all his toys. He is happy to help pack them up into boxes so they are not all over the living areas, but only as the necessary starting point to scattering things across the floor as much as possible. It's still a work in progress, which means that there are boxes looking for homes randomly through the house.

We try and make sure that we get outside with him too - and not just because it's more likely to wear him out quicker - but in the wet and windy weather it can be a bit hard. Nonetheless, we've gotten out to the local park as much as possible, and to Jells Park on occasion. With the 10 years of low rainfall, I had forgotten that in winter it's an oozing swamp, even on the top of the hills. Hamish finds it hilarious that every step goes squelch, but when I went there with tacomonkey we accidentally caused her to be soaked from the shins down with mud and water.

goldengrove and I trundled along to visit one of my aunts & uncles out at Mirboo North, where they have moved to from the wilds of Bairnsdale. We headed up there via the south approach - it's a quite pleasant road through green countryside. On the other hand the north approach - the way we left - looks like it was originally planned as a way of allowing defenders to pour burning oil down the sheer cliff onto the ravening orc hordes pouring out of the LaTrobe valley. Obviously since that time, there has been 100 years of peace and some idiot said "I know, let's run a road down there". The road drops from 340m above sea level to 80m above sea level in Trafalgar and I swear my ears popped 3 times as we fell. The day was spent well, split between Hamish and his 2nd cousin Toby yelling as loud as they could inside to amuse themselves with the echoes, and hanging out at the impressively specced out park there. The giant slide was a bit scary to begin with, not helped by my decision to go down headfirst with Hamish but in the end we worked it out.

We opted to throw Hamish a family birthday this year, and invited around the immediate family folks for a BBQ (gah, 24 people including 7 kids from 5 to 1.5). It was meant to be at Valley Reserve, but the weather did not cooperate. MasterBaker tacomonkey made Hamish a couple of cakes; a delicious carrot cake, and a ridiculously rich chocolate cake. Between eating that and his body weight in fairy bread that day, I am surprised he stopped running manically around the house at the end of the day. Hamish got an impressive amount of loot for the weekend, and so we ended up buying some extra containers to try and keep it all under control and less underfoot. This included a bookshelf, not just for his books, but for the haul from the library, and "Hamish and the Dinosaur", an awesome book that bjj_moves made for him originally inside a CD carry case. What other kid has a zip up book?

Other things! Staying with grandma overnight while mum and dad went to a wedding, trains, getting fully weaned, trains, putting his own gumboots on, trains, weeding out the baby toys (vs toddler toys) and trains.

Level 2 stats: 12.15kg (up from 10.7kg at 18 months), and 87.5cm tall (up from 85cm at 18 months). I'm a bit surprised to find he's that much short of 13kg, and I would have said he was 90cm. I guess that's my lower spine speaking rather than a set of scales.

There is no escape from photos but this month comes with two bonus "videos" of me and Hamish totally out of control down a slide and slightly less out of control down the same slide.
8th-Sep-2010 06:35 am (UTC)
I pronounce this entry cool.

I also suggest we reinstitute the LaTrobe Valley orc hordes, simply because it would be fun.
8th-Sep-2010 06:55 am (UTC)
You've been to Moe, right? :)
8th-Sep-2010 06:56 am (UTC)
No, but I have been told about it by multiple people.

It sounds like the kind of place where a run-down nuclear plant wouldn't be out of place...
9th-Sep-2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Sounds like everything is going swimmingly. 3 weeks holidays for us starting next week. Wanna meet up?
9th-Sep-2010 04:28 am (UTC)
I was just thinking that this morning. September is a bit crazy tho, so it'll take some work - let me chat to liz and our social secretary (google cal) and get back to you :)
9th-Sep-2010 02:11 am (UTC)
I like how in the second video Hamish leaps up at the end of the slide all full of beans and ready to go, while you have a little rest and wearily reach for the edges of the slide in order to hold yourself to your feet. Also, the dinosaur book is awesome.
9th-Sep-2010 04:29 am (UTC)
I'd like to point out that there had been about an hour of running around a playground trying to wear him out between the two videos. I was exhausted. He fell asleep in the car on the way home after about 1km.

Everything except the time hole is fundamentally true. :)
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