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not only but also
Month 26 - "How to extort your parents." 
8th-Nov-2010 05:10 pm
By any honest standard, very small children are totally insane. They are emotionally unstable, confused about cause and effect, repeat the same actions in the hope that different things will happen and are completely unable to express themselves clearly. That doesn't even begin to touch on the strange, almost psychodelic concatenations of concepts. As a case in point, if Hamish asks you to draw something, it will almost always be a house. Houses are squares with a triangle roof, a chimney, a door and a window, the usual childhood drawing. Oh, and wheels. Five wheels. And a nose. And ears. That ear on the left is mum's ear, that one on the right is Hamish's ear. There are many pages of scrap paper covered with this strange construction in our house, and I feel some of it should be kept for posterity, or possibly evidence.

This month, Hamish worked out how to blackmail goldengrove. When she wasn't getting out of bed fast enough ("up, up, come, up"), he stole her glasses off the bedside table and started making a run for it. Needless to say he didn't get far, and did get in a lot of trouble - given the possibilities for havoc if he lost or broke them - and has not done it again. Yet.

Grasping complex social concepts like extortion is just one of sudden improvements in Hamish's cognitive development. In the last month, he has moved from single syllables to double syllables. He's no longer "Hais", but can say "Hay-mish". There's a bit of a pause between each syllable ("lit-tle", "win-dow") which is very cute, and some words have developed extra syllables, ala Tool songs ("tuh-rain", "duh-raw"). bjj_moves's dream has come true and Hamish can now say "arm-bar", and I have been amusing myself by getting him to say "ossary" (well, 'oss-ar-y' anyway). Sentences are still less coherent bits of grammar and more related concepts in a stack ("dad. come. draw") and they can still be more than a little incomprehensible as not-quite articulated words all run together into a stream of sounds. He grasps a few numbers, mostly in terms of things he wants; one more playschool, two biscuits or five stories before bed. Three and four are a bit blurry, but five is the number of fingers he has and he definitely seems to grasp it. That doesn't stop him asking for another story after the first five of course.

He picks up words very quickly now and repeats them. Which can be a problem if we've made some sort of ridiculous threat like "we'll leave you out for bears". One morning he said "Hamish. throw. window", after goldengrove had had a very rough night with him. This is probably not the right thing for him to wander around saying, especially as he almost always has at least 5 bruises somewhere. The most impressive one this month was a blackeye from running into the nappy change table in the middle of the night. As always seems to happen with these things, that was the day that I was taking him to the doctor for an unrelated thing, and there were some pointed questions asked.

That doctor visit turned out to be the start of two solid weeks of viral bronchitis for myself and goldengrove. Hamish was affected a bit, but nowhere near as strongly, which meant at any one given time, one parent laid down and tried to rest while the other tried to wear him out. We didn't want to go and visit anyone while we might have been contagious, so there wasn't even the option to let the whirlwind of multiple children burn off some excess energy. Its somewhat challenging to think of things to do to amuse him when you get puffed out walking up the driveway, or dizzy bending over.

Food is still a disaster area. Outside of apple, biscuits, peanut butter toast, yogart and vitabrits, its almost unheard of for Hamish to eat anything. Even things that used to be popular - like party pies - have become horrid filth which we should be ashamed of trying to feed him. He won't even try stuff to see whether he likes it, which I am infuriated by. It wouldn't be so bad if he would actually try any of the food, but if he doesn't recognise it as something he know he likes, its not happening. Even putting yogart in a bowl rather than in one of the squeezey packs often ends with a fight to get him to eat it. None of the usual tactics work; eating it in front of him just leads to "yes, dad eat"; saying "that's all there is" leads to shrugging and going off to play. He's just not an eater. I'm not worried that he's not getting enough basics, but it worries me that maybe he's missing some essential vitamins or minerals. (Hilariously, bjj_moves did get him to try some soda water. He sipped it, made a face, put down the glass, dragged his stool to the sink, got the cup, stood on the stool and tipped it all down the sink. I feel much the same way).

He's starting to skip on the occasional nap in the middle of the day, which has good and bad sides. On the good side, he's tired earlier at night, and goes to bed at a reasonable time. Getting him to bed can be easier in general - I think being able to slip out of the bed rather than being stuck in a cot has chilled him out to the whole situation. On the bad side, goldengrove is missing out on her 90 minutes of quiet time in the middle of the day.

One day time nap went odd as he wanted to sleep in his own bed, and goldengrove to sleep in the big bed. They tried that a couple of times, but he kept getting up and knocking on the door to be let out. Eventually goldengrove took him into the big bed - he made his trains go to sleep and snore. Then he laid down and made snoring sounds like a leaking pig - "snort - sssssssssss" before passing out in about 5 minutes.

There's been a lot of visiting parks this month as the weather improves. We've been to Jells park a lot, the park at the end of the street almost daily, a couple of other local parks (including the Valley reserve train park) from time to time. tacomonkey and me took Hamish out to Boronia to the arboretum only to find that the giant playground there was being renovated which was a bit disappointing, but we made up for it by exploring every other part of the site, including climbing up the amphitheatre steps and and rolling down the far side until we were all too dizzy to stand. Hamish has taken to climbing around playgrounds a lot more, not just on the parts that are meant to be climbed on, but randomly climbing on the outside of bits of equipment - you look around and he's hanging in space with a cheeky grin. It can be a bit heartstopping - at one point he tripped while running across a bridge 10' in the air and started heading for a drop, and I was too far away to do anything about it.

Despite missing mum's group and playground while we had the bronchitis, much visiting was done. We went and hung out with Simone and the horde of Gibbs kids one morning, Calum's 4th birthday, Sophie's 5th birthday and my unreunion with a bunch of old school friends. Hamish went on his own to visit tacomonkey for a few hours so I could get some downtime on my own, and to stay at his grandmother's while his parents were terribly irresponsible drinkers at geekweevil's halloween party.

Without photographic proof, I would not remember most of this.
8th-Nov-2010 06:58 am (UTC)
He'll also eat homemade macaroni and cheese, but I don't know if that's behaviour to be encouraged :)

8th-Nov-2010 07:06 am (UTC)
True, cheese and pasta are also acceptable at times :) in combination too, which is another thing that is a TERRIBLE THING - you must not mix foods.
8th-Nov-2010 07:11 am (UTC)
Also calamari. Like... from the fish and chip shop, he takes the fried calamari and sucks the squid out from inside the batter and eats it. Why. Why that. WHY
8th-Nov-2010 07:46 am (UTC)
Sentences are still less coherent bits of grammar and more related concepts in a stack ("dad. come. draw")

Actually, that's quite advanced. It took me many, many years to get to the point of 'Darling. Up. Now.' ;-)

and they can still be more than a little incomprehensible as not-quite articulated words all run together into a stream of sounds.

Ah, yes, like 'DarlinupNOWWW!' :P

apple, biscuits, peanut butter toast, yogart and vitabrits

Sounds like perfectly reasonable food to me - protein, carbohydrates, fats, vits and minerals. All he's missing is the broccoli! Mind you, I couldn't stand peanut butter at any age...

I wonder if we've got the same bug as you. There's several of us who keep passing something viral-y-bronchitis-y back and forth. It's debilitating, it blows, and it seems to be going on forever. DO NOT WANT.
8th-Nov-2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yes... also anatrasiebacks? ... all the words run together and because sometimes a syllable is missed, it all turns to a run of nonsense.

I'd feel a bit happier if he ate a range of fruit? Like banana and apple and pear? They're all pretty inoffensive...

There's also more than a couple of cases of strep throat going around :(
8th-Nov-2010 08:20 am (UTC)
Don't worry about the food. Kids need to be offered a new food about a kajillion times before they will try it. Be patient. And don't eat the leftovers ;-)
8th-Nov-2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Nooo, i'm doing it wrong! Just hard not to stress when he's growing and all - maybe he's missing something his brain needs, etc.

Its either me or the magpies, and the maggies are starting to look a little bloated :)
9th-Nov-2010 04:12 am (UTC)
His brain is FINE. Really.
Just keep offering. A couple of carrot sticks to the side of the peanut butter toast. A strawberry to dip in the yoghurt.
He'll come around.
8th-Nov-2010 08:53 am (UTC)
Wow! He's growing up so fast! :) And he is SO very cute :) LOVE the photos xx
8th-Nov-2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Watching a big group of ~2yo run around and around is hilarious because they seem to flicker between bubs and little kids.
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