Its slightly ironic that I haven't written any notes on Hamish in the last couple of months (I normally write stuff down as we go) primarily because Hamish has been taking up a lot more time. He's gone through a bit of a growth spurt, both physically and mentally. Last time we measured him, he was about 92cm tall, which is about a 5cm gain since his 2nd birthday. Of course, I found this out by knocking his head on things like door frames and my elbows, or watching him walk into things he used to be smaller than. My memories of being a teenage boy suggest that the latter is the usual way of detecting any gain in height - that and growing pains. And voracious appetite. And an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. I'll come in again.
The physical growth is not just reflected in a gain in height. He's able to manage more in terms of strength and in agility. Mostly this combines into turning around and finding that he's climbed up somewhere you didn't think he could get and is balanced precariously above some rocks or broken glass or pihranas or whatever he can find that is most dangerous. One of his multitude of christmas presents was a climbing frame from bjj_moves
for the backyard, and he perches on top of it sometimes and demands that I climb after him. I feel that it is not load bearing to 100kg, but this can be a bit hard to explain to Hamish. We have a good climbing tree in the backyard, its only a matter of time until we look out of the top floor and see him looking in from across the yard. On the other hand, he is sometimes not able to manage the things he wants to do, and this leads to frustration. Frustration leads to yelling and throwing or scattering toys, and in one case me being hit in the head with 3 toys in 2 minutes, for which he got in a lot of trouble.
Hamish seems to need a lot more physical activity than he used to, which is bad timing for summer when his parents want to stay inside, sit still and wait for the day star to go away. He gets some chance to run around when he goes to playgroup, or when the mum's group meet, but its only a couple of hours a week. In the last two months, he's spent a few days where he got a big chunk of time to hang out with Sam and Sophie, and loved every second of it. Sam's only 9 months older and the two of them run around and wrestle one another into the ground. It doesn't hurt that my brother bought a blow up castle for his kids for christmas - when we went over for a post christmas bbq, there was more excitement than one 2 year old body could handle. I sort of feel we should be organising more social/physical time for him with other kids, but its hard to find the time. There are some older kids that he sees sometimes, but the gap between them means he usually gets left behind.
I suspect that a shortage of being run into the ground is contributing towards Hamish starting to skip his midday nap. Its not every day - on one day not long ago he slept for 4 hours straight - and there's sometimes an outside prompt, such as being out and about at a lunchtime engagement. But gradually he seems to be shucking the need to snooze for a while in the middle of the day. It has its upsides - it means he often passes out between 6 and 7 rather than sometime after 8pm, for instance. But it also leads to grumpiness and general spazness in the late afternoon which goldengrove
has to deal with having not had her
break at lunch either. Perhaps he'll slip back into a regular rhythm now that I am back at work - pretty much things have been disrupted in terms of routine from before christmas to this weekend.
Part of the routine disruption has centred around house shuffling. We finished rearranging our house so that Hamish now has the master bedroom that goldengrove
had, we're upstairs in both rooms, and bjj_moves
is downstairs in the old computer room. Much of this moving was done when the humidity was around 85%, causing no small amount of exhaustion on my behalf. Mostly we did it to try and make sure there was somewhere for Hamish to play that didn't involve one of the adults constantly stepping on cars or blocks or things that made horrid noises. So he now has his own bed in his own room with his own stuff.... and big bunches of our stuff still being carted out of the rooms, sorted and stored or discarded. Its getting there.tacomonkey
and co also moved house, which fascinated Hamish. Not only does he have a hitherto unknown love of empty rooms, rolling around on the carpet and giggling himself senseless, but he seems to have concatenated next door's moving out to knock down their house with tacomonkey
moving house... and therefore their old house will soon be knocked down by a digger. We've tried to explain the difference but it doesn't seem to be sinking in - who'd have thought concepts like renting vs owning might be difficult to explain to a 2 year old?
Other concepts that turn out to be difficult to explain include "that's still tacomonkey
, she's just wearing crutches". After she decided to tear her foot nearly off, we went over to visit tacomonkey
. On seeing her crutch down the corridor, Hamish hid behind me, clutching at my clothes and freaking out. Apparently despite spending a number of nights being babysat by tacomonkey
in December and January, something about the crutches or the way she moved while using them was Not Right. I fear this bodes poorly for Hamish's acceptance of cyberwear and other technological enhancements that I will eventually festoon myself with to fend off encroaching physical decrepitude. Perhaps it would be best to begin a program of exposure therapy by wearing a terminator costume? Perhaps not, given his reaction to the zombie kit I had on last year.
Mentally, he is changing almost daily. Every other day he manages to express some new concept. Single words have become sentances, and he seems to understand that you add an 's' to a word to make two of them, and 'ed' to a word to say that its something in the past. Of course, due to the vagaries of English, that means he says "the mans dided it", but the basic concepts are right. He has definitely grasped concepts like "now" and "later", in that I should play trains now, and clean up later. He has learned "I want" which was good, because we wanted him to tell us if he wanted a drink or something like that, but bad because now he sometimes yells "I want mum-my" for 20 minutes when he's meant to be going to sleep. "One more?" is cute the first time, but not when if you say "you've already had one more" he loses his mind and throws a tantrum. If something is not right its "a bit bad", regardless of whether its a piece of food dropped on the floor or water pouring down the inside wall in a storm.
There have also been a few once-off phrases that were hilarious. When we dropped Bonnie off at the airport, he insisted on climbing onto a window ledge and looking out. I asked what he was doing and was told "taking a closer look" in a very serious voice. goldengrove
has been told to wait in the lounge because Hamish will "be back in a few minutes" as he runs off into the house. He even sings - listening to him mangle "Ning Nang Nong" was one of the sweetest things I've ever heard.
I think that the incessant demand for reading is help his language develop. He wants at least 3 books before sleep, and sometimes it must be 5 (being the largest number he knows). Random times during the day we also get asked to read books - I am building a deep hatred for some kids books and the message they seem to be conveying, but also a love for some of the sillier or sweeter ones. I never thought I would be someone who would say "no, that's enough books" to any child o' mine, given how much I read when I was younger, but it is reaching a point where my voice sounds tired and worn by the end of many days.
I'm intrigued by how his memory works. Its clear that he has some memory of events, because he is learning, but sometimes he either doesn't understand the questions or doesn't remember large swathes of stuff. On the otherhand, he sometimes remembers things months after they've happened, like the fact that Bonnie came to the show in September. The day after we visited my brother I asked what he did yesterday:
D: "What did you do there?"
H: "beep beep beep"
D: (surprised, because he's right, a smoke alarm went off) "That's right, an alarm went off"
H: "I watched. Sam watched too. Sam's dad fixed it."
D: "How did he fix it?"
H: "Um. With a flag"
... which is right, Wes had to use a flag on a long pole to reach their 12' ceiling and the smoke alarm that the BBQ kept setting off.
The alarm going off was clearly an unusual event, and that might have been why it stuck in his mind, but that's not the only instance where he's talked about things from a couple of days earlier. He's maybe seen me buy broccoli once or twice, but he's started pulling it off the shelves and putting in the basket when shopping with goldengrove
- "for dad". One day I got a large broccoli and one each of two different sorts of potato. I'm not exactly sure what he thought I would be cooking for tea that night. There has been more than one occasion where he went to sleep demanding something, such as "trains on tv" and woke up, blinked and then demanded it again. Personally it takes me about 2 minutes to remember how to stand up, so his ability to mentally go from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds is startling.
Food and what he will eat remains a mystery. Sometime he'll eat egg, sometimes he won't. Sometimes he'll eat pies, sometimes he won't. Repeat with all foods. Sometimes he'll eat and eat and eat, but we think those times match up with the growth spurts, which also matches my memories. He ate his first greenery! Hooray! It was mint. Now he won't stop denuding my mint plants and gobbling up all the leaves, because it tastes like toothpaste which he also insists on eating despite our best efforts to stop him. We're just continuing the relentless presentation of different sorts of food and hoping he doesn't end up only eating white foods or something. I think I upset him considerably when I was eating fruit mince pies at christmas - he demanded some of my little pies and was most offended to find there wasn't meat inside them.
Its been two months, a billion things have happened and people have visited. We've had goldengrove
's birthday (where tacomonkey
babysat so we had a quiet night in) and BBQ, Richard and rachelholkner
's Christmas do
(which sadly meant missing Jeremy's 2nd birthday, pr0zak
's 30th and Midsummer because we overdid it), geekweevil
's Xmas Eve, Christmas morning at home
, Christmas lunch at my parents'
, Christmas dinner
's mum's house, pancakemas
at Lee & impish
's house and a postXmas bbq
at Wes & Liz's on the 27th, New Years
, Sam's 3rd birthday
, going to the airport with Bonnie, Arcanacon
) (when Hamish spent 2 days with my parents while we gamed on), helping tacomonkey
move and then the beach
. There are 3 new bubs at mum's group, and numerous birthdays. Its been packed and chaotic.
Photos from December