Hamish has developed a sense of things that might happen while he is not there. Sadly, this manifests in using the phrase "I'll miss out on the fun!" if you try and take him away from anywhere that he doesn't really want to leave. Happily, this set of places included the kinder orientation day that goldengrove
took him to. He basically ran past her into the room and ignored her for the hour or so that they were there, finally leaving clawed finger marks in the carpet when they had to leave. This is reassuring, given that he starts 3 year old kinder in February. Though we are still working on a few physical things, mentally and emotionally he is ready for it - one of the kinder folk asked if he was in daycare much as there was no clinginess or uncertainty. I think having a lot of exposure to people other than me and goldengrove
has helped that along, though it might also be a bit of a nature/nuture argument.
Other phrases we hear a lot of include "the freeway is boring", "I think my tummy is very very hungry", "I want to go home", "I don't want to go home", "what you say?" (me: "Someone set us up the bomb!".. [pause] Hamish: "It wasn't me!") and "Why [thing you just said]?". Its not just "why", its "Those berries will make you sick." "Why those berries make you sick?" but I suspect that he is still not really listening. Because they just have 'why' stuck to the front, sometimes the questions really make no sense. "What do you want to eat?" "Why what do you want to eat?". To be fair, sometimes we clearly make no sense to him either - tacomonkey
told Hamish he was full of beans and he puzzledly said "I didn't eat any beans." Occasionally he will come out with an especially adult turn of phrase, which tends to leave everyone giggling - there's something innately hilarious about a piping little voice saying "That's splendid".
He grows taller and heavier by the hour, outgrowing all his clothes and scrambling higher and higher on climbing equipment. I turned around at a park with a rope climber and found him 15' above the ground, calmly sitting on a seat and observing the world around him. He can reach doorknobs now, so no longer does he simply slam into the toilet door to make it open, but politely opens the door on you. He runs everywhere he can, often while yelling "gunna catch you!" even when miles ahead already. Weirdly he doesn't really have the knack of cutlery, so he ends up covered in food or using his fingers. Other precision manipulation seems fine, so I have a deep suspicion that its primarily that he's distracted by tv instead of concentrating.
Hamish certainly has grasped the concepts behind computer mice, or touch screens. He's pretty keen on Minecraft and Angry Birds, though there are times when he insists an adult plays while he watches. Another fun game is the "little man on the map", aka google street view. He loves to drag it to places he knows, like our house, and then look at the photos. He also likes to look at tacomonkey
's, Aunt Judith's, Calum's, Helen's, Grandma's and Eddy's houses, pointing out that the pictures are wrong now. Its also great fun to drag and drop the man into random places on the map and ask Dad where they are.
[Hamish drops google street view in front of a random house]
Hamish: "that's where i should live on my own, that house"
tacomonkey: "who would make you milo and read you stories?"
Hamish: "I think it... um... I.... ... Tim!"
There's also a linux-based game set called Childsplay that he likes - it includes a jigsaw puzzle, a couple of memory games and a pacman-spelling game where you have to chase down the letters in a word one at a time.
His grasp of letters is pretty solid. For the most part you can point at letters big or small and get told which one it is. There are a few that are mirrors of one another that sometimes get confused (d|b, q|p, etc) but that's pretty usual. He can type his own name out into the computer ... or onto random handheld items such as smartphones or ipods, if someone is foolish enough to leave them within reach. When it comes to writing them down himself, he's just learnng now, but he can draw a credible H, and make a start on an A - but "its a bit tricky!". I've been playing eyespy in the car, which is a bit random ("I spy something starting with 'r'"... "bus!"), but hopefully starts to link up what words start with what letters.
Hamish is starting to grasp some other games - he understands taking turns until he gets too excted, but the concept that he should keep anything a secret is still not something he's entirely sure about. It makes playing guess who? or fish a bit strange - "I got a 4!" is not something to yell out whenever you pick up a card. He plays around with cars a lot (crashing game!) and sometimes does imaginitive play things with dinosaurs, trains and anything else with a face. He got a game for Christmas that involves knocking blocks of 'ice' out of a frame with hammers. This is the current best game ever, and not just because it has hammers to hit things.
Christmas was a bit overwhelming for him I think. There were innumerable different events on from the Friday onward, and more presents than you could shake a stick at. By lunchtime on Christmas day itself, Hamish was a bit over it - when he was asked whether he wanted to open more presents, he said "no thank you" and kept playing with stuff he already had. On the plus sides tho, he got to play with all his cousins for hours and hours which he loves, and he certainly got a load of loot. We need to go through his room and do a cull of ... stuff. And possibly buy some more shelves. And cupboards. And another room of space.
Straight after Christmas I crammed him in the car with tacomonkey
and we drove all over Gippsland to visit with my grandmother. He was really patient with the long trip via Wonthaggi and Mirboo North before we headed out to Orbost. It helps that he fell asleep coming and going for for the bits of the trip between Sale and Orbost.
Food remains a baffling struggle. He's just not interested in it, fundamentally. When we went on holiday to Torquay, we bought some of the tiny kelloggs boxes, and gave Hamish some cocoapops. He didn't finish it, just ate some and then got bored and went to do something else. What sort of child does this? I know adults incapable of leaving cocoa pops behind. Attempts to bribe him into finishing dinner and getting icecream are pointless, he just shrugs and runs off to do something else. Rather than getting into screaming fights, we've gone with a policy of he has to eat everything to get anything else afterward - sometimes the siren call of milo before bed can be enough to get him to focus for the extra 10 minutes or so. If we put something new on his plate and he tries it - actually chews it up and swallows it, not just sticks his tongue out and touches it fleetingly, which is what he thinks counts - he gets a gold star.
The stars are a way we came up with to reward good behaviour. Basically to get him to go to sleep without getting up when its bedtime, we have said that if he does, he can have a gold star the next morning. Gold stars are tradable for treats - things like nutella for breakfast, or going for a ride on one of the $2 rides you see in supermarkets. They don't get taken off him for being bad, but I've refused to accept them when he's not being good. Trying food is worth a gold star, as is staying in his own bed all night. He's got actual laminated stars and a pouch that they get dropped into so he can physically see the benefits of being good. Not to say that he doesn't get other random nice things, but this way he can self-select some stuff as well.
Other things! Torquay for a few days, including the joys of a bouncy cushion and the carousel at Geelong. Staying with grandparents so me and goldengrove
could go out. Going to the beach and squealing like a maniac because shemjaza
was swimming under the water. Another attempt at camping with bjj_moves
in the backyard, plus lots of help from bjj_moves
wrangling Hamish as goldengrove
entered the third trimester. Jeremy's birthday. Pancakes with impishfae
and family. goldengrove
's combined babyshower and 38th birthday. My aunt's surprise 60th birthday. pr0zak
's birthday at Hedley Dean. Helping tacomonkey
but all the December ones still need sorting. :)