The Lad has been a bit of a handful the past couple of days, especially yesterday for some reason. He has developed new skills that he loves to try out; he can throw, he can poke and he can screech (among other new talents). I strongly suspect that he is reaching new levels of self-awareness and intelligence. He is also reaching new levels of annoyingness and annoyability.
This has coincided with a new crisis explained in the graph bellow.
The Mamanator has reached the point in pregnancy where she can no longer outrun The Lad if he breaks away from her. If he gets away, that’s it. He’s gone till he decides to come back. Given that he has all the street-wisdom of, well, a two-year-old we deemed that unacceptable.
So, rather than lock him in a cupboard till the baby is born, or restrain him to a pram whenever we head out, we have got one of those kiddy-lead things. It’s left The Mamanator feeling like a crap parent in spite of the fact that she isn’t one. It’s not like she ties him to a pole while she goes into a cafe, it is so she can keep hold of him while she’s at the ATM in case he decides to run onto the road in front of a semi-trailer. In short the tether is necessary and part of our continued campaign to keep our son alive and relatively intact. We are winning so far.
Meal times have evolved somewhat. The Lad can now say “no” when he decides he does not want a certain food. The grin on his face shows how much he enjoys this new power. He often changes his mind with a bit of persistence, or some kind of ‘re-packaging’ of the food he has already refused. Cutting it up into smaller pieces often works. Giving him something else for a spell so he forgets about it is also a potent remedy for this issue.
The other thing he’s enjoying having more power over at the moment is gravity. He’s trying out his throwing arm, and he tries it out with everything. Balls, chicken feed, leaves, sticks, rocks, books, plates, balloons, kitty litter. He throws food, ALL THE TIME. Often sticky, wet kinds of food which are hard to clean up. He also likes to drop things off the side of the high chair, often looking straight at me and grinning as he does it, after I’ve told him not to 25 times.
And now to sleep. His routine hasn’t changed, it revolves around dinner, bath, TV, pack-up time, stories then bed. Because his cot wall is down, he often gets out of bed to run around and play during stories, which I am happy to live with most of the time as his final burst of energy burning itself out before bed. He developed a strong attachment to “Em Brown Ting!” (Emily Brown and The Thing, great picture book by the way), to the extent that last night he started howling for it after I’d already read him 3 picture books, so I started to read it to him. He had been running around, pulling shirts out of his cupboard, climbing the bed head, bouncing and generally not calming down. He had managed to bounce into my shoulder about 15 times by this point, each time hurt, and he had tried to steal my glasses. For my part, while trying to get him to lie down I had piledrived him into the bed head (complete accident, I felt terrible). I was not in the best mood or state of mind, so I thought I’d try Emily Brown and see if that would settle him. It did, for about 3 pages then he started it again. So I stopped reading the book, put him in bed, turned the lights out and started singing his lullaby, over a rancorous protestation from the young lad. “Em Brown Ting!” He howled over and over again. So I started reciting the story to him in the dark, I know the whole thing by heart. I even decided I’d get the book over and open it up in the dark to read to him. He lay serenely listening to the book as we went along, looking into the shadows to see the illustrations. A few pages in I realised I had made a:
He shot up, started carrying on again, got up to bounce and tried to get out of the bed. So it stopped, I should have stuck to my guns and kept going with the songs in the first place, lesson learned. I wore him down eventually, spending some time half cuddling half pining him to the bed. Took about 75 minutes to get our little cherub to bed….
I emerged and spoke to The Mamanator about it. I think I sounded like this:
So I vented, and as the vent went on The Mamanator started laughing. So did I. And we all had lemonade…. The End.
And then she took this picture today:
So I can’t really stay mad, can I?