Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Funny Boy

Henry has perfected his use of the raspberry. His comedic timing has really improved as of late. Recent examples of his use:

  • On Thanksgiving, his cousin Jordan said "So Henry, give me a low five..." Henry responded with a perfectly timed one, followed by a fit of giggling
  • Today he was making kissing noises at his new stuffed "Do" (Dog). I said "Henry, can you give Mommy a kiss too?" The statement was followed by a raspberry. Five times.
  • Tonight I took him out to dinner. Every time one of the waiters passed him and smiled Henry greeted him with a nice Bronx cheer

As always, Henry is full of mischief. Today, after he tried to lock me out of the bathroom I caught him trying to wrench the lock off of our toilet lid. When I went to use the bathroom this evening I discovered why. Somehow he managed to throw his pacifier into the water, despite the lid being pinned down.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Material for Henry's Therapist

As most of you know, Henry is not a champion sleeper. When he was a tiny infant, he would nap for thirty minutes at a stretch. As he got older, the naps got longer, but never consistently. He has still never, ever, ever slept through the night once. Not once. If I count from the time he goes to bed around 8pm, he usually wakes around 11pm, 2am, 5am and then up for the day around 7am. Sometimes he does a little better, but my sister's newborn sleeps better than Henry. He used to want to eat, but now most of the time he just wakes and wants attention.

Lots of people have told me to "ignore" him, including his pediatrician. She started giving this advice around six months and I have consistently "ignored" her. It just didn't feel right. First, he was/is very skinny so I figured if he was hungry I should feed him. Second, crying is his only means of communication. What if he was hurt, hungry, lonely (not likely since he is usually in our bed! haha), wet, dirty, in pain...I am a sucker so my list of mental excuses goes on and on. I also thought by letting him cry I would be incurring some sort of Karmic debt. When I am old, grey and in diapers, he could just leave me in my bed and let me cry. That is if his bitch of a wife let me live there, but I digress.

Anywho, getting up multiple times per night for thirteen months is getting old. Worse than the getting up is that he won't go to sleep now without someone holding him. We followed that great advice to put him down awake and it worked for a while. Until he started getting teeth or got sick, who knows what it was. I need to hold him until he is dead asleep, not just dozing. If I laid him down before that he would spring awake screaming and we would have to start the whole drama over again. It has been so bad over the past few weeks because he was sick that I was just napping with him...A real hardship for me, I know. But I do need to actually get a few things done now that I am a professional housewife.

So, now that he is fully recovered from his illnesses, the sleep training needs to start. I bought "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber. He of the "Ferberizing" fame where you leave them alone in the crib (i.e. let them cry) for increasing lengths of time until they fall asleep. I was going to start tomorrow night. He didn't take a second nap today, so he fell asleep while I was nursing him (another thing that needs to be broken, please take pity on me!) I waited about ten minutes and put him down. He immediately sprung awake. I decided right then that we needed to start. We waited three minutes and I went in. In his fury, he pooped so I changed him and we started again. Another five minutes, then seven minutes, then ten minutes...This was pure hell. He was not just crying, he was furious. He was red faced and sweating and stomping his little feet in his crib. Add that to the baby book, I didn't know he knew how to stomp!

I felt so terrible I was in tears. I also ate half of a sweet potato pie but I can't blame that on Henry can I? I brought him a little sippy cup of water to quench his now parched little throat. Finally, about seven minutes into the next fifteen minute waiting period, he stopped. What a relief.

Henry, if you suffer some rare form of insomnia or repressed memories of this period as an adult, I truly apologize. I didn't want to do it and it tore me apart to do so. I am frequently accused of spoiling you absolutely rotten, so you should know that I am only trying to do what is best for you.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's Fun to be One!

Wow, lots has changed since Henry turned one.

  • He is now a professional tantrum thrower. He has the fat-lip, balled fists, crocodile tears thing down flat. Almost anything can set him off...I won't let him drink coffee or wine, I won't let him stir boiling liquids or open the microwave while it is running, I won't let him put knives in his mouth, I won't let him eat things out of the garbage...Boy, I am mean!
  • He has perfected his dance moves. His musical taste leaves something to be desired. He loves heavy metal, or anything with a heavy beat. He has a few moves now, he can march in place, he can bend at the knees and drop his little behind, he pumps his fist, he bobs his head. I am in tears whenever he does it and constantly looking for music to "inspire" him to do it again.
  • He flat out refuses to nap (or go to bed) without being held until he is dead asleep. We are finally going to have to resort to some sleep training. Somebody hold me!
  • He is practically running
  • He is no longer afraid of animals. He wants to pet them now and won't stop stay "Do" for Dog when he sees one
  • His favorite games are: 1) "I'm gonna get you" where we chase him through the house 2) Where I answer the phone as just laugh hysterically. That game kills him, he had to bury his face into the couch today he was laughing so hard 3) Jamming on his play guitar 4) Playing in the toy kitchen
  • He and his friends are starting to recognize each other. He sees his friend Jackson the most. Jackson sees Henry and uses the same word that he uses for "heiney" for Henry. That cracks me up
  • He is starting to let other people carry him around. Unfortunately none of these people are related to him, but it is a start!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nope, it is still gross

I have a very weak stomach. I get sea-sick, morning sick, motion sick... Even thoughts can make me sick. Adam once said something really gross and I actually threw up in the sink. Ask Reece what I did when she was being potty trained. Poor girl showed me her poop and I proceeded to vomit right in front of her.

I always worried about the bodily fluid part of parenthood. Snot is definitely tops on my list of things that freak me out. The mere sight of it on a young child has brought me to dry heaves more than once. Everyone has always said, when it is your own child it won't bother you. I am here to report to all of you that you are wrong. Henry had his first cold this week and I thought I might die with all of the snot.

Obviously I have the wrong type of puzzle!

Henry is not at the age where I would describe him as scholarly. I am making no judgement of his future intelligence, I am just stating the fact that he is not fond of quiet games, reading, puzzles or introspection. He is 100% boy.

I try and try to get him interested in one of the many wooden puzzles that we have. I wave around the little wooden animals, moo-ing like a cow or neigh-ing like a horse, trying to pique his interest. No go. His only interest is banging the puzzle pieces on my lovely coffee, but now dented coffee table or hurling them across the room.

Today, Adam and I were trying to have a leisurely Sunday morning. Adam was laying on the couch channel surfing and I was reading the paper and drinking my coffee. Henry was playing in the adjacent foyer a bit too quietly. I looked over and saw that he was sitting in front of the outlet, yanking on a charger that "someone" had left plugged in. I quickly yanked it out of the socket and laid it down for Henry to drag around the floor. I know, I am a terrible mother for letting him play with a charger. But, he really enjoys it and it is shocking what you are willing to do to get 2 minutes of peace and quiet.

Anyway, I look back over and he is very intently trying to figure out how to get the prongs into the socket. I guess I have just had the wrong type of puzzle all of this time! (DISCLAIMER: Mother, of course I won't let Henry play with the outlets.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hmm, so that is what these are for!

Henry is now an expert walker. Actually, he now knows how to march too and has worked it into his dance repetoire. It is so cute, and he is so proud of his Denny Terrio like abilities. I was very excited for him to learn to walk well; I thought it would open up many new things for us to do. NYC is a VERY dirty place and I hated him crawling around on the floors and playgrounds wherever we went.

It is so fun to see what he is interested in, but his basic routine is to follow me around or do laps around the apartment. Up and down the hallways, through the kitchen, loops around the coffee table and the bed, he is a boy in perpetual motion. He was sick last week and he actually sat in his toddler rocker. Granted, he had a bowl of goldfish and a glass of milk to keep him entertained but I was shocked that he was actually sitting. I don't think he has done that in months and I am being completely serious. I was so shocked by it, I decided to take his picture. Of course that ended the sitting because he was lunging for the camera.

That brings me to my main point. The most surprising part (why I didn't think of this, I don't know) of the walking is how it has freed up his hands for mischief making. He pulls on every cabinet door. He is tall enough to grab things off of tabletops. I frequently find him with handfuls of change or swinging a cell phone charger. He was walking around recently with an empty coffee mug, taking pretend sips. We were at a friend's house the other day and she came out and asked "Do either of your babies know how to open doors knobs?" Hmm, yes that would be Henry Richard Schnell. He had opened their linen closet door when walking past. He frequently hides in his room or the bathroom and shuts the door on me. I even found him in the china cabinet the other day. I discovered he was in there after I heard the crash of a Waterford wine glass breaking on the floor. No sooner than he had let that one go did he have a martini glass in his hand and he was banging it on the shelf of the cabinet.

He also shows Herculean strength. At the Y where I bring him to a little program, he likes to push one of the little chairs around the room. He even leaves the room occasionally. When he hits the reading rug, he just hoists the chair up to his chest and tries to carry it. The boy is freakishly strong.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween!

What a difference a year makes! We dressed Henry up as a New York Jet this year. Mainly because Henry won't wear anything on his head, I didn't want anything too hot and Uncle Barry bought him the uniform for Christmas. You can't see them in the picture, but he also had little green Robeez on his feet with footballs on them.

Henry was invited to his friend Corey's first birthday party on Halloween. We went to Lamaze class with Corey's parents and have kept in touch with them. The first part was at a kids music place on the Upper West Side, that is where this picture was taken. The second part of the party was at a lounge-y type restaurant down the street.

All I have to say is that we are in big trouble with Henry. He lived up to the nickname "Good Time Charlie" that my friend Karen gave him. He had such a great time at the music class, you would have thought it was his birthday. He was singing, walking around, stealing instruments, dancing and just having fun. At the restaurant he was mingling like he owned the place. Just wandering around, slugging a drink from his little sippy cup. They had adult type music playing and he was dancing like a little club kid. He would not stop trying to hug one of the little girl babies that we know, even though she was clearly not interested! At 8pm all of the other babies were starting to melt down but he could have gone a few more hours! He hammed it up on the subway home, smiling and giggling at anyone he could get to look at him. I think we have a little party animal on our hands!