Friday, September 26, 2008

Mama! Mama!

It has been a very exciting few weeks around here language wise. Henry's ability to string together words has really exploded. Most things start with "Dere da" (aka there's a) but it's a start.

Some cute ones...

"Uh Oh... Mama... Dere da spill!" I hear this quite often every day. I never know if it is a full fledged flood or a small drop. I am just glad he tells me. He also darts off for the nearest towel to wipe it up.

"Mama...Dada Burped!" This could either refer to himself or Adam, since they are both Dada

"Mama...In Da Mouth" This is to report on his friend Kaden eating playdough or some other inedible substance while we are not looking. He also mimes an eating motion in case he is not totally clear.

If he wants something or someone has stolen something from him but he doesn't know what to say he looks at me and says "Yeah Yeah Yeah" over and over while vigorously nodding at the offender or object.

If he has nothing to say he uses Mama as an all around place filler. There is no action too small for me to witness. If it weren't so sweet hearing your name repeated four thousand times per day would give you the shakes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thus far, I have purposely avoided teaching Henry shapes, colors, numbers, animal noises and letters in a formal way. For a few reasons, but the main one is that I think he has his entire life to be in a "school" environment. For now, I just want him to experiment, experience and have fun without any curriculum to follow. I also want to avoid him just memorizing things without really understanding them.

There is also a school of thought that you can't really "teach" a child anything; they will learn things when they are ready and just by being exposed to different things. Of course, you have days where you doubt your methods but I think everyone just does what they think is right for their child.

He has done a few things lately that have freaked me out. It is amazing to see his little mind absorbing and learning.

1) He isn't exposed to many animals other than dogs. I have purposely avoided teaching him all of the animal noises because what does it really mean to him? If he has never seen a cow, what does it really help him to know that they say "moo?" However, he picked up entirely on his own that a dog says "ruff ruff."

2) He always carries multiple pacifiers. When he has two, he tells me without prompting that he has "two!" He saw two dogs recently and I said "Henry, do you see the dogs?" He looked at them and shouted "two!" Today I asked him how many playdough cookies he had on his plate and he knew that there were two.

3) I started playing the ABC song (without singing the words) on his little piano today and he started singing "Twinkle Twinkle" unprompted (It is the same tune)

4) I asked him if he was going to sing to me for my birthday and he started singing "Row your boat." That one isn't amazing, just funny!

5) He saw us loading a new bottle of olive oil into the grocery cart on Saturday, knew what it was and told us (without us asking)

6) He knows we bake in the mixer, toast in the toaster, make smoothies with the immersion blender, coffee in the coffee maker...He knows to smell vanilla but not drink it, that flour doesn't taste good but sugar does, how to crack an egg, that you need a pot holder for the oven and the microwave...

This kid just kills me!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A New Level of Humiliation

Henry found a chocolate covered rice krispie treat yesterday (Adam had bought it for me at a bake sale) and I was too tired to make him stop eating it. I know I should have drawn the line at the second one on the plate, but I wanted a bite then too. Unfortunately he hid behind a chair and ate that one too. Oops!

Since he had woken up late from his nap I decided to grab lunch at the diner. They have delicious fresh pressed apple juice that I bought for him (bad move #3) which he promptly sucked down. Hello...anyone sensing an impending sugar overload?

Our food was taking an unusually long time and he was getting increasingly "spirited." Trying to jump up in down in the booth, standing in his high chair, throwing things on the floor, throwing things into the next booth... He wasn't being tantrum-y, just very naughty. I told him if he didn't stop we were going to leave, which of course thrilled him and he started to pack up his things...Shoes on, collected his pacifiers, started saying "Bye-Bye"...

Right then, our food arrived and I decided to press on. Of course he just got worse. He refused to eat, was trying to climb out of his chair, and he threw his pacifier at the busboy when he walked by. The last straw was when he took his shoe off and hurled it at the manager as he passed (He actually hit him to make it even worse ). When he turned around Henry was laughing like a little deranged elf. I quickly asked the waitress to pack up our food, paid and then hot-footed it out of there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Sweet Spot

I think I have reached a sweet spot in child rearing. Henry now sleeps through the night consistently, naps consistently and doesn't freak out randomly. He has tantrums, but they are manageable and somewhat predictable. He can feed himself, let me know when he needs a diaper change, doesn't freak out when being changed or bathed. He doesn't throw fits in the car and can entertain himself for short periods. He can walk, rides in the stroller willingly and can communicate his needs very well. He interacts with other children, doesn't hit them, steal toys and shares very well. He can participate in toddler activities so we can do more things.

How long can honeymoon phase possibly last?

What the heck does this mean?

Whenever you ask Henry what his name is, he says "Dada" and laughs hysterically. I have a bracelet that says Henry and he reads that as Dada as well. I thought he didn't refer to himself yet, other than to say mine. Now I realize that he puts Dada before most things: Dada spilled, Dada's brush...Should I interpret this as "There's a spill and There's a Brush" or "Henry spilled and Henry's brush?" What a nut.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I looked at the ticker on the top of this blog recently and realized that I have less than 100 days to go before Baby S #2 is born. Into the double digits.

A second pregnancy is totally different than the first. Of course I am thrilled and excited and can't wait to meet the baby. But I am less eager to get the show on the road so to speak. Perhaps it is that I know what is to come this time and are less dreamy-eyed about the whole process. Excruciating pain coupled with weeks of indignity afterward. Sleepless nights and nursing around the clock. Being housebound for weeks. Of course I say all of this tongue in cheek, I wouldn't have given up any of this because it gave us our Henry. But you still do think about it.

I am more afraid of having two children than anything else. How will I divide my time? Will Henry be upset? The old cliche of how will I love a second child as much as my first? How will I possibly get two babies onto the subway?

What will we do with Henry when I go into labor? You can't exactly schedule labor into a convenient, predictable time. What if it is before my mom gets here? What if we have to leave in the middle of the night, will Henry be scared when he wakes up? How can I sleep out of the house for two nights when I have never left him before? He has barely ever had a babysitter, let alone be left for hours on end without either one of us...How can I concentrate on giving birth and getting to know a new baby when I will be so worried about my first?

Just to let you know what a nut I am, I have actually contemplated using the birthing center at the hospital so that I don't have to stay afterward. And then I remember that you can't get an epidural there and quickly put that out of my mind. Apparently the thought of searing pain without drugs overrides my fears :)

Just wanted to share my current state of mind: Sheer panic.

Toddlers getting their fix

Henry still uses a pacifer. We have set a tentative cut off date of his second birthday, but we'll see how that goes. Anytime I have tried to take it away from him his hands go immediately into his mouth. I find that far more disgusting so we give it back. He likes to have it in the car and in the stroller, and it helps him fall asleep at night. As soon as he is sleeping he spits it out.

He has a few friends that have been weaned from their pacifiers, apparently prematurely. Whenever they see Henry with his they immediately try to pull it from his mouth or his hand and shove it into theirs. We saw a friend on the sidewalk today and she actually chased the carriage down trying to get the spare that he carries in his hand. She shoved it in her mouth and started to suck on it like someone smoking their last cigarette. The mother was trying to persuade her to give it up and it just caused her to suck on it harder and faster. It was amazing to watch, she really was getting her fix while it lasted!

Friday, September 05, 2008

I was just outsmarted by a 22 month old

Henry and have been playing in his room after his nap. He wanted me to put him in his crib. He will then want to be lifted in and out so that he can throw things or jump up and down. Nothing good could come of it.I told him no several times and he walked over very deliberately (but with no anger) and proceeded to swing at me. I said, "Henry, no hitting. Do you want to go in your crib?" (his normal punishment for hitting)

He smiled at me and said "Yes!"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

They don't teach this stuff in the books...

We are at a cross-roads with potty training. Not to be graphic, but we have awareness before the fact, dislike of diapers, interest in the toilet (well, flushing the toilet) and ability to pull down pants. However, we have no interest in actually sitting on the actual seat.

Tonight was a normal night, Henry fought putting a new diaper on, preferring to run around in the altogether. I finally pinned him down and slapped a diaper on him. He cried and pleaded and tried to rip it off. I explained the simple fact to him that if wanted to wear underwear I would be happy to buy him some. But, it also meant that he would have to stop relieving himself on the carpet and then giggling.

He yessed me to death but still tried to rip off the diaper. Clearly he was ready for the underwear "right then." Hmm, I was going to have to improvise. I whipped out a pair of Adam's boxers and handed them to him. He refused my offer to help him, and tried to wrestle them on himself. After a few minutes he came back for my assistance. I put them on him and of course they fell right off. Feeling satisfied with his victory, he stepped out of them and walked away.

They really need to update those parenting books, I think they skipped this particular chapter.

Dere Da Bus!

I have been waiting and waiting for Henry to string words together. I am sure he has done so before now, I just can't understand what he is saying because he has his own little language. I haven't worried (much) up until this point because he knows a ton of words, is very expressive, and understands EVERYTHING we say.

He said something yesterday which we forgot to write down that we were convinced was a sentence. So I will log today's amazing achievement. We were out and about and Henry pointed and exclaimed "Dere Da Bus!" Just to confirm I asked him if that was what he said. He said "yes" which is a rare occurence in itself, so there you go. Yes Henry, there's the bus.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Periodically, Henry still wakes at some point during the night and wants to come into our bed. Since his father is such a huge softie on this point, he is allowed. Last night, he was in there before I was.

I laid down and I felt Baby S #2 start to kick me, as it normally does at night. At the same moment, I felt Henry's warm, chubby little foot lodge into my back and start to kick me as well.

It occured to me then that there were so many times I laid in bed and wondered if we would ever have one baby to love. The fact that we have been given two is just unbelievable to me and I am so grateful.

Funny Little Henry-isms

Henry is just on the cusp of really being able to talk. He knows a ton of words, but is really just starting to string them together. Most of what he says that is not single words sounds like jibberish. He has made up his own signs and gestures for things that he wants to do, but doesn't know how to say. For example, he has this elaborate arm swinging gesture with a shooshing noise when he wants to pour something. Or, he pretends to chew if he sees me with gum. When he wants me to chase him he runs in place.

He runs really fast but keeps one arm cocked and swings it wildly. It looks hilarious.

Whenever anyone walks into the house, he can't rest until they take their shoes off. He will follow them around badgering them until they do.

When Adam comes or goes, if he gives Henry a kiss first Henry makes sure he gives me one too. Way to have my back kid!

Same thing with sharing. Anything he gets a bite or sip of he makes sure is offered to "Mama"

He loves to jump now with both feet and actually gets some air. I'm sure the apartment below us is thrilled with this new development.

He tries to dress himself but everything winds up going over his arms first. Today he was running around with his shorts on his arms.

He has a very elaborate bathroom routine, which includes wiping the seat. Mind you he won't actually use the toilet.

He mimics everything Adam does, from the hair product he uses to putting on deodorant. He dries off just like Dad and taps his toothbrush to shake off the water.

He does a little wave in restaurants when he wants to ask for the check. That one kills me

When he wants something that you have, like a sip of your coffee, he brings it over to you for a sip and then makes this hopeful little face and smacks his lips.