get that toast out of my face

This week, a post of short items.

First, language. The child has developed several signs/gestures and, maybe, a word. The word is “Hi,” sometimes mispronounced as “Ay!”or even “Ayn!” like he’s some kind of tiny Objectivist, but always with the same inflection. I don’t know if he really understands the fairly abstract notion of greeting — I think he just likes the sound. But he says it, and you can say it back to him, which results in a pleasing grin.

The signs are more varied and more useful, if somewhat inconsistent. At various times he has seemed to get the hang of signs for “nurse,” “more,” “no,” possibly “yes,” and waving hello/goodbye. “Nurse,” as I may have written elsewhere, went through a few weeks of being used as an all-purpose “gimme!” It was, I think, his first “word” — the first instance of clear communication, the first time that he clearly made an intentional gesture that seemed designed to convey a message or an idea. He was delighted with it.

More recently, though, the gesture of choice has been shaking his head “no.” Ah, how he loves “no.” He loves “no” so much that at first he would often refuse things he really wanted, like food when he was still hungry. You would hold the food out and he would emphatically shake his head “no,” but then if you snuck up on him and put the food next to his mouth, he would calmly take a bite.

He’s now figured out a more judicious use of “no,” though, and generally communicates his level of interest in food pretty well.

One thing he’s very effective at refusing is the amoxycillin amoxocillin drug we’re trying to give him for an ear infection. It’s pink and cold and tastes like bubble gum, so I’ve been trying to convince him that I got it from the ice cream truck. But so far he’s been very firm in his rejection, and surprisingly skilled at using his tongue to push it back out of his mouth.

I’m pretty sure stubborn toddlers are the real reason we have so many antibiotic-resistant organisms now.

We recently joined the YMCA, and after reading this excellent article from, of all places, Men’s Journal, we decided to try to get more serious about weightlifting.

But, since we’ve only got one car and not that many days a week where we get it together to go to the gym, we usually end up going together, as a family. And that means we have finally come face-to-face with day care.

The Y is very family-friendly, in theory, and it provides “Child Watch,” which is a room with some toys and a couple of women to keep your kid alive and make sure the toys get put back in the cubbies at the end of the day. Or at least, that’s what they should do. But the older lady, who seems like she might kind of run the joint, also seems to think she needs to instill discipline in the kids. Or, as she put it once when the younger child care worker tried to intervene on behalf of a crying 6-year-old girl: “She have to learn. She have to learn.

I think Elana is planning on writing more about this — this post is really just a teaser for her story of Y day care horrors. But man… it makes me reluctant to even think about leaving our kid with people we don’t know. And grateful we don’t have to, so far.

Because really, if anyone’s going to terrorize my child, it should be me.

We lucked into free passes to Disneyland recently and took our friends John and Manuela and their son with us. John grew up in the area and had spent, apparently, some glorious summers of his youth in the park, but the Space Mountain and Matterhorn of his memory are of course out of bounds for people with tiny toddlers — and not just because you can’t properly lock them into the seats. 14-month-olds, I think, just don’t want to wait that long for their entertainment.

So we walked around for a while and looked at all the snaking lines of people and bypassed nearly everything, including such harmless spun-sugar children’s fare as “It’s a Small World,” but not too far from there we found a ride with what looked like a very short line, called something like “Casey Jr.’s Train.” It was a slightly louder, fumier version of the kind of all-aboard-kids! train ride you might see circling a high-end toy store. Basically the least scary ride possible, unless there was some kind of ride we didn’t see that literally involved being carried around by bunnies.

But… it does have a tunnel or two.

There’s a petting zoo we might try next time. It might be more his speed.

Finally, he’s been having a pretty good time eating with silverware lately. I’m not sure he fully understands the process, but he looks very regal and fancy holding a long silver fork out in front of his face and scrutinizing his food before he eats.

Tonight, for example, we went to a Thai restaurant, and he would hold his fork out delicately for his mother, who would press a piece of noodle to the tines, whereupon he would turn the fork back to his mouth and, with great sensitivity, place the noodle into his mouth and chew.

Sometimes when we are at home he’ll sit in his high chair and “eat with a spoon,” which he takes to mean tapping the piece of food a few times with the utensil before picking it up with his fingers and eating it.

His table manners are generally excellent, although the top of the dining room table, which used to be the one place in our all-purpose-great-room-and-baby-corral that you could safely put things, is now within easy reach of a tall bear standing on his tippy-toes, which skill he has also recently mastered. Nothing is safe! (Today, during the 30 seconds I was in the bathroom, he managed to chew one of the buttons off the remote for our Roku box. I never found the button, but we’re assuming that’s the kind of thing that would pass right through his gut. Though it’s a square button…. Oh well. I’m sure he’s fine. Can’t be the worst thing he’s eaten in our living room — I actually created a hashtag on Twitter called #floorfood.)

UPDATE: Just got this video this morning.


One response to “get that toast out of my face

  1. Oh talk about flash back. You were older but we went to Six Flags and nearly killed you on the run away mine train which was MUCH scarier than it looked.

    We are hoping to send H sized eating things for Ayyam-I-Ha.

    He is just beautiful. Really. Love the patchy red hair.

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