Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Harry at Almost 22 Months

I love Harry's current age. Yeah, there are tantrums, but they are definitely made up for with the cuteness of the rest. I don't want to forget the things I love so much at this age:
  • He sings. A lot. One day he wasn't ready for his nap at nap time but I was, so he hung out in his crib singing Old MacDonald and Baa Baa Black Sheep for a while before he fell asleep. He also knows Twinkle Twinkle and the ABCs well enough to sing alone, and many others to sing along with someone else, often coming in for the end of each phrase. He also enjoys humming to himself, which we sometimes hear from the backseat or over the monitor.
  • His version of the ABCs used to have "Elmo Pee" in the middle. Now it has "Elbow P." It also ends with "Why, oh me" before moving into the "Now I know my ABCs" part, which itself ends with "Nex tie so so sing with me." The cuteness is beyond compare.
  • He has memorized many of his favorite books and loves to "read" along.
  • Because P and I only really drink water and soda, and he only drinks milk or water, he thinks most drinks are cokes (or diet cokes), including beer.
  • He has a bit of a hitting problem, which he learned from a kid at daycare, which sucks. (That part is not a thing I love about this age -- the hitting or the mimicking of everything he sees or hears, whether good or bad.) We have been trying to be incredibly consistent when it comes to discipline, which seems to be the best strategy. Timeouts didn't work -- he thought they were fun and would shout "timeout!" and go sit in the corner, even when he hadn't been put in timeout. So instead we say "Hands are for hugging" and make him apologize to whomever he hit, which does seem to be working. (Note that his hits aren't hard, mostly just annoying, and are usually done for attention or in excitement, but we want to discourage it.) When we say to him, "What are hands for?" He responds with "huggin'" and goes and "hugs" the hittee. His version of hugs involves resting his head on the chest of the huggee and letting them hug him :)
  • He is a real ham, always performing for his audience, once he is comfortable with them. He says "cheese" and flashed a goofy grin when a camera is pointed in his general direction (though he thinks a camera is in fact called a "cheese").
  • When in a public place, he likes to greet everyone there, saying hi and often shaking hands. This makes restaurant dining easy -- we just have to be sure he's facing other tables so that he can work his charm and let them keep him occupied :) We did a park cleanup before Josie was born (Harry loves to pick up trash), and the mayor came to thank people for their service. He shook my hand and Ps, at which point Harry held his out, like "what, am I not good enough for you?" The mayor thought it was quite funny. When we were at a pool over the weekend, he said bye to everyone as we left, acting like the pope of chili town. He's a regular politician.
  • He does, however, take a while to warm up to new people, at least some of the time. As a result, one of us occasionally has a toddler glued to the front of our legs while he surveys the crowd. If he gets really overwhelmed, he whimpers "up or down" -- we have tried explaining that he just wants up, but after months of "up or down," this is proving hard to break.
  • When one of his daycare friends went on vacation, the teacher pointed to a plane and told all the kids to wave and say bye to her. For weeks now, every time we see a plane Harry has smiled and shouted "Bye Ally!!!" at the top of his lungs. The other kids have long forgotten, but not Harry. His teacher seriously regrets that one.
  • When both kids are in the backseat, and Josie cries, Harry feels the need to point it out, just in case we can't hear her. "Josie cryin'" is a frequent refrain heard from the peanut gallery, usually said in a very sad voice. It makes me sad that it makes him sad to hear her cry, but I love that he feels that kind of sympathy for his sister and her sadness at the torment that is riding in the car to pick up her brother at daycare (having to do pick up during her witching hour is a disaster -- ugh). I usually ask Harry to sing her a song to make her feel better. He says ok, but then rejects every suggestion for what he should sing. It almost always ends with me asking him if he wants me to sing "Do-Re-Mi," and the answer is always yes. I have sung a lot of Do Re Mi lately.
  • He loves to be helpful, especially in the yard. He is a fan of watering the flowers and of mowing the lawn (with the mower off, though P sees big potential in this one down the road). He has his own watering can.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Josie: One Month

My dear Josiebean,

After only three or so hours of labor, you made it clear that you were done; you wanted out -- now. When a dropping heartrate didn't get enough attention, you resorted to kicking your way out. It was quickly noted by the medical team that you were one very opinionated baby. That observation was repeated when you were born, and again when we were in the post-partum unit. And it's proven true -- you don't hesitate to let you dad and I (and anyone else in earshot) know that you have needs and that they aren't being met. The problem, of course, is that we don't really know what it is that you need. We need to work on the nuances of our communication, it seems.

I would suggest that there are a limited number of options, that we only have to try a small set of options to ensure your needs are met, but we have found that even when your obvious needs are met, you still aren't happy. You cry a lot. Or, more accurately states, you scream a lot. We adore you, but certainly wouldn't complain if here were less yelling. It gets exhausting. And I assume that it is exhausting for you too. I wish we knew how to make you happier. For now, we're just hoping you outgrow it.

Speaking of outgrowing things, you are a big little girl. At three weeks, you were already ten pounds. I suspect you will be outgrowing clothes quickly, unike your brother who wore some of his 0-3 clothes until he was 4.5 months. And when it comes to clothing, I swore I wasn't the type of person who would dress a little girl in all pink, but it turns out that the fact that people assume you're a boy because you aren't in pink does bother me, even though it horrifies me to admit it. So you, in fact, wear a lot of pink. Maybe when you have more hair, or it's cool enough to put more than one article of clothing on you at a time so that we can use a single pink item to demarcate, we'll start dressing you in less girlie clothing, but for now, you're in a lot of pink. Sorry about that.

And I really do hope that it cools off soon -- it has been an unbearably hot start to the summer. I don't ever remember a summer this consistently hot. And you, like your dad, your brother, and me, sweat. A lot. We have to change your clothes a lot. And you have to sleep in our room at night, as we do not have central air and our electric can only handle two a/cs on the second floor. So, for now, you sleep in the swing in our room. Because you have made clear that you will only sleep when in motion or when held, and I just can't hold you all night, as much as you wish that I could. Sorry. At some point, we know we'll need to figure out how to break you of this habit -- I don't want you to develop insomnia as a teenager when you no longer fit in the swing and no one is willing to drive you around while you sleep anymore. Until we come up with a strategy, though, the swing it is, as we all need to get some sleep (and a break from the screaming).

Despite the yelling, everyone here loves you very much. Your brother loves to give you hugs and kisses -- I'm sorry if it's more hugs and kisses than you would choose. The first thing he said when he met you was "Baby, kiss," followed, naturally, by a kiss. I can't blame him -- I love to give you kisses and hugs too. As does Buddy. You are a very well-kissed child. Thankfully, you seem to like the kissing :)

We love you very much,