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Sunday, December 30th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
I now wrap up the year 2012 with a noteworthy milestone in your life: Mommy and I just tucked you in for the night, for the first time… in your “big boy bed.”
No more crib for you. You have graduated into the day bed version.
Look how proud you are in this picture!
At long last, you are now sleeping like a 2 year-old, not a baby.
Son, tonight was your Bed Mitzvah.
This change in your life also is aligned with your parents’ more deliberate focus on helping your become potty trained.
Yesterday at T. J. Maxx, Mommy and I bought you 3 metal Chuggington trains. We explained to you that for the next 3 times you go pee-pee on the potty, you get to open a new train. (Sure, it’s an unavoidable pun: We’re potty training you.)
As an added bonus, you have recently received a surprisingly relevant gift last week that helps you sleep easier for your naps… a Thor indoor play tent.
It’s random because you have no idea who Thor is yet. You call it your tunnel.
“I can sleep in my tunnel?”
While attempting to get you to go to sleep for your afternoon naps on the weekends has always been a struggle, this new “tunnel” of yours is a pretty cool thing.
It has a side door which I pop my head in to read you a quick story. You never seem to mind when I slip out the door afterwords. Two hours later, you wake up and you’re ready to play again.
I just wish we would have known the wonders of a tunnel sooner!
So between your new “big boy bed” and your “tunnel,” I’d say things are pretty exciting in the world of sleeping, for you.
To this day, whenever Mommy and I ask you if you’re ready to go to sleep, as we can clearly see you are, you’ve never said yes.
Here’s to my wishful thinking that might change now that you’ve had your Bed Mitzvah…
I know, it’s asking too much.
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Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Thank God. We are in the middle of our vacation week and Jack is sleeping all the way through the night.
It’s because of readers who commented on “Losing Sleep Over Where My Son Will Sleep (Part 1)” that we decided on our son’s sleeping arrangements while we’re staying out here in California:
We have pushed two twin beds together. One is against a wall, where Jack sleeps, and it is bordered with big pillows.
From the very first night, this system has worked well. I have no complaints and have experienced no stress in regards to Jack sleeping.
In fact, he almost sleeps better this way. Last night he slept for 12 and a half hours!
The first morning I was so happy that I promised to get him a treat.
We drove by a party store and let him pick out two Made-in-China plastic animals that cost 35 cents each, as well as, a 65 cent mini Rubik’s Cube.
For his animals, Jack chose another horse and sheep that looks like he peed over itself; it has a yellow underbelly. (Pictured right.)
So I haven’t turned into the Incredible Hulk and the three of us are very well rested on our vacation.
Use me as your Guinea Pig. If you are planning a vacation with a toddler who doesn’t sleep well in new environments, try what I did.
Put pillow borders around a bed that is against a wall and stick to your child’s normal bedtime rituals.
I’m not saying that we haven’t had a share of other behavioral issues since we’ve been here, though. Stay tuned for an upcoming post referring to India Syndrome.
But as long as everybody’s getting sleep here, I’ve got no complaints.
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Friday, February 17th, 2012
Now at 15 months, my son Jack actually asks for me to hold him; even when my wife is in the room too.
Actually, he grunts for me to hold him, but same difference. For me, the dad, that’s a honkin’ big deal.
A few weeks ago my wife had to stay home from work with him because he had a fever. When I came home that day, as soon as he saw me, he started crying, “Dada-dada-dada-dada…”.
“He’s been doing that all afternoon,” my wife told me.
Without hesitation, I responded with a big smile, “Really?!”
It’s just that for the prior 14 months, I was a bologna sandwich compared to my wife, when it came to comforting him.
Now, all of the sudden, he whines for me to hold him… on a daily basis!
Sorry, but this feels really good. Maybe I’m just overly eager for some validation as the dad who has spent most of his son’s life trying to figure out how I can actually help take care of him.
I’m no longer ghost dad.
Maybe it’s just taken this long for him to learn to appreciate the smell of my natural manly musk; I don’t know. But somehow, I comfort him now.
He’s my koala bear. I’m the Eucalyptus tree.
As I look at this collage my wife made for his 1st birthday and compare it to a more modern picture of him, I can’t help but think, “Yeah, 15 months old is my favorite age for him so far.”
These pictures of him going all the way back to his infancy show me, like my sister recently told me on the phone: “Jack looks like a little boy now.”
He is a little boy, barely. But I really appreciate the “boy version” of him over the “baby version.”
Because the boy version makes me feel validated as a parent. And I’ve been waiting for a long time to feel this way.
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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Yeah, I know; that’s a pretty weird title…
My eleven month old son, Jack, is learning to walk. Up until now, he has simply been a “baby on wheels,” trampling over anything and everyone in his way. I think of how cartoons, like the Road Runner, had legs that essentially transformed into wheels once they got moving.
Jack also reminds me of a toy I had back when I was 5 (in 1986) called The Animal, a toy SUV that had tiger claws than came out of the tires when it needed to climb over a surface.
But over the past couple of weeks, Jack has been experimenting with standing and walking. He can stand on his own for close to ten seconds and can take up to six steps before he falls; not that I’m necessarily in a rush for him to gain more independence.
Of course, his further independence means my further responsibility. When I think of all the milestones of a baby’s progress, the first steps are definitely pretty high on the list. I feel like so many camera commercials capitalize on this event.
I am fascinated by the way he falls- in safe, slow-motion. It’s just funny because I know if I were falling down after walking a few steps, it would be fast and furious, possibly with a Tokyo drift. As for Jack, each time he breaks his walking stride with a fall, he’s as graceful as a cat landing on its feet.
Seeing Jack walk is almost as weird as if an animal were to start talking to me all of the sudden- it’s just that enchanting and seemingly unnatural. My “baby on wheels” can crawl and use toys to skate around the floor with, but… walk?
Baby steps, baby steps; that is what it will take- for me to finally get used to see my infant walking instead of crawling.
Passing the Mic:
How old was your child when they finally started learning to walk? What new tricks did they start doing that sort of freaked you out?
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Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
In every situation, before every action, I must ask myself, “W.W.J.D?” No, I don’t need a bracelet to remind myself to consider what Jack would do. Now that he is crawling, and therefore exploring the new world, I am overly aware of all the trouble that Jack can get himself into. Because granted, by law of babyhood, a baby boy will without exception gravitate towards the item of the most potential danger.
Why would Jack want to be entertained by an age-appropriate singing toy when he can get his hands into my laptop cords? Why would he choose to simply play with a paper towel roll when he could eat it (!) instead? Yeah, needless to say, after one solid week of enjoyment, Jack’s beloved paper towel roll as made its way into that glorious toy box in the sky. He only ate part of it, but still, he ate part of it!
Jack with his Pappy and Nonna (my parents) on Memorial Day 2011.
By default, Jack chooses the most dangerous option over any safe one every time. Therefore, I must do his decision making for him. Not only must I intervene on a moment-to-moment basis, but I must also put my future-predicting skills to good use. I must prevent the accident before it happens. And I must do this constantly.
We recently had to officially lower his crib because not only did he begin bumping his head on the rail by pulling himself up, but also because we wouldn’t put it past him to be able to climb up his crib and fall out on the ground.
One morning last week, Jack and I were awake before Jill. As a joke, I lifted him out of the crib and let him start crawling. He crawled out of his bedroom and past the doorway of our bedroom. Jill’s instincts kicked in: She instantly woke up when she heard him crawl up to the doorway.
My plan worked: She thought Jack actually escaped the crib on his own! The prank was successful and boy was I cool.
But while it was a tad far-fetched that Jack would escape his crib unharmed, it’s not that impossible knowing Jack. He’s sort of an escape artist.
I know every parent believes their kid is the smartest ever; and I’m no different. But the boy seriously impresses me in his ability to figure stuff out without assistance from his parents. He’s large for his age, he’s strong, and he loves to explore.
Lesson learned: Never underestimate the ability of Jack. That includes him eating cardboard.
Jack’s paper towel roll toy
June 16, 2011 – June 24, 2011
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