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Monday, November 12th, 2012
For the first time ever, we had dinner together as a family, at the kitchen table, with no high chairs involved. Just my son’s booster seat.
Somehow his reaction to “eating at the table like a big boy” came across like he was a Southern rapper in a video shoot, showing off his newly acquired grandiose lifestyle.
I don’t know why he felt the need to put his foot on the table while he sipped on his pureed vegetable pouch; but he insisted, and we didn’t argue.
After all, this is the South. We can get away with quirky stuff like that simply by saying, “This is the South.”
That might also explain why our son asked for, and received, butter on his homemade whole wheat veggie pizza.
Part of the success of your child making it through an entire dinner, without a high chair, is knowing they actually ate dinner.
We have finally gotten to the point where he understands he must A) eat the same dinner as his parents, B) eat Cheerios and milk, or C) go to bed early.
This particular night he chose both veggie pizza with butter and Cheerios.
Our first family dinner at the kitchen table went much better than I thought it would:
No spills, no melt-downs, and most importantly, I actually got to finish my meal without any annoying interruptions.
I like this change. My son will be 2 years old in just a few days and his maturity is starting to show.
Perhaps he’s just simply eager to please his parents as the only child (so far?) but I could tell he really liked feeling a part of the family during our dinner.
My expectations were so low, rightfully. Fortunately, my son proved me wrong.
Maybe the secret is just adding butter. If so, it’s worth it. No more of me quickly eating dinner over the kitchen sink before I have to rush him upstairs for his bedtime.
At least that’s what I’m hoping for.
Monday, November 5th, 2012
From what I remember about the Eighties, and maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like there was this plush parrot toy that immediately repeated whatever you just said. You didn’t even have to squeeze its wing to make it do it.
Well, that’s what my 23-month-old son currently reminds me of.
One night Jack had just gotten out of the bath and was stumbling around the bathroom, in desperate need of sleep.
“He’s like a drunk baby,” I commented to my wife.
“Drunk… baby,” Jack repeated.
What made it especially hilarious is that he said it so monotone and melancholy, like Ben Stein, or at best, a sad cartoon puppy.
Now I know I can’t say “drunk baby” out loud in front of him.
I also realize now that one of my wife’s catchphrases is, “That’s creepy.” Whether referring to a segment on the local news about a haunted ghost tour or just driving down the road and seeing vultures eating the remains of a possum, Jack recognizes the phrase as something he needs to include in his vocabulary.
There’s something funny about a toddler saying, “That’s creepy.”
He doesn’t know the word “scary” yet, but he knows “creepy.”
Last weekend while on vacation in California with my wife’s family, we had to keep reminding everyone that Jack would definitely repeat any new words he heard.
And he did.
Hopefully he’ll forget all about “the s-word” for a while.
While Jack can decently repeat any phrase he hears, that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows the meaning of the words he uses. I assume that eventually comes next.
As for now, he is having fun repeating the words he hears adults use. And to be honest, I’m having fun hearing him repeat all the random stuff I say throughout the course of a day.
For example, at this point could I probably teach him to say, “Beam me up, Daddy?”
Yes, and I shall.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
I say that because it’s exactly what my son Jack has been pretending to do during bath time this week while on vacation in Sacramento.
The first night here at my mother-in-law’s house, Jack wasn’t so keen on the huge jacuzzi I had just dropped him down into.
It sort of freaked him out.
But then my wife handed him three little white plastic cups designed for rinsing after brushing your teeth.
“Coffee,” Jack announced as he ducked down into the sudsy bath water he stood in.
He sprouted back up and handed my wife and me our very own Bubblecinos.
Jack has been our baby barista each night since then.
Imagine in real life a barista who bathes in the coffee they serve you… so absurd.
But not for an almost 2 year-old little boy who uses his imagination to glaze through situations he doesn’t want to be in at first.
It’s funny to me also how instantly he comes up with his imaginary surroundings.
He saw what reminded him of a bar at Starbucks, the bath water made him think of coffee, and the plastic cups became the Starbucks cups.
I’m actually halfway convinced he thought it was real when I pretended to drink his bath water.
Hey, if he can have an imagination like that, so can I.
In fact, I need to if I have any intentions of keeping up with him.
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.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
It never made sense in the first place that our son would have blonde hair, coming from a lineage of Italian and even Mexican descent.
But we couldn’t have known any better. Jack is our first and only child, so far.
So when his hair began turning platinum blonde after a few months of being born, we figured his strange hair color was just as random as his blue eyes.
Sure, there were a few parents who nonchalantly tried to tell me that it’s actually quite common for a toddler’s blonde hair to go darker when they grow older.
I figured my son was the exception.
But look at his hair.
You can see the remaining platinum blonde amidst the now brown sprouting through. It’s morphing from blonde to champagne gold; eventually to become brown.
It’s like the opposite of an adult whose hair is growing gray.
Lesson learned: If you’re a first-time parent with a child whose hair is light blonde, nothing permanent is promised when it comes to hair color.
That’s just how a young child’s hair grows in.
Enjoy the novelty of it while you can. Chances are, eventually your child’s hair will turn some shade of brown.
Be surprised at the unlikelihood of your child having blonde hair.
Just know that at some point, whether it’s near the 2-year mark like with my son, or whether it’s 10 years, unless you or the other parent has blonde hair, your child probably will have darker hair.
I look at the darkest splotches of my son’s hair and now realize that that is what color his hair will actually be when it’s all said and done.
You are looking at a picture of a little boy will have dark brown hair, just like his dad.
Nothing lasts forever, like the cold November rain. And my son’s blonde hair.