Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Little Buoy’s First Hair Cut

That cute little curl at the knap of the neck.  How long do I let it get before it is time to cut?  Daddy kept saying that it was getting too long. “But once it’s cut, it’s cut, and then he officially becomes a little boy.  Hmmmm…. maybe it’s not too long… yet.   Maybe just another week.  Okay, let’s wait until he’s 18 months.  Well, now that he’s 18 months, it really isn’t that bad.  It has hardly grown since two weeks before when we were considering.  It’s really not time.  His hair is thin, and that extra curl adds a little more volume at the bottom.   And, if we cut it, it might not be long enough of a piece to save.  We need a nice piece for the baby book. ”  When he turned 18 months, I looked long and hard at his curl and decided I just wasn’t ready yet.  But, a week later, as I was looking at him from the back, that curl was definitely starting to uncurl because it was getting longer and heavier.  It was time.  I put him in the high chair, gave him some kitchen utensils that I normally don’t let him play, and cut that little curl.  No tears from Mommy!  Whew.   Okay, that wasn’t so bad, and I have the little curl that I plan to keep forever.  But, now his hair is not quite even.  Okay, cut a little more.  Oh-oh, is that too short?  Just straighten it out.  Okay, there.  Good.  Ethan’s first hair cut.

As the day went on, I felt bad that I had maybe cut his hair too short, but I figured it would grow back  fast.  The most disappointing thing was that after all that trauma for Mommy, it took Daddy about two days to notice.

Written by Beth

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Ethan first: He slid himself down a waterslide.

Ethan and his cousins on my side of the family visited an indoor waterpark today. I sent Ethan down the big and little kiddie waterslides. He had a mixed reaction to them: he enjoyed the thrill but was less than keen about being submerged at the end. After the second one I got the impression he was done, so he played elsewhere.

About a half hour later, he was walked over to the stairs that led to the slide. I played the role of human handrail while he climbed up, walked to the slide, stepped in, and sat down. He couldn’t get the scooch working, so I had to push him ahead a few inches. Then the gravity and the water flow took over and away he went! He still looked disconcerted from the plunge when my brother lifted him out, but it just goes to show there is no separating Ethan from his slides.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Charades every day

I wonder if all toddlers feel like they are sitting non-stop in a dentist chair for about two years of their life: they can hear and understand, but never get to say anything. With Ethan, what has been so fun is watching him find ways to communicate. Sometimes, just pointing is enough, like when we saw a couple deer prance across the river today at dusk.

Or it can be more complex, like when we went back inside and Ethan asked to go into his high chair, even though we’d already eaten. He motioned towards a candle on the dining room table, and I acknowledged that it was indeed a candle. Not satisfied, Ethan motioned that he wanted out of his high chair, then led me over to where the matches are stored and pointed up. Finally, I understood, knowing how much he likes seeing the candle lit and blowing out the match. I told Ethan we were done with the candle for tonight but would light it again tomorrow for dinner.

What comes next is a priceless window into the heart. Ethan makes these subtle movements, mostly little shakes of the head, as he processes the information to understand it, then tries to come to grips with the reality of not getting what he wants. Sometimes it’s too much for a little boy, and cries and even tears ensue, but tonight, contentment won out: he covered his face, which told me he wanted to run around the house playing hide and chase. That request I honored, and away we went.

Afterwards it was time for sleepy sleepy now. Once in the crib, Ethan motioned that he wanted to be held by the window to get a better look outside. Ethan isn’t used to how dark it’s getting at bedtime. After I held him and then put him back in the crib, Ethan was troubled by what he heard. I had wound up his bear-on-a-hammock music box, and he had turned on his musical toy fish tank hanging on the crib. He was used to sometimes hearing sound from these two sources at once, but as he motioned towards the door, I realized he didn’t like how the classical music from the iPod dock downstairs was loud enough to be competing with the sounds in his room. At this point I felt blessed at how good of an understanding he has for language. I told him I’d take care of the music and he should just lie down with his bun and go to sleep. Right away, Ethan lied down, sucka came, and I waved good night on my way to turn down the music.

Mommy is blessed by Ethan’s communication, too. Soon she will get to come home from orchestra rehearsal to a well rested, sleeping little boy.

Another Ethan first: He de- and re-alphabetized the fridge.

Ethan has a Leapfrog toy that says the names and sounds of letters that are placed into the unit. Ethan enjoys hearing those and the alphabet song, too. He also likes taking the letters off the fridge and distributing them randomly or in selected locations in the kitchen. As part of trying to teach Ethan to pick up his toys, I’ve been encouraging him to put the letters back. It’s been slow going, achieving just a few letters one at a time before surrendering to lure of Ethan’s distraction of the moment.

Today, however, Ethan was in a mood for a mission. He wanted to remove letters he couldn’t reach. They were there intentionally, but I decided to risk the potential for a disaster area and got him a bench to act as a step stool. Soon the letters were everywhere. A bit later, after a couple false starts, I told Ethan he was going to put all the letters back on the fridge, and away he went! In a few minutes, 23 letters from near and far were back where they belong, a good job worthy of accolades and yummy puffs. (B and J were already on the fridge holding the list of non-toxic and ocean-friendly fish; A seems to be on sabbatical at the moment.)

(I didn’t anticipate the effort required to take the picture. The Heisenberg Curiosity Principle has set in: the act of observing a subject with a camera changes the state of the subject being observed—because the subject finds the camera so fascinating.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The crib is the toy chest; return of the flying buns

Tonight Ethan got it in his head to throw every toy he could find into his crib. He’s at the height where his extended arm reaches just above the top of the lowered side rail. The result was the highest velocity throws that I’ve seen from him. The position of the rail forced him to fully extend his arm and release at the apex of his motion. We’ll dig out all the toys that shot against the wall and dropped below the crib later.

Once he was in the crib, he began unloading. Everything went flying, even the buns, which had stopped going overboard a couple months ago (they started flying almost a year ago). There was one exception, however: Ethan made the motion to throw his favorite stuffed companion, Big Blanky Bun, but never let go.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Ethan first: He greeted himself.

Ethan saw himself in the mirror and said “hi” to himself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Ethan first: He blew out a match.

Ethan knows the difference between hot and warm. After the match is out, he says “Ahhh” as he enjoys the warmth of the dining table candles.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Another Ethan first: He walked up the stairs hands free.

Ethan has walking up and down stairs while holding spindles or a hand for some time, but this wide stairway was the perfect one to walk up right down the middle. Ethan didn’t have the same confidence for going down, however; he crawled instead. Then at the bottom he walked back up one step and turned around to practice walking down “one step at a time”—a fine approach from our perspective.

Another Ethan first: He ate with a fork.

Apparently, oranges and green beans taste better to Ethan if he eats them like we do: take fork, stab orange (and only the orange), and insert into mouth.