Friday, October 24, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween is a big issue for parents trying to keep their kids on a health diet. I don't want to deprive my child of the joys of trick-or-treating, even if he's still too young to grasp subtle nuances of when it's appropriate to toilet paper someone's house, but the last thing I want a two year old to have is a bag full of processed sugar.

I've heard other parents talk about doling it out slowly over weeks, or trading them somewhat better snacks for their candy bars, or even just giving it all away to charities, but none of those options sounded appealing. I gave it some thought and came upon the perfect solution.

One of the biggest debates of our generation is who is cooler, pirates or ninjas. Now obviously, ninjas are far superior but how to convince my heir that the life of a pirate is not for him? So, while we're trick-or-treating, I'm going to hire someone to dress as a pirate and leap out of the bushes every time a homeowner starts to hand The Boy a piece of candy. He'll yell, "Ar, I be takin' that booty!" Then he'll snatch the snack and dash off. I'll shake my head sadly, console my crying and hysterical toddler, and say "you wouldn't catch a ninja doing something like that." We'll go home where someone dressed as a ninja will appear out of a puff of smoke and give him a bag of raisins and rice cakes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ninja baby

One of the changes in The Boy's behavior, now that he's grasped the concept of good and bad, is how quiet he'll get when he's up to no good. You don't realize it at the time, but for a couple of years you become accustomed to the various stumbles, bumps, and babblings that emanate from your offspring.

But then they see a chair that would allow them to climb unto the kitchen table where Mom's purse is just lying around waiting for anybody to open and scatter the contents throughout the house and suddenly you hear all sounds stop. He is actually able to absorb sound waves nearby, like an audio event horizon, and that's when your instincts kick in and you go running to him faster than you ever did for the sounds of crashing or crying.

It's a wonderful system, and one I've used to my benefit from time to time. If you hear the absence of activity you can creep over to see what he's up to, and if it's harmless you know that he'll be focused on his sinister activity for a few minutes and you have time to sneak over to the kitchen to eat the last rice crispy treat.

Me, myself and I

Recently The Boy pointed to something and then pointed to himself, indicating that he wanted me to give it to him. I didn't think much of it at the time, but later it occurred to me that this was the first time he's actually referred to himself. Up to this moment he's just pointed at things and expected us to know that he wanted it. Now he tries to make it plain that it's for him, or he's talking about himself.

I think it's a significant milestone for a toddler, realizing that not everything revolves around him 100% of the time and there are events that have nothing to do with him. (At most only 90% of the world revolves around him.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What goes up...

It's been interesting to observe The Boy's coordination over the years. Interestingly enough, fine motor skills came pretty quickly, to the point where I'm sure he could start cracking safes if The Wife would let me get some lock picks. (Stupid choking hazards interfering with me being a criminal mastermind.)

What's tricky for him are the bigger muscles. Walking took a while, and now the challenge is throwing things. It took him a long time just to grasp the concept, since it involves letting go of something, but even after that hurdle there's no way to determine where something will go flying to when it leaves his hand. It's made for some interesting (and painful) games of catch.

His latest thing is throwing something up in the air. He's gotten quite good at it, hitting his own head with an 80% success rating. It's funny when it's small stuff, like crayons or Legos, but every now and then he'll throw something with some heft to it and then it's no longer amusing... at least for him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

An almost perfect moment

There are times when The Boy is a perfect angel. We'll get along great for hours, bonding over Lego blocks or playing on the bed. He's full of laughter and smiles and loves everything I say and do.

At some point he'll pause, come up to me, and stick out his arms. I'll reach down and pick him up and he'll wrap his little arms around my neck to give me an affectionate hug. I'll hug him back, squeezing him gently and feeling his little body next to mine. Then he'll lean in, as if to give me a kiss on the cheek, and softly whisper into my ear, "cookah."

There are times I rue the day that cookies were ever created.