October 2000 page 1 of 2
Sunday 1 October

A new refrain: Damian now refers to us as "Moms" and "Dads." We got pluralized.

Monday 2 October

We bought him two new videos last night. He fell in love with one immediately: I Love Toy Trains. He watches it over and over and over. And over. I'd have misgivings about all this TV watching -- I do have misgivings about all this TV watching -- but I also see some good things from it. Tonight I sat with him and watched. He gave a running commentary, naming the animals that appeared, sometimes talking about what he was seeing. Interacting, thinking. Not so bad...

There's another benefit. I'd stopped showing him the Animal Mothers tape -- I got sick of the way he'd freak at the end of the tape. He didn't understand the concept of rewinding, he wanted immediate action. Since that was the only tape that provoked this, I put it away. But he's started doing it with the Toy Trains tape now too. Dan pointed out that this was a great opportunity to teach Damian patience, a skill that will come in handy the rest of his life. So when he started to make his Tarzan whoop of anguish, I told him that he had to wait for the tape to rewind, and if he coudn't wait, if he continued crying, I wouldn't play it at all. If he calmed down, I'd play it. He turned away from me (so I wouldn't see him crying) and pulled himself together. When he turned back, he was more or less composed. I counted down the minutes on the VCR and praised him for his patience. And rewarded him with another viewing. When the same thing happened at the end, he handled it much much better. I told him I was very proud of him. And I am.

Tonight at dinner, Damian started sliding his raspberry up the side of his sippy cup, saying "climb up juice" and "going down juice."

Tuesday 3 October

Last night he woke up at three a.m. (ugh) and didn't go back to sleep until nearly six (double ugh). Nothing worked, and he wouldn't leave me to go play by himself either. Not fun.

Today I said goodbye to him (went off to get my teeth cleaned) and he was absolutely fine about it. After I walked away, Damian told Jami, "Mommy and Daddy always come back." Good for you, kid.

Toddler porn strikes again. This Toy Trains tape is going to wear out pretty soon. We're instituting limits on how much TV he can watch. We're still sorting out the parameters. But tonight Damian wanted to watch TV instead of going to bed. I told him the TV was sleeping, it was TV's bedtime and he could watch again tomorrow morning. Dan and I have a hunch that this video yearning was responsible for Damian's insomnia last night, so I made sure to specify that morning was when it was breakfast time and the sun was up and everyone was up and about. He looked outside to check (nope, no sun), so I think it may have sunk in. He acquiesced to Mommy reading him a book instead. A good sign.

Wednesday 4 October

Damian is up ridiculously late, par for the course these days (mental note: try to get him on a better schedule). He was just in here (I'm in the bedroom). He was climbing on the pile of blankets, saying, "going uphill" and then running back down to the flat bed, saying "going downhill." Now he's doing the same, saying "ready go one two three" and running across the bed.

Thursday 5 October

A trying day. Damian was the mood swing king. He's easing off on the video watching, though.

He's asking for things. Consistently asking for things. "want juice." "want cheese." It's primitive compared to his extensive vocabulary, but I think that's the difference between mimicry/modification of what he's heard to fit the situation and original articulation. This afternoon he brought me to see his toy train, then brought me to the TV. I said, "do you want to watch the train video?" "toy train." I said, "you can say 'I want to watch I love Toy Trains." He said, "want to watch Toy Trains." This is good. Usually he ignores my suggestion that he use words to make a request.

Friday 6 October

Damian was a complete sweetheart today, the polar opposite of yesterday's child. He even smiled at Jami when she came in instead of coming crying to me.

After he finishes his dinner, he usually plays around with his food, his utensils... something. Tonight he tried balancing his kiddie fork on his kiddie bowl. It's too small and kept falling in. He was momentarily perturbed but after I chuckled, he decided it was funny. So he kept balancing it and it kept falling in and we both cracked up. Sometimes he actually managed to balance it for a moment, and I acted all impressed, and he'd give a wicked grin and tip it over into the bowl.

We've skipped bathtime this week. His last bath was Sunday. Last night Dan ran the bath water with the idea that we wouldn't put Damian in, just maybe let him play in the bathroom near the water. Reacclimate him. Good idea. Didn't work. Damian caught a glimpse and ran, screaming, down the hall.

Tonight went much much better. I told him early in the evening how our night would go, and noteably had the bath on the list. Later we were all three in Damian's room and I started telling Damian again about how he'd have a bath and wash his hair, etc. He said, "bath" and "bathtub" and led us into the bathroom. Um, okay. Wow. Once in the bathroom, though, he got nervous and clung to me. So I got in with him once more. He had a great time splashing and playing. We got out because my toes got pruney and uncomfortable, not because of him.

Saturday 7 October

Damian didn't want to go to Mommy & Me this morning. He started crying as we crossed the threshold. So I let him run down the street for fifteen minutes or so and then we went in. Still no dice, until Grace brought Noah up to say hi. Then Damian felt comfortable being there. He did wonderfully in the group, following along with most of it -- touching his toes, etc. He was enjoying it, too. In just four sessions, he's caught on.

Sunday 8 October

Damian didn't seem interested in a nap even though it was the right timing for one. But we were exhausted, so Dan lay down on the couch. I went into Damian's room and sacked out on his bed, figuring he'd be amused to see me there. And he was. He came looking and found me in there, climbed on, and we got silly together. Then I told him I'd change his diaper, go pee myself, and then rock him (to sleep). When I came back from the bathroom, he was waiting by the rocking chair and was asleep on my shoulder within minutes.

Baths are back to normal. Thank god. Tonight Damian decided he wanted to take a bath and led me to the bathroom. He got in all by himself -- I didn't have to climb in. In fact, I didn't have to stay in the room (Dan did).

Monday 9 October

We had an incident in the playground today. A little blonde girl around Damian's age who was far too interested in him, kept coming up to him and trying to maul him. I wish I was exaggerating. Her mother tried to stop it but not with great success. The last straw was when she trotted up to him, put both hands on his face, and stuck her finger in his eye. This after hitting him once or twice for absolutely no reason. Damian was of course in shock. I took him to a different area and consoled him with hugs and reassurances and animal crackers. The mom scolded her daughter and brought her over to apologize. I don't think she got it, even so. I felt sorry for the mom: how do you instill the knowledge that it's a very bad thing to do? But I felt worse for Damian. Especially since about fifteen minutes later, a little blond boy (I mention the hair color because I think it plays into this) came into the tot playground and started seriously coveting Damian's toy train. Kept coming up and trying to steal it. Didn't succeed. I was there to prevent it, and his dad too, and Damian started turning away, removing the train from the kid's view. But finally Damian had had enough of these aggressive blond kids and started wailing whenever the boy showed up again. So we came home. My poor kid got a taste of the ugly side of socializing today.

Tonight we sat together in the armchair to read Go Dog Go. Damian called it Go Cat Go, and started "reading" it: "Cat. Big cat. Little cat. Black and white cats." So I obliged and changed all dogs to cats in my recitation.

Tuesday 10 October

I think I've mentioned how Damian calls fire trucks "fydah twucks." He also calls trains "crains." With such enthusiasm, too.

Wednesday 11 October

We've unfortunately reinstituted the morning nursing session. Just when we were doing so well without it. But I brought him to bed yesterday morning when he woke up too early, and he nursed/fell back to sleep, so now he wants to come to bed and nurse every morning. Oy.

Tonight we were out to dinner, all three sitting in a curved booth. Damian sat between us. At one point, he leaned on Dan and said "Daddy" and then sat upright, then leaned on me: "mommy". He went back and forth, side to side. A cuddly sort of game. Then he started giving me eskimo kisses. And then of course he had to do the same with Dan.

Thursday 12 October

This morning my little boy who rarely uses words to ask for what he wants got up on the couch and said "get me some food." So I did. Maybe we should work on "please"...?

Last night Damian had pulled apart the elaborate track Dan had built for Damian's Brio train set. This morning, of course he wanted a new track. So I built a simple oval. Later this morning, Damian was playing. Got frustrated. Pulled on my hand. I had no idea what he wanted. I said so, said he'd have to tell me. He could see I wasn't faking it to get him to talk, so he finally burst out with: "big." He wanted a bigger track. So I made it more complex and he was happy. I think he's perfectly capable of communicating his desires with words, he just chooses not to.

Fun game: I sit at one end of the hall. Damian starts at the other. Runs full speed into my arms. I hug him tight and kiss him lots. He laughs with joy, runs away. Back to the other end of the hall. Repeat ten times. Kid gets tired, mom gets rest and cuddles. Good deal all around.

Friday 13 October

Last night Damian was exhausted; he'd skipped his nap. Which was a problem because if we put him to bed too much earlier than usual, he'd just be up and down all night. Been there. He asked for a bath -- led me into the bathroom and pointed at the tub -- at 7, about two hours early. I gave him a bath and put him in his pj's afterward, but didn't let him fall asleep (read to him and he forgot about nursing to sleep). Then Dan came home, we had dinner, a video or two, just to extend his wake time... and then Damian asked for another bath. This time we obliged, and I let him nurse to sleep. Which he did, in seconds.

I went out by myself for the afternoon today, a rare occurrence. Damian was watching a video (he'd asked Jami to put it on). When I went over to tell him I was going, he reached his arms up to hold on to me. I picked him up, gave him a big hug, and told him how much I loved him (plus that we'd have tofu for dinner -- he likes tofu -- when I got back). And then I put him down and he settled back to watching the video. He just wanted a hug and then he was fine.

Tonight Damian was having trouble stacking his Duplos. He told me "it doesn't fit." Just like that. Impeccable grammar.

Saturday 14 October

This afternoon we went to a two year old's birthday party. Damian discovered the wealth of toys out on the deck, so we spent the entire party on the deck. Mostly not socializing. Frustrating. I wish he were more interested in other people. Maybe he will be someday? At least a little more than this.

He's so fastidious: when he was in the tub tonight, one of his toy dolphins had a bit of bath foam on it. He plucked it out of its lifesaver raft and dunked it to wash off the bubbles, then resumed play. Yesterday, we were out for a walk. He started to walk down some steps holding onto the rail but quickly pulled his hand back, holding it out to me to wipe off the dust.

Have I mentioned his shoe fixation? Once his shoes are on, he won't let them come off. Even to change his diaper. This can make things a tad awkward. At least he lets us take them off for his bath. But for naps, we have to wait till he's asleep.

Sunday 15 October

Strawberries are passe. Fortunately, he still likes raspberries. Fortunately, one vendor at the farmer's market sells wonderful fresh raspberries through December. I shudder to think of life after the new year. Damian needs his berries to stay regular. (Sorry to get graphic, but such is life with a little one.)

We had an emergency dinner at a local restaurant. Damian was starved. Once some bread had taken the edge off his hunger, he picked up two forks and speared two pieces of bread. He's a two fisted bread eater.

Dan put a new battery in Damian's toy flashlight last night. Damian got a big kick out of shining it around his bedroom. He said it was the moon.

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