October 2000 page 2 of 2
Monday 16 October

Damian slept in this morning. When he woke up, he heard me on the phone in the living room and trotted right in. We cuddled on the couch for a while. He likes it as much as nursing in the morning, I think. I like it much better.

New quirk: when we run errands, Damian wants to stay inside. He's happy running around the photography store or the library, but the moment we go outside, he wants to head straight to the car. This is a radical shift from the outdoors-all-the-time kid of just a few months ago.

Wednesday 18 October

This morning, Damian found a treasure trove inside a cabinet. To distract him from the enticing light bulbs, I gave him a box of poker chips. Which ended up on the floor in no time. I said, "we will have to clean that up, you know." And damn, but he ran and got the fireplace broom and started sweeping up the poker chips. Scattering them more, of course.

Thursday 19 October

Today was cuddle day. Damian was under the weather and that's pretty much all he was up for. Lots of cuddling. Lots of rocking.

This evening he sat by himself in the rocking chair and moved his body so the chair would rock. Rocking himself. I started feeding him raspberries: I'd hold one out for him, he'd rock forward, mouth open. Capture it in his mouth. Rock back. Etc. Pretty funny.

Friday 20 October

Another low energy day. We went to the library but he wouldn't run around, just wanted to sit and read. Which was easier logistically, but so unlike him as to be spooky. (He likes to read but boy does he like to run in that wide open indoor space!)

At dinner, Damian wanted to eat the raspberries on his tray but didn't want to touch them. Solution? He dipped his head down to tray height and slurped the raspberries into his mouth. Backfired when he couldn't get one in and had to actually <shudder> touch it with his fingers to scoop it into his mouth. What a character.

I'm getting so sick of his not asking for what he wants. He knows how, he also knows I want him to. But he just won't. Whine and tug, all day long.

Saturday 21 October

We went to a housewarming party today at a friend's (new, duh) house. We were worried about Damian -- he's had this cold and he only got seven hours sleep last night, and no nap to boot. But he spied some Mardi Gras beads on the coffee table and that was all it took. Strings of beads must be weighed in your hands, slithered through your fingers, plopped on the floor, and swooshed around to spread out as far and wide as possible. In other words, he had a good time. He also went up to a stranger, wanted to sit in her lap, and then led her over to get him a balloon. A first for him, he's usually standoffish.

The "I won't touch food" trend hit a peak today. Damian refused to even pick up animal crackers -- he wanted to eat some but insisted I put them in his mouth for him! I wouldn't. He cried. I couldn't budge on this one, though. He's got to feed himself. Later in the car, he deigned to take a piece of bread from me and actually hold it while he munched. I think starvation won out. And by dinner, he was feeding himself like a normal two year old. Whew.

Sunday 22 October

Damian experienced a petting zoo this afternoon. He watched from the safety of Daddy's arms most of the time but by the end was secure enough to stand on his own. He reached out and petted goats, sheep, a llama, reached through mesh and petted a calf. He got slobbered on by goats and sheep and deer. He did great.

Monday 23 October

This kid is such a creature of habit: we drove to the bank this morning. I wanted to go across the street first to drop off some xeroxing, but as we passed the bank door, Damian pulled on my hand, insisting we go inside. So we went in. I did the banking, he ran around -- mostly ran away and then raced back into my arms -- his current favorite game. We were both happy. We left the bank; I explained that we'd be going across the street, etc. No dice. He wanted to go back to the car because that's what we always do after we go to the bank. I wasn't about to drive across the street, though, so I carried him. Fussing the whole way. The WHOLE way. Including once we were there. Including walking back across the street. In fact, he insisted we go inside the bank (via the non-parking lot door) so we could walk through the lobby and back outside the proper door to go to the car. He calmed as soon as we got back in the bank. Now we were doing it right, you see.

Tuesday 24 October

He's been waking in the middle of the night lately. Not every night, but often enough. Scratch that. I mean too often. Unfortunately, the way it's been going is: I bring him to bed at, say 4 a.m. I try to nurse him to sleep. This has the perverse effect of waking him up. I ask Dan to rock him. Damian is mortally offended by the idea that Daddy will take him away from me. Now he's thoroughly awake and we're all doomed to two hours of crying. And I'm not saying who's doing the crying...

Last night was different. He woke at 4:45. I went in there. He was sitting up. Looking unhappy. That part was the same. But I picked him up and rocked him in the rocking chair, never leaving the room. He settled down on my shoulder quickly and started snoring soon after. I kept rocking for half an hour because he was twitchy. I put him down and went back to bed. Blessed quiet. Blessed sleep. He woke up at 7 a.m. Dan went in. Rocked him. He went back to sleep fairly quickly but wouldn't stay in bed unless Daddy joined him. So Daddy joined him. Still beats two hours of unhappy family time. So no more middle-of-the-night nursing. An era is over. The only nursing time now is bedtime, and even that's often just a matter of nurse-while-mom-puts-pjs-on-me. Once that's gone... we're done.

We went to the hardware store this morning to buy Damian a better flashlight for his moon ponderings. He discovered a pile of brooms there, plucked one out of the jumble, and proceeded to clean up the store.

A random comment while watching his train video this afternoon: "is a funny looking train." (!)

Wednesday 25 October

He woke once last night, I went in and rocked him, then lay down with him. Spent the rest of the night in his bed snuggled together. He stayed asleep, too. He spent most of the day cuddling with me or Jami. Lots of time rocking. By this evening, though, he was back to his energetic self.

His appetite has been downright pathetic this past week. Yesterday I started assembling plates of treats, eg: goldfish crackers, fig newton, cracker, apple slices, raspberries, cheese... He may have turned down every item on the plate but when he gets to choose from the assortment, he inevitably eats some of it. I don't blame him, it looks far more appetizing that way, but I think it's also about being a toddler and needing to have some choices that are under his control.

-He loves the run-down-the-hall-into-Mommy's-bear-hug game. Loves it. (Which makes it easy to get him to come back when he's wandering off in a store...) Tonight I sat at one end of the hall while Damian ran into my arms. Dan came into the hall and was there to greet him when he got to that end of the hall. So we played Damian the boomerang, careening from one parental hug to the other. He was in heaven.

Thursday 26 October

This morning we were out running errands. At one stop (an office), Damian wandered around the room investigating and chatting to himself, words to this effect: "boot, suit, moot, coot, loot, foot, soot." Rhyming. On purpose. I don't know how he knew they were all words, or even if he did, but he pronounced "foot" differently from "boot" and rhymed each with other appropriate words. My jaw was on the floor.

Another stop: Dan's workplace. Where both executive producers were completely charmed by Damian. He ended up sitting at one exec prod's fancy expensive desk, coloring with markers on a piece of scrap paper while I talked to the other (a childless man) about preschools, of all things, and he went on about how Damian's eyes take everything in, he seems so smart and alert and present. And he has a wonderful presence. Need I say, I like this man?

Friday 27 October

Damian and I walked to the car on our still rain-slicked stone walkway. He saw this, noted the water droplets all over the car and said "raining." Good deduction.

Later, we were in the kitchen. He started moving: twirling and stomping combined. I said, "Are you dancing?" and Damian replied, "boy can he dance!" (from the book of the same name)

Saturday 28 October

You know how teenagers in rural areas go cow tipping? Damian's discovered a variant, known as cat tipping. We bought Damian a kidlet sized armchair, a Blues Clues style chair done in miniature. Damian sits in it occasionally but Dante's claimed it as his own. Damian is usually fine about this except when he's not. Like tonight. He spied Dante curled up snoozing in the chair, hurried over, and dumped him out. Dante, woken so abruptly, took a moment to collect himself... and then hopped right back into the chair. Damian started pushing the chair across the floor, inadvertently giving Dante a ride. What he really wanted, of course, was to tip him again. Which he accomplished when the chair hit a Fisher Price garage and stopped. Chair tipped forward, cat fell out. Cat climbed back in. That's right, Damian got to tip the cat, not once, but three times in a row. Our friend Otto, watching this with great amusement, commented, "irresistible force meets immovable object." I say stubborn meets stubborn.

Dan and Damian curled up on the couch watching the Discovery Channel. Dan said "here come the bear." Damian replied, "there goes the bear."

Sunday 29 October

Dan built a fire for the first time since last winter. Damian was intrigued. Later he picked up the two remaining pieces of kindling, tried to toss them into the fire. He discovered that heat rises. He gave up. I put the kindling on for him.

The race-down-the-hall-to-Mommy's-arms game has been refined: he now says something to himself while he stands at the other end of the hall; I can't quite make out what, though I do catch the word "mommy" in there. Then he charges down the hall, shouting "run run run!" until he reaches me. He literally falls into my arms, throwing his body forward with a "boom!" (I started this) and lots of smiles as he submits to my bear hug and kisses. Then back down the hall for another go.

I've been putting together a photo album starting just before his birth. Damian has found it and loves to sit at the table, lingering over the pages and telling himself what each picture is about ("Damian in bathtub,
etc.) When he gets to the end of the pages with pictures, he leafs forward, hoping I've put more photos in somewhere up ahead. Not yet, kid. Not yet.

Monday 30 October

This morning I watched Damian play: he had a fire truck in front of him, ladder extended all the way up high, and he was making a plastic hippo climb the ladder to the top. I was amused. I love seeing examples of imagination at work.

We've discovered that Damian is much more open to activities if we give him advance notice. A no-brainer, right? But we often forget to clue him in on what's coming up. Today I had to go to the bank but the car was in the shop, so I took Damian in the stroller. Given how he's been lately, I anticipated a struggle. But I explained all of it, including the car being fixed, and he was perfectly happy to go into the stroller. And joyous in the bank.

I should backtrack. He was joyous when I went fast to beat a light. He says "fast!" to punctuate the speed (and emphasize that he wants more of the same). Then we got to the bank. I took him out, looked for the diaper bag/purse where I'd draped it on the stroller handles. It wasn't there. I freaked. I set Damian back into the stroller and RACED with him tracing back our route. He was gleeful:"Fast! Fast!" I was horrified: "oh my god, oh my god!" I found it half a block back. Everything still intact. Thank god.

Then we went to the bank. Where I stood in a long line and he ran from one end of the lobby to the other, with pit stops wherein he flung himself into my arms for hugs and kisses and then ran off again.

Then we went to the gourmet shop a block further down. Damian ate handfuls of raspberries all the way home. Polished off a whole box in seven blocks.

Tuesday 31 October

I had a wonderful time with Damian at the playground this afternoon. It feels like he's getting more interactive with strangers but also with me. I pushed him on the swing and he exclaimed loudly and looked generally happy, then we climbed steps and slid down a slide together -- over and over. He's going through a fear-of-jungle-gym-heights, I think it's because of the latticework flooring, but I discovered that he got over it if I held his hand while walking across it. So we held hands most of the time while circling steps-to-slide-to-steps. Then a six year old girl in a kitty costume came over and befriended us. She asked if she could play with him. So the three of us hung out together. She caught him as he came down the slide, and she pushed him on the swing. He was amenable. She was very sweet, the daughter of Russian immigrants. She said she speaks three languages (French being the third).

Damian trick-or-treated for the very first time tonight. We joined up with a bunch of folks from playgroup and stopped at four or five houses. Dan held Damian most of the time as we went from door to door. Damian got the hang of dipping into the candy bowls pretty quick, though. We dressed him in a homemade fireman outfit (store-bought helmet) -- Dan created horizontal stripes of yellow shiny tape across a beige jacket, navy sweatpants, and black rain boots. I thought Damian looked great. Instantly recognizable. He even kept the helmet on. He liked his candy very much. Rather too much. After he'd had enough (in our estimation) we had to hide the bag.

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