December 2000 page 1 of 2
Friday 1 December

Damian wore his fireman helmet and boots to the library this morning. Many people were amused.

Then we went to Barney New York, a very upscale department store, and climbed the central staircase to the top to go to a deli that imports New York bagels. I was surprised at how warm the snooty Beverly Hills types were to my little guy. He was oozing charm today, exploring everywhere and everything. The deli guy gave him a cookie.

This afternoon he held two flashlights, one in each fist. "Many moons."

Saturday 2 December

We went to a party this afternoon. Thank god for a back yard. Thank god people were actually hanging out in the back yard. Thank god there were other children there, and some toys, though apparently a broom did just fine, thanks much. As did a corkscrew with a cork stuck on top (and a bottle cap which fit nicely onto the cork). A little girl Damian's age became quite infatuated with him. She put her arm around his shoulders and walked alongside him. He seemed neutral but I think secretly liked it. We stayed till after dark, and Damian recited a soliloquoy to the crescent moon.

Sunday 3 December

We three played the hallway game (Damian races between us, back and forth down the hall, with appropriate interactions with each parent as punctuation) for a while today. Then Damian started playing his own solo game: he sat down with a plop on the floor, saying: "I crash!" Adorable.

Monday 4 December

Damian didn't nurse today. Let me say that again, with emphasis:

Damian Did Not Nurse Today. Two years and seven months minus one day, that's how long he's been nursing. This is the first day since he was born that he didn't get at least a couple of swallows of Mommy Milk.


It was his idea, more or less. We've gotten down to once a day at night: I lay him on the Boppy to put his PJs on him after his bath. He nurses through the process, on and off, and then settles in to nurse to sleep -- or doesn't, and then he gets juice, books, rocking. Recently he's been waiting till partway through the PJs process to nurse, or even till the end. Tonight he forgot to nurse. Just wanted juice. Never seemed to miss it.


On a different note: Dan and I were in the kitchen tonight. Damian whizzed through, said "I be right back" and disappeared into the living room.

Tuesday 5 December

Damian's greatest joy these days is flinging sand or rocks. We only allow it in appropriate areas, like the playground, but he takes big handfuls or shovelfuls and tosses them in the air with great joy. He inevitably ends up with his hair full of sand.

I brought him to preschool this morning so I could pay for the school. He went nuts, desperate to get into the classrooms. So after I gave the principal's assistant my check, I led Damian into what will be his classroom. He was in heaven, playing with the toys and checking everything out. A good sign. The teacher was very sweet; she suggested we come back to hang out one morning and acclimate him. Then I took him outside where he enjoyed the playground equipment. He was very happy. Got mad when I said we had to go. I think he's going to love preschool.

He nursed for about thirty seconds tonight. A check-in nursing.

Wednesday 6 December

We're instituting the gummy bear reward policy. I don't know how well it'll work, but the idea is to reward Damian when he actually asks for something with words. So tonight he said "poker" and pointed to the poker chips on the shelf. So he got a gummy bear. The kidknows a lot of words and talks in full sentences, too, but still won't ask for things much or even respond to a direct question like "what's that a picture of?" even when he sits by himself and labels everything. So maybe a reward scheme will break through the reserve. Maybe.

Thursday 7 December

When Damian's upset, his voice goes up high and he starts jabbering. Most of the time I have no idea what he's saying: it's all English but strung together and very high and strangled-sounding, but he does say "no no no!" a lot and also, oddly, "wait a minute!"

He sort of missed his nap today: I rocked him and put him down but he woke up as soon as I extracted my arm from beneath him. Dan and I went to a movie this afternoon. When we got back at 6:30, Damian was rolling around in the armchair, acting drunk and silly. He's spent the evening in fast forward, trying to keep himself awake with constant motion. Now he's taking a bath an hour early (his choice). We'll see what happens...

Friday 8 December

A toddler is so easy to please. I took him on an exciting outing: we went to buy cat food for Dante. In a Petco with aquariums filled with colorful tropical fish and terrariums filled with restless mice. Damian was in heaven. So much so he didn't want to leave. So after the nice store employee dumped the mongo bag of dry cat food in the car trunk, I let a no-longer-tearful Damian lead me back to the store to ogle mice and hamsters once more. It was the right thing to do: he gazed his fill and then was content to move on to the grocery store. It's called compromise. Just because I'm the mom, I don't always have to enforce my will over him.

On the other hand, he was testing my patience today. His new obsession: sitting on the windowseat so he can dip the end of the venetian blind cord into the plant pot and dig in the dirt with it. He knows the plant pot is verboten but he tries a dozen times a day anyway, and acts shocked and horrified when I set him back on the floor. I finally realized it was a way of getting my attention (I was doing dishes) and I snuggled in the chair with him and read stories.

Saturday 9 December

Damian is no longer upset by the sight of his sitter Jami even though it means we'll go out. In fact, when we came back, he smiled at us but didn't come running for an embrace. I guesst this is a good thing, though I felt a little less loved (for a fleeting moment). She said he did have a moment early on where he kept saying "bye, Jami" -- dropping a rather broad hint there. But apparently they had a great time shouting "growl!" and running around the house chasing each other.

Tonight's game: climb on horizontal Mommy and make her bounce. Say "Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!" and "bounce up and down" and "bounce on Mommy" and then fall off sideways saying "I crash!" Incidentally, this is phenomenal exercise for Mommy's thigh muscles and probably stomach muscles too. Well, maybe not the crashing part.

Sunday 10 December

Dan and I got on a roll today: we did a tremendous amount of reorganizing. The living room had been covered with Damian's toys: they were spilling out of the toy box, they were on the mantel and the hearth; they were absolutely everywhere. Part of the problem was that there was no room in his room for them. So I emptied the bottom two shelves of two bookcases in there and set down some big toys. Rearranged the stuffed animals along top shelves, snuggled into rows of books. Etc. Dan, meanwhile, carted books downstairs and did lots of other cleaning/organizing. Damian was surprisingly sanguine about his parents' non-kid-centered activity. Mostly, I think, because we kept on unearthing toys he hadn't seen in months. It was like Christmas morning for him.

Monday 11 December

While shopping today, Damian met a boy who's in the class he'll be joining in preschool. I was relieved to note that the mom was very nice, very approachable -- basically a cool person. We tried introducing the kids but they weren't having any. Damian was far too interested in squishing his finger into the center of packages of rolls (oops) and getting excited at the sight of raspberries. He tried a couple of blackberries, decided they were okay to eat. Ate them veeeeerrrrry sloooowwwly.

Tuesday 12 December

A first: last night Damian woke up in the middle of the night (hardly a first) and trotted into our bedroom (not a first either). Just for the hell of it, I picked him up and put him into bed between us. I've done this before, too. Usually he pops up, fussing that he's not going to be rocked to near-sleep. This time, though, he just lay right down and went to sleep.

My mom arrived today. Damian has been curious but distant. It'll be interesting to see him warm up over the next ten days. He definitely understands the concept of "grandma" -- he's seen it in enough books.

Wednesday 13 December

Ugh. Damian did another midnight (3 am) bedroom visitation. Only this time he couldn't fall asleep in our bed. Or rocking on Daddy's shoulder. Or after drinking juice. Or with Mommy singing to him. Though all of the above briefly stopped the crying. Yes, there was crying. After, oh, two and a half hours, Damian slid off the bed, took my hand, and wanted me to come with him. I did with reluctance because I couldn't rock him (damned bladder flareup), which I thought he wanted. He had other ideas.

He led me into the living room, where we snuggled into the armchair together. I talked about the night quiet, the sound of the fountain and the image of Dante on the mantel gazing out a high window. We sat for a while like that, then Dan came out and sat on the ottoman. I told Dan what we'd been up to while he'd been taking a bath (a needed-for-relaxation-and-sanity bath). Damian chimed in when I finished a sentence with: "crying." Yup. That summed it up pretty well. Then when Dan suggested rocking, Damian fell into his arms, finally ready for bed.

Damian was wary of my mom today, but when she started reading aloud from Green Eggs and Ham, he came running and sat in the armchair with her.

The high chair tray was in the dish rack. The high chair was near the dining table. I sat reading the newspaper, resting a moment before setting the table for dinner. I happened to glance over to the high chair. Damian sat there, all ready for dinner. I guess he was trying to tell us he was hungry! I'm still impressed that he climbed in with such ease I never heard (or saw) him do it even though the chair was maybe two feet away from me.

Thursday 14 December

In Damainese, "wait a minute" means "come with me" and usually "I want to play the hallway game." Which hallway game got a new variant today: me on one end of the hall, my mom on the other. Damian was hesitant at first but by the third iteration, he happily pelted down the hall toward her, though he was still a little less relaxed in her embrace. Still, for a shy kid, that's fast.

We have a collection of board books in the car back seat, in each reach from the carseat. Damian has started getting so engrossed in the book he's reading that he wants to take it with him to the grocery store, playground, home...

Friday 15 December

He's asking for what he wants a lot more often. I think the gummy bear reward system is actually working! This evening, for instance, he said "pick you up" (meaning himself), so I did and got him a treat to boot, and then not ten minutes later he asked for Dan to "open the box" (can of playdoh). What a relief to see him actually wanting to communicate with words.

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