Friday, January 29, 2016

Seven Quick Takes: Coming up to breathe edition

1. It's kind of ridiculous to give blogging excuses when I haven't posted more than once a month in ages, but let's lead off with: Holidays + a week-long head cold of doom + resulting TV detox means that Tad has been even higher-needs than usual. Which is saying something.

By the way, his favorite TV show right now is Phineas and Ferb. For a while he would let me watch Property Brothers with him (from which he learned the phrase "Oh gosh!"--stellar parenting 'round here) but now if I turn that on he wails until I switch it over to his preferred show.

2. He does still love Signing Time, or did when I last showed it to him a while ago (before the Great Screentime Detox of 2016). His latest things from that show are:

- Marching around the house while saying "Maish! Maish!"

- Asking "Yo nammy?" while making the signs for "You name?" I don't know if he actually understands what this question means or if he's just asking it to see what will happen. I need to remind myself how to finger-spell his name so I can teach him that.

3. He can count to 5 reliably and to 10 somewhat unreliably and will say "Dee eee esh!" when he wants me to sing the ABCs.

Beefing up a short take with a random photo.
We're trying wrapping again to deal with Velcro Baby.
This picture is grainy and the mirror is dirty
but I love his cheesy face.
4. Somehow Scott and I survived more than 4 years of marriage without owning a broom. The other week Aldi had them on sale and I had some money in my budget so I snatched one up.

Tad LOVES this thing. He immediately started sweeping with it, and recall that we've never owned a broom for as long as he's been alive. I think he picked up that skill due to his obsession with Tom the Maintenance Man. (Seriously, he's a big fan. I mean, the guy wanders around our apartment building sweeping stuff! What's not to adore?)

He's also become quite the stickler for cleaning up dirty dishes and food scraps. Apple cores MUST be thrown in the trash as soon as they are fully eaten. (Side note: He eats apples around the core now instead of straight through from one side to the other like he used to. Sniff, sniff.) Dishes must be taken into the kitchen rather than set down on tables; once in the kitchen they must be thrown in the sink instead of left on the counter. Granted, mostly I think this is an excuse for him to persuade me to let him fill the sink with water and splash around in it.

5. A funny thing about this age is that he learns stuff and I have no idea where he gets it. I guess I'll blame the TV?

A cute one: Instead of just saying "Tada!" (Or in Tad-speak, "Taaa!") he throws his arms out to the sides while saying it. We don't do this. And yet it's a totally appropriate thing to do.

A less cute one: He will periodically wander around quietly chanting "Poopy. Poopy. Poopy." This is completely different from when he walks up to me and announces "Poopy diaper." (Spoiler: Sometimes the diaper is actually just wet.) He's not trying to communicate, he's just making sounds because he likes them.

I try not to be all "Boys will be boys" but seriously, where did he get that? Does it just spontaneously spring from the Y chromosome?

6. There are other things I can tell he does get from us and I just love them. A sampling:

- When he wants to throw a ball he will say "Weady? Weady? Geh it!" and then throw it. If you catch it, he says "Yay!" or "Taaa!" and if you don't he says "Ohmoosh!" (Almost)

- He says "Gih dobbie" (Good job) to everything. When I put a dirty dish in the sink. When he puts a block in the box during clean-up time. When I come get him out of bed in the morning, picking him up in response to his outstretched arms.

There have even been a few times when he will nurse and then upon unlatching say in a satisfied tone, "Gih dobbie."

(It totally makes those early weeks of breastfeeding Purgatory worthwhile.)

7. The things in #6 make me happy because I feel (perhaps unreasonably, given that I disown the "Poopy" chant) that he is repeating what he hears--that the things he hears are affirmation and celebration, over and over again all day long. That when he sees himself through our eyes he sees something so completely wonderful that he can't help talking about it.

It's taken us so, so long to get here. There are still days, 2+ years into this parenting journey, that it all feels like a terrible mistake, like it was the height of folly for me to think that I was capable of being somebody's mother.

And then he tells me, straight up, You're doing a good job. And maybe it's pitiful to be so reliant on affirmation from a 2-year-old but every time he does that it feels like finally taking a breath after years of drowning.

It feels like we're all going to be okay after all.