As distraction has become a constant technique to keep LTD out of trouble, The Mommy and I have sought solutions wherever we find them. The other day the little guy was flipping out nicely on the changing table and I found a flashlight nearby to keep him occupied. For now and until he grows tired of it the flashlight has been a convenient weapon in our arsenal of things that keep the little guy from screaming uncontrollably. One of the reasons the flashlight was close by was that we were using it to look into his mouth when he was sick in order to determine if he was getting molars or had a red throat. The bad news was that we couldn’t really see anything but the good news was that now LTD thinks that the flashlight is a device to say Ahhh into, a behavior that keeps him busy for a little bit.
Lately, he has been using the flashlight more appropriately. He turns it on and off and looks at the spot created on the wall. The only downsides to his new love of flashlights is that he constantly clicks it on and off and the sound can be annoying and sometimes when he is done the constant clicking his last click happens to be in the on position which kills the batteries. His flashlight of choice is a small Energizer given to us by his grandpa. The little light is encased in hard rubber and designed to be rugged for outdoor use with the added benefit being it is LTD proof. I figured someday he would use a flashlight in bed to read comic books while staying up past his bedtime, but I am pleased he has discovered the magic torch at only 20 months.
The Mommy and I finally bit the bullet and joined a gym. The main reason, we found one close by that has an affordable big daycare room. Thankfully, LTD likes being in the room something we were allowed to try out after getting our trial membership passes. Of course he loved the daycare during the trial week but when we signed up for our membership he started freaking out when either of us left to go workout. However, his separation anxiety didn’t last long and now he never wants to leave. From my point of view one of the awesome things about the gym is that the daycare room opens at 8am, so after I drop of The Mommy with the carpool I can cruise over there.
While The Mommy enjoys using the pool and the elliptical machines I usually use the gym as a television delivery system. However, our gym has no TV’s on the machines and the wall mounted ones are always set to crappy channels that you need to tune your radio into. Thanks to my iphone I solved the problem by now watching video podcasts while doing what is known as a low impact workout on the cross trainer. As for the daycare it falls into the category of, you get what you pay for. It is the kind of daycare that is truly perfect for an hour or two, but not set up to deal with much else. The funny thing is that when I drop him off between 8 and 9 he is sometimes the only one in there, but when I pick him up close to 10, the place is jammed packed with kids as far as the eye can see. The two revolving staff members always seem to have that far away look in their eyes. They are pleasant but clearly overwhelmed. Of course I choose not to do a ‘hardcore’ workout allowing for easy access to the daycare if a situation arises that needs my immediate attention. I am also glad that LTD doesn’t seem to have any food allergies that we know of since the daycare’s no food rule seems more like a wish than an actual rule that is followed. In the end, I’m super glad to have a few hours off a week but not too happy that my belly still seems to be growing despite all my video watching.
Last week LTD reached the milestone of 18 months or a year and half to people who don’t recognize time as ticked off in months. I could go on and on about all the changes and development that has happened to the little guy in a year and half, but what really amazes me is that it has only been a year and half. I can’t remember what I did for the other 34 years of my life because it feels like I have been taking care of this kid for all of them. I feel like a year and half isn’t really that much. If you were planning a trip to Australia and it was year and half away you could deal view as not being a big deal. However, this past year and half has been filled with the longest days of my life. It just seems crazy to feel this way and we haven’t even hit the number two mark. Not to mention how many years it still is until we even hit kindergarten. I guess in the end the only thing to do is see how many shots the little guy will get at his 18 month doctors appointment and start measuring time differently.
When LTD sets his young mind to something it can be exhausting. His steely determination should be something I’m proud of, instead it is breaking me. The little guy is now obsessed with buckles. The kind that snap on a backpack, stroller, car seat, shopping cart or highchair. I know what you’re thinking, what’s the big deal, just let him play with them. Well, the big deal is that he can’t unbuckle them he can only buckle them so he shoves one in my face and screams until I unclick it so he can click it back in. I’m thankfully he can’t unbuckle them so he doesn’t escape the high chair or car seat, but his obsession is tearing me apart. He truly never gets tired of it. Also, it’s not something that takes time to do on his own before he comes to me. I unclick it and he clicks it right back in, repeat. He enforces his new favorite thing through the click it or ticket law. Expect in his case the ticket is actually him yelling. Buckle up for safety. The safety of my ears.
It hasn’t taken LTD long to mimic some of our behavior. For instance, he knows that the keys go in the door and he tries to put on my shoes. Perhaps the cutest aping he does concerns the phone. On the rare occasions when he steals our cell phones the little guy holds it to his ear like he is talking. The only thing he needs now is a little desk and a secretary. The awesome thing about when he holds the phone to his ear, is that he always smiles as if he knows he’s being silly. Sadly, we can’t encourage too much of this behavior because when he steals the iphone trouble follows. In fact the last time he got his hands on my phone when I finally got it back from him all the words on the phone were in Japanese.
And then he created light. No, LTD hasn’t been playing god, he just has discovered that if you flip a light a switch you get light. He first screams and begs to be placed near the switch. Next, he uses his tiny finger and all his might to flip it. Then as the warm light hits the back of his neck he turns to look at the source. Finally, he flips the switch again and as the light vanishes he looks at the light. Much like our distant cousins the Neanderthal, LTD has discovered cause and effect. Despite how much he screams until I let him flip the switch it is pretty heart warming seeing his little brain come alive. We shall see how long that feeling lasts and we shall also count down the days until I tell him to shut of the light in his room when he leaves for the first time.
LTD the human tornado has firmly put one object in his sights, the recycle bin. The little guy is obsessed with both the paper bin and the plastic/metal bin. On the one hand I let him have at it because it occupies his attention for longer than most things and isn’t really dangerous. However, if you talk about one hand you have to talk about the other. He makes a wicked bad mess. The plastic isn’t so bad, I just pick it all up and put in back in the bin and besides he keeps me honest because now I make sure to thoroughly wash everything. The paper is a different story. You see, LTD takes his career as the human tornado very seriously and while on the job he makes sure to not only pull all the paper goods out of the bin but also to rip them apart into tiny little pieces. It would appear the terms of his tornado contract specifically state that he does not have to clean up after shredding. I hope the collectors appreciate that he is doing their job for them.
LTD and I have a pretty tight daily routine. However, the routine can be a cruel goddess, she gives with one hand and takes with the other. The benefits of our routine keep us from going into the tall grass. Kids need structure and I need a schedule to follow when I’m too tired to think straight. Also, it’s important to note that the routine doesn’t destroy creativity or spontaneity, rather it allows the little guy to take a nap and eat meals without getting hungry enough to have a level five meltdown. The routine is great if someone else has to take care of LTD, he hardly notices we’ve gone.
The flip side to the positive aspects of the daily routine lie in the brutal soul stripping sameness of every day activities. In and out of the car, putting the shoes and socks back on, and my personal demon the highchair tray. It seems as if I am always washing it. And let’s not forget the diapers or telling him to stop sticking his finger in the dog’s eye. One simple ritual from our daily routine somehow manages to make everything else worth doing every day. LTD will wander behind the couch and then pop out, open is mouth into a huge gaping grin and say, ‘ahhhhh.’
Another day another baby milestone. Unfortunately, LTD’s new favorite thing to do is loud, destructive and annoying. That’s right, folks, the little guy has taken to banging things on the coffee table. It was bad enough when he tries to eat the coffee table, but now he is really testing the structural integrity of both the table and my ears. However, I can’t help but feel this is karmic pay back from my Hulk phase when I was a lad. I don’t want you to think he is obsessed with just the table; he also bangs things on the floor, the cabinets and my head.
The amazing thing about the little caveman’s smashing fetish is that he hasn’t actually smashed anything. I chalk this up to the toys being well made and the surprising strength of the varnish on the coffee table. Sadly, I fear the first thing to go will be my head. The bright side to all this banging that I assume as he grows this behavior will stop. I mean how long can a little boy really enjoy smashing and hitting things?
LTD has developed two approaches to objects he finds around the house. The first approach is called, ‘whatever’. This technique is put into practice when the little guy is carrying something with him on his travels and then simply drops it behind in his wake. All things considered his leave behind behavior isn’t too big a deal, just another to pick up at the end of the day. However, his second new behavior can be both funny and irksome. LTD has started putting things inside of other things. I know what you’re thinking no big deal right. Sure, when he puts his Fisher-Price Little People inside of the stacking cups it is very cute. How do you feel when he moves past toys to the car keys? I need a map and flashlight to figure out where stuff is; of course the best place to start is usually in my shoe. Thankfully, he doesn’t have access to the bathroom or I’m sure he would fulfill the baby cliché of putting my cell phone in the toilet. For now, I shall assume it is all harmless curiosity on his part and continue to try to keep my belongings out of his reach. Yeah, good luck with that.