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Friday, March 02, 2007
Jack had an extra busy weekend last week with
visits to a play centre and 2 visits to the park. He also visited
Spencer and enjoying playing peek-a-boo from inside cardboard boxes. He
had seemed fine all weekend only to come down with a temperature on
Sunday night, which continued all through Monday. This kept me from home
again, but I managed to do half a day's work. Jack had recovered by
Tuesday to return to childcare, so appears to have just been his typical
teething 24 hour temperature.
Jack had a great day at swimming on Wednesday,
enthusiastically kicking up and down the pool, thereby earning himself a
lollypop. He also had another great day at music class this week, and
excited repeats 'music time' when I tell him where we are going.
At last week's Gymbaroo class Jack said 'bye bye
Allie' to another little girl (Ellie) that goes to childcare and
Gymbaroo with him. Since then he has been repeatedly asked for 'Allie'
at home. I mentioned it to the childcare workers on Tuesday, and they
smiled and said that he and Ellie get along really well and play
together all the time. (Assuming this is as much as any kids play
parallel next to each other at this age). So that was exciting for me to
hear that Jack has perhaps made his first little friend that we are
aware of. He certainly seems aware of her at Gymbaroo, and asks where
she has gone when she was playing in a different part of the room.
However he still gave her a stern 'no' when she came to play within the
same climbing structure!
In recent weeks I have been trying to establish a
regular bedtime route for Jack. I am hoping for a more consistent bed
time of between 7 and 8pm. The routine is to watch a DVD while I prepare
dinner, eat, play outside, have a bath, and then bed. It was working
quite well - with Jack going to bed with a minimum of fuss after his
bath, although some nights he would take quite awhile to actually fall
asleep. (Occasionally asking to get up again and crying when told no).
Unfortunately after sleeping a lot during the day he then did not go to
bed until very late on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday he did
not sleep at all at childcare, so went to bed early. It remains to be
seen if I can get his bedtime routine and timing into effect.
Reading one of his books this week we came across
a page with babies showing different expressions – like surprise,
excited, thinking, etc. I went through all the facial expressions with
Jack and then asked him to show me each one. He gave each a good try,
and came up with some great faces.
Latest new words include phone, fish, key, chip /
chippy, tri-an (triangle), di-mon (diamond), dran-ma (grandma), lawn
mower, dbd (dvd), tb (tv), towel, chop, bib, Carter, and please.
Posted by Al at 1:59 PM
When Jack came home from Childcare on Thursday afternoon he had a fresh
deep scratch on his check. By the end of the night it was half the
size. This morning it was almost gone. The healing capacity of
toddlers is amazing.
Equally amazing is a toddler’s capacity to throw tantrums. I gave Jack
a surprise treat this afternoon. He immediately asked for more; then
threw a tantrum when there wasn’t any. A young child’s whole mentality
is different. Where the average adult appreciates the surprise, for a
toddler it seemingly instantly becomes the expected. What a child is
not getting is of far greater importance than what they have got.
I am continuing to spend time and money on the PC migration. Photo and
Video editing tools have now been upgraded, I’ve replaced my keyboard
and mouse (something I usually do with each new PC), and also
unexpectedly had to replace our wireless router after the old one
decided to give up the ghost. The new mouse had a tray of 9 small
weights in it that I can adjust to get a perfect balance. I was going
to make a joke of it – except I’ve found it to be a surprisingly
Posted by Doug at 10:58 PM
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I made it a long to a playgroup working bee on
Sunday. I found myself allocated to cleaning the outdoor bikes, tables,
chairs, etc. We were horrified to find Redback spiders (along with other
types and their eggs) underneath the kids outside tables. Considering
kids play on these every day, it was a scary find! Grandma and Grandpa Q
helped mind Jack while I was out.
Summary of where Jack is at for 20 months
. Jack now has over 200 words. He has so many that
I struggle to remember which words are new and what he has been using
for a while. Latest words include throw, catch, see-saw, tractor, sheep,
sleep and bear. He is also working at refining his words. He now says
bird (instead of 'b'), circle (instead of 'circ'), and water (instead of
'wa'). I am sure we will miss some of these early cute efforts. He is
also getting closer to speaking in sentences. He will say things like
'Daddy. Throw. Ball. Mummy. Please.' and 'Catch Ball Mummy'. We estimate
that we understand around 80% of what he says these days, with the
remaining 20% being baby speak or words we are yet to interpret. We have
noticed when he is teething or tired that he is harder to understand.
. Jack has teeth 10, 11, and 12 partly through. We
look forward to the latest round of teething to be over. Jack throws
more tantrums and is generally out of sorts each time he goes through it.
. Jack seems to be enjoying his childcare and
activities more this year. We think this is a combination of walking,
being one of the older kids, and being more confident to talk in front
of others. The childcare workers have been amazed by how much he is
talking, and at his vocabulary and counting abilities. He also sings
with them and demands songs he likes during singing sessions (such as
baa baa black sheep, twinkle twinkle little star, row row row your boat,
and old McDonald). He is enthusiastically joining in all the songs and
actions at music class. He has progressed markedly at swimming this
term, kicking and 'swimming' by himself for a few seconds at a time. At
Gymbaroo he is now walking across ladders and balance beams up off the
ground (with help from Mum). He is also less bothered by the other kids
at playgroup – probably because he is better able to escape them when
. Jack can now not only walk upstairs while
holding our hands, he is also starting to walk downstairs with our help.
. Jack is playing more with his soft toys, such as
cuddling them, rocking them, and putting them to sleep. He still likes
to throw them about as well though.
. Jack almost always only has one sleep during the
day now. He is settling into a more consistent night-time routine,
although it doesn't always work. The amount he sleeps during the day
certainly impacts on this. He seems to use Wednesday afternoon as a
recovery day from childcare and activities, and sleeps for 2.5 - 3.5
hours, and then goes to bed later Wednesday evening. He still often has
little or no sleep at childcare on Thursdays, and thus is ready for bed
much earlier. In general however I am finding it easier to get him down
to sleep. Only having to cater for one daytime sleep also makes it
easier to get out and about with activities, shopping trips or just
generally in planning the day.
Posted by Al at 3:09 PM
Friday, March 09, 2007
Jack’s first ever scrapped knee – the first of many I would imagine.
Posted by Doug at 8:35 PM
Jack threw over 25 tantrums today. I counted. At one point he cried so
furiously that tears shot straight out of his eyes – just like a cartoon
character. I didn’t know that was possible. His teeth are driving him
mad. He has his fingers in his mouth constantly, and is chewing so hard
on them at times that he has actually cut the skin.
Posted by Doug at 10:41 PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Jack's latest teething continues to stretch on.
He has also been a bit snuffly over the long weekend and obviously not
fully happy. Friday was the worst day for tantrums. Doug counted
around 25 tantrums for the day - around 15 by the time his morning
routine of breakfast, play outside and have a shower were completed.
Thankfully he seemed to improve from there.
Jack had a now regular visit to the park on
Saturday. On Sunday I took him to a playschool concert (by the
presenters of the TV show). It was the first live concert I have taken
him to, so I wasn't sure how he would go. It was a small venue (with
approximately 200 kids present). Most of the kids were seated with
their parents on the ground in front of the stage, and I was lucky
enough to get a front seat to the side. Jack looked with wide-eyed
wonder throughout. He enthusiastically clapped after each song, and
clapped along to 'if you're happy and you know it'. When the presenters
kept disappearing through the door on the stage, Jack kept saying 'knock
knock' waiting for them to reappear. It was a positive first
experience, and therefore leaves me open to trying it again as other
opportunities present themselves.
We took Jack along to Dominic's 4 year old
birthday party yesterday (being a long weekend). The theme was a fire
engine party, and Jack was intrigued to look at the fire engine and
fireman who turned up to take the kids for rides. He definitely did not
want to go on for a ride so we didn't push the issue. He happily played
on all the toys on offer and wasn't bothered by the older kids. He is a
lot quieter in a new environment but had a happy smile on his face
throughout. He enjoyed his first try of fairy bread and covered himself
in sprinkles. He still likes to stay close to his mum in social
situations. A few times I went out of his sight to get some food or
talk to friends, and within a couple minutes he asked dad where I was,
and came looking for me. He let us know that he was ready to leave by
saying 'bye bye party'.
In the last few weeks Jack has cried a lot on drop
off at childcare. At his Monday and Tuesday childcare, he now
recognises where we are as soon as I turn the car into the driveway.
This means he starts crying before I even park the car, escalates as I
carry him in, and increases in volume again as I hand him over to a
carer. (Whereas in the past he would only start crying when I entered
the room or upon handing him over.) It is difficult to see him getting
so distressed, and it of course leaves me worrying throughout the day.
Both places continue to assure us that Jack only cries for a few minutes
after I leave, and then is happy for the rest of the day. They
repeatedly say he has had a great day and he always looks happy when we
pick him up, busily chatting and pointing at everything, so this further
assures us that he is enjoying his time there. I believe it is more the
moment of separation from his mum that he is protesting, rather than the
childcare places themselves. He also cries more on drop offs when he is
not feeling 100%. Hopefully once the latest round of teething finally
finishes, he may not be quite so upset, and will go back to waving 'bye
bye' to me once again.
Posted by Al at 7:14 PM
The TV was on while Jack was eating a meal today. I heard the presenter
saying “Hi, my name is…”. Jack then put up his hand and said “Hi” back
to the TV.
He regularly asked to watch "TB" or "DBDs" today, insisting his Mum
watch with him. A sure sign he isn’t feeling 100%.
Posted by Doug at 9:54 PM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Jack and Al had haircuts this morning. Jack gets his done first while
sitting on my lap. We then go spend a couple hours together while Al
gets her hair cut. Jack seems rather underwhelmed with getting his
haircut – more interested in what else is going on in the saloon,
sparing only the occasional frown towards the hairdresser.
As we left Jack started to cry for his Mum. He wasn’t putting his heart
into it, but it seemed every woman in the saloon turned and looked our
way. Some gave me absolutely filthy looks – with accusing expressions
that spoke “what did you do” and “what are you doing”.
Jack of course stopped the moment his Mum was out of sight, but I was
reminded how socially unacceptable it has become for a male to be
accompanying a crying child.
Posted by Doug at 11:24 PM
Monday, March 19, 2007
After weeks of crying at drop off at both
childcare centres, Jack didn't cry at last Thursday's drop off. This
was due only to good distraction techniques used by the carer - asking
him if he wanted to help feed the fish which captured his interest.
Jack has had a cough that seems to be lingering
for awhile. It is only really noticeable when he first gets up in the
morning. This morning after coughing he said 'ow' to indicate it was
hurting him. He has also had a dripping nose in last few days and still
seems out of sorts and not his normal self.
Jack has been constantly talking about 'fire
truck' and 'fireman' since seeing the fire truck at the birthday party
the previous weekend. I took him to a festival at our local shopping
centre where he had the opportunity to see a real fire truck and fireman
up close, along with a police car and police woman. He also enjoyed
seeing the animal nursery display, excitedly exclaiming 'baby cow' when
he saw the calf. He patted the lambs, but didn't want to touch any
other animal. He also saw kid goats, piglets, ducks, roosters, guinea
pigs and rabbits.
Jack has now extended putting his “teddies to
sleep” routine by putting them in our bed to go to sleep. He then pats
down the blanket and says 'night night' to them and then asks me to turn
off the light and shut the door. We then turn the light back on and he
excitedly runs to them saying 'wake up, wake up'. We sing '3 in the
bed' and roll the teddies out of bed to which he proclaims 'oh no'. We
then repeat the same process over and over again. Sometimes he likes to
be 'put to sleep' in the bed with the teddies, and have me run back and
tickle him for the 'wake up' part. I am hoping such roleplays encourage
his understanding of the going to bed process - for whenever I start
putting him into the cot by himself without lying down with him to get
him to sleep first.
Posted by Al at 8:20 PM
Monday, March 26, 2007
Jack’s teeth are still bothering him – he had another mild teething
fever again this afternoon, and is often rubbing his gums and head. It
goes on and on, and is quite incredible. Jack has also had a cold for
several weeks (something he shared with me two weeks ago – and which is
still lingering). No wonder he has been so irritable.
Some of Jack’s favorite foods at the moment are Porridge, Broccoli, Hot
Chips and Sliced Ham (thankfully not mixed in together). He often snacks
on Grapes, Soy Cheese, Apple, Pear, or small dry biscuits. As an
occasional treat he might get a snake or a banana Lolly. Overall I think
he is a pretty good eater, and has a reasonable diet.
Jack also samples various foods that we eat. Occasionally we have
noticed a definite reaction and change to his behavior – generally
becoming a touch hyper / maniacal. We strongly suspect he is reacting to
some coloring or preservatives in the food. We are going to have to take
careful note of the ingredients to try and work out what exactly is
triggering the behavior changes.
Speaking of food reactions – Jack is very clearly still reacting to
Diary Products. After a bit of a search Al managed to find some non
dairy Easter Eggs today, which was a relief.
Posted by Doug at 9:52 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Jack seems to have picked up my habit for getting up early in the
morning, and Al’s predisposition to bad moods early in the morning. It
is an unfortunate mix. Things are a little worse at the moment as Jack
hasn’t adjusted to the end of Daylight Savings yet.
Posted by Doug at 6:48 AM
Al headed off to watch some Water Polo at the World Swimming
Championships this morning. When she said goodbye to Jack he got most
upset and cried furiously. The moment she was out of earshot however
Jack took a couple big gulps of air, let out a sigh, and turned off the
tears. Just like that. Communication, manipulation, or a mix of both?
This was in contrast to when I dropped him off at Childcare 45 minutes
later. I could tell he was happy enough to be there – but was just
finding the hand over a little tough. As I looked at his face, I could
see him fighting not to cry. I know that once I was out of sight he
would just sit back, relax, and enjoy his day there.
Something else of interest happened as I was taking Jack out of the car.
He unattached his dummy and handed it to me to put in his bag. He knows
he doesn’t have his dummy at Childcare. When we pick him up, one of the
first things he will ask for as we strap him back into his seat will be
his dummy. It is a reminder that Al and I have been slipping over the
last few months – not working on addressing some of these behavior
changes like we should have been.
Posted by Doug at 9:14 AM