« April 2008 |
| February 2008 »
Sunday, March 02, 2008
A Thomas the Tank Engine ride and show both scared and intrigued Jack.
He never quite relaxed.
Posted by Doug at 7:42 PM
Monday, March 10, 2008
Helping Dad in the Garden.
Posted by Doug at 10:43 PM
Jack missed Childcare for all of last week –sick with a horse voice and
hacking cough. He handled it reasonably well – but Al was justifiably
tired by the end of it. Grandma Q came down twice to care for him,
meaning we only ended up missing half a day’s work each.
The reduced dummy use has worked well – Jack doesn’t even seem to ask
for it now.
His testing behaviour continues – although it ebbs and flows. We have
tried various punishments once – corner time, bed time, no computer,
which he did not react well too. As horrible as it is to say – we have
only have to subsequently threaten him with them to moderate his
The trick is not using the threats too often, and of course ensuring you
follow through if you need to. Actually, the trick is probably not to
use threats in the first place…
We still try using the distraction method where possible – and find it
works the best. It just requires a level of creativity that we are not
always capable of in the heat of the moment. We were having trouble
getting Jack to come to the table at Meal time – so now we get him to
set the table for us, which helps. We were having trouble getting Jack
to open his mouth to brush his teeth – but since his Grandma Q suggested
he “Open his mouth like a Whale”, he’s been enthusiastically doing that
Posted by Doug at 10:43 PM
The other day Jack called out from upstairs
“Dad – are you down the stairs?”
“Yes Jack – are you up the stairs?”
There was a slight pause, then Jack responded.
“No – I am on the stairs, coming down with Mummy.”
His comprehension and logic keeps amazing us.
We were watching a small diesel locomotive this morning moving carriages
around – part of the Puffing Billy Collection. We were asking Jack
questions about it, including what numbers were written on its side. He
looked and said “D Two One”, and then before we could ask he continued
with “oohh look – Eleven on the Carriage”.
While he knows his colours, alphabet and numbers up to around 25 – his
responses today reminded us that he is actually reading things around
him “in real life”. He seems to get that concept, so we will have to
start working more on his general word recognition. He knows his own
name, and the words Mum and Dad. I suspect we will find him familiar
with other words - just that we hadn't noticed as yet..
Posted by Doug at 10:35 PM
Jack’s last baby tooth has cut. Unless it is sucked back into the gum
for a second round, we should only have a few more weeks of teething
angst. Jack is again hard work and is out of sorts. He is frequently
asking to go “up to mummy”, even when he is already on her lap or in her
While the timing wasn’t ideal, we are also starting the process of
dropping Jack’s mid day sleep. He was going to bed later and later at
night, leaving Al frazzled and without much downtime. Jack is quite
enthused about this change – although on busier days we force him to
have a nap anyway. He gets over tired in the early evening, but drops
off much quicker, and stays asleep much longer before demanding a
transfer to his human mattress.
Posted by Doug at 9:10 PM
Once again it has been a very busy month - so it
has taken me awhile to find time to do this update.
The main event for the month was a group holiday
to Lake Hume with some Uni friends (10 adults and 8 kids in total). We
enjoyed the opportunity to walk onto the Hume Wall, go to a Wildlife
Park, Galleries, Lookouts and drives. It was great to catch up with our
friends in a relaxed environment, and we enjoyed meals on the restaurant
balcony and in our cottages together. Jack particularly enjoyed the
group visit to a trout farm (his first ever fishing experience) and
playing mini golf with his dad.
Another highlight was a ride on the Thomas the
Tank Engine and watching the following Thomas show. Jack was suitably
excited - but also scared earlier on during the ride, and with the loud
noises. He now keeps asking to go to the 'train park' (located near
Emerald Station), so he can watch Puffing Billy go past. We have also
found a park with a lake frequented by ducks, so that is also becoming a
regular weekend haunt. Jack was intrigued by putting long sticks in the
water around the lake and saying we were 'fishing'. Jack also enjoyed
the 'Zoo Twilight' Jazz session with attended with some of our friends.
Unfortunately the month has also been a
particularly difficult one. Jack has been out of sorts for much of it -
between a bad cold and cough that is still lingering, and his last tooth
coming through. He has also really amped up the 'terrible 2s' behaviour
- screaming at top of his voice when not getting want he wants, more
tantrums (including more in public), kicking and hitting us,
deliberately doing what we tell him not to and so on. It has had me
madly re-reading our baby books looking for strategies to try to avoid
the bad behaviour (like trying to always give him some notice before
moving from one activity to the next), and strategies to try once he is
Even with all the strategies and best intentions
in the world, I have struggled more than usual to keep on top of things.
I am not handling stress as well as I usually would, and am feeling worn
down after months of difficult behaviour. We really hope things start to
calm down after this last tooth is finally through. Speaking to the
other mothers of kids at the same age, they all seem to be going through
similar behaviour - so it is of some comfort to know it is normal and
Summary of Jack at 32 months:
. Jack's current favourite pastime is building
train tracks all around the house. We spend all day building it and then
packing it away, then building a new one. He insists 'we work together'
to build it (which is difficult for our backs).
. Jack's favourite soft toy is the bumble bee
puppet that is used in music class. Bumble Bee now accompanies us on
many excursions, participates in our play at home, and Jack has many
'conversations' with him. Jack’s latest Bob the Builder DVD has Bob's
Dad in it. He refers to Bob as 'Bobby' - so now Jack refers to his toy
Bob the Builder as Bobby. Bobby also participates in play and has
conversations with us. We let Jack play with some tongs from the kitchen
- which Jack refers to as 'Snapping One'. Snapping One is also involved
in play and conversations, and is helping Jack's co-ordination skills
with holding train tracks and other items. It is lovely to see Jack's
. It is interesting watching Jack's thought
patterns and conversations become more complex. When we sit down to play
he often starts by giving us a long monologue about all the steps he
wants to happen, such as 'we build the train track and snapping one to
help build it, and it will go all the way around the house, then we put
the train on it and the train will go round and round then we will pack
up the train track', etc. He has very specific ideas of what he wants to
happen and is able to increasingly convey his ideas, but does get
frustrated and upset if we don't fully understand and follow all the
steps he has explained.
. Jack's dummy use has been confined to bed time
and long car trips in the past month. He threw a couple tantrums in
first week, and occasionally still whines or pleads for it, but on the
whole it has been a much smoother transition than we were expecting. At
the same time it is hard to know how much of his extra difficult
behaviour this month could be attributed to not having the dummy to help
calm himself down.
. Jack is starting to miss some day sleeps. I had
been dreading it - given I enjoy the break, but it hasn't been as
difficult as I had imagined. He is in a difficult transition stage. If
he has a daytime sleep he takes ages to get to sleep at night (often
9-9:30pm) - which leaves me frazzled and with limited time to relax. If
he doesn’t have a nap, he is a bit overtired by the end of the day – but
promptly goes to sleep when he goes down around 7pm. He then seems to
sleep more soundly and longer in his cot bed before waking to call for
me, so I am enjoying this longer relaxation time. Dropping the day sleep
is something we will continue to gradually introduce. I suspect the day
will come (sooner rather than later) when he refuses to go down for a
day sleep at all. I think he will still sleep during the day at
childcare though for some time - since all the kids nap at the same time.
. Tooth number 20 is partly through. All teeth
being fully through is a milestone I have been looking forward to for
quite some time!
. Jack still barely participates in his music
class (only does things if I 'help' him, although does seem to enjoy
observing the class overall) - so I have finally decided it is time to
finish it up. His last class was this week. I have found this term
rather chaotic, so hopefully reducing our activities by 1, rescheduling
to closer venues, and only doing 1 activity per day will make the
remaining activities more enjoyable next term. His confidence has been
down at swimming this term also (since they use different blue floaties
and after the long summer break) so hopefully a longer 2nd term will
help redevelop his confidence.
. Jack's counting continues to develop, and he can
now count to 29 when he concentrates, and recognise written numbers. A
new childcare worker remarked on how surprised and impressed she was
Posted by Al at 8:42 PM
We have always been affectionate with Jack – lots of hugs, kisses and
physical interaction. Due to Jack’s nature, and I hope in part our
example, he has always been affectionate back to us.
I was surprised to find that the mechanics of affection actually
involves some learning.
Jack’s early kisses for example would just involve lips mashed against
your cheek with some force. Now they come with much more finesse.
Jack’s hugs were also originally closer to enthusiastic draping – arms
thrown over your shoulders as he landed on you. Just lately however he
has perfected them. Now he grips you in his little arms and hugs tightly
– even throwing in the occasional pat on the back.
I would like to indulge with two examples from yesterday – so I can
remember them in future.
When I picked up Jack from Childcare he noticed me walk in and loudly
exclaimed “Oooo Jack ######’s Daddy is here”. He danced / skipped over
to the nearest carer and said “Jack run to Daddy, Ok?” (They are not
allowed to run inside normally.) When she nodded he came running. I bent
down on one knee and Jack launched himself at me, wrapped his arms
around my neck and gave me a huge hug. You could surely not ask for a
On our way home I told him that his Mum had a sore head. When we
arrived Jack gave his mum a hug, then grabbing fists full of her hair,
forcefully yanked her head down so that he could kiss the top of it. He
then asked “Sore head all better now mummy?”
Posted by Doug at 1:47 PM