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Thursday, June 01, 2006
Jack was rather rascally tonight. He got overwrought whenever his mum
got out of his sight, and his Dad was no substitute. An inconsolable
and distraught, crying baby - an unpleasant situation for him and for
me. He has had a busy week so far –stints in childcare on three of the
four days, Music, Swimming, Story time and Playgroup, and I think he is
running low on go juice. We all are.
Not much to report. Jack has added a whole heap of inflection and varied
volume to his vocabulary, which is rather cute to listen to. He does
this while turning the pages to his books, as if he is reading them. He
has also taken to singing along to his favourite CDs and videos. Unlike
the book reading, the singing seems to be mainly monotone grunts to the
beat. Still, he sings better than either of his parents. Last of all his
furniture walking has moved onto walls, parents, cupboards, chairs, or
just about anything he can lean against. He moves along nonchalantly at
quite a pace.
Jack is still spending the majority of every night sleeping snuggled up
next to his mum. Al has made fits and starts towards weening him off
this, but capitulates to guilt (him being in childcare), forceful
demands (he hits the right note with his cries), or practicality (better
getting 10 hours sleep with Jack than 2 hours while trying to get him to
sleep in his cot).
Just after 2am the other night I felt little hands patting me on my
face, and a quiet voice saying “Dad Dad Dad”. I whispered a hello to
him. He shuffled over and lay his head down next to mine on the pillow,
sighed, and promptly fell back to asleep. I guess the situation has
some rather special benefits.
Posted by Doug at 11:47 PM
Friday, June 02, 2006
Just when we thought we had him contained. Tonight Jack almost managed
to climb up onto a couch. If he can climb up onto a couch, he can fall
His downstairs play area is surrounded (walled in) by couches. On
occasion we leave Jack alone there for a minute or two - primarily to be
able to use the restroom. Now we can’t. The goal posts keep on moving.
Before having a child of your own you understand that there are dangers
abound and that you have to be constantly vigilant. You don’t fully
comprehend what that actually means. At this age any time Jack is awake,
for all but a couple minutes a day, an adult has to be watching him.
When you are one of those adults having to watch him, the reality of it
hits home. The moment you let your guard down some preventable mishap
We have had preventable mishaps. Uncaught tumbles, doors opened by
little hands into little heads, a paper-eating episode, and just the
other day a chair being pushed around the kitchen floor toppling back
onto his nose. A 10 second startled cry (and sometimes not even that),
and Jack is right back doing exactly the same thing. His parents on the
other hand are left to calm racing hearts and racing minds, thinking on
what could have been.
And that is the quandary. It is not always possible to prevent the
preventable. While not immediately ready to admit it, all the parents we
speak too have a raft of stories about such incidents. Philosophically
these little things help babies (and their parents) develop. Cause,
effect and consequence are primary tools of education. None of that
would matter though if your baby ended up hurt.
We don’t feel tumbling off a couch is an appropriate lesson at 10 months
though, so we will fall back on just using Jack’s Portacot downstairs,
or his playpen upstairs if we need a temporary safe holding area. All
this stuff is hard and worrying work. Al and I seem to be discussing a
dozen different things related to Jack every day and making decisions
together on them. You wouldn’t want to be an indecisive parent.
Posted by Doug at 9:48 PM
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Had a busy but good day. Started off with another visit to the
Botanical Gardens to further test out some of the new camera gear. Jack
lasted about an hour before getting antsy. I then went shopping, did
three loads of washing, cleaned up the house with Al, gave the lawns a
much-needed mow, and attacked the jungle out the back with a whipper
snipper. We then had a visit from a friend of Al’s who came along with
her boyfriend. As a reminder of how small the world it is, it turned
out he knew one of my friends from High School.
Jack eyes off a Dusky Moorhen.
and then a leaf shown to him by his mum.
Posted by Doug at 9:03 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Jack has a cough again. I was woken up at around 2am this morning by it.
He removed his dummy (basically while still asleep), had a coughing fit,
then put his dummy back in again. A couple minutes later he would
repeat. After more than 30 minutes of that I had to leave and spend the
rest of the night in the guestroom.
Today Jack has his morning nappy explosion earlier than usual – just as
we all woke up. The end casualty list numbered 10 minutes, my top, Al’s
top, Al’s Pyjama’s, Jacks complete outfit, 2 nappies, and half a packet
of wipes. What a way to start your Sunday.
Posted by Doug at 8:50 AM
Monday, June 05, 2006
Jack’s cough didn’t stick. It is still there on and off, but hasn’t
particularly bothered him. Something is though - he has had a moderate
fever for the last day and a half. While he has had a couple mild
fevers that have broken quickly, this is the first one that has stayed
around long enough for us to break out the books.
The books indicate the fever is in the moderate range, that his symptoms
are all common and to be expected, and that his responses to the fever
are in the good category (as apposed to the “bad, go check with the
doctor” one). He has been pretty cheerful, in a listless sort of way,
and while more clingy, irritable and fussy than usual, has been
relatively quick and easy to settle. He just doesn’t look 100% happy.
The primary impact is that he has been sleeping – lots. While this in
itself isn’t an impact, the fact he insistently demands his mum stay
very close at all times has been.
While this might be just another sickness picked up at one of his many
social activities, it could also relate to teething. His gums are bumpy
and you can clearly see individual teeth just below the surface. We
Posted by Doug at 10:57 PM
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Jacks fever seemed to break mid morning. He has continued to be antsy
and clingy, but is hopefully on the mend.
I on the other hand was hit by a horrendous sinus headache moments after
the sun came up. I tried various types of drugs, had multiple showers,
and slept for several hours, but couldn't shake it. Couldn't even dint
it. Didn't get into work, and only managed to cover a fraction of my
day from home. Moments after the sun went down it disappeared. Blah.
You always think about what you can give your child. Some days I think
about what I hope I don't give. I hope Jack doesn't get my allergies.
I hope Jack doesn't get my migraines.
Posted by Doug at 9:10 PM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Jack reached the 11-month milestone today. Once
again this milestone is overshadowed by illness. Thankfully he seems to
be over the worst of it, although he is still crying and whinging more
quickly than usual. He also hasn't yet recovered his appetite for food
and is constantly breastfeeding instead. His health has given him (and
I) a reprieve from the new childcare centre for this week, and curtailed
our activities over past few days.
Jack's latest developments
- Actively stands up against anything that will
stay still long enough - walls, cupboards, my legs, couches - you name
it. He is also very speedy at walking around holding onto the couches or
other furniture, often only lightly holding on. He can walk the entire
way around all his playroom couches including around corners without
stopping. He can push items like the highchair, kitchen chairs and
stools along the kitchen tiles from standing and kneeling positions.
- Keeps himself entertained by looking at books or
going through his learning picture cards. He turns the pages over
‘chatting' away to himself with plenty of inflection in his voice, as if
he is reading aloud - very cute!
- He can understand simple instructions like 'arms
up' (to get him out of the car seat or his high chair), ‘wave’
(enthusiastically waves when he chooses to), and 'turn the page' (when
reading him books and he obligingly turns the page (or several clumped
together)). He also recognises his name and being told 'no', but chooses
whether to acknowledge these, or just ignore them and continue
travelling towards or playing with things he shouldn't.
- He has overcome his fear of the 'floating mat'
at swimming classes. He now cheekily grins as he crawls along it. He
stops to tap on it and look at the other babies. This is a big change
after months of crying each time he did the activity.
Posted by Al at 4:54 PM
Jack is now 11 months old
My day started at 3:20am this morning. I woke up to Jack seemingly
imitating my snoring and Al laughing. Jack continued interacting with me
through to 4:45am when my alarm went off. Barely four hours of sleep –
the day wasn’t looking good.
Work turned out to be especially productive, and I walked in the front
door this afternoon feeling organised and on top of things. Jack was
down in his cot, and the household was quiet and calm. He had another
clingy and antsy day, but seemed to be on the mend.
Then he woke up.
Anything, any tiny little thing, would set him off in an anguished wail.
A couple hours of that and all feelings of being on top of things had
gone. This sort of behaviour is rare – and we assume he is either
teething or has an earache or something else noteworthily uncomfortable
Medicine might help in these situations – but Jack has been a total
rascal in taking any. Be it oral syringe, on a spoon, or mixed in with
his food, he has a sixth sense of what we are trying to do and clamps
his mouth shut, throws his head away, flails his arms about, and
projectile spits out anything that gets to his mouth.
He has a cough and a blocked nose, which is obviously making life more
uncomfortable for him. After several hours of his worst tonight we
decided to force a dose of Dimetapp on him. He has taken Dimetapp via
oral syringe before ok. We then made the mistake of trying to give him a
dose of Baby Panadol using the same method. He disliked the taste
immensely, spat it all out, and then steadfastly refused to take
anything else via that method.
Tonight, pairing up, we managed to get in a quick surprise attack and
squirted a full dose into his mouth. He sprayed a small amount out
(getting his mum right in the eye), but then remembered that he didn’t
mind the taste of this one after all, and swallowed the rest. I hope it
helps him get a better night rest. Lesson learnt though – we need to be
Something else new today – we purchased our first baby formula. (Soy
based, since we are concerned about his reactions so far to dairy.) Al
just isn’t getting enough opportunities to express to cover three days
in Childcare, and it can become a source of stress for all concerned.
I’m sure she’ll still be breast-feeding at 12 months, as she wanted to,
but this hopefully will make life a little easier on us all. I mixed up
the first bottle, and Jack took about 30mls with some interest before
deciding he had had enough. (Considering he is really off his food the
last few days, that was an ok start.) We will have to see how it pans
out over the next week or so.
Another new thing. Tonight while I was busy in the kitchen Jack said
“Dad Dad Dad” to me. I didn’t look up at him, so he yelled “DAD” to get
my attention. That’s the first time he has ever done something like
that. I imagine it will stay cute for 1 or 2 more times, then will
probably be a source of annoyance for the next 18 years.
Last of all - I mentioned Jack imitating my snoring at the start of this
post. Well, tonight for the third time Jack has imitated an animal noise
that I was making. When I do an Elephant trumpet, with accompanying arm
lift like a trunk, Jack repeats it back to me with a big grin, often
with the same arm movement. He does a good job of it. So after all his
difficult behaviour, that was pretty cool.
Posted by Doug at 9:26 PM
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Awake at 3:20am again this morning. This time it was a less successful
dose of Dimetapp and 15 minutes in the bathroom with the shower running
hot water. Thankfully Jack then went back to sleep for a couple solid
hours, but I have that pressing ache around my head from not having had
We suspect Jack is going through teething, has a cold and a cough, and
is having a growth spurt. Think about that.
Al looks like she has been hit by a bus this morning. It doesn't look
like she will get to work, and it doesn't look like Jack will get to
childcare. She is just having a shower -and hoping she feels better
Posted by Doug at 7:47 AM
During breakfast Jack was going through his picture cards. He lifted up
the Elephant card and made the Elephant noise. I think this is the
first time he has made an unprompted association between a static image
and a noise.
It was a very bad day for it, but Al sent off an email saying she would
not be in the Office today. Considering Jack has been very hard work
for almost a week now, she has been managing very well. She is however
frazzled and on edge today.
I've had a theory on this that seems to play out reliably. When Al has
got to the point of having to vent she remains really good with Jack,
but picks, snipes, and lashes out at me. Be that for good or contrived
reason, it doesn't matter. As I have said before I have nothing to
complain about with regards Al - she is a great wife and mother. I
should just dutifully take this on the chin, but I tend not to. That is
why it doesn't matter if it starts out as a contrived complaint - I will
soon do or say something in response that gives Al something real to
Posted by Doug at 9:23 AM
Jack is down for a morning nap, and the house is peaceful again. I'm
working in my study, and Al is working in hers. Our cleaners are due
(in fact, overdue) today, which will probably wake Jack up and throw the
house back into chaos. We realised just before that this period has
been the longest we have had with Jack being antsy. While we have had a
couple crying sessions and his croup etc, most only lasted a few hours,
or at most a couple days. This has been carrying on for a week. No
wonder we are all frayed around the edges.
At least one of Jack's lower teeth is through the gum, but hasn't broken
the skin as yet. There are at least three other teeth close to the
surface on his bottom gum, and two or four on the top one.
Posted by Doug at 10:05 AM
Jack had another nap in the afternoon, and allowed his parents to
recharge their batteries and get back on top of things. He was still
hard work, still breaking into anguished wails, still not eating much,
but there seemed to be a slight improvement.
This evening he was on the kitchen floor opening and closing doors and
cupboards under the watchful eye of his mum. He gave a sudden heave and
slammed the pots draw closed on his hand.
Que shocked face, horribly anguished cries, and huge tears. He had
caught the tip of a finger below the nail – drew blood, and I suspect
will have caused a nasty bruise. It would have to of hurt. He cried for
several minutes until silenced by a breast. By the time he finished his
meal he seemed to have forgotten his troubles. He was moving his hand
and fingers around ok, so I think he’ll be fine.
Two things come to mind while I sit here writing this. The first was how
I dropped everything and went running when I heard his first cry. He has
been crying regularly all week, but this one I knew was real hurt.
Thankfully we haven’t had to hear that one too often. The second is how
this sort of thing is going to happen time and time again as Jack grows,
learns, experiments, pushes boundaries, or just plain does stupid
things. It is going to be a tough part of parenthood. It seems a tough
part of being a baby.
Posted by Doug at 11:43 PM
Monday, June 12, 2006
We had planned to go to my parents place this long weekend. It was the
end of the Duck Season, and historically I head out with my Dad for our
last hunt together. Al and I hummed and hared over whether Jack was
right to travel or not. He was obviously on the mend, but was still
hard work. He decided for us by being his antsy best on Friday morning,
so was left at home with his mum.
I got out of Melbourne early afternoon, beating the long weekend
traffic. While my departure was timed well, my arrival wasn’t. Dad was
building a new back fence with a neighbour, and I turned up early enough
to be drafted into helping carry away the old fence and dig away the old
garden beds. It was probably the most physical work I’ve done in some
years, and was a reminder of how unfit I am getting. I assume Jack will
want a fit and active Dad – so I am going to have to do something it.
I had a quiet hunt with Dad on Saturday morning, but really enjoyed a
magical sunrise on our favourite lake. Saturday afternoon I was roped in
to helping get the new fence posts concreted, which was at least easier
work. I got a surprised SMS from Al that evening asking what was for Tea
– Jack had been better, so she drove up with him by herself. Jack was
shell shocked to find himself at his Grandparent’s place (having slept
the entire way), but adjusted quickly enough. They stayed for Saturday
night, much to my parent’s pleasure, and then headed back on Sunday
morning in time for another 1st birthday party.
I had a particularly good hunt with Dad on Sunday morning, although it
had started extra early. Dad had heard Jack talking (to himself
apparently, as both his parents were sleeping either side of him). He
got up and turned on the heaters in the Kitchen and Lounge room for us,
and stopped at the door of our room to let us know. Al half heard the
conversation and woke me up to say Dad was calling for me. I got up in
the dark and got dressed, then wandered out into the Kitchen to have
breakfast. I was wondering where Dad was when I checked my watch –
4:30am, an hour before we were scheduled to get up! I spent the hour
reading a computer magazine. After the hunt I had lunch with my parents
and then returned to Melbourne.
Today was a recuperation day. We all seem to have come down with a cold
though, which has put a dampener on things. Jack does however seem a lot
better. Aside (thankfully) being a shorter week, we should be back on
our normal schedule.
Posted by Doug at 9:57 PM
Friday, June 16, 2006
I dislike the term IT Consultant – it has too many negative
connotations. Having been one for the last nine years, I know that view
is well deserved.
I find consulting a great concept that is rarely applied correctly. I
say that often.
At 11pm tonight I sent off a reply to a work email. The distribution had
grown over the day to a Regional Manager, two State Managers, two
Practise Managers, and the Manager of said Practise Managers. My reply
was a page long – and considering the audience, was blunt but carefully
If I weren’t in Consulting it would have said, “I clearly know what I am
talking about. You are clearly talking crap.”
It was about a critical resourcing issue. It was something that had been
apparent for many weeks, but that had been left unaddressed. I wasn’t
popular when I rejected the proposed (and inappropriate) solution.
I have enough stories to fill a book – or a very active blog.
Posted by Doug at 12:26 AM
Sunday, June 18, 2006
I need to buy some new shoes and work clothes this morning. Al was
toying with the idea of coming along with Jack for an outing.
I just indicated I would be leaving in 10 minutes and asked if they were
coming. Jack is seesawing on the cusp of having a morning nap, and Al
indicated she would decide in 10 minutes.
She missed the point.
I said I would be leaving in 10 minutes. That meant if they were to come
along they better start getting ready now. If they decided to come along
in 10 minutes time it will take me more like 20 minutes before I will
get out the door – if I am lucky.
I hear a loud and happy Jack talking. I guess they are coming along.
Posted by Doug at 9:55 AM
Jack's first tooth has come through in past couple
weeks - a milestone often talked about and much anticipated amongst
parents. Unfortunately there has been a downside for me - Jack taking to
nasty little nips at the end of each breastfeed, accompanied with a
cheeky grin. A painful habit I am actively trying to discourage!
Jack has had 2 play centre visits in the past
couple days. Met with my friends and their kids again - all agreed we
would do this ongoing as a monthly activity. It is great to get the
opportunity too regularly catch-up. Jack was angelic during this visit,
happily exploring cubby houses, throwing little balls in and out of
structures, and riding on bikes. Yesterday we went to another centre in
Geelong for my Dad's birthday. The location was picked to keep all the
grandkids (and grand-dad) entertained. Jack had his first ride down a
big slide - on my knees. I think it might have been scarier for me - in
ensuring I had a tight hold and noting how fast we whizzed down! He also
enjoyed playing inside tunnels, going down the little kid slide, and
playing with giant beads and shapes.
It is now school holidays, so for the next 2 weeks
Jack and I get a break from his regular activities.
Jack's current favourite activity at home is
gripping his soft blue ball and throwing it, then chasing it down to
repeat the process over and over again. He lifts it above his head and
throws it down so that it bounces. Occasionally there are directional
problems, and it drops behind him rather than in front.
He is also enjoying filling his foam box with his
toys, stacking objects on the couches and on his foam box, and today
even trying to balance some foam numbers on my head! He has started
repeating some animal noises also - elephant (loud 'ooohhhh' type noise
accompanied with arm waving like an elephant's truck), lion's roar
('oar') and monkey's (we say 'ooo ooo ahh ahh ahh' and he repeats the
'aahs'). We are enjoying watching him starting to imitate sounds and
Today's date has me reminiscing...it is exactly 12
months since I started my maternity leave. I remember at the time I was
desperately hoping Jack wouldn't arrive for at least 1 – 2 weeks (ended
up being nearly 3) so that I would have some time to relax, and get
through the list of last-minute (non-critical) things to do. I was
focusing a lot of my thoughts at the time on the coming birth, and
wondering how our life was going to change, how we would manage and
A year down the track our life certainly has
changed more than we could have imagined. Everyone tells you beforehand
it is tiring and a lot of work, but you just can't fully imagine exactly
how much until it happens. On the plus side, while we know we aren't
perfect parents, we do feel like we are managing well overall. Jack has
certainly brought a lot of joy into our life, and changed our outlook,
priorities and lifestyle.
Here we are now with an active 11 month old,
babbling to himself and us, walking around the furniture and keeping us
on our toes. We have survived the return to work for me, and the start
of childcare for Jack. I have embraced the mum's lifestyle, catching up
with other parents of young kids, attending kids activities, and having
one-on-one playtime with Jack at home. I don't think I have ever been so
busy in my life, or as happy.
Posted by Al at 2:56 PM
I got out the door this morning only 15 minutes later than planned.
Normally when I shop I go to one or two outlets, get what I planned,
then leave. Invariably with Al and Jack in tow more shops were added to
the list. Then Jack fell asleep in his pram, so we had an early lunch in
the food court. Jack was still asleep, so we had cake and caffeine. The
1 hour shopping trip turned into 2 hours and 30 minutes - but I got what
I came for, and we had a nice relaxed meal and morning.
Taken tonight. If you look closely at his grubby face you can see his
first tooth - kind of.
We are having more and more trouble with Jack refusing food and formula.
Anything solid (aside from chips and chicken) that we hand to Jack at
meal times is looked at with distain, then tossed over the side of his
highchair and onto the ground. He doesn't stop to check the texture,
smell or taste - it is just instantly thrown.
Tonight Al had asked me to give him a play session downstairs since he
wasn't quite ready for Bed. I was having a cup of tea and biscuit, and
noticed Jack showing some interest in it. I gave Jack the last half of
the biscuit, but he immediately threw it onto the ground. This was a
rather disappointing waste - it was a nice biscuit, and the last from
the packet! I continued to have my cup of tea, and after a minute, Jack
picked up the biscuit again and gave it a good sucking on for several
minutes. (Note the crumbs on his face above...)
The matting in his play area is kept fairly clean, so I wasn't too
concerned that he was eating food off it. (The ground under the
highchair would be a different matter!) We might have to start using
this trick in future - giving Jack food in a location that he can toss
and throw it around in, then pick it up and try to eat it at his own
leisure. Anything is worth a try.
I had a volume of phone calls and emails in response to my Thursday late
night work email.
The issue came down to another area of the company wanting to use a team
member of mine. When I say wanting to use – they had already allocated
them to a project and incorporated them into their plans. They had not
actually asked, and when I pointed out that I could not release the team
member, panic settled in. They offered up a replacement that I rejected,
and they then accused me of allowing a personality conflict to
negatively impact on a critical company resourcing issue.
I think that was the worst thing I have ever been accused of in the
decade plus I have been working, and I was rather upset by it. I
responded in two parts. The first pointed out correspondence up to 18
months old where I had previously raised the unsuitability of their
suggested replacement, and again listed why. Personality had nothing to
do with it – in fact I don’t mind the person. The second part indicated
I thought I would have garnered more respect than that.
I received apologies and assurances I had people’s respect. The negative
comment was a throw away line meant to prompt another round of combat on
an internal political issue. The issue was basically about resourcing
across states, who controls it, and who is responsible for improving its
effectiveness. It wasn’t a comment however that I could simply ignore. I
guess now management will think twice about using me when they are
looking for a suitable underling to throw upon and stoke an internal
Posted by Doug at 10:54 PM
Friday, June 23, 2006
I've noticed lately that Jack waves at his TV show's when they say "Bye
Bye" at the end. He has surprised us by how quickly he picks up the
appropriate actions and responses to a given situation. We have not been
giving him enough credit for what he understands. He stopped biting our
noses once we started pulling away from him and making pained noises. He
stopped the habbit of biting his mum at the end of each breast feed soon
after he started it. It was his mums involuntary exclamations and
subsequent stern no’s that changed that behaviour quickly.
Yesterday afternoon while distracting Jack during a nappy change, I
taught him how to clap. It took all of 2 minutes. Since then, any time
he is excited or happy, he claps. He does a good job of it too - making
a clearly audible noise that easily surpasses his mum's silent opera
clap. I wonder at what else I should be teaching him.
And then there were two. Jack has another teething fever, drool and
cough, and has been extra antsy and tired again. His second bottom
tooth is through, and I guess more are on the way. A couple weeks ago
we were a touch worried that he still had no teeth. Now we think a
gummy smile was just fine...
We had another family outing this morning, visiting Jells Park. Above
is a Photo I took of a Common Bronzewing Pigeon - one of the many birds
we spotted on the 3km walk around the Park's lake. We stopped and had
breakfast at the Jells Tea House while Jack slept on our shoulder.
Posted by Doug at 8:26 PM
Saturday, June 24, 2006
He seems particularly happy to be heading off to the shops today. Like
with trips in the car, Jack seems particularly patient in his pram - as
long as it is moving.
Posted by Doug at 8:43 PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Jack has had 2 half days at the new Childcare
Centre for a couple weeks now. This is leading up to starting 2 full
days from next week, when I increase my office hours.
For the first 3 days Jack cried furiously each
time I left, and yesterday (when he was tired and not feeling well) he
seemed to be almost shaking in my arms. This of course leaves me feeling
horrible and worrying if and when he will go there happily.
Today he was fresh from a 2-hour nap, and to my
surprise he was instantly engaged in some rubbery toy insects and only
gave one small sound of protest before being entranced. I said 'bye bye'
as I always do, and he didn't even look up. (Whether this caused tears
after I left and he suddenly realised could be another story.) It made
me feel much happier and relieved to see him fascinated and not worrying
about being left. I had considered putting him in for full days this
week, but I decided to enjoy spending my last week of 6 days with him.
He also is still not 100% - being extra clingy, cuddly and sleepy. Tooth
number 2 came through last week and we are waiting to see if any more
are about to eventuate.
While he was in Childcare I took the opportunity
to catch up with a couple of friends for lunches, did some shopping and
running around, and of course got some uninterrupted work done. This has
helped provide some relaxation and even a little bit of a 'holiday' from
a stressful time at work and my general busyness.
We celebrated another 2 first birthday parties
this past weekend (Liana and Kiara from mother's group). It has been
really special to see not only your own baby develop, but those of the
mother's group, and it is nice to all share in this milestone around the
same time. Doug's mum also came down to stay Saturday night. I went to
see Swan Lake on Ice with her on Sunday (her 60th present from us) while
Doug minded Jack. The show was beautiful - performed in one of
Melbourne's beautiful old theatres with great costuming, sets and
atmosphere, and we both really enjoyed. Doug drove in to pick us up and
to take his mum to Spencer Street station for her trip home. We were
interested to see the new developments there, but were left feeling
disappointed with the outcome. It did give Jack further opportunity to
see trains (although he didn't seem to really take them in).
With the break in normal activities, we also took
the opportunity for an enjoyable family outing to Jell's Park. Yesterday
at library story time a Firelady came to read fire stories to the kids,
and show them her outfit. Unfortunately the fire truck was out on a job,
but she came in a 4-wheel drive with flashing lights and a siren that
was still suitably exciting for the kids to see. Jack just took it all
in with wide-eyed curiosity.
Doug came home late after attending work drinks
one night last week. Jack and I were in his downstairs play area around
the time Doug normally gets home, and Jack kept looking towards the door
and saying 'da da'. On Thursday the Childcare place also told Doug that
Jack had been waiting for him - looking towards where Doug appears, and
going and standing at the door gate and looking out for the 30 minutes
or so before Doug arrived (slightly later than usual). It is amazing
that babies have an 'internal clock' and anticipate events, despite not
knowing the time.
Posted by Al at 2:31 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Jack has taken to scratching us deliberately the last couple days. He is
really forceful about it. We tend to respond by shrinking back and
involuntarily exclaiming (because it hurts), and then we sternly say no
Our reaction might initially surprise Jack, but in the past this has
been sufficient for him to understand in relatively short time that his
actions were not good. That doesn’t always stop it, but he’ll push his
boundaries with an accompanied cheeky grin.
The scratching has been a problem. He seems to acknowledge we don’t like
it through his expression, but gets a forceful determined look on his
face and keeps repeating it. It can be hard enough to draw blood.
We are working through some book suggested responses to try and “adjust”
the behaviour. Neither of us would like to think of him doing that to a
carer or another child at childcare.
Every day with a child seems to bring up some new amazing reward, and
some new challenge to get over.
I read a quote yesterday that I found quite touching. It was spoken by a
young man who had just buried his wife, losing her to breast cancer. "You
know you can get sunburnt on a cloudy day? Just goes to prove that even
though you can't see it, there's always sunshine in your life." The
man subsequently died of cancer himself a couple years ago, and the
quote and related story was mentioned in his online obituary.
How did I come across that? I was looking at a photography website, and
a recently posted image was dedicated to him.
Posted by Doug at 11:15 PM
Thursday, June 29, 2006
I’ve noticed both Al and I are whinging a lot at the moment. We are
talking over each other to remark on how tired we are, or how little
sleep we have been getting. It is simple enough – we are just doing too
many things and running ourselves ragged - again. I can understand
wanting to make the most of the opportunities, but we don’t give
ourselves the chance to enjoy them in the rush. It looks like this
weekend only has the one event on – I hope we can keep it to that.
Jack’s tippee toe standing stretches mean he can now touch objects on
our bedside tables. The other day he dragged a glass of water off one of
the tables, almost hitting himself on the head, and needing some wet
clothes changed. Today Al moved the glass further away from the edge,
but he still managed to drag it off. Tonight while holding him and
checking my emails, I was careful to ensure Jack didn’t knock a glass of
water over that I had on my desk. I was so busy watching him that I
clumsily knocked the glass over myself.
Posted by Doug at 10:19 PM