Posts tagged under Toddler. Show all posts.
Strange. It’s like Baxter goes to sleep and wakes up able to undertake a skill we may have exposed him to the previous day. Crawling and walking are now both at the same skill level (mind you, he’s no Ben Johnson). As you may recall, rolling is an efficient form of transport for the young Master Baxter, but it has its drawbacks—chiefly, the world becomes somewhat off-kilter in its wake.
Crawling would be a snap, were it only in the backwards direction. But the last two days have witnessed a combination upward dog, two-legged, crouch-bounce, and somewhat lurid pelvic floor thrust, giving us confidence that a full crawl is imminent. Meanwhile, why not learn to walk? (With constant support—of course.) Baxter is keen to self-direct (aka steer). He’s quite focused on his destination. This may be the reason for his slightly lopsided gate. I can’t explain it, but Baxter likes to bolt his left leg forward and merely hop his right. He’s as baffled as we are. That said, if there is a right-turning marathon out there, we might have a future champion.
But what pushes the ‘cuteometre’ is his new tongue click. It’s quite clear and well rehearsed. The tongue is held against the roof of his mouth for quite a while as he builds suspense. Then it releases with a pop, surrounded by an expression that could be confused with pride. So now he’s drunkenly meandering about the sandbox clicking with each step. If you’re a fan of Monty Python’s Holy Grail, you can picture a knight prancing about, clapping two half-coconut shells together simulating a horseman.
Day two with shoes.
Day one was a journey to the computer store. It was lucky that he wore them, as one shoe turned out to be the perfect distraction to stave off the pre-nap crazies. Baxter battles with these mini converses though. He curls his toes into that familiar foot-stop position, making insertion futile. He may or may not try to work them off (see my shortest movie ever below). And he’s not always able to get that right foot catching up with the left. Nevertheless, he can still walk about and discover the whole store (supported of course).
Day two was the One Of A Kind Show—in the evening. Risky I know. But the aisles are like landing strips. Baxter can walk for an eternity, unencumbered, but still supported by yours truly. Oh my aching back. I wish I were my mother-in-law’s height—when she walks him around it looks like they’re slow dancing.
I bought a hat and Baxter met Katya again. Last they met they were mingling at The AGO (Kid Zone, in case you pictured martinis and dinner jackets).
Katya is perhaps the most beautiful little person. With big eyes that told me she’s on to my shenanigans and lashes that blew my hair back, she’s always sporting a big smile. She was coy with BB so he laid on the charm. In Baxter’s defense, the age difference is enormous with her being 12 weeks his senior. His pawing and stumbling was not of interest to an unsupported walker such as she. It’s worth noting Katya’s footwear resembled the traditional Inuit summer boot—but pink.
You really get a sense of how closely related we are to our evolutionary past when your child is in the 10-month phase. The affinity for bananas aside, our little monkey does the best impressions in the family. The ‘ewww eww, ahh ah’, pushing and thrashing his food, a constant disturbance of the peace.
Baxter’s most entertaining primate impression is reminiscent of a monkey dining on ants. It looks like a simple finger test, wherein a wet digit is poked into an unknown, sampled and tasted. Works well on moist food, drinks, shag carpet, dirty corners in the crevasses of windows and of course, sand.
When he’s at the park, settled in the sandbox, it’s like he’s sitting in the biggest package of Fun Dip. Frankly, I think he’s onto something. His teeth are so white and clean. Perhaps we all need an oral exfoliate.
But seriously folks, we don’t let him eat sand and my comparisons to primates are purely positive. Amy and I are simply stunned at his recent progress—physically and cognitively. It‘s like witnessing the evolution of the species sped up (with less fur and forehead). We barely have time to keep track of all his new achievements. We find ourselves scrambling to keep up with him now. From baby proofing to more challenging toys, we need to do some serious catching up. I for one refuse to be responsible for his devolution. Leave that to the Internet, television, and pop music.
Surrounded by a hurried environment, a new child and new career responsibilities, I promised myself to be mindful of the simple moments Baxter and I have shared recently.
I love my weekends when Baxter and I share our man-time. Amusing is his desire to walk (run) away from my support, only to quickly find out how I was of some use. Teetering and flailing head first into the ground like a jumbo jet’s emergency touchdown without landing gear. Luckily, our model of a baby boy is equipped with left and right air bags—namely those pudgy, protruding cheeks of his.
I realize falling is part of learning to walk and we are blessed with one tough monkey. You can easily observe the spills that hurt, thankfully they are rare. The crying is most sincere as indicated by red blotches that break out upon his flesh. If I were a dog, I would smell his distress. But most often, it’s caused from the shock of seeing his world flipped around without his permission.
But all this growing and striving and changing can really wear a little guy out. It’s hard to describe the emotions that flow through you as your baby-turned-toddler is under the spell of a bottle and succumbing to sleep. He reaches out and touches my face so gently (a pleasant change from the repeated smacks). Our eyes will lock. His hand will wander to his face. His leg that kept a steady beat falls still, resting splayed. His thumb will trace a warm path around his ear, twisting his thick paw to outline soft corners, then across his forehead and past his eye (now less focused). This moment is profoundly intimate in a way I’ve never experienced. I wish I could replay the images for you, but alas it would not whisper what I have heard.
I’m not an outdoorsman, but I’ve held my fair share of fish on a line. You need to be quick and certain to take hold and remove the hook.
My boyhood friend had a pet salamander. My goal that year was to simply get the thing in my hand. It never happened.
And now that I am grown up and married with a baby, I find myself faced with the same task but with new circumstances. Keeping an eye on Baxter is a new game. In seconds, he could be anywhere. It seems like anything can happen. He’s a loose cannon on a steep hill.
It’s the day-to-day maintenance of this mobile newbie that requires skills I don’t quite possess. Re-enter the diaper. I used to be good with the diaper change. I have fast hands, long fingers, and nimble, tactile agility, all of which are perfectly useless if your baby has bizarre eastern-European strength and a desire to be anywhere but on his back. Combine this with his insatiable appetite to find the nearest toy (or remote) and introduce it to his recently freed Willie, and I’m left at the losing end of the wrestling match.
It does, however, make for great photography (it would be better if Amy wasn’t laughing so hard).
Normally my visits to the dentist are not worth sharing. A little wait, a little gas, a rugged cleaning, and I’m out.
This season, the Bonds made a jaunt of it—through Baxter’s naptime no less. Like a German automotive plant, we had the plan down to a ‘T’. I dropped Amy off at the front door at Young and Bloor, and then BB and I parked. BB explored the nooks and crannies of Yorkville, as well as the main drag of Bloor. His smiles, chirps and yodels were virtually snubbed by all the well-to-dos. He was beginning to give up hope with the region’s population until we reached the 19th floor for my appointment and the hand off.
Baxter entered in his stroller and the whole office lit up. Six beautiful women took turns complimenting and encouraging little B. I haven’t seen more beaming since the Academy Awards. Baxter thought he had died and gone to heaven. He was passed from one woman to the next, with eyes like pizza pies and a smile that could split his head. He was pampered, primped, pranced and paraded throughout the office. I apologize to those patients trying to suffer in peace; it’s no place for banter, chortling and full-on merriment.
At this moment, I’m not sure who was more entertained—all the ladies in spiffy uniforms (shout out to Melissa, Vanessa, Tammy, Gina, Shannon and Mara), or my little boy. In the end, it was I. I was proud as a peacock and loved sharing the feeling that comes when a happy baby enters a room and takes over. I really had a blast at the dentist today. And look mom, no cavities!
Sadly, it’s rare for Amy, Baxter and I to enjoy an outing together these days. Life is busy.
Last Saturday we made a break for High Park with modest supplies and big appetites. Besides being in a place where the word ‘park’ is everywhere, it took us quite a while to do just that. After finding a spot to park (not an easy task), we took a long walk to the hot dog cart (first things first).
Satiated, we were able to appreciate our own company, take a breath, and although all the cherry blossoms had frozen off their perch days before, and wind was brisk, dry and cold, we couldn’t help but appreciate all the sights. What a wonderful way to spend time with the family—a trip to a great park complete with a zoo (please support your local zoo!).
Normally, I would tout the tranquility of such an outing, but Baxter isn’t much for tranquility. He did enjoy screeching at the bunny rabbit. I enjoyed having my nose suckled by an eight-week-old llama. Baxter was more fascinated by the other babies. He also felt he was louder and more flamboyant than the pheasant. Amy concurred and so did many innocent bystanders. Amy also documented all she saw through the lens, taking the time to enjoy the details. Baxter was a little jealous that the capybaras got more lens time, but he has his ways of attracting his own attention.
It’s easy to appreciate the many simple moments in a day when you share them with your family.
Last night was exciting. Baxter has been walking with assistance for quite a while. We’re not the type of parents to thrust the next development phase on the boy. Right or wrong, we figure he’ll get there when he get’s there. But frankly, I think he’s toying with us at this stage.
So as we sat facing each other, I pointed BB towards Mom, just like on the diaper commercials (we learn all our parenting skills from diaper commercials), and off he went. First attempt was a total success. The next two or three saw more confidence, longer ‘strides’ and a shared enthusiasm. There was applause and a hint of proud tears. Then the wheels fell off the cart and we were back to basics. It was fun while it lasted. ‘Baby steps’ as they say.
While on the subject of mobility, Amy and I invested in a bike trailer. It fits two kids, has a ton of storage and was a snap to assemble. It is massive—I think Amy was considering it for our next property move—but light as a feather and Canadian-made (an honest referral and hats off to the folks at Wike). That said, the inaugural flight was not fully witnessed by Baxter as his face was mostly covered by a cheap, ill-suited helmet, and I fear I missed one of the several seat snaps, leaving him less vertical, shall we say.
It was a smooth ride along the Lakeshore bike path to Amy’s studio in the Distillery District where all connections and harnesses were inspected (improved) and given the mommy seal-of-approval. The ride home was actually enjoyed by my passenger. The sun was shinning, the air was warm and the view was good (anything’s better than the inside of a helmet). The most fun about the bike trailer, besides the room for toys, blankies and friends, is that you’re always sitting on the axel, so bumps are a blast! Or at least they will be. For now, I’m slowing for bumps, seeing as there’s little trust after the first trip.
Ah, it’s spring. The birds are chirping. The grass is long and green. The city’s streets and sidewalks are torn up and the Bond family, hand in hand, blissfully skips into yet another season. All smiles people!
I’m known to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. So, in appreciation of the last week’s ‘cold toss,’ allow me to sum up some recent events:
The Cold Toss, the Circle Sniff, the Sick Cycle—every family has a name for it (I just made those three up!), but the result is the same—one family member falls ill, then the others fall on top of them. If executed correctly, the timing should coincide with the month’s busiest schedule and most important meetings.
Baxter is a miserable sick child. Sure, there’s snot and a cough and changes in his digestion (I’ll leave it at that—you’re welcome), but there is also a new found awareness of this sad state. This metacognition paves the way for a kind of baby depression manifest through exhaustion, impatience, fidgeting and a constant blubbering, or as my father would say, ‘pissing and moaning.’ It makes for a long day.
Baxter’s ‘growth’ is phenomenal. No doubt. He’s practically walking and his babble linguistics are impressive. He’s not afraid if we leave the room and he’s more focused during playtimes. Unfortunately, he’s lost his taste for baths. By lost his taste, I mean he screams bloody murder and now that he can stand and move about, escape attempts are constant. I wonder if Oasis Relaxation Aromatherapy candles come in a log form?
Lastly, to those moms that just smiled smugly when I bragged that Baxter eats anything you put in front of him, I am now at the table eating those very words. Yesterday’s favourites are today’s cod liver oil. Some foods must precede other foods lest the planet go off axis. There is little confusion as to what Baxter will eat, and what is refused. Merely look on the floor or curtains.
That concludes the Bond State of the Family Address. I shall resume the white washing next week.
Baxter may have been a big baby but he seems pretty ‘normal’ sized now. Perhaps it has something to do with his fussier eating habits. Now we second-guess ourselves as to whether or not he’s eaten enough.
A couple of evenings ago, I took him to the grocery store for a quick shop. It was getting close to bedtime and he had dinner. We strolled through the aisle and Baxter wasn’t attempting to ‘re-merchandise’ all the products to his preferred floor level—so I knew he was wiped. Then we got to the bananas.
From the time I grabbed the bananas to the time I got home, Baxter was obsessed. Amy had said that she had BB eating bananas without slicing them neatly and I suppose I never pictured what that meant. That evening I got a demonstration.
From the moment the banana was detached from its bunch it was like watching an episode of Shark Tank. Peeling appeared optional. His gorging reminded me of a frenzied prehistoric beast—mindless, save stuffing every morsel of banana into his wee mouth. By the end (yes, of the entire banana), Amy tried to remove the wee nib left buried in the base, but as she did so, Baxter moved on to the peel with the same fervour.
In the end we were all exhausted. Baxter looked like he just smoked an exploding fruit, and Amy and I were somewhat concerned over that fact that he ate more banana than either of us ever could have after a full dinner.
He frightens us.
One year, people—and a celebration was in order.
Baxter is a May 2-4 baby, which ensures he will party hearty in years to come (hopefully when I’m hard of hearing), but last weekend he was content to walk about pleasantly stunned as people assisted him in opening presents. To me, a twelve-month-old human really can’t comprehend the intentions of a good party. Obviously it’s to celebrate the parent’s (mostly mother’s) survival, hence the punch with punch.
Ironically, Amy chose to prepare an enormous spread. For a solid week she was up late in the kitchen. She’ll even admit it got away from her a bit. She’s not experienced in food service and she really had a mountain of prep work complete but no real plan to present said delectables. When asked for help, she was unable to respond. Is there a culinary equivalent to ‘shell shock?’ Once removed from the war room, she was able to relax and watch everyone snack and enjoy.
As Baxter will have no memory of this occasion, our goal was to catch up with family and friends. Reconnect. It was a lovely sunny day on the deck and everyone had a great time. I am reminded as to how generous our friends are. Especially now, looking at Baxter’s toy pile.
Toys are tools for children—apparently critical for development. In Baxter’s case, he is developing an ear for which toy will smash louder. Meanwhile, his young friends have learned to open, assemble, play with and ‘borrow’ the shiny new toys (some call it parallel play), while BB blissfully crash tests whatever is closest. I suppose there’s education in that.
This past week was both busy and relaxing—what with V-Day, a short work week and a four day weekend to keep the kids busy. Oscar shocking, strangers slapping babies and some great new snack ideas were all things that caught my attention this week.
1. Valentine’s Day is over, with great relief to many. For those in relationships, it’s a lot of pressure. For those who are not, it’s even greater. I have a single friend who declared Valentine’s Day as ‘Singles Awareness Day.’ Clearly IKEA Australia was not concerned about the single woman market when they advertised free cribs for babies born nine months after February 14. This is the kind of wit and humour we’re seeing more and more on brand Facebook pages to engage and entertain their communities. I love it. Please send me your favourite Facebook brand posts if you see any.
2. In much less funny news, it’s no surprise that Oscar Pistorius caught my attention last week. It’s tough to feel sorry for the guy and it’s really tough to not judge him. His story isn’t very sound—but in a world where everyone is innocent until proven guilty, we should take a page out of Kirsten’s blog post. She’s a mom with a special needs child who has an interesting non-judgemental perspective on the case. It’s sad and bad on so many levels—but it’s particularly incomprehensible when you think of the hope and inspiration he has taken away from special athletes all over the world.
3. Another story from the crazy news archive: an ‘executive’ slapped a baby on a plane last week. According to the account I read on Babble, the boy’s mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, was trying to soothe her son upon descent when the executive told her to shut him up and used a racial epithet. He then allegedly slapped the baby, causing a cut under his eye. He was charged with assault to a minor, has been fired from his job and faces up to a year in prison for his actions. Look at him…I think I could take him on if he slapped my baby. I know I would have wanted to…
4. Speaking of small children, they really are the fussiest of eaters. Thank goodness they are adorable because they drive their moms crazy when it comes to feeding them. That’s why we have Jan Scott, our food editor, who has all kinds of great ideas for feeding toddlers. Last week she shared a few great ideas and this week she came up with another great toddler snack idea that I just had to share.
5. Since you’re so busy making healthy foods for the kids, you’ll need to make sure you’re stocked with healthy options for yourself, too. I noticed yesterday in my President’s Choice Insider’s Report that they are offering two cool new products that I’ll be adding to my shopping cart. One is the yummy Chocolate Granola Boost with Protein to include in my morning yogurt and the other is the PC Organics dark greens salad—the Kale, Chard and Spinach Mix. I think it will get me going this week.
Are you planning on watching the Oscars? I think we’ll be enjoying it in our pyjamas this year. Don’t forget that if you haven’t seen all of the movies yet, there is no need to panic. You can find lots of the nominees on iTunes now. Go watch. There are only four more days left.
Have a great week.