Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marko is so much fun

We seem to have broken out of a cranky stage, where Marko was testing his boundaries and frustrated with his abilities, into a new happy stage where he has mastered the abilities he wanted and is having fun practicing them. Every day he learns some new thing!

For instance, the other day, he was resisting getting his diaper changed. I happened to say, "Let me put on your diaper so we can go back into the living room." He heard the word "go" and got really excited. He repeated it over and over, while running back over to me so I could change his diaper. Once he had it on, he got his pants and had me put those on. Then he ran to the door and asked to go out. I said, "You can go out, but we have to stay in the yard!" But no, he ran right to the gate and started opening it. I said, "No go." He said, "Go! Park!" I said, "I really don't want to, and I don't have my shoes on." He ran back inside, helped me find them, and even tried to shove them on my feet!

Who can resist such enthusiasm? We went to the park and had a great time.

Or this afternoon. He hadn't napped at his "usual" time (that is, the time I always try) of eleven o' clock. I was thinking I'd try again at one. At a quarter to one, he pulled me into the bedroom, saying "Nee-nee. Rocker." I sat on the rocker and nursed him, and he fell right to sleep! Other times he will go into his bedroom and lie on his bed, demanding a diaper change, and then pretending to nap, saying "Nap! Nap!" He still can't fall asleep on his own, but he knows that it's what he wants when he's tired.

He can follow instructions very accurately. If I hand him the dustpan full of dirt, he can carry it over to the trash and dump it without help. (In fact, it must be without help. If I try to help, he pushes my hands away, declaring, "Mukko! Mukko!" Meaning, "Thanks for the offer, ma'am, but just leave it to the professional.") If I say, "Take this basket and push it into the laundry room," he can do that too. It thrills him to pieces to be included in the housework ... though I'll admit, it's still more trouble to me to let him help than to do it myself. I let him because he likes it, and because he may as well learn to do housework while he likes it instead of having it forced on him later when he hates it.

He is starting to play pretend. He'll hug his mouse or another stuffed animal, and shove them in my face to get me to kiss them. He has been found pouring milk on the mouse's nose (saying "Drink! Drink!") or putting it on the potty. Occasionally, with a twinkle in his eye, he'll point at me and say "Daddy!" I'm pretty sure he knows he's joking.

Sleep is a mixed bag. He's working on his schedule, and so am I, trying to find a way to get him to nap late enough that he's actually tired and will sleep, and early enough that it won't disrupt bedtime, and long enough that he's not a total crab when he wakes up, and short enough that he will still be tired by nine o'clock. I might be able to manage this if I had total control of when he sleeps and wakes. But who are we kidding? I try and try to get him to sleep at eleven, and he falls asleep at one. Next day, I think "One o'clock it is!" and he passes out at ten-thirty. One day he tried not to nap at all -- only to turn into a limp rag at 5:30, wake up screaming at six, and be hyper until eleven at night. That was not a fun day at all.

But for the most part, he is fairly happy nowadays. And I'm having a lot of fun. I love the level of interaction he's capable of, and how he can sit on the couch looking at a book or playing with his mouse without too much input. I love playing chase (or, as he calls it, "get you"), patty-cake, head-shoulders-knees-and-toes, and tickle. When he's getting tickled, he laughs hysterically -- but if I stop, he grabs my hand and pulls it back toward him, saying "Tickle. Neck. Belly," or wherever he wants to be tickled. This is not a kid who screams "no" without meaning it when he's getting tickled. (Perhaps because I do respect his "no" and always stop if he says it.) No, he is enthusiastic and vocal about his love of tickles.

I am just getting a kick out of this kid. For the first time in awhile, I don't feel a bit lonely during the week. I feel like I finally have someone to talk to.

"Really? So what about the primary election? Tell me more!"


Enbrethiliel said...


What a fun post! (And what a blond boy!)

I remember reading in some baby book that it's good when children can practice connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated thoughts. For instance, "I'm a little tired, so we're going to order pizza for dinner tonight." (Probably not the most healthful example, though! LOL!) I was reminded of that when I read about Marko and your shoes.

Moreover, it's so great that you have someone to talk to now who can talk back! =)

The Sojourner said...

"This is not a kid who screams "no" without meaning it when he's getting tickled. (Perhaps because I do respect his "no" and always stop if he says it.) No, he is enthusiastic and vocal about his love of tickles."

This is slightly embarrassing, but...that was a major aha! moment for me. I've been growing in the conviction that I want to teach my children that their no means no (except in obvious situations, like if they were protesting having the sharp knives put out of their reach), but I got kind of sad when I thought about tickling. I had the idea in my head that if I stopped whenever they say "No!" I would never, ever get to tickle them.

Yeah, my high IQ isn't really that beneficial when it comes to figuring out parenting, apparently.

(I've had lots of similar revelations in answer to thoughts like, "But what will we DO if they can't watch TV?" and "But how DO I teach them that running into the street is bad if I don't spank them?". Not that I think the occasional TV show or swat on the bottom will scar a kid for life, but it had just never occurred to me that there were OPTIONS.)

CatholicMommy said...

Getting big so fast! What a cutie. Also, I passed an award along to you! Check it out.

Sheila said...

Sojourner, you want my trick for teaching a kid not to run out into the street without spanking? You know you do...

I simply have a game that I play with him all the time. When we're taking walks -- sometimes with him pushing the stroller, sometimes just walking side by side -- I say "Go go go!" And we go as fast as we can. Then he pulls up suddenly, or I do, and whenever this happens, I make sure we're both stopped and call out "Stop!"

After awhile, he started to understand what "stop" meant, and that when you hear "stop," you stop. Of course he does not stop for any length of time, but it's long enough for me to swoop in and fetch him out of whatever danger he's in.

It also helps that we have a fenced yard, though. ;) He can open the gate now, but it takes him a long time, and I can stop him before he makes it to the road.

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