We have magnetic letters on our refrigerator that when put inside their base will say the letter and its pronunciation out loud. Liam’s been playing with them for months, but until today it was the puzzle aspect of the game that interested him (get the letter into the base and make sounds, push the right button and it will sing the alphabet song). A few minutes ago while I was making coffee he ran over to the refrigerator, pointing at something and screaming “G!” at the top of his lungs. I should mention here that this is not a new occurrence since he learned that Gillian is his “G” and every time he sees her picture these days he yells “G!” emphatically, so I didn’t really spring to action until I realized that a) we don’t have a picture of Gillian in the kitchen (sorry, G) and b) he was pointing at the refrigerator. I glanced over and realized that he was, in fact, pointing to the letter G. Now, I try not to be one of those parents who decides, with absolute certainty, that everything my child does means that he’s a genius (which is actually much harder than you’d think) and my initial reaction was ‘what a funny coincidence.’ Just in case, I knelt down and asked him where the letter “O” was and he pointed to the O. Then I asked him where the “L” was and after searching for a few seconds, he pointed to the L. He wasn’t as certain with a few of the other letters (and it doesn’t help that many of them live in a semi-permanent upside-down state), but still. Wow. Now this has to be a fluke, right — I mean, an incredible fluke, but a fluke all the same…?
The seemingly unending rain is bad enough by itself but the sun taunts are beginning to get to me. Add that to the fact that I can’t guarantee that I can get to the bottom floor of my house without getting wet and you get a thoroughly annoyed Shannon. Throw in a kid who has gone (in a span of 2 weeks) from sleeping 12 hours per night and taking 3.5 hour naps to sleeping around 11.5 hours nightly and napping for no more than 45 minutes at a stretch and I’m basically beside myself.
Fairly recently we started using the time-out method for Liam when he’s refusing to follow directions. Usually this occurs after we ask him to do something that he’s done a thousand times before and he completely refuses to comply after being asked multiple times. It consists of putting him on the floor in his room and closing the door for around 60 seconds, during which time he sobs and screams, followed by a hug and very simply telling him why he was there. Lately, just the threat of a time out is enough to help him along in the following-directions arena. This has coincided with his ability to reach and turn doorknobs (which seems unrelated, but bear with me). He can close them nicely, but still has trouble with the opening (which is exacerbated by the child-safety doorknob covers I have on certain doors that I’d rather he not be able to open at all right now, including the inside of his bedroom door). Last night while Matt was on the phone, Liam was playing a game of hide-and-seek with Matt from behind his bedroom door. The difference in this game from all the other times was that Liam (laughing heartily) would pull his door closed — but the second that it shut he began sobbing. The first time Matt opened the door really quickly, thinking that he might have hurt himself in some way. But as soon as Liam realized that the door was open he stopped crying and began laughing. The problem was that he then repeatedly shut the door (while laughing) and promptly began sobbing as soon as it was shut. Matt opened the door for him at least five times before he finally removed the kid from his room beacause the bawling was such that he wasn’t easily calmed. My theory is that in his mind he was putting himself in time-out. Being a toddler can be so confusing!
I think that this confirms a nationwide epidemic:
Thanks to our reader Nicholas who sent this to us all the way from a restaurant lobby in New Jersey.
The streak continues:
Hanging out with Walker and Jessica:
DHS Alumni Soccer Game:
Mother’s Day with my two guys (I got a sand and water table and we spent the day relaxing together in our PJs):
Look Ma, I’m throwing a fit:
Hey, are you watching me? (AKA: I forgot to be upset)
Socca, Socca, and More Socca:
Shorts on my head! Shorts on my head!
Rain, rain go away:
Liam is fascinated with potty time. Unfortunately he’s not at all fascinated with his own (at this point purely imaginary) potty time. If you tell him that you need to go to the potty he’s either very upset that you’re making the extraordinarily selfish decision to do this by yourself or he’s absolutely elated that you allow him to go into the bathroom with you. Last night he was in the bathroom with Matt when I heard shrieking (Liam) followed by screaming (Matt). A few minutes later I heard Matt frantically yelling at Liam not to touch anything. I ran in there after the second set of yells because I knew Liam must have pee somewhere on his body. Unfortunately I was right and it took two of us to scrub him with soap (I did the scrubbing while Matt held a thrashing Liam as he soaked as many body parts and as much clothing in the sink as was possible). Apparently Liam stuck his hand into the toilet after Matt finished his business but before he could get the lid down. As if that wasn’t disgusting enough — later on in the evening Matt explained the first set of screams. Apparently Liam ran in there (excited because he was allowed in the bathroom) while Matt was doing his business and before Matt could do anything to stop it he realized that Liam’s head was going for spray through the uprights, so to speak. Somehow I’m getting the impression that potty training this particular little boy isn’t going to be the most sanitary thing I’ve ever done…
I love having my back scratched. I think it’s hereditary because I know of several members of my family who also love to have their backs scratched. I don’t think that this is an uncommon trait out there in the world, but I love it to the point that it’s noted and recognized in our house. Last night I asked Matt to scratch my back (which is particularly nice lately because he’s apparently been chewing his nails and ragged nails make for a great back scratch) and he told me the following story:
Yesterday morning Matt was changing Liam’s diaper. Liam appeared to be fiddling with his hip/haunch area and it looked to Matt like it might itch. Matt scratched it for him. Apparently Liam’s reaction was to stop everything and lie there in what looked like a trance. Matt said it was clear by the look on Liam’s face that this might have been the first time Liam had enjoyed a good itch scratching. He also said that it was clear that Liam is my son.
Liam has been trained by Matt to such an extent that now, whenever he does anything on purpose, he looks at me and with a great amount of conviction says “GOOOAAAALLLL!”
Matt’s cardinal rule of home improvement is that everything takes five times longer than you think it will (you know, if you’re lucky). Today I made a grave error in judgement by ignoring this rule. It started simply enough: I was going to stain the handrail and newel post on the banister we had installed a couple of months ago. This part did not cause me a bit of trouble. The trouble came when I realized (for the first time with absolute certainty, although I had many a prior inkling) that natural oak is not a wood color that I wish to have in my home. I can certainly live with the natural oak stain on the floors in the main living area and just knowing that I plan to have the kitchen table and chairs refinished at some point in the future calms me considerably. I can even live with the unfinished pine hutches we have in our dining area and bonus room because in my mind’s eye they are already painted with a distressed black finish. Today, at approximately 3:00 pm (after having stained my beautiful handrail and newel post) I made the unfortunate discovery that I could not live with a natural oak handrail and newel post. The vision I’ve had for those stairs in my mind’s eye is something like this:
I think that’s even the same newel post that we have.
The first problem is that in order to stain the stair treads with a dark stain I need to fully remove the protective varnish. I did a little research and found a “green” stripper that is supposed to be safe to use inside the house and off I went to the Lowe’s. By 5:30pm I had covered the stair treads in stripper. The second problem is that that stripper now has to be removed. In order to do that it has to be scraped off and then wiped down with mineral spirits (or a “green” mineral spirits substitute, apparently). I have no idea how many rounds of this it will take to fully remove the stripper, but it’s obvious that it won’t be one. The third problem is that because the stripper isn’t fully removed and because I don’t want to burn my skin off I can’t kneel, lean, or sit on anything that has been stripped in my attempts to strip the tread above the one I have just partially stripped. The fourth problem is that the protective chemical gloves go up to the elbow and I still have huge leper-like poison-ivy-infested strips on both wrists and up my arms. Chemical gloves do not breathe. Huge leper-like poison-ivy-infested strips need air. The fifth problem is that it is currently 11:20pm and I only completed half the steps. While I write this my dear husband is scraping the stairs. He did not sign up for this, unless you count that whole for-better-or-for-worse thing…