Posts tagged Oliver
This June, Oliver will become a big brother. He doesn’t fully grasp this yet but he understands that Monica has a baby in her belly. If you ask him “Where’s the baby?” he’ll point at her stomach. It’s adorable. This news was dropped in a few different ways. First, it was revealed to Monica’s family on Christmas Eve. The last gift opened that night in front of everyone was a DVD case in which Monica had inserted some Oliver artwork in for the cover art. When Monica’s mom opened it, she found an ultrasound picture. Awww!
We did the same thing for my family except we did it just with my parents, brother, and sister because we knew that my mom would start crying instantly (we were right). We hadn’t figured out how we were going to break the news to my extended family though. After reaching my aunt’s house and spending about an hour or two there, I was struggling to think of a way to make the announcement. Then, while sitting in the living room, casually chit-chatting, my aunt provided the absolute perfect segway. She smirked and asked sarcastically “So when’s the next one coming?” (ATTN: New or soon-to-be new parents. This is something that you will be asked about a million times, regardless of the age of your child. Once you have one, even if the kid is like a day old, people will ask you when you plan to have another child. I don’t understand it, nor do I endorse it, but in this case, it was perfect.) Without missing a beat, I turned to her and said “June.” and looked back at whatever I was doing. My brother on the other side of the room started cracking up. She asked “What?” and I again replied “June.” Success!
As with the first kid, we wanted to find out what we were having. There was a momentary discussion where Monica and I actually debated whether or not to find out the sex of Ferg Baby #2 but this was a surprise we didn’t want to deal with. Settling on one name is hard enough. Picking out two, only to have to discard one seems like a pain in the ass. We made an appointment for an anatomy scan ultrasound and found that our second kid will be peeing standing up. Oliver will have a little brother.
After the scan was finished and the ultrasound lady had finished taking pictures of the various body parts of the kid, we were getting up to leave. Monica sat up and began to get her things together. She looked directly at me, gestured at the tech, and then grabbed her nose like she smelled bad. I had to inform her that the tech was not responsible for the smell. I had been dropping farts in that little room for the better part of a half hour. I don’t know what I ate but there were plenty of SBDs laid during the exam. I can only imagine what the tech thought. At any age, farts are funny. When mine are blamed on a stranger, they’re even funnier.
Well, I turned around for a minute and suddenly five months have gone by on this little blog of mine and there’s nothing but cobwebs and a stack of WordPress updates waiting for me. In that span of time, Oliver has almost reached the two year old mark. I’m well past the time where I rattle off his age in months. I gave that up after 18 months. For a bit, he was “1.75 years old.” Now when people ask how old he is, I just say “He’ll be 2 in March.”
The kid’s vocabulary has been growing leaps and bounds. He seems to come out with new words every day, some of which I actually understand. It’s funny because Monica and I work as translators for him sometimes. My brother was over the other day and Oliver would say something that may sound like gibberish to someone else, but we understand what he’s trying to say from being with him all the time.
I’ve been trying to expose him to some good nerd stuff as of late. He loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and can correctly identify half of them (Raphael and Donatello. He still has trouble with Leonardo and Michelangelo.) He can say “turtles” but when he asks for it, it comes out as “hyung-ya.” I don’t know why. I will be impressed if that turns out to be “turtles” in Chinese or something. When corrected, he’ll repeat the word correctly. We’ve watched both the original cartoon and the new one on Nickelodean which is surprisingly good. He has also developed a new found appreciation for pizza as a result of the shows which I’m totally OK with.
In addition to this, Oliver has developed a fascination with the Incredible Hulk. I don’t know why, but he absolutely loves the big green guy. He’s had an Avengers sippie cup for ages but only recently seemed to notice the characters on it. He can identify most of the characters, but Hulk is the only one he can really name. (For the record, he can also correctly identify most of Batman’s rogues gallery.) This love for the Hulk spawned one of my favorite pictures of Oliver ever. Unbeknownst of this Hulk fascination, Monica’s aunt got him a few little Mr. Potato Head super heroes, one of which being Big Green. Check out the look on his face below. It’s pure and absolute joy.
Needless to say, I’m so friggin’ happy that he’s digging this kind of stuff. I’ve been able to share some of the things that I loved as a kid (and as an adult. Who am I kidding?) with him. I’m looking forward to digging through some of my old comics and other shows and movies on DVD to see how he takes them in. He already loves reading the “My First Batman Book” and “My First Superman Book” so I can’t wait to get him into actual comics. I just wish there was more of a selection when it came to kids funny books.
I realized recently that every single day I ask my son “What are you doing?” This is because he is constantly doing strange things. At least, they appear strange to me. They may be perfectly normal for him based on his current understanding of how the world works. For example, he went through a phase in which he would take a big sip of his milk and then just open his mouth, letting it all flow out freely. This was something that was entirely unpredictable. It could come at any time during the feeding process. Other odd things include, but are not limited to:
- Hitting the television
- Putting a USB plug in his mouth
- Playing with the toilet paper
- Knocking over his car playset
- Eating crayons
- Spitting out a piece of half-chewed food in favor of trying something different
- Throwing all of his books on the floor
Kids are weird. Although these strange things can be frustrating (to me anyway), they are very fun to watch. Yes, I have to clean up after him, but Oliver is a fun kid. He keeps my life interesting by constantly surprising me. I never know what he’s going to do or say next.
Speaking of saying, Oliver’s vocabulary has exploded over the past few days. He is repeating everything but his own name. For some reason he won’t even try that. While Monica is spending her time teaching him colors, I’m getting him to say “poop” and laughing like a lunatic every time he says it. He makes it sound fancy, with a little flourish to it. I clearly have my priorities as a father. I want him to know how to say the basics.
My son Oliver is now 17 months old. For those counting at home, that’s almost a year and a half. I recently told Oliver’s age to a colleague at work and she responded with a confused look, asking why I was still counting months. I didn’t really have a good answer and I still don’t. It’s weird. I don’t tell people that I’m 366 months old. That would be weird. So why do count months in babies?
I thought this counting months thing would stop after Oliver turned 1, but we kept going. On a recent play date (Yup, those are happening), a fellow first time dad said that he’d stop after his kid turned 2. I’m thinking it’s a compromise and I’ll stop after 18 months. Then he’ll be a year and a half and then two and that’s it.
Truth be told, I think the month counting is due to the changes that occur at such a rapid pace during this time frame. Oliver at 12 months was way different than Oliver at 17 months. He’s like a completely different person. He’s now walking, talking, climbing, and getting into all kinds of mischief. He started walking at 11 months and now he runs.
Watching Oliver grow, learn, and change has been one of the parts of being a parent that I love. There are so many things that we take for granted. Things like eating with a fork or putting on a shirt are second nature to us, but a child has to learn how to do every little thing. It’s a whole new piece of knowledge that he has to develop.
Since Oliver was born, his hair has been slow growing. He barely had any when he came out and since then, he’s been very slowly getting more. He’s now almost thirteen months old and he’s got a bunch of hair. It’s just not all over his head. It’s patchy and a little thin and reminds me of Bill Murray. He’s got this curly thing going on too.
There are worse people that he could remind me of, I guess. Hopefully it grows in soon. I think he’s going to look like a completely different person when his hair comes in.
It seems that any time a woman walks by baby shoes in a department store, she’ll have to look at them and say “Awww!” Yes, baby shoes are adorable because they’re miniaturized versions of adult shoes. They also usually have cool characters on them like Batman. Unfortunately, they’re pretty much useless. Here’s a tip for all new or expecting parents: Don’t buy your baby shoes. You know why you wear shoes? To protect your feet while you walk. What’s something that babies don’t do? WALK! So why would you waste money on adorable little sneakers that will go on the kid’s feet for no reason outside of an aww-factor? It’s stupid.
Oliver has gotten to the age where he almost needs shoes. He’s not quite walking yet, but he is cruising. This means he can pull himself up by holding onto the side of a couch or an end table and then use that as support to walk along side it. In an effort to get him used to shoes, we got him a pair. He hates them. It’s a struggle to get them on his feet and once they’re there, he tries to push them off by rubbing his feet together and tugging at them.
He does this thing when you try to put his foot into the shoe. He curls his toes in. This turns his foot into this block that makes it near impossible to succeed in your task. It’s like I’m at the end of Cinderella and I’m trying to put the glass slipper on the evil step-sisters. (Not that my kid has ugly feet or something. He’s cute as hell.) Usually I get close enough so the majority of his foot is in there but if you push down on the heel, it caves in because his foot is like an inch from the bottom. I just figure it’ll fall into place if and when he stands up or finally uncurls his toes. The one time I got his shoe on without issue it turned out that it was on the wrong foot.
Monica and I seem to be the only ones that even attempt to get his shoes on. The folks at day care have given up. Most of the time I send him in there only to pick him up later shoeless. Yesterday he only had one on. It came off and they just couldn’t get it back on. I don’t really blame them. If only there was some sort of baby shoe horn.
Oliver has teeth now. Six or seven of them to be exact. As a result, we have to brush them. He has a love / hate relationship with brushing his teeth. On the one hand, he loves the idea of this new toy and the taste of the toothpaste (Fruity!), however he hates the actual activity of brushing his teeth. He’d much rather prefer to just stick the brush in his mouth and suck the toothpaste off. Don’t worry, it’s fluoride free for just that reason.
Anyway, Monica started singing when we first started brushing his teeth. I had no idea what this tune was at first. She had to tell me. It’s this little bit from Grease. I’ve seen the movie once and only remember a pre-Scientology John Travolta. Not this part.
This song is sung pretty much every time we brush Oliver’s teeth now. I’m even doing it when it’s just me and him. It got to the point where I was cleaning the bathroom and scrubbing the toilet while singing “Brusha! Brusha! Brusha!” It should also be noted that I have no idea what the rest of the words are of the song. “Try the new bytano”? No clue.
The routine during the week now includes Oliver and I brushing our teeth together. I get him settled on the counter in the bathroom, facing the mirror because he loves to look at himself. (He’s his mother’s son.) Then I get his toothbrush together and try to coax him into letting me brush his teeth a bit. This involves me opening my mouth really wide and hoping that he mimics me. This works at first but the moment I stick the brush in there and try to scrub away, he pushes at it with his tongue and gets upset. Ultimately, I have to kind of hold his head steady and get in there which makes him cry. Once I get enough scrubs in, I hand him the brush to finish off the rest of the toothpaste. As mentioned previously, this really just means that he sucks on the brush. He also drools a lot.
This morning was a little different in that he was watching me like a hawk. The initial process was followed like normal and then I brushed my teeth while he played with his brush. I finish up and rinse and spit. Oliver watched me do this right next to him. Then he turned, looked at himself in the mirror…and spit all over it.
I guess I should be happy that he’s paying that much attention to understand what I’m doing, but now I have to clean this up. Thanks kiddo.
The next subject in my series of posts about things that no one really talks about when raising kids is fingernails. Also, how insanely quickly babies heal. Infant fingernails grow at a ridiculous rate. I have a feeling that if left untended, they would grow to be like one of those guys from the Guinness Book of World Records in a matter of days, all curly and stuff. Gross.
Anyway, their fingernails require constant attention because if they’re even a little bit over the finger, they’ll cut their faces open. I’m not saying that infants are like emo cutters looking for attention. It’s just that they rub their faces when tired and they have a tendency to do it in such a way as to scrape a stray thumbnail across their face. This happens ALL THE TIME. It’s insane. There was one week where I picked up Oliver from daycare and every other day I had to sign an incident report because he had a new gash on his face. I tried to explain to him that he doesn’t have to prove anything to the other kids. They already think he’s tough. It didn’t matter.
It’s not just himself that he cuts up either. I fell asleep holding him once and he got me right below the eye. It looked like I was in a knife fight but the real reason was far less cool. He also does this thing when I feed him too where he plays a thumb war with my fingers, but mine don’t fight back. Instead it’s like a carpet bomb against my cuticles as he gouges at them over and over again.
To combat these self-inflicted facial lacerations and parental abuse, you have to constantly check out the kid’s fingernails. There are these flimsy nail scissors you can use to cut them but there are also these sturdy tiny nail clippers that work a lot better. The trick to trimming the nails is to do it when the child is sleeping. Trying to do it when they’re awake or even pre-occupied with a bottle or a toy is nearly impossible. You have to forcibly hold the kid’s finger with one hand and try to get a line with the nail clipper with the other all while he’s flailing about, trying to get free.
Fortunately for babies, they have a crazy fast recovery time. Oliver would scratch his face and the next day you couldn’t even tell it was there. This seems to be the case with other bumps and bruises. He had his first real tumble a few weeks ago and ended up with this big bump on his forehead. This was completely gone the next morning. It’s for this reason that I think my kid is a baby version of Wolverine from the X-Men. He’s got sharp claws and a fast healing factor. Plus, I think I saw him with a cigar the other day, but I could have been imagining it.
I realized after I completed my previous post that I left out the main reason that I wrote it. Despite being almost 5 months old, my son still wakes up in the middle of the night a few times a week. Sometimes all he needs is a pacifier and he’s out cold. Others require a diaper change. When this happens, he wakes up a bit more and just starts smiling at me. It’s difficult to get annoyed at him for waking me up at 3 AM when he’s looking up at me like that. It’s like he’s saying “Hey Dad, let’s hang out.” I’ve read a couple parenting books and both of them say something about cherishing this time with your child. I can almost understand that but it’s still crazy. There’s no part of waking up at some weird hour that I enjoy. I guess the idea is that you’re never going to have time like this with your kid again. Everything is still and quiet. It’s just the two of you. Awww…
Anyway, with all that being said, I’ve come to the decision that one night over the course of time that Oliver is living under my roof, I’m going to wake him up one night. It won’t be for a little while and probably not until he’s at least a teenager, but one night, I’m just going to go into his room, wake him up, and hang out with him. If he asks why, I’ll point out that he always seemed to want to do this as a child and I wasn’t able to do so at the time. This sounds like cruel parenting in a way and I’m not saying I’m going to torture my child by preventing sleep. I’m planning on doing this just once.
I’m debating whether or not to tell this to Oliver or to just spring it on him. I think I want to tell him because that way he can appreciate every morning that he wakes up after a good night’s sleep. That was not an opportunity that was extended to me when he was an infant. I guess it can also be some sort of “Scared Straight” idea about safe sex. Geez, when I put it that way it sounds like I want revenge against my kid because I didn’t get enough sleep.
I’ve already talked about the fact that when someone sees my kid, they inevitably think that he’s pooping. When they don’t physically see him and just ask me about him, there are two questions. They go as follows:
These are asked by everyone. Old people. Young people. People with kids and those without. Even if they’ve never actually seen a baby, they ask these questions. It’s a universal thing and 99.9% of people don’t really care. It’s just what you’re supposed to say, I think.
The sleeping thing struck me as unusual at first. I’ve commented previously that the one piece of “advice” I received while Monica was pregnant was that I should get in as much sleep as I can. According to what I’ve read, the magic age for an infant sleeping through the night is 3 months. That’s the magic age for lots of stuff. They’re supposed to be able to roll over, keep their head up, and basically have more control over their bodies. These things are true but it’s not a switch that is suddenly flipped. Just as you have occasions where you have a good night’s sleep or times where you’re tossing and turning, babies do too.
We’re to the point now where Oliver mostly sleeps through the night. If he does wake up at all, he’s not hungry. He just needs a diaper change and a quick swaddling and he’s out in a few minutes. It’s still annoying to have to wake up in the middle of the night, but the whole process lasts maybe 15 minutes tops. Previously I’d have to make a bottle while he was screaming his head off then get upstairs, change him, and feed him. Meanwhile, he’d wake up Monica, thus disrupting both of our slumbers.
Before you ask, yes I take the midnight shift. I take care of the kid if he gets up between midnight and 5 AM. I’m told this is rare. I can function on less sleep that Monica can and I got a system down early on for handling him. That being said, if I hear him fussing and the clock says 5:01 AM, I am not getting up. Sorry, dear.
So, long story longer and to answer your question, my infant son is sleeping as well as any normal person who can’t stand up on his own or use the toilet.