Growing season

I don’t think I’ve mentioned to the internets that I discovered the secret to Robin and walking.

See, the pediatrician at his last appointment suggested we stop helping him walk and stop making a big deal out of it– presumably so he’d start doing it on his own and stop being so cautious. Well, we couldn’t stop playing the walking game, not when he would start it and loved it so much. But we stopped encouraging him to walk otherwise.

As far as I can tell, this was the problem. Because a month or so ago, I decided on a family change in policy: we would remind him to walk on his feet anytime he was kneewalking, and we’d hold his hand if that helped him walk. Almost overnight, he started initiating proper walking more and more. Sometimes he wants to hold our hand, sometimes not. He still crawls when he wanted to go somewhere really fast, or he’s moving from one ground attraction to another. And his walk is still the wide-stance toddle I see more often in kids half his age rather than the adult-like running of most of his gymboree classmates. But he’s progressing. Yesterday afternoon I watched him practice squatting down, and yesterday evening I watched him walk up and then down the single step between great room and kitchen that he previously always dropped to all fours to descend/climb.

Between that and his now-common use of certain two-word phrases (usually in the form of ‘one ball, two balls, three balls’ or ‘a D! two Ds’— but hey, pretty sure it, ahahahhaah,  counts) I’m much less neurotic about his milestone situations. It also helped that I realized his letter fixation was probably no different than another child’s train or truck fixation, except that letters are even more common than trucks. He can point out (and find in a jumble) every letter in the alphabet, and some numbers, and recently he’s started trying to order them properly when he sings to himself (while stubborning skipping the letters he can’t say: A C D E F…). He’s also started associating groups of letters with images or words(like his name), and he’s excellent at seeing letter-shapes in random designs, even sideways. He recently brought a book to me to read after, I think, going through it extensively on his own: ‘A Good Day For Up’. On every page, he pointed out the sun, and often the word ‘UP’ as well. Oh! And he’s learning lowercase letters by himself, presumably because his alphabet blocks have both lowercase and uppercase. I was impressed by that. I’ve worried about teaching him that different things have the same name (even though he seems to have no problem with ‘Eye’ and ‘I’).

He still loves to color and draw. He has some used books downstairs with his coloring supplies, and he’s chosen to color in all of the letters on every page. When he draws, he likes to draw Es and Ds and Hs and circles. He hasn’t yet drawn a star he’s satisfied with although I think he’s done triangles. And he attaches sunbeams (or petals or hair…) to almost any curved surface, eventually. He prefers to color shapes in; he can’t stay inside the lines very well but he’s really trying. He may or may not be left-handed; he switches back and forth a lot. I’m trying to do some of my coloring with my left hand because it seems like the thing to do.

He doesn’t seem very interested in color itself. He can identify the basics shown in his legos when asked, but he just doesn’t seem to care most of the time. He’s much more interested in shapes and his absolute favorite game is making letters out of his legos and other toys. He creates shapes through assembly with much more facility than he does through drawing. In both drawing and assembly, he can see unfinished shapes and add the stroke necessary to transform it; Raymond plays that game a lot with him.

He seems to understand a lot of language, though we occasionally realize he has toys we’ve never taught him the name of. He still doesn’t talk much, except about letters and balls. His pronunciation of ‘ball’, ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’ is atrocious and only comprehensible through context. His pronuciation of the letters he’ll say is perfect except for S (which sounds just like F– he knows the difference between the two visually when we say them but also likes to point out that they’re similar. It doesn’t help that there’s a 5 on his F block. Idiots.) For reference, at the last check, those letters are A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, M, N, O, S and maybe T? Can’t quite recall.

He’ll be two in twelve days.

When he was a newborn, he invaded all my dreams. Every sleeping adventure included a newborn baby I was responsible for. That eventually faded away, until now. Suddenly, there’s toddler-Robin in all my dreams, and they’re stress dreams, where he’s taken away from me or I’ve forgotten about him and can’t find himwhen I remember. I think my subconscious is having trouble with the idea that my baby isn’t a baby anymore…

Anyhow, I could talk about him a lot more. Because he’s awesome. But I won’t. This was just supposed to be a post on his walking and my dreams…

Pre-therapy!

Actual real blood freaks me out. When I was a kid, injuries in myself and others (other than scabbed knees) that bled caused me to panic. It was a nice controlled panic, a ‘run to an adult and weep at them’ panic, but still a panic. Now, twenty years of intensive menstrual therapy later, I’ve learned that blood isn’t always a Very Bad Thing. Sometimes it’s just a little badness.

All the same, taking Hannah outside to pee today was nightmarish. If I can go my entire life without again being sprayed by warm blood forced between sutures over an amputated limb by sudden movement and pressure on the nearby area, that would be nice. Maybe tonight I should tape a temporary bandage over her tail stub before we do a reprise.

Part of me, deep inside, is taking notes for writing. A lot of it is cross-checking things already discovered by heroes and heroines throughout the ages. The warm sticky splash. The way so little blood can spread so far.

After we’d taken her outside, I took a shower and then hid under the covers. When I got up a second time, the pad under her butt was covered in gore, but her injury itself was dry and clean. A pad soaked in blood didn’t bother me nearly as much. Thanks menstrual therapy!

Hahahahah. Hah. Hah.

And now for something completely different:

For various reasons, I’m familiar with a lot of the stress and controversy and problems associated with breastfeeding vs. formula. Blogs and articles and ridiculous protests or complaints over and against breastfeeding imagery.

I thought I’d share the impression my own upbringing left me with, regarding breastfeeding, the ideas that all the science and data and reason must push against. ‘Cause I haven’t seen them mentioned by anybody else. Most protests are ‘gross!’ or ‘sexual objects in view of children!’ (I speak of the social reasons some people wouldn’t want to see other people doing it; the personal or occupational reasons one might not breastfeed cause no significant reaction).

On breastfeeding itself, I never got the impression that it was gross or offensive. Instead, I picked up the idea that it was something poor people did. Poor people, who couldn’t afford all the amenities of civilized life, fed their children the natural way. Formula and bottles were like tampons, eyeglasses and birth control. They were like nice clothes, and disposable diapers. They were like automobiles instead of bikes or horses. If you could use a bottle, you did. If you couldn’t, society was politely sympathetic and looked away when you found yourself temporarily embarassed. Society usually looks away when somebody experiences an unavoidable natural biological event.

This very well may have been a unique idea I cobbled together purely from observations and comparisons.

The other idea buried deep inside is that I should never ever let something I’m not comfortable with happen to my breasts. Except mammograms. With a grandmother who died of breast cancer because she was too shy to get treatment, my mother was very firm about that exception. But infants were never mentioned.