Up. Down. Mommy. Daddy. Book. Uh-oh.

DemonChild will be 20 months old in another week. Seems like just yesterday he was still a little baby; where has time gone?

Physically, he is way ahead of other kids his age. His new way of taking the stairs down is what BelovedSpouse calls “luge” – he tries to slide down. When not sliding, it is jumping from step to step – I usually hold his hand for that, and at least for me he somewhat watches what he is doing – apparently with BelovedSpouse, he just launches himself down the steps. Eeep.

This week he finally figured out how to put Quatro blocks together (before, they existed to be built into elaborate structures by Mom or Dad and then destroyed with unholy glee by DemonChild). There are little clusters of blocks scattered throughout the house now, interspersed with foam letters and numbers which are very likely not intended to be chew toys, but are a lot better than other objects that DemonChild elects for that purpose (such as toy cars and board books. What the child did to “Guess How Much I Love You” is not pretty. It is in at least five well-chewed up pieces. He is now working on getting “Kiwi 1 2 3” into the same state. Board books, your source for fiber in the diet. When we got back from Russia at the end of June, DemonChild decided to hate taking baths. He would back into the corner of the bathroom and cry unconsolably as his cruel parents filled the baby tub and plonked him there. Duckies and bowls failed to cheer him up for more than a few minutes. Water from the faucet was the enemy. Bath time was torture time. Fortunately, the bath-hating stage lasted only about a month. Now he is back to loving it, and cries when the baths are, in his opinion, cut short. We are all very happy that bath time with Daddy is fun again.

Another thing that started getting out of whack even before we left for Russia was DemonChild’s sleeping patterns. He would go down around 9 or 9:30, then wake up crying around midnight, do it again around 3 am, and be up for good around 6:30 am. June is white nights month in St. Petersburg, and it did not help. DemonChild would fight sleep like it was enemy #1. He would pinch himself. He would pull on his eyelashes. He would pinch others. He would cry. Eventually, he would fall asleep out of exhaustion around 10 or 11 pm. By 2 am, he would be up and crying unconsolably. I would take him in bed with me, he would crawl around for half an hour or so, find a position that would make my sleep most uncomfortable, and then fall asleep. By 6 am, he would be up and raring to get into trouble. Needless to say, not the best three weeks night sleep I got.

When we got back to America, the sleeping thing did not get better. We replaced the crib with the toddler bed. Still no dice, and he would wake up and cry three or four times a night. He did not want to sleep in our bed, he just wanted one of us with him. BelovedSpouse would sleep on the floor with him, or I would. We tried letting him cry it out once, and he cried for hours, so that was a dismal failure. Then DemonChild decided that he preferred Mommy for his nightly awakenings. No idea why, since BelovedSpouse is a lot better parent, but for some reason if I was the one who came to the gate, DemonChild would actually head back to bed, and if it was BelovedSpouse, he would keep crying. So, more sleeping in 2-hour intervals for me. Unfortunately, at 8 months pregnant, sitting on the floor by the toddler bed was getting to be less and less fun. Things do seem to be getting better, though – the last week, there were couple of nights when DemonChild only woke up once, and went right back to sleep after a few minutes. Last night I gave up on trying to get him to sleep after half an hour, and though he cried for a while, eventually he went back to sleep on his own (and the crying was of the “i am whiny” variety, not the “i am desperate” kind we were getting before). And when he woke up in the morning he played in his room until 9 am, for which Mommy and Daddy were very grateful. So here’s hoping for better sleeping!

He is also building up his vocabulary. It now includes Yep, Nope, All done, More, Up, Down, Mommy, Daddy, Uh-oh, Book, Socks, Shoes, Diaper, Car, Baa-baa (request to sing Baa-baa Black Sheep), AB (request for alphabet song), Blueberries, Peas, Milk, and Outside. He is babbling in what appears to be sentences, but they are all in DemonChildese, and mom and dad are not proving to be the cunning linguists they thought they were 🙂

He also understands commands, and on occasion chooses to obey them. He knows what “close the door” means, and “let’s put on shoes” and “want to go outside?” and “it’s night night time” and “nyam-nyam.” Once, BelovedSpouse heard his babbling away, and suddenly in the middle of it there was “DemonChild Come Here” followed by more babbling. Guess the kid knows that one, too, though so far he has not chosen to obey it once 🙂 When he is hungry, he pulls out his high chair. When he wants to go outside, he comes to a door that leads there, and loudly says “Outshide!” He will say “Up” if he wants to be put in a chair or lifted up, and “down” if he wants to go back on the ground or downstairs.

Some cute DemonChild stories:

  • A week or so ago, I was working late and did not get home until 10 p.m. DemonChild was still awake, and I heard BelovedSpouse tell him that yes, he can go downstairs. DemonChild came down to the lower landing, and we snuggled a little on the steps. I asked him if he wanted to go outside. He said “Nope.” Since “yep” and “nope” don’t necessarily mean anything with DemonChild, I then asked if he wanted to go night night. He said “Yep,” took me by the hand, and started pulling me up the stairs. We walked to his room, I opened the gate, he walked in and went to his toddler bed and laid down. I asked if he wanted a song, and he requested first AB and then Baa-baa. By the end of the count-down from 10 bags to none, he was asleep.
  • This Wednesday Eric and Shannon came over, and DemonChild was playing with Alex, their 8-month-old, who had recently discovered the joy of crawling. DemonChild and Alex joyfully babbled at each other, chewed on the same playstation controller, and in generally gave us hope that perhaps having a new brother or sister won’t end up being too traumatic.
  • DemonChild has a plastic bucket he got for Easter from Bernie and Betty. He likes putting it on his head. If I am playing with him, he would also put it on my head, and then laugh. He has a new laugh, the “hah hah hah” one complete with sticking out his chest. I think he learned it from Daddy. Hopefully we caught it on video, because it is too cute.
  • His tricycle has a storage container on the back. Occasionally, DemonChild would lift up the lid, sit there for a while, then get up, close the lid, and continue with whatever it was he was doing before.

Ugh, it is 2:30 in the morning. I am off to bed.

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