Monday, December 27, 2004

First Christmas
Here it was, the first set of winter holidays with Aidan in tow - and it was one for the memory books. All those well seasoned parents who were extolling upon me how exciting it was going to be for Aidan and his new parents - how much fun the first Christmas with our young son was going to be... I'm now convinced that they all need to check themselves into a re-hab clinic as they must certainly be on some kind of mind/memory altering substance that can't possibly be legal.

To start off the two day festival of joy and merriment, Aidan came down with a cold – a nose running down all over the front of his face, watery, red eyes kind of cold; And the first evening went down hill from there. We were off and running. To Aidan’s credit, he really is a pretty good little boy when he’s sick. He seems to whine more when he’s well then when he’s sick. We whisked him to our first stop of the evening where Aidan enjoyed the company of Anya’s cousins and their gracious hospitality, then off to his grandfathers for more merriment and mingling. Aidan, runny nose, watery eyes and all put up with the unusually late hour in fine fashion. Although I think he was asleep in his car seat before the front tires actually made contact with the street on the way home.

Aidan didn’t really seem to get what was going on, not that I really expected him to I guess, but it would have been fun if I’d grasped the concept of opening gifts. I’d tear a corner here, rip a corner there – hoping that Aidan would, in his usual manner, grab the available loose piece of paper and pull on it to help unwrap his gifts. In his less then high energy state, he didn’t seem to have any interest in anything other then sitting on the floor, half heartedly pulling on some discarded ribbon. Poor little kid, his first Christmas and he was not feeling well enough to enjoy it..

Day two came and we were off and running again, Aidan seemed to feel a little better, but not much. His eyes were still red and watery; his nose still running. He did let his mother and I sleep in until 8am however – which I’m sure will be the last time we’ll be able to sleep that late on Christmas morning until he’s 16 and he’s too cool for Christmas mornings.

We started off Christmas at his maternal Grandmother’s, where Aidan enjoying a morning of crawling around, chewing on everything he could get his hands on including a bowl of nuts that Aidan seemed to particularly enjoy getting his hands into, grabbing as many nuts as he could in his hand and helping them escape the evil confines of the bowl and releasing them on to the floor. How thoughtful. Aidan didn’t seem all that interested in the opening of the gifts, even when prompted with a torn wrapping paper corner, he seemed more interested in aiding an abetting the escape of the just recently recaptured nuts.

Next stop (after a quick detour home for a short nap) Aidan’s Aunt Kristy and Uncle Chris’s house where there were more toys to play with and cats to chase around the house. Aidan seemed very interested in the cats. The cats had a slightly different opinion of Aidan but put up with him trying to grab their fur fairly well. Aidan showed off some new dance moves at the sound of a mooing cow toy which mooed Christmas carols. The second the cow would start into it moo melody Aidan would sit up, bring his hands up to his sides, bent at the elbows and start twisting his torso back and forth to the music. He’s sense taken up doing the same dance to pretty much any music he likes including commercial jingles and grunge rock tunes heard on the radio. At least he has a diverse set of musical tastes.

That about wraps up Aidan’s first Christmas. I’m sure he’ll be more into it next year, however he has been enjoying all of his new toys everyday since – his train with the small, soft rubber wheels, his new toy teddy bear, the musical mooing cow that Aunt Kristy decided that Aidan should have, his rocking horse and he’s even taken a spin around the neighborhood in his new radio flyer red wagon ATW (All Terrain Wagon, although Christopher decided that it was really for Aidan Terrain Wagon, which works just as well) with it’s large off road tires and high ground clearance. I’m sure Arnold Schwarzenegger must have one parked next to his Hummer.

Merry Christmas to all and to Aidan a good night.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Amazing (lack of) Grace
Coming up on the end of my rookie season as a member of the Parent team, I’m still amazed at this entire child development thing. It really can’t be called anything other then a ‘Thing’ as how would one really explain it? Here you have this little mound of flesh and fairly elastic bone dropped off at your doorstep by this unusually large, white, long beaked bird and in a matter of a few short months, the mound is nearly walking and shows uncanny cognitive ability. How does that happen? It must be all the time he spends with his mother as the only parental influence I’ve had is playing with him by throwing Aidan up in the air and catching him until he starts to turn green. There goes my parent of the year award.

Having just passed the eleven month mark, young lord of the manner Aidan is becoming fairly adept at walking but still seems to prefer crawling from one place to another. I’m not really sure why. No, he’s not terribly stable while walking and does seem to have a tendency to start leaning forward ahead of his small, but trying to catch up feet, but still, he must notice that it’s much quicker (and easier on the knees) to walk from point A to point B. Although, being lower to the ground I’m sure it doesn’t hurt as much when he trips while crawling as it may falling while walking – so, left to his own devices, he still selects the four appendage drive over the two. When he does walk unassisted from me to the Mrs across a distance of around 10 feet or so, he does pretty well; Taking a few steps, stopping to steady himself, then takes a few more before stopping again, then, as he sees his target is close, suddenly turns in to the Road Runner, feet seemingly spinning around in circles at the hip as he makes a dashing charge towards Mommy – falling forward as he does as somehow, even though his feet seem to be moving at a speed rivaled only by Saturday morning cartoon characters, his upper body still seems to be faster – but he always makes it to the awaiting arms at the other end.

I’m also noticing that Aidan exhibits selective genius at times. Sure he knows how the buttons on the TV work, how to turn on his mobile in the middle of the night, and how to get his baby telephone to work by individually pressing the buttons on it to get it to make different noises, however – as sure as I am that he understands the word ‘No’ he simply chooses to play the baby card and act as if he doesn’t. For example: Take the Christmas tree – Aidan’s first – he will, at times, crawl over to it and attempt to touch the lights or ornaments and we’ll sternly tell him ‘No’ and he gets it, sitting down, turning away from the tree and moving somewhere else. At other times he’ll simply ignore the ‘No’ and continue on, reaching out and grabbing the tree, or the lights or ornaments, even as I go over and push his hand away sternly telling him ‘No’ – over and over again and even after the 20th time he still tries to reach out and grab the tree. Selective genius.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Welcome to Month Eleven
It has been a while since my last entry into Aidan’s Father’s blog – not because there haven’t been notable events which have transpired since the last posting, not because I’d forgotten about it – I’ve just been lazy. I know – hard to believe. So, let’s pick up from where we left off – scene 10; that’s where Aidan had his first experiment with sleep training….. (fade to black)

(fade in to flashback) nothing but tears and wailing until that which was contained within the stomach, um, was no longer. (fade to black)

It’s been so much parental joy since that time. Aidan has developed a gag reflex which my not so blushing any longer bride – the rosy cheeks are more from frustration then the joy of new motherhood – can certainly attest. Recently having just fed our young, fair haired buck of an offspring Anya apparently noticed an odd look on Aidan’s face, just before all that had just gone down, came back to visit. All over his bib, all over his highchair and all over himself.

Bounding to the assistance of my wife’s displeased cries I removed the highchair tray to take it to the kitchen sink to wash it down. No longer then I had turned on the water then a second, disgruntled cry came from the a joining room – Aidan had apparently not finished during the initial round or Gerber purging. Now it was also all over the carpet. Yippie. I’m not sure this was covered in the fine print when I signed up for this duty.

After some extensive clean up (I’m certainly glad I decided to get that mini carpet cleaner – It’s really come in handy) all was back to normal.

We’ve also returned to the issue of sleep training – I mean why not? It was so much fun the first time around. This time we were armed with the knowledge gained by Anya’s reading of an article on how to sleep train your child. Ok, we’re armed and we’re prepared with a pan of action: Take Aidan to his room, sit with him and read one of his books to him while letting him eat from his bottle, then place him in his crib and (advisory: there will be a bit of crying and fussing the first night) allow him to fall asleep on his own – getting used to falling asleep in the crib.

An hour and a half of non stop wailing and one parental observer shift change we finally give up and provide him with another bottle which, like magic, puts him to sleep in under 5 minutes…. Round One goes to the infant. Who know the little guy had so much staying power – I’d have thought his tear ducts would have dried up around the 45 minute mark but no; he was still going strong.

Not to be deterred night two came and went without much fuss – Aidan was asleep within 30 minutes, just like the article said. Of course the article also said the entire training process could take up to 9 days before your little bundle of joy-most-of –the-time became used to his new routine. Night three only took 15 minutes. And it’s been fine ever since – even for midday naps. I’m attributing the rapid acclimation schedule to the the fact that my son is a genius. At times he even has the wild Einstein hair providing further, uncontestable proof. Although, seemingly for the sole purpose of putting my ego back in check, Aidan still has an affinity for indoor, potted tree dirt. I’m so proud. To add further ego trampling, young master Aidan has just somehow taken one of the keyboard keys off of the laptop sitting next to me, put it in his mouth, gagged on it, and spit up on the carpet.. yep, proud doesn’t begin to be a proper descriptor.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Genius I Tell Ya
My son is a genius! At only 10 months old he can wave ‘bye-bye’ and clap on command! I have no idea if that is normal or not, and really don’t care, I’m going with the ‘genius’ explanation. Then again, he’ll turn around and start trying to eat an aluminum pie tin just after doing something genius like – maybe it’s selective genius. He is very close to walking however. He walks himself around the house behind his little walker toy and will occasionally take a few steps on his own before falling. Hopefully he’ll be walking on his own before Christmas, we’ll see.