Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Max: It's All A Game

I look forward to the day when I can ask you to throw a piece of trash away, I have no idea how far away that day might be. For now we are only focused on getting you to stop throwing everything away.

One of the first games that you learned to play by yourself was the Take Things Out game. Take Things Out is played by finding a container, be it a cabinet, box, clothes hamper, or diaper bag, and removing things. You will ruthlessly grab items and toss them aside until you find one that tickles your fancy, and then you're off. You take the new toy and wander with it for a bit before returning to the scene of the crime; suddenly the cheese grater is MIA or there are 10 socks scattered through 3 different rooms.

The next part of the game came later, the Put Things In game. Only recently have you started to put things back where they came from. Usually Put Things In involves moving clean clothes from a dresser drawer into a dirty clothes hamper, or a diaper pail. A downstairs version is played by putting toys and tupperware into the trash can. Oh the fights we've had over that trash can. You won't remember, but I have taped it shut with painters tape or sometimes just put it in the laundry room on the other side of a baby gate to keep you out of it.

Clothes hampers are still fun, I can tell because I find our hairbrushes in them with some regularity, but it has been a hard climb to try and teach you not to put things into the trash. It started with just liking to open the trash lid, the lid really intrigued you I suppose. I can't count how many times you cried because you got your hand stuck in the lid. You briefly tried throwing stuff into open waste baskets with the obvious intent that now you had to go in the trash, because you had to get your toy back out. Thankfully you are getting better about staying out of the trash. We still have to remind you, "No trash" but the game seems to be losing some of its charm.

What I find a bit harrowing is that I see you starting to eye the toilet lid. I can hear the gears in your mind turning.
Please don't throw my hairbrush in the toilet.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Max: Teetering

Like every new parent, and possibly every old parent, we were wondering when you would finally learn to crawl. We tried holding you up so that you could put your hands and knees on the floor and maybe figure it out. You'd seen other kids crawl around and I know you wanted to follow them. It was frustrating to you the way you couldn't keep up with what they were doing. You'd yell when one of the other kids around your age would scoot off to play with a new toy and you couldn't follow.

It was kind of cute.

Right around your Dad's birthday you crawled a few little inches. By Easter you were cruising along the floor fairly competently.You were only nine months old, so I don't know why we fretted about it. As I suspected, you were much happier with your new found mobility. Within a month you could pull up on furniture to standing, all on your own.

That's when the messes you could make started to grow, and when the cats became a little more nervous of you than they already were. I remember the first time that Spooky, who was laying on the coffee table at the time, saw you pull up and came face to face with you in a spot that he thought was safe. His eyes almost bugged right out of his head. He was off like a shot, jumping over the baby gate, and bounding up the stairs.

You liked to pull up on the coffee table, the couches, and chairs and cruise along them. Sometimes when I lay on the floor on my side you'd even pull up on me and cruise up and down from my legs to my head. It was one of the days when you were cruising on me that your dad came home and you took your first steps.

It was June 4th, and when you heard a key turn in the lock you stopped what you were doing and turned your head to see the front door. When that door opened, and you saw Daddy, you let out a squeal and toddled 5-6 steps over to the coffee table then cruised along towards him. Your dad just stood there with his mouth hanging open for a second, and then asked me, "Has he been doing this all day?" A second later he dropped his bags and scooped you up for some well deserved hugs and kisses.

Nope, you hadn't been doing it all day. That was the first time that you took any steps all on your own with nothing and no one to hang onto. You just saw your dad and were so excited that I think you forgot that you didn't know how to walk yet.

Within two weeks you didn't need to crawl anymore. There was one horrible day when you wouldn't crawl at all, only walk, and you also wouldn't nap. I'm happy to say that you've gone back to your two nap a day schedule,  and you will also crawl sometimes just for fun.

There's this hysterical thing that you've taken to recently. You will crawl as fast as you can going "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" You aren't too loud, but louder than your regular speaking voice. Sometimes you'll run doing this too, but usually it's reserved for a crawling race. A race that you always win, because you're the only in it.
Nothing is safe from you anymore, but I wouldn't trade these crazy toddling times for anything.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

To Max: Peek-A-Boo

"Where's Max? Where's Max?"

Your dad and I pretend that we don't see you behind the curtain, or in the middle of the floor with a blanket/towel/piece of clothing over your head.

"Where's Max?"

Sometimes we can see your mouth and the smile that widens as the game continues. I'm pretty sure that you know this is a game, and know that we really can see you, but there's no way to be certain.

"Where's Max?"

Then you whip the covers off your head as we exclaim, "Peek-a-boo, I see you!" or "There's you are!" You take a moment to laugh and then pop the cover back over your head.
Honestly we hardly ever instigate a game of peek-a-boo anymore. Suddenly we'll realize that you've gone quiet and look over to find you hiding. You will sit there waiting for us to look for you. Rarely you'll get an impish sort of grin and rush over to shove a blanket on someone's face. That means it's our turn to hide, but you like hiding better than seeking, so usually you keep the covers all to yourself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Max: Sonic Screwdriver

Your sonic screwdriver might not work quite the same as the Doctor's, but it's still got power. A simple plastic toy, with a noise chip, and bright shiny colors. It makes really odd sounds. I'm not sure what sort of noise I would expect a screwdriver to make, since normally they are a quiet tool, but this one makes cartoon sounds for lack of a better description. Like when someone gets hit or falls in a Warner Bros cartoon, there's boings and honks that kind of thing. It's real power though is to make you laugh.

Ever since you first heard the silly sounds and saw the blinking lights it tickled your fancy. You couldn't even sit up, and you would get angry for reasons that we just couldn't fathom, sometimes all that could fix you was that screw driver. Amazingly even now, it still works. You're bigger now, and completely mobile, but the screwdriver cracks you up. The difference now is that you can pick it up and run around the house with it, pushing the little red button and making yourself laugh. Still, if all else fails it's what we will turn to. We screw in all your loose screws and more times than not you're giggling before we're done.

I haven't managed to grab a picture of you with the screwdriver, because you're so funny that I don't want to go downstairs to get the camera and miss all the good times. So I'll just attach a random picture of you grinning at me while you "help" with the dishes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Max: Kitty Love

Since forever Bullet was Daddy's cat. He would play with me in ways that kind of hurt, because he liked me well enough but only understood how to play as a kitten and not how to be gentle. With Daddy he would curl up on his chest and snuggle. He would crawl up and mew into his ear begging to be pet and purr SO loud. If I tried to pet him he would grab my hand, and if particularly feisty he would bite me. He was just playing, but it still meant no snuggles for me.

Bullet has always liked to come up and trick people into thinking he's sweet so he can grab them with his claws. With your grandparents the situation was more intense. He's been known to hiss and growl at them, especially if they are in his way. There has been at least one occasion when Bullet has cornered your grandma, and to hear her tell it she feared for her life.

We had no idea what to expect when we brought you home. If the cat loves your dad, thinks I'm okay, likes some of our friends, but is pretty hostile to most people he's around for more than 5 minutes, what on earth would he think of a baby? Not a single person that I know could have predicted his behavior. Something about you and your presence has brought out an incredible sweetness in Bullet. I don't know if you'll believe me when I tell you about how Bullet used to be, and I hope you never get to see it for yourself because right now he loves you kiddo.

That's right, out of all of our cats, Bullet is the one that adores you. I can't explain it. He's even nicer to me since you came along. He'll actually sit in my lap, or let me pet him and hardly ever plays rough anymore. With you it's even more insane. This cat lays there as you put your mouth up to his head for kisses. He lets you grab fistfuls of his fur, and pull on his ears. We try to keep you from abusing him, but you have yet to master "being gentle". Sometimes when you get in a foul mood and are crying, Bullet will actually come over and stand in front of you, as if presenting himself as a distraction. When your sniffles stop and you happily squeal as you tackle him I think he's happy. Even before you could crawl, when you cried for too long he would come and whine at us, he's never liked to hear you cry.

When I think about your first year, I think about you and this cat. Maybe all this time what he needed was a little boy to love. I only hope that he always feels that way about you, because it's really sweet.

Screw It

I've tried a couple of times to start this post, and every time I've erased it all. I've been thinking about Max's first year in this world and it's just so hard to know where to begin. I could start with the beginning of how he was born in the hospital, or the first few days of having him home...

There, I've done it again. I just deleted a bunch of hogwash. Those first minutes, hours, even days weren't Max. Babies are like living Want. They want to be held, fed, rocked, they want to sleep. Not all babies are alike, but they all Want. And that's some boring, and not all together happy reading. If you don't believe me just ask your mom.
Okay I am totally giving up on this blog post. I've been trying to write it for almost a week now, and it refuses to come together. I can see it in my noggin, but I'm being defeated at every turn. Sometimes the writing won't come out, or what I want to say gets buried under what I don't want to say, and then there's my cuddle bug distracting me, and today that bloody car alarm was the last straw. I give in. No one wanted to read the MASSIVE post that was trying to claw its way out anyhoo. So new plan of attack, several mini-posts.

My goal is to focus on a single thing in each post that I think is really cool about Max. I hope to have 12 because that seems nice to me, one per month to commemorate this first year. I'm not going to cry if that doesn't happen though. So time to get down to business and crank out the first one.