The Amazing Dancing Zombie Toddler
We have now reached fifteen
months. (That's 1.25 years, or one year and three months
in non-parent speak.)
Theron has grown (I think)
another three inches in the last two weeks. This is most
notable in two areas: first, I have to actually reach up
to shampoo his hair; and second, he can now pull even
more things off our shelves and counter tops. This has
also made him clumsier than usual: his hands, feet, and
center of gravity aren't exactly where he left them.
Partly as a result of this,
Theron has managed to bite both his upper and lower
lips. (The first was a simple matter of slipping on a
wet floor, while the second was on a playground.
Apparently one of the older kids bumped him, or pushed
him, or something.) Theron is remarkably good natured
about this sort of thing, and he seems to have inherited
his parents' pain tolerance: he cried briefly and then
went back to playing. Occasionally he sticks his lips
out, which makes him look a bit like a duck.
At the pediatrician's advice,
the Beautiful Woman bought Theron some popsicles. The
Podling thinks this is great: it tastes good, makes his
lips feel better, and creates a huge mess - all at
the same time.
So, I came home to find Theron
toddling around, with a puffy face, and sticky red stuff
all over his mouth and shirt. He looked just like
something out of a zombie movie. Naturally, I think this
is adorable, so I took pictures.
||(Remember to click
on these thumbnails
to bring up the full
(Actually, these were taken
later. The first time he did this, I couldn't find the
camera. This is a pity, since the first time he looked
all tired and battered and zombie-ish. When I took these
pictures, he looked entirely too chipper to be undead.)
Time to start taking over
Theron has started daycare, sort of. He's only going
one day a week, the program is more of a
mothers'-day-out arrangement at a local church, and he's
in a class of five (three boys and two girls). His first
day was yesterday, and apparently it went just fine. He
had a good time playing alone or with others, and even
took a nap. (This last is mildly amazing; Theron is not
the world's most nap-oriented child.)
This is not, to my mind, a
particularly significant development. He's had play
dates, attended parties, and played with other children
before. This is just another step in the progression.
After this we'll have kindergarten, then school,
college, and some sort of career. Eventually, of course,
he'll create an army of genetically engineered monsters
and take over the world.
...Well, a dad can dream,
The amazing dancing toddler
I recently purchased the first season of The Muppet Show
on DVD. I was not, at the time, thinking about
children's programming; I'm a Muppet fan from way back,
and I was buying it for myself. Not that that really
matters, because Theron loves it.
He's particularly fond of the
opening music. When it comes on, he stands in front of
the television and dances (in that inimitable toddler
fashion that mostly involves moving his hips around).
Then he rushes the screen and tries to touch Kermit.
He's developing an attention
span, too. He will actually sit and watch the show, or
at least part of it. Anything that buys us a few minutes
to clean up is fine, really.
Calling Daddy at Work
Theron loves telephones. (He gets this from his
mother's side of the the family. The Beautiful Woman and
her mother and sister are all compulsive telephonists.)
It started innocently enough, with his mother holding
the phone so that Theron could hear whoever was on the
other end (usually myself or his grandmother). Theron
has now taken to demanding the phone, even when nobody
is using it.
Yesterday the Beautiful Woman
called me at work. After we finished making our dinner
plans, she hung up and I went back to whatever I was
working on. Within twenty seconds the phone rang again,
and a quick glance at the caller ID revealed that it was
coming from the same number.
So I picked up the phone and
said, "Hello again."
What I heard on the other end
of the line was a certain amount of toddlerish giggling,
then the beeping sounds of buttons being pushed.
Apparently Theron had found the redial button.
I figured what the heck
and kept talking. Eventually the Beautiful Woman picked
up the phone and was quite surprised to find me on the
Theron has now placed his
first real phone call. He has called his father at work.
Children's Toys are a waste
of time and money
There are a great many toys on the market. Even if
you limit yourself to toys appropriate for Theron's age,
there are still a lot of toys out there. Some of them do
neat things (rolling, making noise,
assembling/disassembling); others claim to be
educational (the table which sings the alphabet, or
anything by Baby Einstein); and others are just meant to
be fun (like the giant rubber ball).
Regardless of their selling
points, toys for toddlers are a waste of money. (I say
this in the full knowledge of my own hypocrisy: our
living room is full of them.) As far as Theron is
concerned, toys are no different than any other object.
The little toy phone that beeps when you push the
buttons is no more or less interesting than the remote
control for our television. The shaped colored blocks
that fit into shaped holes in their box are not any more
compelling than the pots and pans in the kitchen
cabinets. Squeaky rubber toys are no more captivating
than, well, running water and beer cans.
Let me explain.
My parents have been extremely
good about helping us out with Theron. I usually take
him over to see them on Sundays, which allows them to
show him off at church (with or without me; doesn't seem
to matter). Mom likes to swim during the afternoon, so
they usually take him outside with them.
This provides me with a
precious few hours to work on my own projects. It gives
my parents time to interact with the baby on their own
(i.e. when he's not distracted by his own parents).
Plus, it gives Theron a chance to play outside - an
activity he approaches with great enthusiasm. So it's
really a good use of our time all the way around.
Last weekend, Theron spent
nearly three hours in my parents' back yard. Despite the
availability of numerous toys, he spent most of that
time filling an empty beer can with the water hose and
then emptying it out with a stick.
Toys are overrated.
|Theron lairs in his
fortress. The fortress consists of two
chairs in the corner of the living room,
with a sleeping bag thrown over them and a
New and improved
Possibly as a result of his time at daycare, Theron
can now blow kisses. He does this for his grandparents
and for his mother, both with great abandon. He won't do
it for me at all. I'm sure there is some way to
interpret this to mean that he likes me better; I just
haven't found it yet.
Here's one last picture. It was
just too cute to leave out: