My memories of the latter half of this month have, unfortunately, been dominated by crappy sleeping. First Adrian was ill for almost a week, with what I post facto diagnosed to be three-day fever (although his fever lasted four days instead of three). After that he was generally extremely tired for a few days, and since then he has been sleeping like crap.
He wakes not twice a night but every two hours, if not even more often. Normally he used to barely wake, nurse and then immediately fall back asleep. Now he nurses for a while, then sort of nods off but whimpers and wakes again, off and on for half an hour. Often he refuses to let go of the breast when he’s done nursing, so both of us half-slumber instead of sleeping. When I nevertheless take him off the breast, he gets raging mad with me. He screams and kicks and fights and generally goes totally nuts, and will not stop no matter what I do. In fact the more he is reminded of my presence, the angrier he gets. I’ve ended up fetching or waking Eric to put him back to sleep while I leave the room.
This kicking, screaming, hysterical anger seems to be his response when he really, REALLY wants something, but cannot have it. He’s done it for other reasons on a few occasions, and then gotten so mad that he’s been unable to calm himself down. He got more and more upset, wouldn’t accept his dummy, wouldn’t accept any consolation, just kicked and screamed. The only thing that put and end to it was nursing (although sometimes it was even a struggle for him to pause enough between his screams to latch on).
But those occasions have been few. Usually he is very co-operative, obedient even, and will take no for an answer. When I tell him he cannot have something, and say no like I mean it, he is OK with that. A clear, unmistakable no works best. If we instead try putting the forbidden thing out of reach, or hiding it, or distracting him, he is more likely to keep on trying to get it.
Apart from the disrupted nights, the other dominant theme is language, just like last month. He is often very clearly trying to imitate our words. We say something, he repeats, we repeat, he repeats… What he says is more and more starting to sound like actual words: he seems to be in much better control of his tongue and mouth.
His clearest word is (and I’m not kidding you) auto. He points out almost every single car we pass, especially our own car parked outside the house when we go out, and any cars that we walk past at close range. If he is walking (which he rarely does) he likes to pat the cars, and touch some small child-scaled detail such as some knob, or a blinker. And he makes prrr… noises when he sees a car or someone mentions one.
The other thing he is fond of is babies. He likes looking at babies we meet, and pictures of babies in books and elsewhere. Reading Max bil with him is an interesting experience. He is intensely focused, very interested in the car, is uncomfortable with the pages showing the quarrelling, crying toddlers, then goes “emme!” when the mother comes in.
His second clearest word is alla which means “down” in Estonian. He uses it specifically when he wants us to go down from the bedroom upstairs.
Otherwise it is mostly the same words as last month, focusing a lot on food, so he can ask for the bread, banana or water he wants. His new favourite food is margarine, eaten by the spoonful, supplanting bananas from the top spot.
He’s also learned some words for clothes: socks, mittens, shoes. Not coincidentally, those are the items of clothing he likes and asks for. Often he is running around indoors in just his nappy and socks: he is not fond of tops or trousers. But he likes his socks and brings them to us when he wants them on. (We have cold floors.)
Shoes are synonymous with going out, so he brings them when he wants to go out, and fights them when he is not in the mood for going out. Now that the temperature is above zero he is also beginning to take after Ingrid and refuse fleeces and coats when we’re outdoors. I do insist on shoes but otherwise let him make his own choices there.
Then there are such socially useful words as aitäh and tack-tack (thank you in Estonian and Swedish respectively), ei (no) and oot-oot (wait a moment). I find myself using the latter a great deal, because patience is not one of Adrian’s strong skills.
He now also has words for all of us: pappa, emme and immi. Except that he doesn’t quite seem to keep our names apart. He can point at Eric in a photo and say emme, or vice versa point to me and say pappa. And he uses emme (mummy) and immi (Ingrid) almost interchangeably.
He likes us to sing for him. This is the one “bribe” that can get an unwilling Adrian to accept a nappy change. Songs with movements are the best. The current favourite is Nyss så träffa’ jag en krokodil. We have a crocodile magnet on the fridge and he has discovered that he can use it (“KLKLKLK OOO TLTLT!”) to ask for the crocodile song.
He likes playing with water, and with things that fit in other things, cups and bowls of various sizes. He likes pouring water, putting things in water and then fishing them out again. He is getting more competent with a spoon.
Things go well at nursery. Again, the word “obedient” comes to mind: he knows he is expected to stay there, and while it is not what he would choose (and his lower lip does this little trembly thing when I hand him over to the staff) he doesn’t fight it. By the time I am out of the door, I can already see him playing happily. (Most days Eric drops him off but occasionally I do it as well.) Adrian is content throughout the whole day, all the way through the afternoon even, but very happy to see me when I come to pick him up. He drops whatever he is doing and heads straight for me.
I used to pick him up first and then we’d go together to get Ingrid. But he likes the big kids’ rooms so much that it was a struggle to get him to leave, every single day. Now we do it the other way round: first Ingrid, then Adrian. This way both are happy, and things go a lot more smoothly.
On the way home he wants me to carry him and doesn’t like sitting in the stroller. I guess he wants to get as close to me as he can after being away from me all day, even though I take the time to nurse him before we head home. Sometimes I manage to carry him part of the way, sometimes all, sometimes none, but in any case it means I try to get us all home as quickly as possible, to minimize the crying.
He is, I think, weaning himself off the dummy. At night he usually sleeps without, and he will rarely accept it as consolation.