Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Onerous Ones

In our last official correspondence with day care for the school year, we had to explain to the 1-year-old's teachers that our kid is not a budding pervert as he points to the front of his diaper and says, "Hot Dog?" Hot Dog is his name for Mickey Mouse, because they sing that song at the end of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes. That sounds like a really weak, lame excuse. But it's the truth.

In our second-to-last correspondence with day care, we had to answer to the one-year-old's handling of another kid's face. He basically gashed his fellow classmate's cheeks with his fingernails as he boxed the kid on the head, earning himself a timeout. Hearing this, the angel dad appeared over my right shoulder and said, "Awww, he was just excited and got a little carried away, and we surely need to trim those nails!" Meanwhile, the devil dad appeared over the other shoulder and said basically the same thing, but blamed the other kid for being in the way and denied having to trim the nails, in fact suggesting they be sharpened. Either way, my two dads weren't worrying much about the extra time in the penalty box, even though he seems to have spells lately where he hits anything that moves. (The Penguins could have used him in the playoffs.)

Still, between these events and the day last winter when he hit one of the babies, making her cry, we made two trips to the timeout chair plus one parental explanation this year. That's one more timeout and one more explanation than we needed with the other two combined. We hope the day care staff appreciates the lunch we bought them as much as we appreciate them putting up with our kids' stuff.

On the home front, the newly minted 17-month-old is enjoying his first summer vacation by screaming "Mine!" every time he spots someone carrying something, whether it's his brother with the Thomas Christmas train or his mother rescuing a bulldozer full of mushy brown banana slices from under the bathroom sink last week.

Since everyone insists on aging their kids in months until they're two years old, I stopped to take a look at what exactly I should expect out of this 17-month-old that I wasn't getting out of my former 16-month-old. Interestingly, the 4th suggestion in a Google search starting with 17-month-old is "17-month-old constant whining." That it's such a popular search makes me wonder what's the bigger epidemic, the kids' whining or the parents' whining about the kids' whining.

According to the first web site I found, after Month 17 my child "demands that you let her walk up stairs, rather than be carried, though she probably needs you to hold her hand." We've climbed up the stairs with no hands, so take that, average 17-month-old! Although I usually walk behind in case the unthinkable happens and he decides to go a-flopping backwards down the stairs.

"She also wants to try climbing up onto chairs — and other pieces of furniture that are about chest height — and, once she gets up, is able to turn herself around and sit facing forward, a complex feat." No joke. I sit here on a shell of a couch with the cushions stretched from here to the shed while our subject wobbles back and forth on an oversized chair. So, yeah.

Finally, "It's also common for a 17-month-old to put physical skills to use by trying to climb out of the crib." Not here. He's a really good sleeper. Or he just hasn't figured it out yet. Or we lowered the mattress. Or we spike his bottle every night. Any of these could contribute.

The article fails to cover why our child "meticulously empties her entire box of Cheez-Its one by one into the fish tank," but maybe that was covered by the 16-month-old article. Or maybe mine is advanced and we don't unlock that mystery that until next month. (Is it Cheez-Its or Chee-Zits?)

We've already established that he's the main reason we can't have pets. We also marveled in general at the enigmatic ways of the one-year-old. He continues to amaze and confound. We have barely scratched the surface to understanding this being, but before we hit the Terrible Twos, let's try and figure out these Onerous Ones before it's too late.

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