Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where the wild things are

Predator daddy is a favorite past time for both Luke and Erik. Since Luke was a tiny babe, Erik has enjoyed growling and sneaking up to 'get' Luke with a tickle and kisses attack. At first Erik just used it to prove the point that this child could not survive in the wild, but it's been fun to see Luke grow into delighting in the game himself. Now when he hears Daddy's prowling noises from behind the couch, he gives joyful shrieks and is torn between crawling toward Erik (impatient for the tickling attack to begin) and crawling away for the thrill of being chased.

Their chasing antics make me laugh too, as does Erik's determination to avoid the word 'no' with Luke. The books say that Luke should be able to understand this simple command, but Erik hopes to avoid teaching him to overuse this two-letter word of toddler rebellion and tantrums. So instead of telling him, 'no, you can't chew on the laptop cord', he says 'not for you, Luke' in a very stern voice.

Erik also uses his serious voice to say 'bathroom, Luke, you need to go to the bathroom' in an attempt to jumpstart potty-training when Luke is making a present, as we call it, in his diaper. Luke doesn't yet associate this activity with the bathroom but he has managed to link it to his high chair, and it's not uncommon for this incident to interrupt our meals. Something about how Erik says this -- begging the question from Luke: why do I need to go to the bathroom? I'm fine right here! -- never fails to send me into peals of laughter. More than once I've swallowed my food the wrong way thanks to Erik's pre-potty-training. Erik is now under strict orders not to give his lesson just after I take bites or drinks!

Once out of his high chair, Luke is ever more on-the-move. He now constantly pulls up to standing and can even cruise between furniture pieces and large toys. He prefers to hold your hands and walk around the house to crawling, so I find myself spending a fair amount of the day as a baby prop or a baby spotter, trying to keep his little head from clunking on furniture. He's also become a pretty speedy crawler and is showing the beginnings of mommy clingyness. When I leave him for a moment to get something from another room, he immediately follows behind, like a loyal puppy crawling after me. Once I stop he crawls onto my feet and pulls himself up so that he's standing clinging to my legs. How can I resist reaching down to pick up the little pup!

But the bending over and separation anxiety can't dim the joy of life with our little Luke-um. I just love this stage of babyhood. When I get a picture book out, he crawls over to sit in my lap and have me read to him. He's been making the muh-muh sound for a while now and sometimes seems to associate it with me, but he certainly isn't doing that clearly or consistently yet. It's fun to listen for when that first-word breakthrough will emerge. Erik and I have been working with him on catching a little ball, and now he catches it successfully about 1/3 of the time. Erik said that he'll surpass my ball-handling skills soon, and he was only partly kidding... I better start practicing too!

For Luke, catching with his hands is the exception as his first instinct remains tasting and chewing objects. When he's on the rug launching himself mouth-open at stuffed animals this works fine, but the other day he tried it in the tub. The mouthful of water that came along with the tasting experience caught him by surprise and brought a few wails. But he seems to have learned that lesson for the moment and has been markedly more cautious in going after bath toys since then. Thankfully it didn't lessen his love for bathtime, during the day if he gets the chance he makes a beeline for the tub, pulls up, and peers in longingly. We all enjoy bathtime more now that Luke likes to play and splash in the water. Baths also offer the added benefit of tiring him out for a good night's sleep. It feels luxurious to have him sleeping through the night so consistently, and I love walking into his room the next morning and seeing a happy, well-rested little boy smiling up at me!

PS: Here's a Halloween pic -- our little Luke-osaur in a homemade costume!


  1. aww, this post had me grinning from ear to ear! :D

  2. That is a ridiculously cute Halloween costume and a perfect little pose. Nice!