Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Ethan first: He reflected on his complexion.

While I was changing Ethan, he pulled on his face to make a silly expression. Where he got the idea from, I have no idea. While cute in its own way, I didn’t want to encourage the behavior, so I downplayed it as best I could. Still, Ethan could tell I was surprised. At the first opportunity, he ran to the full length mirror in our bedroom to take a look at his handiwork.

If you can summarize a boy’s character by guessing what kind of clown he will be when he grows up, I’m predicting Resourceful Clown.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bedtime shadow puppets are back!

Early this week, we had a few evenings in a row with clear skies. After 7:00 when Ethan goes to bed, the sun is now low in the horizon, getting ready to set. The way his room is oriented, the sun projects a screen just above his crib, providing a perfect stage for shadow puppet theater. Ethan likes Beth’s bunny and my dog, moose, and butterfly. But the one shadow he asks for by name is “Bun”; that’s what he calls the shadow cast by an animated Big Blanky Bun.

Unfortunately, Bun had to cancel the last three days due to technical difficulties (clouds). This was a big disappointment to Ethan. One night I tried to cheer him up by breaking out into song: “The sun will come out tomorrow…” Ethan was not impressed. It turned out not to be true, anyway.

Tonight, however, the sun was back out, and so were the bedtime shadow puppets.

Another Ethan first: He toyed with Daddy.

Sometimes when food-bargaining with Ethan, to get him to eat his veggies, it’s helpful to remind him of the yummy strawberry, cheese, cracker, etc., that awaits the disappearance of a few green beans or the like. To get his attention, sometimes I hold the strawberry (or whatever) within his reach, and ask him if we wants it, only to respond to his acceptance with the “after you eat your beans” condition. Ethan often tries to take the food, which has turned into a game to see who is quicker. Fortunately, we both enjoy the whole experience.

I had the tables turned on me today. Ethan took a piece of strawberry from his plate and offered it to me. This was unusual, since he likes that fruit so much, but he had eaten quite a bit already and sometimes offers food when he’s getting full. As I reached to accept the strawberry, he quickly pulled his hand back and popped the piece into his mouth. He had his typical look of knowing he got away with something. Indeed, he certainly got the best of me.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Ethan first: Big Blanky Bun said “Hi there!”

This morning, Beth and Ethan were playing with his barn. Beth held two of the little barnyard animals, a squirrel and a cat, pretending to that that the animals were talking to each other. Ethan took a turn, making little “talking sounds” for the toys.

Later, Beth took Ethan grocery shopping. Ethan rode in the shopping cart along with Big Blanky Bun. Ethan brought the stuffed rabbit to life as he never had before. The rabbit was observant, looking over the edge of the cart. The blue and white bun also spoke his first words: “Hi There!”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Ethan first: He formed his own phrase.

Ethan has been stringing words together for many months now. “Ice cream” was among the first, and shortly after came “I did it” (which to this day also means “I want to do it”). Today at the museum, we heard something new: two words that Ethan put together himself. He used the words to describe one of the other museum patrons, a man of average height but above average width, someone who could be politely described as plump, a bit round, or as Ethan simply put it, a “big man”.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Ethan first: He bargained with himself.

We have long employing bargaining to help Ethan to eat healthy foods. Most of the time, we put some of the less tasty food on his plate first, and when that is gone, put the down some of a favorite. Today, I used three phases: some green beans, then a piece of avocado, and finally…. a raspberry—yum! After several rounds of those three, I switched to oatmeal and currents. These, rather than have Ethan eat them serially, I combined into single-byte spoonfuls.

After a few spoonfuls, it decided to try something new. I put the oatmeal and currents in front of Ethan and asked him to scoop the oatmeal and add the currents himself. And so he did! The temptation to sneak the currents directly was still there, however, necessitating Beth taking over supervision when I left to get the camera.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Ethan first: He brought me a spoon.

I was making pizza for the couple dozen teenagers converging on our house for TrueU. Ethan was “helping”, which was beginning to mean a big floury mess. So I asked him to help for real, specifically to get me a spoon to spread the pizza sauce. He knew just where to go. In no time at all, the sauce was laid, and it was time for the mozzarella—I sprinkled and Ethan snacked!

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