Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Do," "Mo," "Ta," Dirty Chicken, "Sowwy" and Shadows

Well Brandon has been a little sponge this summer, learning new words every day and coming in to a sweetly assertive independence.

"Do" and "Mo"
Do and Mo are Brandon's words for Yes and No. A couple months ago he started saying "Do" as an affirmative response to "Do you want to do (something)?" If he did, then "DO!" A few weeks ago he started saying "Mo" for No. Actually, "Mo" started one night when Joby was drawing shapes and cartoons for Brandon on the Magna Doodle pad (every kid who likes to draw must have one... saves crayon markings on walls, plus paper). Brandon very much likes when Joby draws the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ("Shezza" - how he came up with this to describe "clubhouse," we'll never know). So Joby would draw different shapes and ask Brandon "Is this the clubhouse." To which Brandon started replying "Mooooe!" in this cute little singsong voice while shaking his head and tucking his chin. And whenever Joby'd finally draw the clubhouse we'd be met with delighted cries of "there it is!" and clapping. In the past few weeks we've progressed to a more succinct "Mo" in response to our questions, complete with a blank look that states "how can you ask me that?" It's actually very funny and cute and to date, we haven't had the typical toddler tantrum associated with learning that he sometimes has choices and can say "NO" to things. My personal favorite is when I ask him a series of questions that have to have a "Do" response to at least one of them and he just says "Mo" for everything. Like "Do you want to go home to our house?" "Mo." "Do you want to stay here at Grandma's house instead?" "Mo." And tonight the classic "Do you want to get out of the bath?" "Mo." Brandon would take a bath every hour of every day if he were allowed to.

A couple weeks ago we took a day trip to Gainesville and I asked Joby to borrow a couple videos from the library for Brandon to watch in the car. He brought home Blue's Clues (Brandon's favorite cartoon) and Thomas the Train. Well, Thomas is now a favorite too. Brandon went bananas over this video. Before that he never paid attention to the two Thomas books we have nor really noticed that the little child sofa we have had Thomas on it. Well now they are all he can look at. They are the first books he brings to me at story time and every morning he finds his sofa and delightedly yells "Hi Ta!" And since he's getting better at putting words together to form more coherent thoughts - tonight he was watching a 10 minute episode of Thomas with Joby and when it was over he waved at the screen and said "Bye Bye Ta!" and without missing a beat looked at Joby, signed "more" and said "More Ta!?" To which we said no but avoided the tears by suggesting it was time for a bath. Note the last sentence of the above paragraph and understand that baths trump all activities. We're sneaky parents.

"Dirty Chicken"
In order to get Brandon to actually eat meat I started giving him sliced Boar's Head deli meats, chicken or turkey, a long time ago. This week I decided that I would try giving him roast beef as an option. So we put it on his dinner plate last night and he looked at it disdainfully and promptly pointed at it and said "Dirty." He refused to eat it. (Big surprise these days with new foods.) But we could only laugh because the sliced meat we've always given him has been white and this meat was brown. And when his hands are covered with dirt he calls them "dirty." So we could only assume he meant that the chicken was dirty, and therefore not worthy of his acknowledgment. (Note - Brandon absolutely HATES to have his hands get dirty. Even the smallest speck of dust sends him running to us with his hands out asking us to wipe it off. This will need to change! Isn't it some right of passage for children to eat paste? That requires getting your hands dirty at some point.)

If you have kids then I'm sure you understand just how difficult it is to teach a child the concept of being sorry for something. Remorse is hard enough for adults to grasp sometimes! So we've been teaching him the sign for sorry as well as saying it when he does something he's not supposed to do, like bang his fork on the table (repeatedly) or throw food on the floor, etc. Well he's finally starting to say "Sowwy" to us and sign it too. We have to insist that he does it and he's starting to realize that saying it sort of implies being in trouble, another thing he can't stand, and sometimes we're met with pathetic (cute really) crying and hugging. A couple of times this week he would bang the table and say "sowwy!" and then bang the table again and say "sowwy" over and over again. And it's really hard not to laugh when he does that but we have to tell him that you can't just do something wrong and say sorry right away to make it better. How come no one ever told us that disciplining our child would be downright hysterical at times? He's so cute and makes the funniest pouty faces at us. But we know we can't laugh if we want him to learn these things. So we laugh later when we recant the stories to our friends.

Tonight Brandon was playing with Joby in our living room and dining room where the sunshine streams in through the blinds and creates a plethora of shadows on the walls and floor. Well Brandon, through Joby's help, discovered his shadow on the wall too. Well he spent a good deal of time saying "Hi Shadow!" to himself... and then moving out of the sunlight and saying "Bye Bye Shadow!" He repeated this many times. Joby got a bit of it (towards the end) on video and I'll post that to our YouTube channel soon. Quite frankly, it was amazing!

A couple other things to mention. Yesterday Brandon discovered a tree frog on the window next to our front door. And he talked to it for a long time, running to get either Joby or I to show us when he didn't think we remembered that it was still there. Tonight, before discovering his shadow, he went back looking for the frog and was disappointed when it wasn't there anymore. We told him the frog went home to see his Mommy. That must have been an acceptable reason for not clinging to our window because Brandon didn't mention him again tonight.

We're also trying to talk more about the baby with Brandon. I hope to buy a baby doll in another month to put in the swing and crib around the house to get Brandon used to having a baby. He says "Hi Baby" to my stomach now (which is huge by the way) but I'm hoping that he doesn't start calling all tummies "baby." That would be pretty funny but a bit of an embarrassment if he were to point at someone else's belly and say "hi baby" and that person wasn't pregnant... :)

Brandon likes to play the "sleep and wake up" game with us. We'll pretend to be asleep on the floor (pretend snoring, etc) and Brandon will say "night, night" to us. Then he'll decide it's time for us to wake up, usually by grabbing our shirts and pulling, sometimes including chunks of our flesh in the process. (OUCH!) So tonight we taught him to give kisses when he wanted us to wake up because it's much nicer than grabbing us. Well it worked. He thought that was hysterical and we must have played this game for about a half hour. Kind of nice to relax on the floor and have your son tell you it's ok to close your eyes for a bit, only to have him gently give you a kiss to wake you up, laughing and clapping when you open your eyes to look at him and say "hi!"

And finally - this morning as I was about to leave to take Brandon to my mom's and then go to work, Brandon decided he wanted to stomp on some of the dried leaves in our driveway. Well I knew that traffic was bad today (Joby called me from the road to tell me it was at a standstill on 9A) and I really wanted to get going. But Brandon was having so much fun stomping and listening to the crackly leaves that I had to join him for a few minutes. So we stomped all over the driveway, laughing the entire time while my neighbors all drove past and probably wondered what the heck we were doing. But I didn't care. Brandon was laughing and I figured that sometimes you just have to stop and stomp the leaves.

Parenting is hard... but so much fun!


Jade August 26, 2007 at 9:59 PM  

You've got yourself Prince Charming there with the wake-up kisses. Too cute! I'm trying to figure out my next Jax trip to see y'all.

The Life of Brandon

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