It’s a beautiful sunny day in Seattle, so we walked down to the Folklife Festival. We watched the fountain, listened to a band as we ate barbeque and drank lemonade, and then checked lut Casper Babypants, a local children’s musician. Sam had a ton of fun.
In addition to fun time spent reading books, Sam spent some serious time developing the most essential life skill a man can have.
Sam has recently taken to bringing us books to read and we’re already working on strategies to try to mix them up so that we don’t go to cross-eyed with the same story over and over again!
A couple of weeks ago Emily and I were talking with Sam’s nanny, Hannah. She was in the process of telling us about their time together and mentioned that she had put him down for his nap, that he had complained for 1 or 2 minutes but then fell asleep.
We were flabbergasted.
You see, bedtime may be the single ongoing source of discontent we have with Sam. At the time of this conversation, nap times were very painful. Typically it would start with us waiting until he was exhausted, rubbing his eyes and yawning up a storm. We would then take him upstairs, he would fight us for 5 minutes and finally drop off in our arms. We would then put him down ever so gently and try to sneak out of the room without disturbing him. More often than not, we would fail and he would pick his head up, realize we were leaving, and flip out. The only recourse was to pick him back up and start over. This often took 30 minutes.
Hannah’s report gave us and idea, though. What if Sam’s behavior wasn’t natural or static? What if his freak out was a manipulative tool used to stretch out the bedtime routine and resist going to sleep? We decided to try an experiment and simply leave the bedroom after putting him down. If his crying got out of control, we’d go in and comfort him, but then put him back down – think of it as a modified form of pick up/put down. After a couple of days Sam progressed to the point that we didn’t have to pick him up anymore and would cry for 5-10 minutes but then would put himself to sleep.
Around this time we went to the zoo and ended up coming home with a stuffed giraffe. It wasn’t really our intention to buy a stuffed giraffe, but these things happen. The beauty of the giraffe, though, is that its neck is perfect for sleepy boys to grasp as they drop off. We started giving him his giraffe as we sit down with him. During the day he gets a book read to him, in the evening he gets a bottle. We then get up, turn out the light and lay him down in his crib. For the past week or so, Sam doesn’t even cry any more. He simply rolls over, pulls the giraffe close, closes his eyes, and puts himself to sleep. His sleepy-time routine now takes 5-10 minutes total.
Hannah, we salute you.
We can go to Phoenix now. Sam has bright orange scorpion pajamas!
They say that kids work on learning one thing at a time and that they stop working on whatever new skills they had just developed to focus on the new hotness. Well, Sam’s current projects are chattering, walking, feeding himself with a spoon, and learning how to pet Darwin so that she doesn’t run away. He is also using Darwin as a motivational tool to teach himself to run, but I’m conflicted whether I want to praise/brag on that particular development. Either way, though, we have one major multi-tasker!
My mom made these dolls for me when I was little. They creep Dave out, but Sam is enjoying them!
I slept in this morning, thanks to my very thoughtful husband, and came downstairs to a very clean kitchen. A few moments later, my two favorite guys came in with these:
Mother's Day Flowers and Card
Card Decorated by Sam (with a little help)
Sam discovered an interest in flowers last week when a friend brought us some beautiful orange tulips. He enjoyed them all week, pointing at them and saying “owa” “owa”. I’m told that today he looked at all of the flowers in the store and liked this bouquet the best. He also picked out the card and put the butterflies onto it himself! What a big boy!
Sam likes being pushed around on his lion!
Sam has been on a tear, recently. He has redisovered waving, he is learning more words (“dog” and “mum mum” are his most recent, repeatable words). He has discovered spacial relationships and loves to fit blocks into his sorter. He has even taken to carrying objects around with him. The one that has been most surprising and delightful is his walking though. In the past 10 days, has progressed from a zombie shuffle, to a drunk stumble, to a monkey gait, and now he’s carrying objects around. He still is a little unstable and falls regularly, but he has progressed to the point that we can now walk to church as a family (with a little help, of course)!