Monday, November 26, 2007

Our little head banger

(Originally posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 by Tim)

I wish this post was about Dalton?s profound appreciation for heavy metal. Alas, he has started whacking his head into things?intentionally. The behavior started a week or two ago. Whenever he would do it, we would remove him from whatever he was bashing with his head. I?m afraid it became something of a game for him and we were reinforcing the behavior.

To help ourselves out of this mess, we did what any self respecting modern parent would do. We got out all our books on parenting, made a big pile, set a laptop computer on it, and asked Google. Wait, there?s self respect in parenting?

I found an article near the top of the list on a web site run by pediatricians (not the Sears). It had some interesting things to say about Dalty?s new trick. For one, it said that he should outgrow it by 3 or 4 years of age (oh, joy). It also mentioned that he really couldn?t do enough damage to hurt himself, that pain would stop him from hitting his head too hard. This is mildly comforting to a parent. They are probably correct, but the cost of being wrong is pretty high here.

The best thing off the web site was a reference to a 1977 study of intelligence scores between head bangers and non-head bangers. There were 555 infants/toddlers in the study and it was found that head bangers actually had higher intelligence scores. Hurray! It?s a sign a genius! Cathy?s response was, ?just think about how smart those kids would have been if they didn?t bang their heads?. It would just figure that Linus Pauling was a kid who wanted to bang his head but his parents didn?t let him.

After some research, we?ve managed to get the most egregious thumping under control. When he is walloping the wall or the floor we just make a point of completely ignoring him. He usually stops immediately. When he doesn?t, I can always up the stakes by cuddling with Mom. That reliably gets him running over to nurse. You?ve never seen a toddler move so fast to knock Daddy out of the way.

Where we have a problem is with a toy dog affectionately known as ?Doom Puppy?. This toy sings and talks when you press the various appendages. Dalton has taken to pinning Doom Puppy on the floor and banging his head up and down on it. While Cathy and I ignore Dalton when whomping begins to occur, Doom Puppy doesn?t seem to have the same level of finesse. It just keeps singing new songs and saying new words to reinforce the behavior.

Maybe I can get some sort of remote control cut off switch. I?ve got to know someone who could make one of those.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Our little tiger

(Originally posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 by Tim)

So Dalton fell out of the bed last night for the first time. It is nothing to be alarmed about. Our ?bed? has just been a mattress on the floor for almost a year now. We?re not even sure if he fell out of bed, kept sleeping, and then woke up annoyed or if he woke up when he fell out of bed. He was asleep again almost immediately in any case.

With monthly (or longer) updates, I feel like I should be listing all the new things Dalton has done. I think I?m going to shirk that responsibility. I?d have to do some ?research? to figure out what I last reported and what is new. If I try to do that, I?ll never get this out.

I suppose I could write briefly about milestones. He?s ahead in terms of all milestones on common web sites. He?s right where he should be if you look at the lists generated by those overachieving babies that have been observed by the Sears in their books. I wonder what causes the discrepancy. Is it that the Sears use their own kids heavily in their analysis and that they are better teaching parents? Or is it that the Sears list where babies really are and these other web sites are afraid of hurting parent?s feelings. The other web sites live in the world of Lake Woebegone where all the kids are above average.

Soap box moment: This trend to make everyone feel good about their progress is a big part of why we?re all going to be speaking Chinese in 20 years if you ask me. That, and the decreases in intelligence due to lead exposure in children?s toys.

On that delightful thought, I?ll list a recipe. It?s not much of a recipe except that it makes a very quick (and yummy) main course for a lunch. The lunches we bring to work are pretty programmed. They contain an apple, some carrots, a granola bar, a banana, a cheese stick, and a main course. The main course often consists of leftovers from the previous evening?s dinner. But what to do when there are no leftovers? Well, there?s a sandwich if there is bread. Dalton is, however, the breadinator so there are good odds there won?t be bread. I discovered the following ?recipe? on one of those woeful days when we seemed to be lacking all materials for a main course. It is good hot or cold.

Beany, cheesy goodness
1/2 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1/8 to 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/8 cup salsa

Today?s picture is of Dalton in his Halloween costume. Rawr!

One addendum

(Originally posted on Sunday, November 25, 2007 by Cathy)

Dalton's big thing this week is turning on ALL his electronic toys at once. At the moment, we have the discordant cacophony of "doom puppy" singing heads, shoulders, knees, and toes, two glow bugs singing different songs (hush little baby and twinkle twinkle little star, in different keys), and a vibrating pig thing with zippy jingle-type music. Sometimes, we add in the computer, playing something from Dalton's favorite musical group just for good measure.

I think I may go crazy.