Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The next big thing

Rachel broke out Matthew's "Christmas present" power-shovel truck yesterday. It's big enough to ride on, and Matthew looooooves it. We thought he would, which is why we didn't give it to him until it was well into Spring: as predicted, he doesn't want to do ANYthing besides play with his truck.

This morning, when I went to get him after a sleepy little voice declared, "Up! up!" the next the he said was, "Truck!" (All vehicles that are larger than cars are trucks to him.) No, I said, you've got to eat first. So he devoured some home-canned apricots. No, I said, you've got to get dressed first. So he put on some pants. No, I said, Daddy's got to get dressed first. Well, that was an easy one: just harass Dad until he gets dressed too.

So I'm outside now, far earlier than anyone should be outside, sitting on the steps while he plays with his truck in the sandbox. At least he's happy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Potty update

It's been two days. Time for a potty update.

Looks like he's slowly getting better. Tuesday night it was the same drill: "Ow, ow!" "Do you need to poop!" "No! ... ow, ow!" So I locked him in. After about 8 minutes of howling, "I did it!" and Dad wiped him off.

It was a small poop, though. So today while I was at work, he pooped twice more. Rachel tells me the first wasn't bad, tantrum-wise, but the second was a fifteen-minute mini-marathon. Even though she let him pick out his popsicle beforehand (and move it down to a freezer shelf HE could reach), so he knew what he would be getting when he was done.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Potty update

(Warning: more fecal discussion ahead, if you needed a warning after the title.)

Rachel called me at work on Friday a little after 3:00. She said she was just calling to say hi, but I heard yelling in the background. She admitted that it had been a long day; Matthew was in his room now screaming. He needed to poop but he was too stubborn to do it. After Wednesday's battle we were ready to let him stay in diapers if he felt that strongly about it, but he didn't want to do THAT either. He was miserable, and he was making Mom miserable.

I went home early and alternated with Rachel camping out in front of Matthew's room while the screaming continued. On Rachel's watch, she went in to see how things were going and there was a nice long turd laid out neatly on the floor. Silver lining: since he'd been holding it in since Wednesday, it was fairly dry and not bad at all to clean up.

Today it was more of the same, screaming and howling and hopping with rage. I guess 2 days is as long as he can hold it... This time I figured hey, if he's going to take a dump on the floor let's do it where it's easy to clean up, so I put him in the bathroom and locked the door. I set up the potty seat for him, just in case he felt inclined to be reasonable about it. Nope; after oh about 20 minutes of cranking the volume to 10, he yelled through his screams, "Dada, poo poo." So I went in to see the damage.

He was standing in a corner of the room. I picked him up and put him on the toilet; a small turd dropped off his butt. Fine, I said, There's got to be more. See if you can put the rest in the potty.

Then I looked around and saw that I was standing in the rest. A much bigger turd, with my bare heel in it. No, parenting is not for the squeamish. I cleaned off my heel and the floor and his butt, and we got ready for church.

After church, reprise the same scenario. This time, it was only about ten minutes before the call came out -- calmer, this time -- and I went in. He was seated on the potty with the business in the water below. Good boy! I wiped him up and Rachel got him a popsicle.

Finally, before bedtime, the familiar clutching of the butt and Ow Ow-ing. I didn't think the pressure in his colon would be enough to overcome his hatred of the potty, but Rachel wanted to give it a try. She shut him in the bathroom and in only 5 minutes he was calling for me. (I'm honored, I guess, but really I think the butt-wiping should be more egalitarian here.)

So, maybe the worst is over. Mommy and Daddy earned it.


  • I noticed this morning when Matthew came downstairs to "help Dada" carry up a box of cereal that he takes one leg motion per step now on the way up, like an adult. That's quite a stride for a little guy.
  • I got tired of roughhousing with Matthew before he did today. I sat down in a chair and started reading "Go, dog. Go!" out loud. Usually he'll get interested in the book and join me reading but this time he climbed on my lap and shouted, The end! The end! and closed the book.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


  • Matthew is now in the 25th percentile for both weight and height. Small, but his at his previous checkups the best he did was 3rd. :)
  • Matthew still can't ride his skateboard standing up, but he admires older kids who can. At the park he saw one: "Tatoh [skateboard]. Wow... cool."

Friday, April 15, 2005


Outside with Matthew this afternoon. He's busy ruining Dad's pruning shears rooting about in the dirt with them, but I don't care. Then he notices the dandelions and stops. Daddy's taught him that Mommy likes flowers. Pretty! he says, and picks four of them. Flowers! "Do you want to take them to Mama?" Mama! *hyperventilates* and he's off.

He presents them with pride. They are received graciously with a kiss.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


The case of the missing popsicle

I got home from work a couple days ago and Rachel told me, "I'd appreciate it if you fed Matthew something more nutritious than popsicles for breakfast." Huh? He didn't eat anything I gave him, so I left that to Rachel. "There was a popsicle stick on the counter, and when I got out of the shower he was tearing into another one with sticky hands. The thing is, he's a terribly messy popsicle eater and I'm afraid I'm going to find a sticky spot somewhere in the house. AND, I know I was in the shower for under 6 minutes because his Katamari Damaci level was just ending when I got out."

We still haven't found a sticky patch, but Dad makes sure to remember to put the baby lock on the freezer now before leaving.

The first successful "number two"

Matthew has been good at peeing in the toilet sitting down or standing up. He hasn't, however, had a bowel movement in the toilet -- until Wednesday.

Normally, he has 2 or 3 a day, but since Monday he'd been diaperless and had kept things closed down. So Wenesday when he started clenching his butt and saying "ow" we knew what to do: I pinned him down while Rachel administered a suppository.

Thus began one of the worst hours of my life. He was livid about the suppository, and his rage grew instead of diminishing as we sat him on the toilet and it started doing its work. He was maddest while his bowels were actually moving, but at no time did he ever stop whining, howling, or uttering incomprehensible imprecations that were probably directed at his parents. I couldn't take this for more than five minutes or so without being siezed by an irresistible urge to swat his butt and tell him to calm the heck down, but I suspected that probably wouldn't help the whole "the toilet is your friend" thing we were trying to encourage. So Rachel did more of the consoling the inconsolable, poor woman.

(His anger seemed worst when his bowels were actually moving. My theory is that he was trying with all his might to keep everything inside, but the suppository had done its work and he couldn't.)

When it was all over, everyone was just ragged. I let Matthew have popsicle, cheesecake, gummi bears, anything, but he was still one angry peanut. What a stubborn son I have...

We let him wear diapers around the house now so he can poop in them if he wants, and take them off to potty if he wants. (He doesn't like underwear; he's discovered that it lacks the properties that make diapers safe to poop in.)

In other words, Daddy and Mommy surrendered. For now.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Went to Carl's Jr with Rachel and Matthew a few nights ago. Matthew was having a great time in the play area but Mom and Dad were about ready to go. We were talking about this when Matthew looked over and held up his hand. "Five min'."

In the spirit of giving him choices, Rachel has started asking him, "Do you want to stop now, or keep playing for 5 minutes?" But this was the first time he's brought it up himself.

He loves the power "five min" gives him. The only problem is now he thinks if it works once, it should work over and over again. Yesterday I had to chase him down to get him off the slide. All the other parents looked at me knowingly and smiled sympathetically.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The truth

Matthew's never had much respect for the truth when it's inconvenient. ("Are you stinky?" "NO!") But this morning is the first pre-meditated lie I've seen. I told him he could have some cranberry juice after he finished his breakfast. He did, and I got it for him. "Ice? Ice?" No, ice is a special treat for naptime.

Ten minutes later or so it was time for me to get ready for work. "Daddy's going to go get Mama," I announced. "Mama nap!" Yes, I suppose so. "Wawa nap!" Hmm, okay. Went into the bedroom. Got his bear. Turned on the "frogs." Got a blanket. Then he handed me his juice sippy cup. "Ice!" Aha! Sneaky little fellow. "All right, if you're going to nap." Got the ice. Matthew leaped out of bed. "No wa nap!" Okay, that's fine. Daddy will just put the juice in the fridge until you nap later.

Tantrum time. When I left for work he was still tantruming. Poor Mommy!


  • Put Matthew into the car seat yesterday. He hauled his bear onto his lap from where it had fallen to the side when he dozed off earlier, hugged it and said "Bear nice." Then gave it a kiss. That's more affection than I get most days.
  • Rachel's been in the habit of putting her radio on the toaster -- there's more room up there to twist the antenna to get better reception. Yesterday the toaster lever got depressed and we had a melted radio on our hands. This made a deep impression on Matthew: today he's still pointing it out to me. "Hot! Wawa fix it!" I'm not sure what kind of fixing he has in mind, but I don't think I want to find out.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Vocabulary update

  • Trage: Garage. E.g., "Owsai! Trage!" (Let's go outside, through the garage)
  • Tis: Kids. E.g., "Tis! Owsai!" (Kids! Outside!)
  • No wa: Don't want. E.g., "No wa nana" (Don't want a banana)
Hopefully one of these days he'll start pronouncing things better. In the meantime, Daddy and Mommy are experts in peanut-speak.

No way!

A week or two ago Matthew was being grumpy about something; I forget what exactly. Mommy had had enough of him , so when he dug in his heels and yelled "No way!" to whatever it was he was supposed to do, I could see her blood pressure rising.

"No way! No way! No way! No way!"

So I turned it into a game. "No way?" and started chasing him. "No way?" and tickled. He started giggling and running around with me.

This morning he came over to me on the couch. "No way! No way!" Time to play, Dad!


Matthew had been playing with the scissors yesterday at the table, cutting paper or silly putty; I forget which.

This morning he sat down and took the scissors to his batman cape that Grandma had made for him. I stopped him quickly but not before he had 4 or 5 slashes right in the middle of the cape.

Matthew has lost scissors priviledges for the forseeable future.

Friday, April 01, 2005


I mentioned that I thought the play-doh factory would be popular with Matthew. I didn't know just how popular.

Monday morning he got up and saw the box on the counter where it had somehow been left. "Play-doh! Play-doh! Play-doh!" (They should film this kid demanding his malleable overpriced whatever it is for a commercial. He's unrelenting.) He played with it for an hour and a half -- almost unprecedented in Peanut attention span.

Then he played with it some more that afternoon. Mommy showed him that if you squeeze out a longish strand and cut it off you have... a snake! This was a whole new dimension in play-doh fun. "Ssssss," he hissed, as his snake did a tour of the table.

Tuesday morning he woke up and demanded play-doh. And made snakes. Dad tried to mix it up by sometimes making two snakes, one for Dad. But that wasn't kosher. The rule was one snake. Dad is so slow sometimes.

Wednesday morning he woke up and demanded play-doh.

Thursday morning... you get the idea.

In between play-doh binges, he discovered that if he pressed his silly putty onto the newspaper, it lifts away some ink. He likes the colored comics pages best. He also discovered that silly putty is fun to cut with scissors.

So between the play-doh and the silly putty and the air rocket, being indoors hasn't been so bad. Which is good, because when it hasn't been raining this week, it's been snowing. And when it has been neither raining nor snowing it's still been cold and wet outside. (Wednesday afternoon I took him out anyway. I am not easily chilled, and I was freezing by the time he finally came in. Matthew is something of a wimp about cold at times -- from his mother's side, no doubt -- but when he wants to play outside, neither rain nor snow nor dark of night etc.)