I hope it’s just the teething..

.. or the sleepiness, but Tristan was on very poor behavior when we visited with Helena and Bryan today. To be fair, he woke up at 7:30, which to us is like 5:30 is to the rest of you if you’re on a normal schedule. They had a moving snail toy and Tristan had a bit of a meltdown whenever he was encouraged to share or be diverted from it. Since he’s normally not such a shit about such things, I really hope he just wasn’t feeling well. Socially with other babies, he’s a jerk sometimes but also plays nicely alongside them most of the time. By jerk, I mean he steals toys and shoves a little – but I blame the shoving on us letting him climb on us and shove to indicate that he’d like to get by or just to snuggle by sort of sitting up against us. To us, this is nonverbal communication, but socially it’s not exactly endearing since other adults and children have other ways of communicating – shoving others is kind of jerkish, after all. At least he’s not hitting (knock on wood!! I know we will have to be CAREFUL if he starts to avoid it becoming a habit..) But aside from that, he lets go of toys when others steal them as often as he steals them. As long as there are no head or other major injuries or distracting meltdowns, I don’t care if there’s shoving or rudeness or a lack of sharing by either my kid or others’ kids.

Anyway, I will treat this as a momentary and situational thing provided he does not repeat it, and if he does (and is not tired, in pain, or otherwise previously miserable) then we will have some serious discipline work to do. Thankfully, our discipline is fun and positive in most cases (hey, look, people are nicer to you and we get to go more places when you’re agreeable, condensed into baby language), but it’s still hard work.

Showers and bubbles

We have a pretty large standing shower with an adult-height bench. This still is somewhat a novelty to us all, as it’s only been about 3 months since we’ve moved into our new place. Anyway, pretty large means it can fit a family of 3 provided the baby isn’t in the mood to walk around the shower, and it fits either adult and the baby comfortably for a leisurely shower.

That being said, Tristan is one of those children who really delights in things at times, and since he’s so passionate and easy to please, we run with that. Lately he’s been interested in bubbles – soap suds running down the drain, especially. I suppose with a bathtub, there are some tricks to entertaining a baby – bubble bath lasts a while, you can color the water, the fact that you’re chest high in water is also novel. But honestly, I prefer the standing shower (we do also have a regular bathtub in our second bathroom). The tile floor has some traction even with soap, and there’s no body of water for baby’s head to fall down into. He knows how to block the drain and let the water rise a couple of inches, but that takes about three minutes. It feels less dangerous and he’s disciplined enough (read: I have been lucky enough) that he doesn’t mess with the door while we’re mid-shower. All of his bath toys are in there – a turtle scoop to hold the little stuff, a bunch of fist-sized vinyl sea critters, and one of those turtle float-and-roll things. While he is interested in those things, he can be kept happy in the shower for about 40 minutes if additional measures are taken to ensure his entertainment beforehand. Lately, this means providing bubbles frequently. I’ve been going through shampoo and bubble bath like mad, because standing showers sort of explode the soap and then wash it down the drain, leaving baby asking for more. If I’m not fast enough and I leave the soap within reach, he knows how to open it and where to squeeze it, but even if it’s Johnson & Johnson baby stuff, I don’t feel right with him having an open container of soap in hand. We purchased a bathtub battery-operated bubble blower, and he seems somewhat entertained by it so far, but the kid seems to crave more excitement every day.

I’m not exactly complaining here – I’m still amazed and grateful that our showering-together arrangement has continued to work out so far. We’ve made it to almost 15 months without him refusing to bathe and honestly, he’s been excited about every bath we’ve taken to date since we’ve started showering together. (OH! We’ve -also- made it thusfar without him POOPING in the shower or bath – let’s hope that continues to be the case!) I get a full shower every time we bathe – there’s no compromising like there is with a lot of things, such as EATING or resting. For some reason, even when he’s in a crappy mood, tired, hungry, etc., he still loves the “bath” (I call it a bath for him because of the relevant vocabulary factor – they teach the word “bath” to babies, but babies aren’t exactly expected to shower, so that one doesn’t come up as often.)

I am eager for the moment when the realization that certain activities come directly before a bath, so anticipate a bath, kicks in for Tristan. Since he’s still a punkass about his diaper changes (lately, I get a diaper change upon waking up and reluctantly before napping, and any other diaper change, such as a poop after a fresh diaper, is met with Pissed Off Baby Screams.. shouldn’t a Virgo want poop off of him? I’m eager for when he realizes that poopy butts are gross and he should cooperate for a change.. sigh..) anyway, I digress – he still screams because he thinks being put on the changing table for diaper and poop removal are an Evil Diaper Change Out of Turn and screams his little head off. Even after I’ve talked about the bath and given him cues that we’re about to go shower, such as getting out his towel and washcloth and going to turn on the water to warm up. I’m not sure if he doesn’t anticipate more than a couple of seconds or if he’s just so freaked out by diaper changes that are “off-schedule” to him. This doesn’t change whether we bathe daily or manage to fit in one bath that week – yep, gross, but it happens, and the norm is somewhere between those two.

Also, I’m very proud of him for getting good enough to step over the shower door entry that he does it carefully and it’s almost second-nature.


Yesterday morning Tristan and I went to Thamien Park and had lots of fun. Tristan learned how to descend steps by sitting down and standing up on the next one. He also rode in the baby swing for a bit and walked around the park without putting too much sand in his mouth. Then we walked around the adjacent grass field and spotted airplanes – that place is great, because the planes circle around so a baby can just walk around with his eyes up for quite a while. After airplane watching, we practiced not walking in the street and walking together on the sidewalk.

In the evening, we went to the Alviso library and played there for a bit. It’s a tiny library, but there weren’t many other people there and everyone seemed to be at least tolerant of the toddler. We played peek-a-boo and Tristan played with the big wooden puzzles. At some point he got babbly and was getting loud about it, so I whispered ‘aaaaaa’ to him and it set him off giggling. It continued to set him off giggling for the entire evening – I think it’s losing its charm by now.

Today we went to the mommies’ group and Tristan made it through to the end without major fussing! Most of his friends were absent today, but I think that’s one reason it went well – fairly low concentration of other people in the way.

This afternoon, we had chicken nuggets and rice for lunch. The rice is cooked in chicken broth with garlic and ginger – I eat mine with soy and chili sauce but I serve his plain. The chicken nuggets are mostly for the purpose of having quick chicken, for cooking is still fairly difficult with him around and nobody else to watch him. I’m still so happy he’s been interested in both of those foods.

This evening, he showed some interest in learning how to climb up onto the couch but could not make it. It’s a big reclining couch with the legrests out most of the time, so that gives him a handicap when trying to climb it vs. a normal couch that doesn’t drop under your weight when you get onto it.

Right now, Tristan’s down for his second nap and he finally just fell asleep. The naps have been sort of touchy lately – I seem to have lied about him giving up the second one and taking a long one midday, because that has gone by the wayside. No matter whether I put him down for the first/main nap on time or way late, he has been only taking two hours and has needed more nappage in the evening. However, he doesn’t wake on his own from the second nap – if we don’t wake him up for a couple of hours, he’d sleep through the night but that night would end around 5 or 6 am. That continues to be far from a reasonable hour to be awake, so we’re trying to manipulate the sleep. Thankfully, he’s still good about his sleep habits – he enjoys his crib enough that fussing is usually just situational (protesting occasionally or mostly not feeling his best, in the case of this teething) and he has been falling asleep reliably and waking up slowly and patiently in the mornings. Knock on wood! I am on alert for when he connects climbing with a desire to get out of his crib – it’s coming soon..

Tomorrow I think we’re going to Thamien Park again in the morning but I’m not sure what we should do in the afternoon quite yet. It depends on whether any errands pop up and/or how lazy I feel.


The Wednesday playdate I’d been trying to arrange might not work out. We’ll see. If nothing else, alternatives can be arranged, both in time and location.

Instead of yesterday’s playdate, we ended up at Thamien Park with a handful of our buddies from the North Park playgroup that we’ve been going to every Tuesday and Thursday since before Tristan was even a crawler. There’s a great structure intended for 2-5 year olds, so we put the babies (who ranged in age from 8 months to almost 2 years) and parents up top and had the parents block the exits so nobody fell down. They had a great time!

I could, however, do without Tristan’s knack for ninja-ing sand and rocks into his mouth. I know that the best way to get the kid to stop doing stuff is to make sure it gets no attention – which is hard when it involves a possible choking hazard. Extinction, behaviorwise. But since it involves possible rocks and/or woodchips when they are present, I’ve had to go finger-sweeping his mouth a lot – this makes going to places with possible rocks infinitely stressful for me and it’s not the most respectful way for me to deal with behavior because I keep having to act on an emergency basis. He is still too young/little/has a crappy teacher on that topic/whichever to actually follow directions – he will at best comply after a moment or twelve of thought. Most of our discipline around here involves letting him know which actions are right and deserve attention, which means he’s usually fairly pleasant.. but keeping him out of danger is difficult without physical intervention.

In any event, playtime was fun other than the mystical earth-eating abilities of my toddler.

Today was the aforementioned North Park playgroup, which involved some very fussy babies. Tristan walked cheek-first into a table corner. I was right across from him, watching him walk around kicking a large ball and dangling two smaller ones from his hands. His ball-maneuvering limit must be two, because he’s usually far more careful about corners – he walks past this particular one twice a week for an hour! He’s got a bit of a bruise and a cut below his eye, and he has a bruise below his other one as well. There were a few occasions where Tristan busted out crying (due to teething or possibly a headache from the corner jab) and was playing with a cabinet door, and when he busts out crying he sort of forgets to hold himself up and keep himself safe. Poor baby. He looks sort of funky right now.

Oh no, it’s a dragon!

Halloween has come and gone.  We met up with a bunch of folks from our old apartment and went trick or treating near Rivermark – Tristan in a dragon costume, Kirin wearing all kinds of dragony goodness, and I as a Scotsman (kilt and all).   Pictures likely available in the gallery at some point 🙂

He seemed to tolerate things well enough – we lasted as long as the rest of the group, and ultimately headed back to a party they were having, where Tristan proceeded to run in circles for a while before getting bored and wanting to leave.

We’ve had pretty good luck with him, patience wise, lately – we took my mom and sister to Benihana as a thanks for babysitting a bit while they were here – Tristan actually made it through about 2/3rds of it before getting restless and necessitating a walk.  He actually seemed to like watching them cook – for a good chunk of the time, he had this “what in the world is this person doing” look on his face.

We’ve also managed to take him out to a buffet twice now, with no trouble whatsoever.   Basically, we just time it so he needs a meal as well, and let him eat as we do, and it all seems to work out in the end.