Saturday, December 8, 2007

Stuff and Such

I have a few items of family news to report.

First, today was the birthday party for the Adrenaline Junkie! Her actual birthday is tomorrow, but today was the convenient day for everyone to come to the birthday party, so today it was.

The party itself was a laid-back family affair. We're not into having huge birthday extravaganzas, as so many parents these days seem to be. We just decorated this morning with whatever we happened to have on hand, which primarily consisted of construction paper.

What can you do with construction paper?

Well, you can cut it into big, thin spirals, and hang them from whatever surface you can.

This is very festive! It didn't take a whole lot of work to set up, and the kids thought it was totally engrossing when the ceiling fan was turned on. (Personally, I thought it was totally engrossing when the ceiling fan was turned on high, but we didn't leave it like that for very long. That would have been a little too festive).

We had both sets of grandparents up, and an uncle from Tonya's side of the family. As I said, a fairly laid-back affair. But note that the guests who did show up tend to be the ones who bring the most gifts. The Junkie made out like a bandit.


The Happy Boy (age 10 months) did something today that he hasn't done before, which indicates to us that something "clicked" in his brain. (This seems to be the way little kids develop: one day, they just start doing something they were unable to do before. How does it happen? We don't know; it just does, like someone threw a switch, and now they have a new level of consciousness.)

The Happy Boy had bumped something and fallen over, and was crying pretty hard--and pouting when he wasn't crying. So, while Mommy was holding him, and the two of us were trying to console him, I scrunched up my face into a pout, too, with my lower lip sticking out.

He looked at me like I was weird or something.

Then I guided a finger of his to my protruding lower lip, and had him push it back in. He found this a fascinating concept. He stopped crying.

So, I stuck my lower lip out again and started pouting. And.... the Happy Boy reached up, and pushed my lip in again. Then we both started giggling.

Then we did it again, and again... and each time, it got funnier and funnier to the Happy Boy who obviously thought: this is such a wonderful game! I can make my Daddy stop pouting with just a push of my finger! I have power!

Now, I found this fascinating, because he's now doing something he hasn't before. It's a new kind of social interaction: he is learning that he can affect other people's moods. He's noticing that he can do things that other people find funny. He's recognizing a certain social situation, and remembering the proper action for this situation, and anticipating the results. I hadn't seen him think like this before.

Tonya has been thinking that he's acting like he's understanding what we're saying much more often. At some point, a parent notices these things: you say something, and he starts to act in a way that tells you he understands. For example, I told him to take a toy out of his mouth today, and he did--the first several times, at least. (Then he started to ignore me--he's teething, after all--and so I had to get physical with him.) It really is fascinating to watch him develop.

And no, he hasn't started walking yet. He's by no means late, and we're totally content with how he's doing; but his sisters were walking by his age. We can tell he's really really close, though; about a week ago, he took a couple of steps by accident, without realizing what he was doing. But Mommy thinks it's likely to happen within the next week.

Then he'll start chasing me around to push my lip in. :-)

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