So happy...we could just dance!
31 July 2010
So happy...we could just dance!
27 July 2010
Then, glare at anyone who tries to disturb Quiet Time with your duck.
23 July 2010
21 July 2010
Well, we all knew that it would come sooner or later. Eamon’s always been a curious boy, and now that he’s almost 19 months old and has discovered that other people have buttons, he can’t help but see what happens when he pushes them.
My mother, who watches Eamon each day, had been making noises about his occasional defiance for about the past month, but I never saw it. It wasn’t until summer started and I was home more that he started really learning what annoys me, and could therefore capitalize on it. Over the past week, it seems, Eamon went from wanting nothing more in life than to please me and make me happy to wanting to see what happens when he smacks me in the middle of the Bed, Bath, & Beyond (he was angry because I had the audacity to move his hand away from some knives that he was reaching for).
We’ve certainly had our moments at home, but the Bed, Bath, & Beyond episode was new. He hasn’t tried those things in public before; he’s usually a darling too busy trying to get everyone to love him.
And, of course, the question is: what do you do? My 19 month old just hauled off and smacked me. And there are people watching.
Well, there are probably a hundred different reactions, but I went with one somewhere in the middle: I leaned in really close to him and explained in no uncertain terms how there was a corner, right there, that corner, where he could go sit in Time Out if he ever hit Mommy again, and Mommy didn’t care who was watching, do you understand me, young man?
He was strangely well-behaved the rest of the time.
So I guess that solved the problem. This time.
17 July 2010
Are you female? Are you young? Are you pretty? Then allow me to introduce you to Eamon Wolfe, who is truly, madly, deeply in love with you.
Eamon is a flirt of gigantic proportions. He’s friendly to everyone, but the kid totally loses his head for young, pretty girls. (And by young, I mean late teens, early twenties. He has no interest in women his own age.)
Instance the first: Swim lessons Last Week
Eamon usually looooves swimming, and nothing can distract him. When the other kids cry or scream, he just ignores them. He is there for a purpose, and that purpose is swimming. But last week? Last week, the lifeguard who stands on the side of the pool…she was a pretty young girl. It’s usually a guy, and Eamon never notices. But last Saturday, Eamon insisted that we swim to the side of the pool I don’t know how many times, over and over, and then he would point and smile at the young lady. She tried to dutifully ignore him at first, since her job is to watch all the babies, but after enough shrieks and award-winning smiles from him, she finally gave in and smiled back.
Eamon was over the moon. But he wasn’t satisfied. He now wanted to get out of the pool. I thought he wanted to practice his jumps, but no—he wanted to walk over to her so that he could…I don’t know? Get her phone number? Ask if she was tired from running through his thoughts all morning? Propose?
Instance the second: Olive Garden
Everything was going fine for our Father’s Day lunch. Eamon was eating his chicken fingers, dipping his French fries in my chicken marsala sauce (why not?), and everything was quite pleasant. And then, two young ladies, barely in their twenties, sat at the table beside us.
Eamon continued eating, but in a distracted way where he was actually turned towards the girls and absent-mindedly pulling food off his plate and putting it in his mouth without actually seeing the food. We probably could have fed him Brussels sprouts and he wouldn’t have noticed. He was instead smiling and waving constantly. The girls were not immune to his charms. At one point, one of them stuck her tongue out at Eamon and made a funny face, and so the rest of our meal was spent watching our child stick out his tongue and shriek at the young ladies to get their attention. I don’t think the girls talked to each other for the first 20 minutes of their meal, since they were far too busy being distracted by our girl-crazy son.
These are not the only instances, by far. Anytime we go anywhere and see a pretty young girl, Eamon ratchets up the charm to the nth degree. The few times that he has been ignored (very few), he is completely befuddled. You can almost see it on his face—“But I’m cute. Why won’t you pay attention to me? All the other girls do!”
The upshot of all this is that I get to meet many pretty young girls when I apologize for the ridiculous attention that my son pays them. It’s silly, really, because I’m not really in the market to meet pretty young girls, so all Eamon’s talents as the World’s Best Wingman are completely wasted.
Of course, nothing really comes of these innocent flirtations, because, well, Eamon is 18 months old and most of these girls are about 18 years old. As I said earlier, Eamon really isn’t interested in girls his own age…but they are interested in him. At his gym class, there are a couple of toddler girls that chase him around all the time, trying to kiss him. Eamon finds them highly annoying, and runs away…straight into the arms of the gym class instructor…who happens to be about twenty, and you guessed it, quite pretty.
13 July 2010
Here's some fun pics to document the surgery:
Eamon on the way to surgery, completely baffled as to why his mommy was so gosh darn mean and wouldn't give him any breakfast. Or water. What was up with that? Only Lion really understands his pain.
Eamon, the young Jedi, awaits surgery in possibly the most fabulous playroom ever.
I see London, I see France...
03 July 2010
We pretend for about a minute, then he gets bored, and we have to sit up. We have to choose a new spot in the room and move the menagerie, the blanket, and the pillows over there. I put my glasses back on so that he can take them back off, and the entire process repeats. He finds this game hilarious, and I like it because it allows me to lie down while playing.
So this morning when we were in his room, Eamon really wanted to play this game. Communicating this was not an issue—he just bumped his fists together (it’s supposed to be “more,” but he interprets the sign as “I want”) then slid his hand across his chest (“please”) then growled (“Lion”). I asked, “Do you want me to get Lion out of your crib?” He ran to the crib and excitedly wagged his fists in the air (“Yes, yes, yes!”).
So that’s why I’m not really worried about his language, even though up to this point, the only words he can say without fail are “Mimi” (for Mommy, which I think I actually prefer; we will certainly never have that problem at a party where he called for his mother and twenty moms turn around), “Da!” for Dad, “Ma” for Grandma, and a weird sort of puckering noise that means “Grandpa” (I think he’s trying to do the “p” sound, but instead it comes out like a really exaggerated kissing sound). Occasionally he says other words, but even his “No” comes out most of the time like a weird D-J-M hybrid.
Well, I say that I’m not worried. I am worried, but not about his ability to understand and use language. I know that other kids Eamon’s age talk, talk, talk, and Eamon says very few words. But he understands almost everything that you tell him (even when he’s pretending that he doesn’t because he doesn’t feel like doing it), and he signs about 30 different words.
What I am worried about is his physical ability to talk. Eamon was born with a frenulum that was very far forward—the frenulum being the little piece that holds the tongue to the bottom of your mouth. The doctor who examined him two days after he was born noticed it and told us it could possibly be a problem later…but then we met with our regular pediatrician and he said that it didn’t look that bad and we should just wait and see. So we decided we would go along with his opinion.
Until recently. As soon as Eamon was old enough to be interactive, we noticed something peculiar. We would stick our tongues out at him, and he would stick his tongue back out at us—and it didn’t go past his lips. It made this weird little heart shape where his frenulum was holding his tongue down. And we noticed that he couldn’t make a ton of different syllables—especially not the ones that involve moving your tongue a lot. Vowels, he has down, and he’s pretty good with the sounds that you just use your lips for (“mmmm”, “buh”, etc.)
So we went back to the pediatrician. He looked at Eamon’s tongue, poked around in his mouth, and said that it should be fine and we should continue to wait and see until Eamon was about two. At least, that was his professional opinion, but he would give us a surgical consultation if we really wanted one.
Well, I’m not usually one to push for things. My mother was a pediatric nurse practitioner, so I’m pretty good about believing doctors most of the time…but a kid should be able to stick his tongue out past his lips, right? And this “wait and see” attitude…I asked what would happen if it turned out that his tongue really was a problem, and the doctor said that we might be able to try surgery at a later date…or speech therapy.
Whoa…speech therapy? I’m an elementary school teacher, so I know how much kids love to get pulled out of class for speech therapy. They love it this much: not at all. In fact, most of them hate it, and one of the happiest days of their lives is the day they “graduate” from speech therapy.
I asked for the surgical consult. Just to see what the surgeon would say.
So a few weeks later, we went. The surgeon was very nice, and even though we couldn’t get Eamon to stick out his tongue, the surgeon poked around his Eamon’s mouth with a tongue depressor and said that yes, his frenulum was way too far forward, and yes, it was going to cause problems with speech. If we decided to wait until Eamon was two or three, just to see, Eamon would learn to compensate, but there would be some sounds that he just wouldn’t be able to make. He could probably learn to be more or less effective after having speech therapy for awhile. Then again, he might not learn to make those sounds with therapy, and then he might have to have the surgery anyway, and then we would really have to have lots of speech therapy because he would have to learn to talk all over again.
The surgery itself is an out-patient procedure. It takes 20 minutes, though Eamon would have to be put under general anesthesia. It would make it hard for him to eat really hot things for a couple of days, but he would be able to eat and drink within an hour after the surgery.
So…20 minutes…or an indeterminate amount of time in speech therapy? That might end up with him having to have the surgery anyway? When he’s older and will definitely remember it? And will end up with more speech therapy afterwards, too?
Well, this is definitely one of those times when you just have to make the best decision that you can with the information that you have at the time. It’s possible, of course, that if we played the “wait and see” game, Eamon would learn to compensate and mostly speak okay with just a few odd sounds here and there, and maybe he’s so personable that the other kids wouldn’t make fun of him for it, or maybe it could be fixed with just a small amount of speech therapy.
That seems like a lot of maybes.
As the surgeon said, “I can’t guarantee that he won’t have speech therapy in the future, but I can guarantee that it won’t be because of his tongue.”
So we finally came to the decision that a 20 minute procedure that would definitely rule out his tongue being his problem with language—yes, that was worth it. We have a surgical appointment on Monday, July 12. Until then, we’re just going to watch a lot of sign language videos.