Grandma and Auntie
Emma had the first of her holiday guests this past week with the arrival of her Aunt and Grandma. Yes, the same grandmother that fed her to the point of explosive dookies and ended her trip earlier than expected so she wouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath. I still maintain that she knew what she was doing and planned the whole thing as revenge for me being a bratty kid.
All in all it was a phenomenal visit. Aside from seeing my family it’s great knowing that there are people out there who love my daughter almost as much as Kelly and I do. I mean, we know it, but it’s wonderful to see that love in action. Of course it goes without saying that when you get a couple of excited, loving Sicilians in the house the volume gets turned up a bit.
On day one, the first thing my ma does is go to Emma’s room where all the light and sound producing toys are kept neatly on a shelf and proceeds to bring them all into the living room for Emma to play with… all at once. I like to use these toys judiciously, as tools to help entertain my daughter when I’m out of ideas. Not my ma, though. It was a cacophony of noise and light, like a bad trip at a laser light show. Mind you, these are all toys she bought Emma in the past 6 months so she knew what to grab. But it didn’t stop there.
As this was an early Christmas visit Emma got to open a few presents so my ma and sis wouldn’t completely miss out since they wouldn’t actually be here on the day. Her aunt gave her some very welcomed and practical clothes, good thing too because my baby is outgrowing everything she owns. My ma… she had more light up toys that made sound. There’s a 3 stage play and learn stuffed puppy that, coincidentally, I’ve been eyeing for awhile. I like the toys that will last a while and grow with your kid, ya know. After buying new clothes on a monthly basis I just want something she won’t outgrow by next week. Thankfully I hadn’t pulled the trigger on that purchase yet. Emma’s not “learning” much yet. She saw the faux fur and must have thought “delicious!” because like all her other stuffed animals she started eating it’s ear. I’ll let you know how her animatronic educator works out.
My favorite toy, though, by far, is a little ball that rolls around on it’s own and teaches colors, animals, and numbers. It’s especially nice when it rolls around and attacks my child as she’s laying on the mat. It’s a completely unpredictable movement and sort of reminds me of how I used to try to dance back in the day. The 90’s weren’t good for dancing. Crazy movements aside, I’m pretty stoked to have this because I think it will help motivate her to crawl. That, or at least stay down for tummy time longer that usual.
On a side note, my family got to see first hand that what I write about in my blog is all true. The stages of crying, the harnesses, the naps, the toys, everything is true. I might exaggerate a bit for humors sake, but I don’t lie.
It was a great visit though and we love seeing family. Kelly and I even got a chance to sneak off for a date day! It’s totally true what they say about parents missing their kids when they’re out. Even though I knew she was safe I couldn’t stop worrying about her. It really didn’t help that the movie we saw had a couple of disturbing plot points involving some children that didn’t make it to the end of the film. Of course Emma’s grandma and aunt took great care of her. The only person who didn’t love the visit was Shinobi.
Beware of Dog
Yeah, Shinobi is all about protecting my kid. I’ve never heard her growl or bark so much at people in our house. Granted, we don’t have people over that often, but it was surprising because she knows my ma and sis. She’s just super protective now. Even as I type this from the foot of my bed where Emma is taking her mid-morning nap, Shinobi is laid out at her feet being super watchful. Actually, since Emma’s been sleeping in our bed, ‘Nobi’s been at her feet the entire time. It makes me so proud of my dog. Good girl!
Luckily she’s down for a nap. It’s been harder and harder to get her to sleep as of late. She’s been extremely combative when it’s time for naps. I have my usual bag of tricks which I employ to get her to doze off, like white noise, singing, playing lullabies through the smart watch, warm milk, etc. Some of it works, but I usually need to go through several concerted efforts before she’s out.
I can tell she’s fighting it because as I’m cradling her in her glider she starts to lazily swing one arm about, like a pro wrestler fighting against a sleeper hold. Her eyelids start to get heavy as her arm flops about, slowly losing steam. The lullabies, the binky, the rocking, all of them taking their toll on her. Then, just like a scripted pro wrestling comeback, her eyes dart open, head flinging back. Her limp arm languidly hanging there shoots up as if she’s feeding off the energy of some invisible audience chanting “EMMA! EMMA! EMMA!”
Awake! She was almost asleep and now, out of nowhere, she’s awake! Regaining her steam, metaphorically jumping off the top rope like the Ultimate Warrior, and essentially body slamming me with surprise. So, in a sort of Stone Cold Stunner, I put her in the daddy saddle and she’s out. She can fight the glider, but not the comforting embrace of daddy dearest and her baby harness. Now that she’s actually cool with facing inwards she’s been falling asleep in her harnesses a lot faster than she used to. Before, I would be walking all around our home just to get her to fall asleep.
Why don’t I start with the harness you ask? Because before I would have to walk all around our home just to get her to fall asleep. Don’t ask a man who wears orthotic inserts to walk around for 45 minutes barefoot. Dumb.
Up Up and Away
But she loves her harnesses. I think she just likes to be up high. Once she sees you and she isn’t being held by anyone then her arms shoot straight up demanding to be lifted out of her current, low status predicament. That’s princess behavior is what that is. I’m not the only one who succumbs to her “PICK ME RIGHT THE @&*# UP NOW” body language. My ma and sis fell victim to that, too. Last week I described the stages of crying and they saw them first hand. My sister’s goal all week? Don’t let Emma get past stage 2.
Ultimately, once she’s up and has engaged the world from her crows nest for too long she’ll get tuckered out. This is mainly due to her whipping around from side to side in your arms to see everything that’s going on …even if nothing is going on. A lot of the times it’s just her avoiding my face. She has this thing where she won’t look at whoever is holding her. Like she’s too good to make eye contact with the help. That’s princess behavior is what that is.
When she has no time for me to be her manservant and chaufer her around the house she’s making progress on moving around on her own. We’re still not crawling yet, but we found out that some kids don’t always crawl. Sometimes they go straight to walking.
Keep Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Currently she’s just rolling. Everywhere. She rolls right off her play mat and right through the open concept house. It goes like so:
Baby: roll roll roll
Daddy: “Hey Emma, where ya going?”
Baby: blank stare, but intense eye contact
Daddy: “Come on back.”
Baby: Stares back as if to say, “Screw you dad, I’m Audi 5000” and continues to roll away.
Apparently, and this is my legit advice for new parents, some kids just scootch and roll. Crawling happens around 7 to 10 months of age, but with the new guidelines for keeping kids from sleeping on their stomach there’s a trend for new babies to crawl later or just skip it all together. If you haven’t heard of the Back to Sleep movement initiative thing, it’s all about keeping kids on their backs while they sleep to reduce the chance of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). See what they did there, back to sleep… sleeping on your back. Word play!
Emma’s started rolling onto her tummy when she sleeps. It has Kelly freaked out. I’m mildly concerned, but not worried. Is that bad parenting or have I just settled into being a dad? It’s not like I leave her on her tummy. I flip her like a flapjack if I find her sleeping on her belly. But I used to sleep on my tummy with my bottom up in the air. In yoga that move is aptly named “child’s pose.” It feels great. Try it. Speaking of Yoga and working out-
It’s the holidays. ‘Nuff said.
Well that’s it for this week. Emma’s going to have more guests coming into town to fawn over and dote on her and I’ll be writing all about it. I hope your holidays are warm and festive and thanks for spending a little bit of it with us. If you have any toys that your kids like or that you think are especially great for parents, or any advice for parenting during the holidays let us know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading and happy parenting!