Monday, September 26, 2011

State of the Flintstone


      My little man is a year old, and he continues to grow and change at warp speed.  There is absolutely no more denying that he is his own complete individual person now.  He's terrifyingly, destructively impressively mobile.  He's interested in absolutely everything except his toys, and he is on a mission to explore - particularly any place or thing that is particularly likely to be covered in ebola virus

      His communication skills are exploding.  He has understood signs for a long time now, but has only just started doing them back.  His very favorite sign is "bath."  When we got home from our trip to Michigan, after 20 some hours in the car, the first thing he did was run to the bathroom door exclaiming "Buh!  Buh!" and wildly signing bath.  We were so excited that MacGvyer stopped right in the middle of unloading the truck just to give him a bath.

     He also signs "O's" for spinach puff O's and hungry.  There are a couple more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.  He sort of does the sign for "more," but I think to him it just means "give me what you're eating."  He doesn't do the sign for nursing yet, but he doesn't need to.  He uses the same sign he's always used - banging his face against my chest or pulling open my shirt.  Yep, such a little gentleman.

     He claps, high fives (though he's been doing that for months), and waves hi AND bye.

     Verbally, he makes all sorts of sounds and I'm starting to peice together which sounds are meant to be words.  He says MaMa all the time and it just liquifies me even though I'm pretty sure it means "milk" not "mommy."  ;-)  But he says it a lot, and with all sorts of different tones.  I challenge anyone not to give in when he says MuhMuh in his sad, longing voice.  I swear if I could tear off my arm and give it to him when he says it, I would.  Not that it would be a wise decision, but it's becoming quite clear that my hyper-rationality does not extend to the Flintstone.  (Have I done a post yet on the shrink telling me I'm hyper-rational like that's a problem?)

Could you say no to this face?
School Days

      We finally got off the waitlist at our second choice child development program as of his first birthday, so two days ago he started the Pre-Tot program less than a block from my office!

      He did really, really well his first day.  He and I visited the room a couple times together earlier in the day, then I dropped him off in the afternoon right at snack time.  It was so super sweet seeing him sit at his little chair at the table with the other babies (kids?!?).  He was so happy with his snack, that he barely even noticed I was leaving.  He waved goodbye and went right back to snacking and watching the other kids.

      Day two drop off he cried just a little.  I handed him to one of the teachers and he cried while I made a beeline for the door.  By the time I was out the door peeking back in the window, he had stopped and was looking at something else.  The problem came when I walked in to pick him up.  He was cuddling with one of the teachers, looking a little drowsy and clinging to a toy when I walked in.  He didn't even notice me at the door until I said hi.

     He looked at me.  It didn't even take a second.  He wailed.  Just opened right up and cried.  "You left me!"  I imagined him saying.  "Where the hell have you been all day?!?"  "I didn't missed you!"

      It was heartbreaking.  I would have prefered it if he had stabbed me.  Or pinched the back of my arm really hard like he likes to do while he's nursing.

     Drop off today went as smoothly as yesterday.  We'll see how pickup goes.

     So far, I love the Pre-tot program, but of course, there are a couple issues, mainly about food.  Big effing shocker there.

      The center was pretty good about my asking that he not be given meat, eggs, or cow's milk.  They put him on the allergy list (even though it's not technically an allergy) and he wears a little orange bracelet every day.  I felt a little guilty about it at first because everyone seemed a little put out and weird about it, but I kept reminding myself that our Ethical Eating standards are more important that a little annoyance from others.  And once that paperwork was taken care of, everything was totally cool. 

     And thinking about it, I don't know why I should feel guilty about it.  This place bends over backwards for the kids with allergies.  They take it very, very seriously (as they should), and take very extreme measures for these kids - which I appreciate.  I don't want anyone thinking I'm saying there shouldn't be concessions for children with allergies.  For more info on the trials and triumphs of children with allergies, visit the always wonderful Gina.  She's great and provides wonderful insight into the topic.

     Anyway, my point was just that, while our religious preferences are not life threatening the way allergies are, I don't believe I should feel guilty asking that Flintstone not be fed certain animal products in the same way that parents of allergy sufferers also shouldn't.  Of course, I still do.  And I think parents of kids with allergies often do to.  But we shouldn't

      So he's not getting meat, eggs, or cow's milk.  I'm letting them give him cheese or other products like bread that might contain milk or eggs just because we haven't even been successful at home yet at cutting all that out.  I WISH we were, but it's an up hill battle - especially in the south.

      Now that that's all taken care of, I'm struggling with addressing the next issue.  I hate to be "that parent" who always has issues and needs all sorts of accomodations, but this stuff is important to me.

      We are still nursing.  The World Health Organization recommends that a child get half their calories from breast milk up until 18 months and doesn't recommend any attempts at weaning until at least 2 years.  This is a problem at the care center because there aren't fridges in the pre-tot rooms like there are in the infant rooms, so there's no where to store the milk.  And sadly (though not surprisingly - which is even more sad) they've aparently never had anyone try to have their pre-tot get breast milk during the day.

      All Flintstone drinks is breast milk and water.  Or, at least, that was all he was drinking.  They sometimes give him juice at the care center.  I don't like it at all.  I see it as a lot of pointless sugar.  He can get fruit nutrients from fruit.  We are not big juice drinkers at home and until he stared here I don't think he'd had juice at all (unless Uncle Boo snuck him a sip here or there).

      I'm going to schedule an appointment with the director of the care center soon to disucss the breast milk thing.  She is very supportive of breast milk, but I know this is going to be an issue.  The caregivers there already have their hands full and every extra special need and requirement is more stress and strain on them.  And I know they are super paranoid about another kid possibly coming in contact with MY breast milk (The Horror!  Eff.).

      One of Flintstone's teachers has suggested I provide them with a sealed container of soy or almond milk to give him.  I'm playing with the idea, but I have a lot of research to do on that.  Really, I want him to have breast milk.  I know he misses it.  He nurses like a FEIND as soon as we get home.  All night every night since he started (I'm writing this part a few days after I wrote the first part) he has been basically hanging off my breast constantly.  It's like having a very large, heavy, and super adorable, tumor.

      I'll try to remember to update you all after I meet with the director.  It's so frustrating that our culture makes it THIS HARD to do what's best for my baby.


      We did not do anything super huge for Flintsone's first birthday.  I'm not the kind of parent who goes all out with fancy cakes and big ordeals for something the kid won't remember.  In my opinion, first birthdays are more for the parents anyway, and I didn't feel that I needed one.

      I was thrilled to have just a small gathering with some family and watch Flinstone experience cake for the very first time and tear into a few new toys.  I made him a carrot cake cupcakes because, yes, even first birthday cake has to have vegetables with me because I am that insane with cream cheese frosting.  He LOVED it - though I think it was the slimy, squishy fun more than the actual cake.

      I could reminisce at length about the party, but I think my unedited, amture snapshots capture it quite well.  Enjoy:

Mama says I have to eat my vegetables before I can have cake.
Good thing I love vegetables.
MMmmmmmmm . . .

What in the world is this?  It's squishy.

OH!  I like this.  How much do you think I can cram in my mouth?
Seriously, you gotta try this.
Nan, you should have some, too.

Nom Nom Nom
Sticky Fishy Lips!

All cleaned up and on to presents.  Not so sure about this one . . . .


MiMi said...

He is SOOOO freaking cute!

Andie said...

He is too stinkin' cute!

Mandy Rose said...

Too funny- we just got Andrew that same ball-popper for his first birthday. He absolutely loves it, and learned to hit the button and feed the balls into it almost instantly. The only problem is that Nathan likes it too and insists that Andrew "share", even if Nathan just wants to shove some of his toys in it. I have a feeling it's not going to last very long...
Andrew did have a "fancy" cake, but, in my defense, I made it myself from scratch. We're not really into big birthday parties, either.

Karen Peterson said...

I can't believe that cutie is already a year old. Where does the time go??

And I'm glad they were able to make some concessions for you at the day care place. I can imagine it must be frustrating that you're trying to raise your son in the way you feel is best and others just make that difficult, whether intentionally or not.


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