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The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Pity the conquering hero. The slight shiner is under the left eye.

Terry, Ronan and I were at a wonderful wedding this weekend. As the assembled guests ate dinner, we watched Terry and Ronan playing in the grass. (It was a small wedding.) I said, “I was unprepared for the transition to toddlerhood.” One of the guests said, “Don’t complain! You have a wonderful baby!”

Yes, we have a wonderful baby. I wasn’t complaining; I was simply stating that toddlerhood was more than I expected it to be. Each stage of Ronan brings with it unexpected challenges. I could handle a newborn baby but wasn’t expecting Terry needing my help as well to recover from the c-section. I ws just getting used to bottle-feeding when we moved to baby food; then we move from baby food to solid food. Each transition seemed to come too fast, and was more difficult than I had anticipated. It reminds me of my father, who confidently told me he would be a better father to my brother, because he’d had practice. Then Ryan came along with his own personality and his desire to be nothing like me, and my father soon exclaimed he’d have to learn to be a father all over again.

I feel like I’m learning to be a father all over again with toddlerhood. Terry has gone back to work, and  I miss her greatly. While we’re broke, it was nice to have someone around to share Ronan with. Now that she’s back, I find him to have more energy, more mobility, and more destructive power than I remember him having the last time I was the lone caregiver.

He is climbing everything now. He is working very hard when he’s in his playpen, plotting jailbreaks. He’s figured out how to get his leg onto the upper bar of the playpen. Now all he needs is to figure out that if he applies pressure with his foot, he will propel himself right over the top and out of there. That will be messy, I think.

When he’s not climbing, he’s attempting to pull apart something. Soon someone will ask me for a piece of paper and there will not be any to be had; he’s punished every piece of paper as mercilessly as possible, squeezing, ripping, crushing and shredding. Books are starting to take the heat. He does the same thing with mashed potatoes; I didn’t know you could mash mashed potatoes. It’s kind of a fist-shaking move with potatoes coming out of every crevice in his fist. It would be really funny if I didn’t have to clean up the mess.

After stomping out the plague of paper and mashed potatoes infecting the land, he likes to break stuff to see how it works. We had a nice set of coasters that had his picture in them. He started to pull that apart, but a little surgery on Dad’s part fixed it. We lost one of our phones to repeated hulk-smash on the floor. Our TV remote, if it was alive, would be dead or at least begging for death after repeated dragging across the apartment.

Ronan is trying to walk, so he’s trying to walk on all fours with his knees in the air instead of crawling. It’s a funny sight to see him shuffling along with his knees off the ground. He’s also trying to let go of tables and chairs while cruising. He stood up for a minute while playing, then fell over hard. It seems he can stand as long as he doesn’t know he’s standing. Once he’s figured out that he’s standing, he falls over. This resulted in a mild black eye when he fell over onto a plastic shape sorter. We seem to be experiencing more bumps and bruises as he learns to walk.

And, the energy. He has gobs of energy. I wish I had the energy that this kid has. Afternoon nap? Forget it. Why sleep when you can run wild? I think I miss that afternoon nap more than he does.

I’m sure as soon as I get used to toddlerhood, we’ll be on to a whole new phase of childhood, and I’ll be overwhelmed by that turn as well.


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It'll be interesting when he starts to talk.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 8, 2008 12:04 PM.

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