Archive for the ‘toddlers’ Tag

2-14-2016 Journal–Avery, Kaiden & Alvin’s Chipmunks!   Leave a comment

It seems that Winter has finally caught up with us. Up until now it’s been a relatively mild season as far as the snowfall goes. The temps have been up and down but noting too frigid until this weekend. Unlike many of the other northern states we expect to receive a lot of snow but the   temperatures usually don’t go much lower than ten degrees during the coldest months. 

My father had a quaint old saying for cold weather like we’re seeing this weekend. He always described it as  "cold as a well diggers asshole" and if my mother was nearby it was "as cold as a well diggers elbow".  Below zero temps with a good healthy wind were all of that and a bag of chips.

Last night my better-half and I spent our night at home babysitting the grandchildren.  We had the good sense to stay inside and not be roaming around in sub-zero temperatures.  The house was warm and cozy, the toddlers were reasonably well behaved, and another viewing of Alvin & the Chipmunks was in the offing (Just shoot me now).

Their parents were having a Valentines Day date night and weren’t expected to return until eleven.  Just as the boys were finally falling asleep and Alvin and the Chipmunks were coming to an end they showed up much earlier than expected. The current temperature at the time was –2 degrees with a wind-chill of -15. It apparently was just too damn cold for them to do much of anything and they’d called it a night.

It’s now the next morning and I’m almost ready to leave this warm bed.  Hot coffee might give me enough energy to pick up all  the toys scattered throughout the house before having my bowl of hot oatmeal.  I imagine I’ll be stuck in the house for another day or two which doesn’t make me very happy.

I’m moving slower than usual due to a late night awakening where I spent two hours playing X-Box LEGO Star Wars, reading three chapters of my latest book, eating a cookie, and returning to bed at 5am.  This insomnia I’ve been suffering with for the last two months is just killing me.

10-21-2013   2 comments

I’ve spent most of my adult life working with an odd assortment of people.  I was an investigator in the Army which required me to interrogate people who spoke little or no English through an interpreter.  A difficult task at best since many times the interpreter only knew enough English to get by.  Years later as a police officer I was introduced to a host of criminal types, drug users, child abusers, and perverts.  The first and most important thing during those interviews and interrogations required a reasonable knowledge of the  subjects motivations and state of mind.  For the most part it was an interesting and emotionally draining experience.

I had an excellent rate of success in my endeavors because I was able to develop a quick rapport with my subjects in a very short period of time.  This remained the case through more than ten thousand interviews conducted in the years just prior to my retirement.  I felt I had the ability to interrogate, interview, and understand anyone regardless of the situation.  I was flexible enough to adapt to their way of thinking, find the problem, and fix it with a minimum of effort. Was I over confident?  I didn’t think so at the time but I do now. 

I finally met my match recently when I was dropped into a situation that befuddled me.  I had little or no experience with young children and when my step-grandson was born my education in dealing with people took a strange turn.  He communicates with his world of adults during this first year without language.  He uses hand gestures and a collection of facial expressions to get his messages across which continue to puzzle most of us.  He’s within a month or two from actually speaking understandable words and he’s currently babbling a constant stream of unintelligible nonsense.  It appears to make some sort of sense to him but leaves us adults dazed and confused.

My best chance of understanding him will occur once he decides to start saying something I can understand.  I decided to do a little more research into the mind set of a very young person who has no apparent life experience to draw from. How tough can it be I asked?  Where do I start?  I found the following article while surfing the Net and as soon as I read it I knew it held the answers I’d been looking for.  A simple and brief list of how the mind of a very young child is motivated and feels about the things and people around them. The list is funny but without a doubt as close to the truth as I could find. See what you think.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all of the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it
    automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

I’m going to post a copy of this list on my frig and read it as many times as necessary each and every time the little guy pisses me off or does something inappropriate.  This list explains everything in a way even I can understand.  Be patient, no screaming or yelling, and no punishing for things he doesn’t yet understand.  Just stand back and gently guide him in the direction we want him to go.  They’ll be plenty of time later for guidance and instructions once he can talk and reply.  Being able to speak and ask questions will make things  so much easier for us both (I hope).

Being the first born grandchild in a family is a nice place to find yourself.  I was the first born grandchild in my family and I milked it for all it was worth with my grandparents. I’m about to experience the whole thing again but from the opposite perspective. It should be interesting.

04-09-2013   Leave a comment

It’s been quite a week for me.  My better-half’s new grandson has visited us three times this week.  It’s due primarily to the visit of her oldest son who is meeting the little guy for the first time.  The more time I spend around the baby the more amazed I become with just how quickly he’s developing.  He’s almost six months old and is already showing signs of his personality and attitudes.

I’ve never had much exposure to infants or newborns in my life for any number of crazy reasons.  My ex-wife was unable to have children and even though we tried for many years we were unsuccessful.  I’d like to have a dollar for every time I had sex with that infamous plastic cup and the stacks of really bad porn magazines supplied by the fertility clinic.  Many years and many dollars later we finally decided to give up and began to explore the adoption possibilities.

The adoption process was the most grueling thing I’ve ever been involved with.  After being told a three or four year wait was the best case scenario if we wanted a newborn, we were forced to rethink our adoption requirements.  We then joined a program established through the State of Massachusetts that began the process of adopting an older child.  We went through the required twelve months of meetings, psychologists, group therapy, and mental anguish.  We committed to the program one hundred percent and worked our way through it until we were finally approved.  It was exhausting but necessary.

Once approved we were given albums full of photographs of kids in the system who had been abandoned for one reason or another and for many other reasons I won’t talk about here.  It was the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever been involved with.  To make this long story short more than a year later we were finally permitted to meet and adopt our new twelve year old son.  It was the greatest moment of our lives. Now many years later he’s a married man with his own son and another child on the way.  He survived a childhood most of us could never imagine.

But back to my original point.  I never had an opportunity to see my son grow and develop as I now have with my better-half’s grandson.  I finally understand what people have been trying to explain to me for years.  I guess "better late than never" now has much more meaning than in the past.

I fully intend to enjoy this experience with this little guy and possibly any brothers or sisters that may arrive in the next few years.  It’s more than a little bit amazing to see that  little smile and the twinkle in his eye when he laughs.  It pure, unspoiled, and maybe the most sincere and honest thing I’ve ever experienced.

The next few years are going to a lot of fun

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