Toddler Sociology

I think it would be interesting to take a class in toddler sociology.  It is absolutely fascinating to watch kids interact with each other before they have learned the cultural and societal norms, and before their language is developed enough to articulately express what they want and how they feel. 

Oliver, my main subject in my independent studies (for obvious reasons), cracks me up.  When he sees another kid on a playground, how he acts towards them depends on a number of things.  If they’re about his age and size (size being the more important factor here), he’ll approach the other child and kind of circle her.  He might point to the toy that she is holding and say what it is.  Or he’ll point to his shirt and name what’s on his shirt (“airplane!”).  If he wants to play with the toy she’s holding, he’ll keep pointing at it, and might say please.  He’ll look at me a lot to see if I think it’s okay for him to snatch it (I rarely say that it is). 

Oliver generally ignores kids that are younger than him unless they have a toy he wants, and then he often feels okay about stealing it.  He generally gets reprimanded by me. 

With kids that are older than him, especially if there are two or more playing together, Oliver will follow them around, but be too shy to actually approach.  He loves to watch them, though. 

It is so interesting to me to see how he is learning social behavior.  I try to stay out of his dealings with other kids as much as possible–even letting kids fight a bit (not physically, and certainly not to where they might hurt each other) because I think it helps them learn to work out their own problems.  And Oliver needs to learn that he can’t just take things he wants, and other kids’ reactions to him are going to do a better job of letting him know that than I can.

“He’s Comin’ To Get You”

Nope, not Santa.  The man with the walker.

This evening, we were outside with the kids, and a man was walking by with his walker.  Oliver saw him, turned to Conner and said, “He’s comin’ to get you, Daddy!”

Conner, the old man, and I all couldn’t stop laughing. 

I love two year olds.

CyberShower Party Post

My friend Mama Saga is having her second child soon.  And she’s having an online baby shower.  One of the games is to share an inspirational story regarding the pregnancy/labor/delivery.  I don’t know how inspirational it is (it could be thought of more as a horror story), but here’s mine:

My first labor was really difficult.  Oliver was all set to go, I went into labor on my due date, and things seemed to be going perfectly.  I got an epidural (I’m not really one for pain), and it worked so well I couldn’t feel contractions at all.  I continued to push for hours–into the middle of the night.  After four or five hours of hard pushing, Oliver still wasn’t making his appearance.  His heart rate started to drop, and the doctor recommended that we go to c-section. 

They began prepping me–which was kind of otherworldly, especially since I was so tired.  I’d been up for more than 24 hours at that point.  They made me drink something sour to keep me from throwing up (which had the effect of making me throw up), and wheeled me to the operating room.  They slathered iodine stuff all over me, and it was weird because I wasn’t very mobile and was disoriented and freaking out in my mind, but the nurses were all talking about regular stuff–what they’d be doing after work, etc.  It was so weird because it was just a normal day at the office for them, and it was the most unexpected event of my life. 

I had the c-section, which went pretty uneventfully.  My arms were so tired, and kept falling off of the table where the anesthesiologist was monitoring me.  When my arm fell off the table, it would hit my doctor in the bum.  And it happened multiple times!  I didn’t know until afterwards that I was accidentally groping my doctor who was delivering my baby…  (and I did apologize after the fact!)

Because Oliver had gone into fetal distress, he also had his first baby poop, and wound up inhaling it in utero, giving him meconium aspiration which made him need an extra few days in the NICU in the hospital.

The whole situation was fairly traumatic.  We had difficulty establishing breastfeeding (although we wound up being able to nurse for 18 months!), my recovery took a really long time, and I was altogether overwhelmed by the whole process.

Because of all of that, when I was pregnant with Hazel, I decided to forgo the VBAC attempt and go straight for a C.  While still being pretty weird, my recovery was faster and everything went incredibly smoothly (and my scar looks way better this time around than last time).  While perhaps not inspirational to anyone else, I am glad that I was empowered to make my own decision about my care with Hazel, and I have two incredible kids as a result of it all. 

***

Another of the games is to share the best/worst/funniest advice for expectant mothers. 

Best Advice: Think back on all of the high school and college aged kids you’ve seen walking around with pacifiers or in diapers or drinking from a (baby) bottle or still breastfeeding.  Can’t think of any?  Then don’t stress about when you take away the pacifier, potty train, or wean from the breast or bottle. 

Worst Advice: Anything your mother says you should do that you don’t agree with, or that science has since shown isn’t great advice.  (“I did that with you and YOU turned out okay” is not good enough justification, in my opinion.)

Funniest Advice: When someone asks you why your baby isn’t wearing a hat (because we all know that regardless of the temperature outside, and regardless of your child’s affinity for removing all head-wear immediately after you put it on, ALL babies need a hat at all time or else they WILL die immediate and painful deaths that are a direct result of your negligence), do what Conner and I did (and many thanks to Kris for the comeback on this one!). Here’s our story:

We were waiting on an elevator to get into Target.  A woman walked into the elevator wearing a huge marijuana leaf on her necklace.  She said, “Don’t you think that baby needs a hat?”  I responded, “Actually, we just put a bit of whiskey in his bottle in the morning.  Warms him right up from the inside.”

Now THAT, my friends, shut her up.  🙂 

Feel free to play along with Mama Saga’s shower.  She’d love to hear from you!