Sunday, December 13, 2015

Holiday Season Again

Once again, I have had a longer than normal or desired layoff from posting about our son and our parenting and how this adventure continues like Star Wars sagas. 6 weeks is too long in the lesson plan of life for a child. It's like trying to explain fractions to the kid who just learned he has the same number of fingers as he has toes. A lot has happened in between so I will try to post much more frequently more forward.

Gunner is 21 months. This holiday season started much like year 1. His Halloween rocked. Much credit to my wife who brought the classic Ace Ventura to trick and treat. That was followed by getting sick for most of November. What are the odds? He has had 2 Novembers and really hasn't been able to fully enjoy either. Thanksgiving was a fun time with family and Christmas and New Year's are looking like a grand ole time a coming!

But what is it like parenting a 21 month old? It is bloody brilliant. It is a twisting tale the likes of James Bond and Ethan Hunt must endure as to what to do, say, and think....always on your toes, always with your wits. In the last two months, Gunner is rapidly progressing in two areas, 1) actual talking and words, and 2) bargaining. While a these skills are rough and communication is still developing, the interactions show signs of soaking in where unlike when he was younger, it was a lot of blank stares and "what the hell are you talking about" looks.

Example: Gunner wants something, we say no, he grunts angrily, we just shake our head, he moves on to something else. Next time he wants the same thing, he looks at us inquisitively, we say no, he moves on.

It is great. He has learned to say please or "pee-A-s" in the sweetest cutest way to try to get his way and he has no shame in how often he will throw it around. We reward it when appropriate but his gall in overusing it must be applauded.

The bargaining is also a new phenomenon with him and is fun to play with. He now understands the "must do this to get that" scenario. It started with his annual November illness. He was prescribed some awful chalky medicine for 2 weeks. First attempt: total refusal which led to a forced administering. Second attempt: my wife busted out the Halloween chocolate. Time for medicine sent Gunner whining, moaning, and rolling around the ground. My wife says "take your medicine and you can have some chocolate." Instantly, Gunner pauses. His interest is peaked. He is intrigued. He stops rolling and sits up. His whine is now a subtle whimper. It lasts for another couple minutes. Then he opens his mouth, takes his medicine, gives us a nasty piercing glare, and enjoys his chocolate. Classic. Not another issue with the meds.

The medicine incident got my wife and I to start pushing the bargaining often. We got him to taste some foods he historically wouldn't go with ten yards of. We got him to finish meals where the outside temptations and distractions are great. We have used it to get him to be nicer to other kids and adults and our dogs as well as to pick up his toys or clean up small messes he makes. There are of course times Gunner displays resistance in tantrum form when he doesn't want to do something to get something, but we have done well to hold strong and G has been amazing at realizing we are good to our word with the reward for a job well done. Good ole Management 101.

Plane Ride to Louisville.....
 "Why? No, no, no!"....
 Star on Tree....
 Donuts and Milk in the Morning....
 Ace Ventura for Halloween....
 Street Jenga....
 "Fun" in class....
 Official 20 Months....
 "Ready! Set!"....
 Thanksgiving Day....
 Laughing with Cousins Drew and Kenley....
 Official 21 Months....
 Christmas in NOLA, no shirt required....