The World According to Little F

On Self-Expression:

Little F wakes up crying and both Big E and I go in the check on him.
Me: Did you wake up and get scared?
Little F: No, I just wanted to cry.

 

On Self-Expression, Part 2:

Little F pointing at my back: What’s that?
Me: It’s my tattoo.
LF: Where’s Daddy’s tattoo?
Me: On Daddy’s arm and chest.
LF: We all have tattoos!  Where’s my tattoo?
Me: You don’t have a tattoo.
LF: I have to go to the tattoo store and get my tattoo.

Dreaming

This was written on July 9th but never published.

Let me preface this by saying that Little F is still sleeping in the same room as Big E and me.  Alright, alright, truth be told he’s still in our bed.  Actually beds, plural, since we have two mattresses pushed together so we all have room to spread out.  But let me also say that Little F is still nursing at night.  Which is why he’s still sleeping in our room, which is why he’s still nursing at night, which is why he’s still sleeping in our room, so on and so forth.

A few weeks ago I dreamed I was in a store and there was an annoying lady who kept coming up to me and tweaking my nipple.  I politely asked her to stop but she kept doing it.  Finally I’d had enough and I told her if she did it again I was going to hit her.  Well, she did it again and true to my word I hit her!  I woke up to find out that I had swatted Little F in my sleep.  He had woken up, crawled over to me, and had started to nurse without me consciously knowing.  He didn’t seem to mind the swat and actually kept nursing, even as I was apologizing to him.

But turn-about is fair play…  Less than a week after my dreaming incident Little F had his own.  I had just come in to bed and he woke up to nurse.  We were carrying on as usual when all of a sudden he bit me.  Ouch!  He hadn’t bitten me while nursing since he was a baby, around four or five months old.

Me as I unlatched him: “You aren’t supposed to bite Mama.  That’s not nice.”
Little F mumbling sleepily with his eyes closed: “…cake…”
Me: “You’re not supposed to bite me.  Wait, what are you saying?”
Little F: “I want more cake,” and he went right back to nursing.

Evidently in his dreams my milk tastes like cake.  No wonder he still wants to nurse in the middle of the night.  I’d love to wake up at 5am for a bite of cake too.

Five Course Dinner

Little F’s dinner was served sporadically tonight.  Or as I like to think of it, in courses.  First came the soup course, or in this case the cereal course: a snack pack of organic Golden Graham knock-offs served in the car on the way home from daycare.  Next came chips and salsa as the appetizer, which he munched while dinner was cooking.  (“It’s ‘picy!  I love it!”)  The third course was the fruit (not-quite-salad), of course.  Little F ate a couple of slices of grapefruit and then two little locally grown yellow plums.  (“I want that,” he said pointing at the plums.)  After the fruit came the main course: pasta with homemade pesto mixed with a little Alfredo sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese to temper it for a toddler’s taste buds.  (“Yummy pasta!”)  Finally, for dessert he had onions.  Little F picked out all of the onions from my wilted beet greens and ate them off my plate.  With my fork.  (“I want tomatoes.”  “Those are onions, not tomatoes.” “I want onions.  Onions are good.”)  Who doesn’t appreciate a five course meal on a Thursday night?

Still Life With Boy

Still Life With Boy: A written description of a moment or moments in time I want to remember.  A lazy mom’s version of a baby book.

Last night I let Little F try some pickled carrots and green beans while I was getting dinner ready.  To my surprise he loved them!  He asked for more and more, eating them from both hands while doing his pickle dance around the kitchen.

Big E came home while we were eating dinner and saw a green bean on Little F’s plate.  He said something like, “Ooo, a pickled green bean!” and Little F said, “Mine!” and pulled it to his chest.  That was the first time he said “mine”, but I’m sure not the last.  Usually he’ll say, “That Little F’s fill-in-the-blank”.

Little F is still obsessed with monsters.  Only now instead of drawing a regular-old-run-of -the-mill monster I’m supposed to draw a monster playing a guitar.  Or a monster holding a cake.  I’m running out of ways to draw monsters and cake.  I’m still working on being able to draw a decent guitar.

Last night he dreamed about ducks as evidenced from the conversation we had when I went to bed.  He woke up in his bed and climbed over to snuggle with me and mumbled, “No, ducks.  Yellow duck is over here.”  It’s hearing things like that which make me happy we’re all still in the same bedroom; first by choice and now by circumstance.  I’ll miss that when things change.  No, really, I mean it.

Be Gentle With the Girls

Something that was said to me during the family reunion last week is still running through my mind.

I was talking with the dad of the cousin Little F was playing with. The boy was about ten months older than Little F, I’m not sure how old the dad was but I would guess in his early thirties. The dad and I were talking about how we were glad to have little boys instead of girls. I said that I had been hell as a teenager and fought non-stop with my mom. I was happy that statistically speaking Little F and I were bound to get through his teenage years easier than he and Big E were. The cousin’s dad said, “Yeah, and you can smack the boys around harder to keep them in line. You need to be gentle with the girls.” I just kind of gave a little half-smile and then changed the topic.

I’m still not sure if he was kidding or being serious. I’m sure there was some truth in it because there is always some degree of truth in a joke. But I didn’t know him well enough to know how much truth was there and I didn’t feel like getting into it in front of my husband’s extended family. I will say that I never saw him lay a hand on his son while I was around them. And I will say that his son was very well-behaved and seemed like a genuinely nice, sweet, high-energy kid.

But I will also say that I don’t ever plan on hitting Little F and I know that Big E feels the same way.

Little F is in a hitting phase now. When he gets mad or frustrated or is feeling over-powered he hits. And I seem to get the brunt of it. When we left the reunion on Saturday afternoon Little F didn’t want to leave. He wanted to stay and run around and have fun. He also was very tired and hadn’t had a nap that day. I was very tired and mentally drained from being around so many people. While I was trying to get him into his car seat and explaining to him it was time to leave he smacked me in the face. When
I put on my mean face and sternly told him he wasn’t supposed to hit me, he did it again. At that point I handed him to Big E and I sat down in the passenger seat of the car and fumed. Thursday morning Little F and I were playing under the blankets in our bed. After a few minutes of that I told him it was time to change his diaper and that when I counted to five we would stop what we were doing and change his diaper. He kept telling me no as I was counting and then tried to hit me when I told him it was time to stop playing and change his diaper. That time I was too quick for him and caught his hand mid-hit. The thing is, I completely get where Little F is coming from.

He doesn’t want to stop playing or having fun or whatever he’s in the middle of doing when I come and interrupt him. And he’s telling me that as I’m telling him what’s going to happen, he’s trying to get me to understand. To him, I’m totally disrespecting him and his wishes by making him do something he doesn’t want to do even after he tells me he doesn’t want to do it. So he gets frustrated and hitting is the only way he knows to make his feelings known. After all, telling me “No!” or “Stop!” hasn’t worked. I’m working on giving his feelings names so he can use the words instead of his hands but until he gets a little older I don’t expect him to be able to express himself verbally, only physically. I mean, when he gets really excited about something he sometimes stutters a bit trying to find the words he’s looking for and that’s with good emotions running high. It’s that much harder when it’s a negative emotion. Think about it as an adult, trying to name your emotions while you’re in the midst of feeling them. It’s hard, especially when you’re frustrated or angry. And he’s only two for god’s sake! And it’s not like I let the hit or attempted hit go unpunished. I just don’t hit him back.

But, I know a lot of people who would disagree with my philosophy on this. A lot of people would tell me I’m spoiling him or letting him rule the house. From what I’ve heard about Big E’s childhood, Big E’s dad was a hitter. My mom spanked me when I was a little girl and I still remember defiantly telling her she couldn’t hurt me, then holding my tears for as long as possible while she spanked me, forcing her to keep hitting me if she wanted to win the power struggle. As a parent I can’t imagine having my child talk back to me like that and staying controlled enough to hit them but not beat them. And maybe that’s what it boils down to for me. We all have our reasons for doing or not doing things. I guess that’s the cut and dried reason for me not hitting Little F: If I was so angry that my inclination was to hit someone then I would be so angry that my intention would be to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt my child in that manner. I don’t want to teach my child that it’s the right way to deal with anger. And I don’t know if in the middle of a situation like that I would be able to keep enough of my cool to walk the fine line between hitting and beating without crossing it. I’d much rather not put myself into the position to find out. Set yourself up for success, not failure, right?

There was a Facebook meme floating around a few days, maybe weeks ago, about how you can get in trouble for beating an adult or an animal but the smallest, weakest ones who need the most love from you are okay to hit. It’s a little over the top and not quite accurate, but again, there is some degree of truth to it, as there always is.

Puzzle Time

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My BFF from elementary school, Little F’s Auntie K, and her husband bought this puzzle for Little F’s second birthday.  I was a little concerned that the age range listed on the box said 3+, but he’s been putting the puzzle together on his own for a few weeks now, with a little help from Lucy now and then.  I fear our days of being smarter than the boy are numbered.