On proper motivation

by T on June 18, 2011

Simon has recently entered into Being Two with … more vigor. Most notably, at the dinner (and breakfast, and lunch) table.

Simon’s always been a picky eater, but lately he’s added to that the idea that the best way to reject certain morsels — or even to announce to everyone that meal time is over, right now — is to throw his food on the floor.

There is a certain sensibility to this, of course. Food down on the floor certainly isn’t going to be eaten by anybody, and throwing it down there conveys a sense of finality far greater than merely signing “all done” (especially since Simon’s “all done” is not infrequently followed up by his continuing to nosh; perhaps he thinks the sign merely indicates a pleasant fullness).

We’ve tried several ways to address this, at first with varying types of punishment. Which met with varying types of failure. Simon is every bit his Papa’s child, and more than a few times after a punishment was enforced, Simon would merely stare me in the eye as if to say, “Oh, is that all?” And then I’d stare back at him as if to say, “Um, yeah. I was kind of hoping for a show of remorse, or at least annoyance, here.” (It’s a very complex stare.)

So, failing all that, we’ve shifted tactics and are now attempting outright bribery. Again, like his Papa, Simon loves him a chocolate chip or thirty. So we’ve taken to offering him a few of them at the end of dinner, provided that his food stays off the floor.

And, as is our wont, we have set this proposition to music. Simon frequently enjoys signing along, even if he infrequently enjoys fulfilling his part of the deal.

In the somewhat unlikely case anybody feels the need to use this music in their own family (or for their next hit single) it is also available as a PDF.

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Narrative and meta-narrative

by admin on May 30, 2011

Julia enjoys asking Simon what he wants for his dinner before she begins preparing it. I’m never entirely sure why, as this seems to Simon to mainly be a time to practice his signs — it’s never clear if he also realizes he’s giving assent to the menu items he’s signing back:

I will also note that, when he’s distracted by the potential fun of his tractor, he can get really sloppy with his signs (“yogurt”, in particular here, being nigh unrecognizable).

But the fun comes in when, inevitably, Simon sees us watching and enjoying videos of him, and wants to watch them himself. He’s quite accomplished at doing this on our iPhones, knowing how to scroll through the videos and press the play button (and, when he’s bored, exit to the home screen and look for something far more exciting — i.e., more forbidden).

What’s funny is that he reacts to our voices in the videos as if we were asking him the questions anew. Or, more charmingly, he appears to be coaching Video Simon on what he should say. This is all captured in this excruciatingly complexly cinematographed video of me, holding Julia’s iPhone, which is playing the above video of Simon, while Simon, now eating the dinner he had previously agreed to, coaches Video Simon on how to respond.

Layers upon layers. Wheels within wheels, my friend.

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More Milestones

February 6, 2011

Our child has twenty teeth. Yes, all four pre-molars. Yes, all four two-year molars. Yes, he is an early teether. I am so relieved that this is over, because now we have a break from tooth-related crankiness for at least three years until the incisors get loose and/or he starts sprouting six-year molars at the […]

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Signing up a Storm

January 9, 2011

It’s been, what, six months since I last wrote an update? In some ways, there are no new major baby milestones to report. Talking, walking, the calculus: we’re still waiting. But he has certain strengths/obsessions, which we’ve been happy to indulge. Simon is really, really interested in what things are called. And not just the […]

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Simon likes, Simon loves

July 25, 2010

Simon hit the fifteen-month mark recently, and his communication skills have…improved. Simon likes: The number 8. Watching us cook. Putting small toys into large toys and shaking. Making circular things spin on the ground. Simon loves: Transportation, especially downtown where you can see a bus, the MAX train, and possibly the streetcar all at once. […]

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World’s Favorite Songs for Children

July 16, 2010

When I moved from my parents’ house to college, to California, to Oregon, I brought all my good piano music with me, even though I didn’t have a piano after I left home. So when Todd and I did eventually buy a piano earlier this year, I had all my nice familiar stuff handy, and […]

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(I’m) so ready (for him) to talk

July 15, 2010

There we were, playing with toys in the living room: stacking, throwing, bopping. And then the cheerful baby just dissolved into tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked, and he looked at me helplessly and kept crying. “Are you hurt?” Crying. “Do you need a new dipe?” Crying. “Are you hungry?” “Ha-HAAAAAAH!” he said with a big […]

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A glowing report

July 12, 2010

Simon had his post-op appointment with his palate surgeon today (and the craniofacial department added a post-op for the three-months-ago ear tube surgery as well as an audiology assessment). To be fair, we originally had a more timely post-ear-tube post-op appointment scheduled, but had to cancel when the boy woke up with a fever that […]

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Palate repair rehabilitation, 30% done

July 6, 2010

Oh, Simon. You are a trooper. Over the past week we’ve seen some pretty monumental changes in the little guy. Not simply healing and getting back to his old self, but also learning tons of new (overdue) skills. A week ago, I noted on Facebook that Simon had started sleeping sitting up in the middle […]

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Palate Repair, step 1 complete

June 23, 2010

Where to begin? The  palate is repaired, we’re home from the hospital, Simon is adjusting. Todd and I did the math on our way out of Doernbecher and realized we’d been in the hospital for about twenty-eight hours. It seemed both freakishly short for such a seemingly major surgery, but at the same time extraordinarily […]

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