Nothing major to report, just little things with the kids. The usual, you know. How about a list?
1. Iyyar must be in some crazy growth spurt, because the child eats all. the. time. The day before yesterday he woke up from his nap and ate half an avocado, two scrambled eggs with vegetables and cheese, a full cup of milk, some challah, and a huge banana. And he was still asking for more. I told MHH about this later. "That was lunch?" he asked incredulously. "No," I said. "He'd already had lunch. That was his midafternoon snack. And he had dinner later." Last checkup, he was in the 15th percentile for weight. I'm interested to see what it will be next time. He looks to me like he's chunking up, but he's still a pretty skinny baby.
2. Except, of course, that he is less and less of a baby every day. Gone are the days when Barak could take any toy away from him just by dint of handing him something else. Now Iyyar holds it far away and hollers, "na na na!" Today when the were taking a bath I had to laugh. Iyyar wanted nose turkey baster thing, which has inexplicably morphed into a bath toy (well, it isn't so inexplicable--it does squirt, after all). Barak had it. So Iyyar scooped up a little plastic Tigger, held it out to Barak, and grabbed the baster out of his hand. He's catching on.
3. For the last seven months or so, Barak has been sleeping on a crib mattress on the floor. I didn't want to get him an actual toddler bed (which takes a crib-sized mattress) because he is such an, ah, athletic sleeper that I was sure he'd fall out no matter what kind of a crib rail I used. Often I'd go in there to check up on him and find him sound asleep on the wood floor halfway across the room from his bed. The trouble was, of course, that eventually he'd wake up and find himself not in his bed, and get disoriented and cry. So I thought, right, I really need to find him a bed. I started trawling the local craigslist and found him a used train bed. On Friday, the guy I bought it from dropped it off. Barak now refers to him as the "train man." The train man brought the pieces of bed up our back stairs, into their room, and started setting it up. Barak watched in fascination.
"Dass where da steam gonna come out," he informed me, point at the smokestack.
"Right, that's the smokestack," I agreed, not quite getting where he was headed.
He frowned at the front piece. "Dere's no steering wheel on dere, Imma. It needs ta have a steering wheel."
"Trains don't have steering wheels, sweetie. They run on tracks. They just have throttles. Grandpa can tell you all about it."
Then the sides went on. Barak looked even more disturbed. "Imma," he said, worried, "I sink dose wheels are not gonna work." I looked at the wheels. Indeed, they were only about 3/5 wheels. The bottom part was flat on the floor. Ohh. I get it now.
"Barak, you can't drive this train."
He looked pained. "Iss gonna go chugga chugga choo choo?"
"No, it doesn't drive. It's a train bed. You sleep in it."
"No, I not gonna sleep in it. I needa just drive it."
I thought abou this. "Well, Barak, look. What would happen if you tried to drive it? Where would you go?" He looked at the train. I could see him thinking. "You'd drive right into the rocking chair and the armoire, wouldn't you? You'd go crash. That wouldn't be good." He seemed to accept this. Later, after Abba had put in all the screws holding the bed together, he went to bed very happily, with no complaining at all (probably a first) and stayed in bed all night. In the morning when he woke up, I asked him if he liked his train bed.
"Yeah," he said happily. "I like da train bed. You can't drive it. You can just sleep in it." Indeed.
4. Iyyar, on the other hand, is showing no inclination to try to drive the train bed, but oh my does he love climbing on it. He did initially have some trouble getting off, though. He tried getting off it the way he goes down the baby slide at the J: holding onto one side with both hands and sort of hanging off. It didn't really work so well. "Barak, can you show Iyyar how to get off the bed? Show him how to go on your tummy and put your feet down." Barak demonstrated, Iyyar watched, and he did it himself right away. Now the train is his oyster.
5. Last night, both Iyyar and Barak slept incredibly well, and incredibly late. They woke up at 8:15. It was fabulous--I got to sleep for seven hours straight (I'd been up writing speeches the night before). However, putting Iyyar down for his usual 10 am nap clearly wasn't happening. When he was still awake an hour before I had to go pick up Barak at gan, I told Asnat not to put him down for a nap at all. I put him down after I came back with Barak, and then thought, well, what the heck--Iyyar's asleep, let's do a little baking. I made pizza dough and bagel dough and put it to rise, and then Barak and I made cookies. I took out the hand mixer and gave him my usual safety lecture. "Okay, so where are your fingers when Imma is using the mixer? Do you put your fingers anywhere near the mixer?"
"No!" said Barak. "Cause you could hurt yourself wif da mixer! You could hurt your fingers!"
"Right. You could really hurt your fingers a lot."
"Yeah," he said, a little too enthusiastically. "You could break your finger!" And then, very earnestly, "Chas v'shalom." ("God forbid.")
6. Iyyar has discovered Bamba. Bamba, in case you are among the uninitiated, is a sort of Israeli snack/junk food for babies. It's basically ground peanuts, corn oil, and a lot of added vitamins. I don't think there's anything in there that's actually bad for you, but it's pretty highly processed and not something I would ordinarily buy for a 17-month-old. The little boy who is here in the morning sharing Ada and Asnat with Iyyar, however, is Israeli, and his Israeli mom packs him Bamba. So now Iyyar knows about Bamba. He knows all about Bamba.
When Barak was a baby, starting at around nine or ten months, he had something of a fixation with Yobabies. He is still, for the record, extremely fond of yogurt, but at the time it was the only thing he got with added sugar and boy was it big. It was big to the point where if I was shopping with him and I wanted to buy Yobabies, I had to sneak them into the cart and, more difficult, through the checkout without him seeing. I remember piling them onto the conveyor camouflaged behind a box of Cheerios turned sideways. If he saw them, forget it--he'd scream and scream and SCREAM until he got on, and more than once I had to find a spoon and feed him one right there in the store because I couldn't handle the 35-minute walk home with him howling the whole way.
Iyyar is now like this with Bamba. He sees that shiny little blue bag. He knows just what is in there. And he WANTS IT. Yesterday we went grocery shopping and I bought three little bags of Bamba, for a planned bus/train trip I was going to take them on (fun for Barak, not so much for Iyyar, hence the distraction.) But he saw them. Now there are two bags of Bamba.
7. Barak is pretty much toilet trained now. He hasn't had an accident in a while, and now I only occasionally need to remind him to go to the bathroom. If he says he doesn't need to go, he's usually right, and most of the time he will take the initiative to go by himself. He does, however, have a habit of telling me he doesn't need to poop potty before going to bed, saving this ace card for a bed escape route later. So we often have a situation where I put both boys to bed, am on my way out of the bedroom, and hear Barak behind me piping up, "Imma, I needa poop potty."
That's what happened tonight. So he went off to the bathroom, I sat down to read email and knit, and MHH came home from work. "Where's Barak?" "On the potty," I said. We both heard Barak's running monologue coming from the bathroom. Ten minutes or so later, I heard Barak calling me. "Why don't you go see what he wants? You haven't seen him all day." MHH went off to the bathroom. I didn't hear the details, but I did hear, "I want Imma!" and then "I need IMMA!" and then "I NEED IMMA" and the sound of the bathroom door slamming. MHH slouched back into the office. "Chopped liver," he said. "He wants you." I didn't really like how Barak had spoken to Abba, so didn't quite leap up to his assistance. I finished the sock round I was on, then another one, as Barak's wails got louder and more hysterical. Finally I felt bad for him and went in. Barak, naked on the potty, covered in tears and snot, holding his little yellow metal schoolbus--which is maybe two or three times the size of a Matchbox car.
"Imma!" he hiccuped tragically. "I need you ta help me! I need you ta take da paper out of da bus. Iss stuck in dere." I look and, indeed, the entire bus is stuffed with tiny bits of toilet paper. That must have taken him a while. I take the bus. "Barak, that wasn't such a nice way to talk to Abba. Abba could have helped you take the paper out of the bus."
"Noooo," he said, very earnestly (for Barak is always earnest.) "He can't do dat. Hiss fingers are too big." For the record, my fingers were also too big for the schoolbus door, which was at most 1/4 inch across. I used a dental tool to get the shreds out.