Friday, April 27, 2007

sign posts

Our little bundle of joy and bliss has figured out the last piece of the puzzle that is crawling. Rather than just walking his legs towards his hands until he falls over, he now moves his arms to match and there he goes, directly to the plugs and wire flexes and the DVD player with his little fingers grabbing and those two bottom teeth set to 'chew'.

This has had the same effect on us that every stage in Charlie's life has had since the day I peed on the stick, to whit, none at all. Our capacity to live in a state of denial is monumental and although we have had crawling for nearly a week, we have yet to discuss how we are going to child-proof our house which is full of pointy corners and electrical cables and glass and, you know, books and CDs and pots and pans all currently stored on shelves near the floor.

This is all great news for bundle boy who goes in circles trying to decide whether the DVD player, the CDs or the saucepans are his next target and when he can't decide, it's a quick sojourn to Sammy's bowl where if he's not stopped, he will proceed to decorate the floor, (which, agreed, is a bit muted), his clothing and very possibly his intestinal flora, with cat food.

To this end we are experimenting with the words 'no', 'non' and the accompanying baby-sign. Currently, just the tone of voice and the gesture are enough to make him stop what he's doing and melt into tears which makes me feel wretched. OK, great, I can stop him from doing something disgusting or dangerous (or both, like stretching his privates until they are three times as long as they should be), but I hate to think that I am undermining his sense that I love him unconditionally for everything that he does. We don't even have to raise our voices or sound moderately firm to get this effect, the sign is enough on it's own. The thing is, I don't think he actually knows what we mean, he just understands that we're somehow not 110% behind him any more and that is clearly a shock. So, to mute the effect of the big 'no' tears, I then swoop him up and make a big fuss of him which means that in about 3 days from now I am going to have a baby who will equate doing something wrong with getting a cuddle and you can tell where that will go.

The cat, on the other hand, is quite well behaved and probably does understand the word 'no' but since he is profoundly deaf, he can't hear it. This is handy for him as he has complete immunity from any sort of rules and regulations given that he can't hear them enacted. Being a deaf cat, apparently, means that you are free to walk anywhere you want because you didn't hear that person's face sleeping on that pillow. I am therefore trying to train the cat to understand the same baby sign language that we are trying to teach the blob because I think it's important that kitty learns the words for 'no', 'eat' and 'ducky'.

All this advancement in the state of our communication skills is effectively just another way to avoid baby-proofing the apartment because we clearly won't have to move those glass candle-sticks if Charlie understands they are a 'no' and so long as he knows to stay away from the cookware, we don't have to worry about him pulling the Pyrex dishes down on his head.

Actually, of course, we don't let him in the kitchen unattended however given the teensy tiny open plan nature of our bijou apartment, it's bound to happen one day and by that point we will either have had to enclose our kitchen unit or said 'no' and meant it a whole bunch of times.

Does anyone know the sign language for 'will power' and 'action'? I think I'm going to need them.


BOSSY said...

Bossy thinks if you say 'no' and mean it - really mean it - it doesn't take much repetition. Just ask Bossy's husband.

nic2415 said...

The only child-proofing I do is put a safety gate at the stairs and keep chemicals out of low cabinets. Did this for three kids and they are still alive to tell about it. Don't stress yourself about all the child-proofing. I always kept a cabinet full of plastic spoons and a few bowls-messy, but it provides a go-to attraction for the little one. Right now I have a basket of empty laundry detergent bottles. Compared to that- electrical outlets just don't cut it.
But good luck- those crawlers are hard to keep up with no matter what!

fruity mama said...

As the mom of two teens childproofing does not work.. They should call it parentproofing. Because the only thing that is keeps out are the parents.

Katrina Van Tassel said...

I have a deaf cat! I have never heard of anyone else with a deaf cat.
Paco knows three "words" in sign language... "come here" (finger wiggling); "no, no, no!" (finger shaking) and "I am going to grab you" (arms outspread)

You can't sneak up on my deaf cat. If you walk up to him and he doesn't know it, he will freak and claw your face off.

Tara said...

TAG, you're it!

marjie said...

hmmmm....i would love to help you with the sign language, but I only know the letters. would they be able to read what you'd sign? If that's the case, I might be able to teach you those :)!

Great post by the way!

Self employed mum x said...

Likewise I never did childproofing either, stairgate at the top of the stairs and that was it. My favourite expression was 'ah aht' love your writing makes me laugh and sign everyday with the memories, very happy ones, of spending hours with my children, they grow up so quick, cherish every moment. x

Lindystar said...

Nobody mentioned that you referred to him as "the blob."

That's just too damn funny and I had to retype it in case anybody missed it.

Have you ever been over to It's another moms blog about her struggle with infertility and finally getting a little boy. His name is charlie too and she's ungodly funny. She once referred to her baby as an "asshole."

You guys make me smile.

Amiene Rev said...

i wonder how a frog can be a prince? that only exist in fairy tales.

you must be a somekind of magic then....

wow, that is call a comment.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the urgent messages in my email inbox from a variety of interestingly monikered strangers, vis a vis the apparent inadequacy of my manhood, it is likely that Charlie's persistent and painful-sounding efforts to expand things down there will be effective.

Probably one of your funniest posts tho.

Sammy said...

We have two boys, one nine and one six. We have been as consistent as anyone has a right to expect and our children still have a mind of their own. That was not in any of the books we read. We were under the impression if we followed the plan they would be completely in our power. Magic 1,2,3 , Love and logic, Great wise saying from those who know to those who don't--We read them all and implemented them in turn then all at once.
Granted maybe we confused them.
What has worked in a diligent devotion to really good coffee in the morning and consistent cocktail hour in the afternoon and a lovely wine for dinner even if dinner is boxed macaroni and cheese.

LuluKnits said...

Your posts are a riot!

jessica said...


I have been Writing and reading Blogs for a few months now and I have to say I see some unusual blogs out there, but your blog got my attention. I really enjoyed reading it and If I were you I would go to community which I and many of my friends belong to and let thousand of others see your blog for free,. I will add your blog to my favorites and I will check back for updates. I wish you warm regards and continued success.


Orhan Kahn said...

I do wish you very good luck in child-proofing your home. Crawling is alot worse than walking; stealthy little suckers!

priya said...

Good notes
i like it
Hello from priya

Waruna Solanga Arachchi said...

Cool, cool, really cool! Exquisite!

Larry Blumen said...

Boompa, here -

I didn't get to chronicle our kids' development from birth, so I'm reading yours. It's very good.

I am blogging our grandkids, but not from so close a perspective. My blog is dedicated to the proposition that our grandkids are just as remarkable as other people say theirs are.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing

Shauna said...

Just stumbled across your blog and I've been laughing since. Great post!

emosweetheart said...

Hilarious. BTW I don't say that unless I truly mean it, but you truly have the gift of a biting wit and even better yet, the ability to write it down to amuse me! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

wonderful, wonderful blog!!
Charlie is such a lovely boy :)

Spiller5 said...

Your blog made the frontpage and this made me laugh!

"Stretching his privates to three times the length"

Im sure theres a lot of men out there still trying that now!!

As for babyproofing the place, theres no need - my mum never did it and I am a fit and healthy young man, all 42 fingers and toes are present and correct

The Good Woman said...

I have a two year old. When she started crawling we gave childproofing a go. But really it's fraught with danger. Stair gates exist to be tripped over, those things to keep cupboards closed can cause serious shoulder injuries when your normally fluid arm movement is jerked to a halt... you get the idea.

And then when she had clearly mastered the stairs we removed the gates only to watch her do two cartwheels down them a day later after tripping over her new summer dress. She sat up immedioately in a fit of giggles, clearly quite proud of herself.

Take my advice, spare youself the pain of child proofing - it's far too hazardous.

Sydboz said...

I'm a father of 2. One 4 years old, and the other 2 years old. I agree with Bossy. If there is no response to your "No" the first time you say it. Then guide them away from whatever it is. They will most likely throw a "fake" fit which is normal and fine. Let him work through it. You'll be shocked at how well he responds to "No" the next time you say it. He'll know a "fit" won't get him what he wants. Just my two cents. If you show him that you love him through affection and engaging him in play, he will know that you mean it when you correct him as mentioned above. Good luck and God Bless.

Taini said...

Thank you. Thank you so much because somehow no matter what you say something that makes me laugh. I actually like learning the realness behind motherhood. I hope to be one eventually and get tired of the coos and complaints .. but none of the day to day realness.

P.s. .. Im amazed you are using sign language.

Krissie said...

Just wanted to let you know I stumbled upon this blog an hour ago and I cannot leave. Yes, I'm reading it from the beginning.
I'm loving it.

Elsie Button said...

Just came across your blog and love it! I have just started one and had similar ideas about writing about my baby daughter and motherhood etc. Not quite in the swing of it yet though. Most things you say i completely agree with. it's good to hear a like-minded mum letting off some steam.

miss_teerious said...

Hey Sparx! Loved the way u write :)
And loved reading abt ur baby too! Would like to add a link to ur blog on mine... hope u dont mind... :)
Keep the faith...

Melanie said...

I have a 6 1/2 month old and I keep telling myself I need to get to work on the baby proofing! It's just that I am so lazy... I mean busy.

Joe and Ally said...

In trying to add more depth to my blog instead of just posting pictures for those few that live far away, I've just found your blog and must say that I'm impressed and amused. I have a 9 month old and am rueing the day that he starts crawling with full force. I will definitely be adding your blog as one of my favorites. Wish I had your ability to write....

jenny said...

I was randomly flipping around in Blog-World and landed on yours. Can I say I am in awe? The stuff that comes out of your head is fantastic!! Why cant I get my head to do that??? I hope you dont mind, but I've added you to my links list. I've no skills at this techno-stuff, so that in itself is a huge compliment, so please take it as such. PLEASE, keep writing, I'm thirsting for more!

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