The Lad was "sick" last week. Daycare sent him home with a 102-degree fever. I was pretty sure it was just teeth -- those molars still aren't entirely out -- but the rule when a child leaves with fever is that you must have a doctor's note assuring daycare it's not contagious to return the next day. So I made a doctor's appointment. Unfortunately, the doctor disagreed with my diagnosis, saying the fever was too high for teething. Keep him home, he said, other symptoms will show up.
I worked from home, as much as one can work with a 16-month-old in the house. The only symptoms that showed up were orneriness, crankiness and an extra hour napping.
But this is not a post about me whining about the inconvenience of having both a job and a toddler (or two). This is a post about The Lad.
My little Beastie-beast probably, almost definitely is my last baby. He is not a first born child, and like so many younger children, he gets short-shrift. In an inbox folder labeled "Baby," I have dozens of emails sent by me, my family and friends while I was pregnant the first time and just after The Boy was born. The "Baby2" folder might have a half dozen emails in it -- maybe. I haven't looked to check. I don't send out updates to our distant families every time The Lad goes to a well-baby appointment, and those check-ups are always late because his birthday put us behind schedule. No one works on Christmas.
Poor little Lad was in his first pair of shoes so long that by the time I remembered to buy another pair, they were two sizes too small.
But he doesn't seem to mind his status -- part of the reason I kept forgetting to get him new shoes is that he never whined, though his toes must have been squished -- and, like so many second-born children (Michelle, my sister, et al), The Lad is anything but a second banana. Between that sick-day-that-wasn't and divide-and-conquer tactics by the husband and I, I've gotten to spend a lot of time lately with just The Lad. He's the star of his own show.
The Lad is 24 pounds and 10.5 ounces, according to the scale at the doctor's office this morning. That's 46th percentile. He is 32 inches long -- 79th percentile. The doctor called him sturdy and opined that other kids probably are pushed around by The Lad. He wasn't wrong.
The Lad remembered the nurse, who delivers immunizations, as soon as he saw her and whined. Although he patiently let the doctor listen to his heart and check his legs and belly, he drew the line at his ears and mouth, putting up such a fight that the doctor gave up, laughing.
The Lad has a growing vocabulary, and one of his favorite words is car. It sounds like "go." Although most of his words still are unintelligible to people outside our family, The Lad has no problem communicating, pointing and tugging on hands and pushing on legs until he makes his point known. He likes to jab you in the nose, eyes and mouth, naming each body part. He points at the TV and demands, "Ball!" (He likes baseball most when he knows it's time for bed and wants to buy a few extra minutes before hugs and kisses.)
The Lad says "bubble" clearly and everything liquid is a bubble.
The Lad is obsessed with brushing his teeth. Other than snacks, nothing makes him run faster on his chubby little thighs.
The Lad hugs my neck and lays his head on my shoulder. He holds one finger when we cross the street or a parking lot, but will twist away as soon as he possibly can. When he's tired, he climbs into my lap and lays against my chest. But if I try to contain him there and coax him into sleep, he clambers down and runs away.
The Lad, every morning, tries to scale his highchair to get breakfast faster. Every night, after he's done with dinner, he stands up and tries to climb up and out of his highchair alone. We're trying to teach him to say, "Done," and wait for us. He says "Done," and slings a leg over the side.
The Lad entertains himself, dumping out toys, lining up cars and making little figures and stuffed animals talk or fly or run. Every so often, he'll bring over a particular toy to show you then trot back to his made-up world. He tries to build with the blocks and just learned to throw a ball properly. He never plays with the big, plastic baby cars; he wants his brother's Matchboxes, thank you very much.
The Lad loves to be read to. His favorite book changes every few weeks; here they are in order from earliest to most recent love: That's Not My Monster, Hello! Thomas, Dr. Seuss' ABCs, Green Eggs and Ham, Country Frog City Dog, Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See?.
The Lad likes to be chased and tickled and to roughhouse with his brother.
The Lad will bully his brother if I let him.
The Lad, in the last week, has tried to put on his shirt, pants and socks. This involves smacking the appropriate body part with the clothes. The Boy always wants to race The Lad when they get dressed and usually wins the "race." One night, The Boy did not win; The Lad, fully-dressed, grabbed The Boy's jammie shirt and ran away jabbering. I'm pretty sure he said, "Beat you!"