December 14, 2008

Basically Bertram...and His Little Sister

The careful reader of Basically Bertram might have noted that posts severely decreased starting in August 2008--precisely the same time that I (aka Parental Unit #1) discovered that I was pregnant with baby no. 2. This elusive, still developing being is now 22 weeks old, but the above anatomy scan points to a clear gender: girl.

Thus, young Master B will soon shed his only child status and become a BIG BROTHER. Part of me feels that I am robbing my little son of his solo babyhood as baby no. 2 is scheduled to arrive on April 13--two weeks before young Master B's 2nd birthday. Another part of me is excited that Bertram will have a sibling who is so close in age--hopefully, they will play together and not drive each other bananas.

I can only imagine that Bertram comprehends that the "baby in the belly" is a big pain in the pahtooty. As in, "Bertram you can't bounce on mommy anymore because of the baby in the belly." Or "Be careful not to kick me--remember the baby in the belly." Or "Mommy can't carry you right now, she's too tired from carrying the baby in the belly." Sometimes, I hold up young Master B's baby doll, hold in front of my belly, and say "look it's the baby in the belly."

I don't get a response. Bertram looks at me with a kind of "what do you mean, silly woman" expression.

In the meantime, I get bigger, just 17 weeks to go.

December 3, 2008

Give the People What They Want*

IMG_1421, originally uploaded by hal(var).
And what is it the people want at this time of year? As his parental units, we don’t expect presents, but people keep asking us, "what does young Master B want for Christmas?" Sheez, forget what his holiday wants are, if only I just could figure out what young Master B wants on a moment-to-moment basis. But I digress.

We encourage recycled toys, particularly if your first name rhymes with “pizza.” Yet, if you must spend your hard-earned Washingtons on our dear boy, then here is a list of items I can guarantee you he will enjoy:

A xylophone. A version made by Plan Toys is featured in two alphabet books that young Master B reads almost daily.

An easel. Bertram enjoys drawing with markers and making the letter “O.”

Hot Wheels cars, particularly the ones that you can scoot the wheels backwards and then the car races forward.

Jigsaw puzzles, a favorite toy in rotation right now. He has the Melissa & Doug farm sounds, work tools, and pets puzzles.

A spinning top, the more complex the better.

Wind up toys.

Any type of toy related to his favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba. His favorite character seems to be Brobee, but I would recommend this.

* Parental Unit 2 has asked that I mention that Bertram does not or will he ever use fleece or footie PJs as our apartment is crazy hot in the winter. Young Master B is taking a nap right now with his window open and a fan going. He sometimes wakes up sweating--that's how hot our apartment is. Eeks!

December 2, 2008

The Petite Diner

Young Master Bertram and Parental Unit #1 headed out for "second breakfast" at a local diner.

Wait, what is second breakfast you ask?

Since Bert gets up so freakin' early--we have a light breakfast at say 6:30am. So before young Master B's big afternoon nap at 12:30ish, we have a second, more filling breakfast at 10:30a.

I was more than ready to dig into my usual order of bacon extra crispy, whole wheat toast, eggs over easy, a thimble glass of OJ, and a superlight coffee, so when we arrived to find that the one highchair the diner had was in use, I thought Calamitas!

Bertram was already squirming against his stroller harness and commanding "Out! Out!" Out indeed, but where? (At this point, my belly is too big for him to sit on my lap for a long stretch of time.) So I plunked him next to me in a regular seat. No booster, no straps, just a regular, plain old seat made for grown-up heiners.

I just wish I had a camera to capture the grin on his face--pure toddler delight. The novelty of not being in a highchair proved to be the greatest distraction. I had come prepared with a few books, paper and markers, but we didn't need them as he did not ask to be let "Out!" He also refused his bib and insisted on using a regular fork. He didn't reach for the no-touch items on the table like the bowl of sugar packets, ketchup, salt and pepper shakers. I had time to eat my meal versus my usual momtasking type of eating--give Bert a piece of food, take a forkful of food from my own plate, entertain, wipe Bert's face, attempt another bite, but stop to save his sippy cup from being thrown on the floor.

Bertram and I had a truly pleasant mid-morning. This experience made me question all the babyhood items and helpers we have that are still very much a part of our day-to-day living. The kid is only 19 months, but do we need to continue using, just to name a few things, sippy cups, toddler forks and spoons, bottles for milk, a highchair, a crib, an inflatable bath tub? Are we using these things out of parental convenience or Bert's safety (particularly the crib)?

I've already seen the improved behavior exhibited when I let young Master B walk somewhere at his own, slooooow, toddler pace as opposed to using the stroller. This morning's experience will get me thinking about other ways we can let Bertram sample being more "grown up." At the same time, this is the same kid who likes to take his nap with a good, warm bottle of milk, and who cries for a"huggie!" when he is upset. As with anything, parenting is in how you keep the balance.