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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We all woke up with some sort of sinus infection and cough this morning. Dustin called from work to tell me he was miserable. I've got the better job between the two of us! I'm not in a hurry to start school today. My head feels sloshy. I experienced a lot of vertigo yesterday. It may be I don't do school until after lunch. The kids aren't that motivated either as you can see below.
Here's my drooly monster. He's GOT to be naked to eat. He just makes too big a mess otherwise. No bib can handle his mealtime antics. We've had to take the fabric cover off his highchair because it becomes soiled each meal. It's just easier to wipe off the plastic cushion cover each time. The reason for the mess is not mommy's spoon driving skills but rather Jonas' spoon whacking skills. And the fact that he prefers to eat anything, and I do mean anything, that he can feed himself over being fed. He is working so hard on his coordination and feels so proud when he gets a good mouthful of his favorite yogurt melts into his mouth. He looks us and squeals making sure I'm watching his accomplishments.

Needless to say, Jonas is chunking up sufficiently. Every corner of him has rounded out nicely :-) Especially those cheeks I love so much. They're kiss magnets, I tell you!

As you can see below his top two teeth came in. I can't describe to you the grinding sound he's learned to make with his new chompers. My ears cannot handle that sound. It's bone chilling. But, he gets a kick out of it. He's become the biting bandit now that he's got accomplices for his bottom teeth. Now he can really sink into something.Namely mommy. He discovered this trick Sunday at church. When he bit down on my thigh. Yea, that got a reaction outta mommy. He bit me 5 more times on the right shoulder after that.

Jonas is still learning social cues. He's really behind in that regard. Since prior to coming home he had limited interaction with a primary caregiver he's not been able to study facial expression to gain understanding about when a person is angry and when they are pleased. From infancy parents send cues to their baby which help develop emotional "awareness". Like when a baby is wet as his diaper is changed his mother will say "Oh is that yucky diaper bothering you? Let mommy get you a new one." she'll make faces for emphasis naturally. This type of instinctual training develops ties between child and parent and teaches them not only that their need will be met but it begins to name emotions for the little one and teach him to identify with his parents. So that child at 11 months will know right away without any verbal warning when his mommy is displeased with his biting behavior. The verbal discipline, at that point would actually be more like the emphasis or exclamation mark. That baby knows mommy's "no" face and doesn't like to disappoint mommy. When mommy's disappointed baby's disappointed too.

To highlight the difference for you: Jonas would get this very confused look on his face when I firmly told him "No! Aydelem!" and would stare hard at my face studying my expression. Sometimes he'd even laugh. Not out of defiance but sheer ignorance. He had no concept of what was taking place. I don't know that he had ever been disciplined. Lately though, he's beginning to attach to us and starting to become agitated when we discipline him. He is beginning to sense our displeasure and it's beginning to upset him which is a BIG deal. You see if your kids don't attach emotionally then they don't care if they are upsetting you. It's a big piece of the attachment puzzle for his emotional age to identify with his parents emotions. We are not there yet but the progress we're making feels very satisfying! We've had a couple of times when he's made a pouty face and let a token tear drop out to show he's getting the idea. Quickly after we discipline with a firm word we assure him with hugs and tell him we love him. His smile then returns quickly.

Normally, with our other kids after many biting infractions I would have begun to flick them lightly on the lip to drive home my serious dislike for that behaviour but for Jonas it just isn't the right way to go. He's learning. It takes time. And, it would appear that it's going to take a few more chunks outta momma too. But he's willing to learn and making progress and that's the real priority. So if you unexpectedly hear me yelp loudly (say, like in church) you'll understand why :-)


kangaj1 said...

OK, I want to take yours home too.

Stacey said...

He'll continue to grow and catch on to the idea that no means no and that's the end of it. Thank goodness biting is just a stage and it always passes. Hang in there Jen, you're doing an amazing job with Jonas!!

the Steiger's said...

Jonas is so cute. Thanks for sharing a picture of him (I believe it is a first one since .... I believe I have not seen picture of Jonas yet. Maybe his referal picture) Anyway he is looking good.
Isn't it funny how all these kids never heard the word no? But believe me they learn quickly.
you are doing great by the way.
love, Lenka