Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I am now used to regular displays of jealousy from Martin. Sometimes as intense as throwing a fit on the ground and purposefully bouncing his head on the floor or on the wall until I put down Valentin to take him instead. The other day we were visiting friends for dinner and Martin was an angel until I started feeding Valentin - he then took a photo frame from a glass side table and banged it on that same glass table... It is a miracle nothing broke - actually, the frame did, but the host was kind enough to assure us it had been broken. In his defense, this happened way past his bedtime, when he was super tired and he had a soiled diaper on top of that.

I notice that the more tired he is, the more (self-)destructive his jealousy. It is very rare that he would target his rage towards his brother - only occasionally he would try to pinch him while he is in my arms and I would not put him down after Martin has demanded so.
Otherwise, Martin is very gentle to his little brother - he would touch him, kiss him, talk to him, explain to him what he is doing. He would insist to me in the morning to go upstairs to take Valentin: 'Valeto se sabudi se! Mama hodi gore vzemi Valeto!' (Vale woke up! Mama, go upstairs to take him!). I believe they communicate with telepathy, because Vale does not let out a single sound, yet every time I go to take him after Martin's order, Vale is awake indeed! The other thing Martin very correctly guesses about Vale is when he has had enough to eat: 'Mama niama veche hrani Valeto!' ('Mama won't nurse Vale any more!') at which Vale stops in the middle of his feeding and I cannot put him back on the breast at all! Of course, he says that only because he wants me to hug him instead, but looks like Vale too doesn't want the drama which could unfold if I don't.
Martin has always been very huggy-kissy type of a child. Not only he would let me hug him at any time of the day, but he would occasionally come to me with 'Martin gushi mama!' (Martin hugs mama). Which is super cute and adorable and melts my heart and would have been my favorite phrase except... he uses it to oust Vale from my arms or when he is about to throw a tantrum because he did not have something his way. I try to hug him as soon as possible but this does not always stop the tantrum or the fit of jealousy.

At times, Martin is jealous of his father as well... If he is not tired and cranky, he would just observe 'Mama gushi tati' (Mama hugs Daddy)... However, if he is cranky, he gives out his orders 'Mama niama gushi tati!' ('Mama stop hugging daddy!') and throws himself on the ground and continues with a full-fledged tantrum. Naturally, this made me research Freud's Oedipus complex theory (a boy is fixated on his mother and competes with his father for her attention); and yes, it is manifested between 3 and 5 years of age (when the ego is developing) and at times even earlier... And yes, a successful resolution of such feelings is critical for the child's future development... And such resolution comes with the boy identifying with his father and the external world rather than with the idyllic image of his mother.

I think Martin is on the right track, because he is more and more accepting his father into his world. Isra used to work really hard in order to gain his attention and affection. Lately, however, I see Martin doing more and more with his father - he can hardly wait for him to come back from work to start playing with the ball. Also, it has been a few months now that every time Martin wakes up he would call 'tati! tati! tatiiii!' to go pick him up from his crib and not the usual 'mama'... And finally, he does not wait for me to put him in bed at night - his routine is to read books with his dad ('Oso Pardo' is mandatory), to listen to some music (Martin picks and plays the CDs himeslf), and if I come in to help his father to finally put him in bed (Martin knows he can prolong this with his Dad as much as he wants), he would order me 'Mama hodi hrani Valentin!' (Mama go feed Valentin!). Yes, this is his way of kicking me out of the room; and that hurts my feelings, but I know I also need to let go and let him grow up!

Half a Year Old

At his 6 month appointment, Valentin is 19lbs 7oz and 27.5 inches tall. This puts him in the 75th percentile. ONLY?! He is such a chubby and big baby that it is hard to believe he is not following in his brother's footsteps of being always above the 95th percentile... I even went back to my notes to confirm that... wow, Martin had almost these measures at his 4 month appointment!!! Now THAT is CHUBBY!!!
Compared to Martin at that age, though, Vale does not do that much - he still does not say anything beyond 'Boo', or 'GRRRR' (the R is very clear, but produced somewhere in his throat and having nothing to do with his tongue)... Martin was saying 'Da', 'da-da-da' at this age and varied his intonation immitating our speech... Well, I should not be that harsh on Vale because when I think of it, he too tries to immitate me when I read to him, only doing it with his 'brrr'... Reminds me of how Isra taught Martin to answer to "Como hace mama?' (What does mommy say?) with 'Burra-burra-burra'...
Vale still does not sit well without support. Martin was able to put his hands in front and to the side when he was falling - still not to the back. And Vale is not sliding backwards across the wooden floor yet.
I kind of feel guilty of this delay - although this is not delay according to his doctor who thinks he is doing great for his age. Vale is such a happy and content baby that occasionally I forget where I left him while I play with Martin. He would be just happily kicking in his bouncer enjoying the motion he creates and pulling on the toys without complaining for lack of attention. Good thing he was like this (he no longer is as he now loudly complains if he is left alone for more than a minute), because Martin has been extremely jealous of him from the very beginning. And Valentin at the same time looked like the only thing he demanded was to be changed and fed regularly. He would not depend on us carying him to fall asleap or to be entertained. And I surely capitalized on this fact!
Of course, every chance I get, I smother him with kisses and bite on his sexy legs, arms, belly and tickle him till he cannot stand it any more. A friend on FB called him 'kozunache' and I said I cannot agree more - his fingers melt in your mouth and another friend warned us this is going a bit canibalistic way. Well, look at him - would you wait till Easter to taste him?!
But the quiet days are over now! Lately he wants to sit constantly, he wants to always have something in his hands (something to drop every 2 seconds and to want someone to put back in his reach), he follows Martin at 360 degrees (especially when I sit down to feed him) and he rolls over on his tummy seconds after you put him on his back - even if this causes him to spit up half of his lunch...