Gulliver's New Trick

Still really busy with stuff, but I thought I'd take a moment to share a big milestone that Gulliver reached this week. Gulliver up until now has not fed himself. I think that he's a little late, but I attribute his lateness to:

1) He's a first child, so his parents can give him all the attention he needs.
2) He's never been an oral baby. He just doesn't stick things in his mouth (except for his stuffed Ernie's nose, which coincidentally looks like a bright red nipple)---and didn't really love the whole pacifier thing, either.
3) He's too busy crawling around the house and walking along furniture (and getting into kitchen drawers) to take the time to figure out self feeding.

But the other day, we went to a Mexican restaurant. At restaurants, I'll give Gulliver large pieces of food so that he can have something to play with (and the restaurant staff can have something to clean up) while we eat. Well, I gave him a tortilla chip to play with at the restaurant, and like a little chipmunk, Gulliver took a bite out of it. Then another bite. And another. It was the cutest thing in the world. He ate that chip right up!

This morning, he gobbled down his food and my yogurt, so I grabbed a few of his dad's Cinnamon Toasters, and Gulliver bit into those, too! He even found one on the floor later and I didn't realize it until I heard him crunching and smacking his lips.

In other news related to Gulliver's development, here's how he's driving us bonkers these days. Gulliver has a sense of what is OFF LIMITS. And that means that it's especially ON limits. So for example, we have an air intake vent on the main floor that we can't do ANYTHING about. It's just there. And Gulliver loves to strum it. BUT it cuts his fingers. Drives me CRAZY. So in the beginning, I had the idea that if I just ran and picked up Gulliver every time he strummed the vent, he'd just learn that it was a reliable way to get mom to come! So I tried to sit down on the floor with him and hold his hands to the ground for a minute, immobilizing him. I thought maybe that would be a negative consequence associated with the strumming. Of course, that was more annoying (to me) than having to just get up and grab him every time, so I didn't stick with the plan. Well, surprise surprise, but now Gulliver has REALLY learned to associate strumming with parents' attention. He does one big strum and then turns around to see who's going to run after him. When he's especially playful, he'll start laughing and crawling away from you as fast as possible to make you chase him. When he's feeling especially musical, he'll just keep strumming as much as he possibly can before we get to him and stop him.

Gulliver also loves drawers and cupboards. If we're into this whole negative consequences association thing, you'd think that he'd learn from the times he's smashed or pinched his fingers that playing in the cupboards and drawers isn't a good idea. Or like the time he broke one of my bowls in the 0.5 seconds that it took him to get into the cupboard, right when we were madly trying to pack and leave the house for a few days. He also has blade radar, meaning that he KNOWS where my handheld blender blade is. It was previously in the bottom drawer, which he accessed very easily. I moved it up one drawer, since he never opens that drawer. The next day, he graduated to that very drawer. So I moved it up one more drawer, and, you guessed it, he's now capable of opening the THIRD drawer up. I currently have rubber bands on my cupboards. I have those plastic latches somewhere in this house, so I'll have to hunt them down and start using them on the drawers. And maybe consider moving all my rags and towels to the bottom drawers...

The fridge and the dishwasher are Gulliver's ultimate destinations, though. If he sees into the kitchen when I have the dishwasher open, he kicks the crawling into turbo speed, making really excited noises as he charges into the kitchen. Then he tries as hard as he can to get into these places while I try my hardest to keep him out. (The other day, I found a tupperware of mashed potatoes on the ground outside the fridge, evidence that Gulliver was able to get in while I wasn't looking and sneak something out without my noticing.)

So that is the Gulliver update. He's been pretty high maintenance for about a week, but today he seems to be back to his playful, low-maintenance self. Now if only we could get him a little brudder to play with...


--r said...

i'd be happy to send over my mischief maker for him to entertain. i'm tired of pulling mine off the stairs and pulling his fingers out of the vcr. :)

KJ said...

my first was the same with those intake vents with the sharp edges! and the dishwasher! my second is obsessed with the edge of the bathtub which is a bad place to bonk one's head, as is the tile bathroom floor. it's a hassle, but isn't it so fun to watch them test and try and explore and play? yours is a cute one for sure.