Little Helper Funpod: The Pod of Fun
We’ve had a couple of rough weeks here. There was much molar misery to deal with, followed by a nasty cold for the Rascal. Sleep has been in limited supply for a while now, and we’re all feeling the effects. The weather has been cold, miserable and mostly stormy all day, every day. You just have to think about looking out the window for the skies to cloud over, shortly followed by rain pelting down. This is my least favourite time of year, when there’s a constant shortage of sunlight and we’re all confined indoors with little enthusiasm for doing much of anything. Then there were visits to A&E to patch Daddy up after a tumble from a bike. Lots of disruption to bedtimes. In the midst of everything, I’m trying to complete a few online courses in those meagre evening hours where the Rascal might actually sleep. He hasn’t been doing much of that lately, and dealing with the resulting Mr. Cranky during the day is incredibly energy sapping. Doesn’t bode well for sitting at a keyboard and actually using my brain to apply logic in the evenings, so there were quite a few ‘nights off’ from that. Unfortunately the past week was also the heaviest course load to date and as the deadlines loomed, Mr. Cranky was being even more uncooperative. We literally only got out of the house one day during the week between the weather and his overtired tantrums about everything. This is not a good thing for him or me. The weekend was spent catching a dash of sleep, chasing after a hyper toddler, rocking said toddler to sleep for hours and hours, frantically grabbing a few minutes here and there to badly complete assignments, and occasionally collapsing in front of the TV to watch the brilliant Broen.
We assume we’re in the middle of a big developmental leap. Mr. Cranky is doing something new at least once a day. It’s brilliant to see, but the accompanying whining and tantrums are not so much fun. He’s a little angel when we’re out and about – to the extent that people are always commenting on how well-behaved and calm he is. But his emotions are all larger than life at the moment. Things are hysterically funny. Exploring the world is great fun. Then suddenly he’s as tired as if he hasn’t slept in days, but fights sleep tooth and nail as if he suspects he might never wake up again if he surrenders. He is bursting with love, and hugs, and kisses… but expressing this easily escalates into tough love, with biting and scraping and hitting. It’s hard for him to contain his emotions right now, which makes it difficult not to lose patience when a flailing arm punches you somewhere tender for the umpteenth time in the last hour.
While he was sitting on the toilet waiting for his bath one night I asked him what we were going to do next. He immediately did a new sign for bath, and clearly said ‘bath’ several times. He will also shout ‘teef!’ and pretend to brush his teeth. He has started practising Hi and Bye (all the time, to random passers by, to people when we aren’t leaving yet). There are few things much cuter though, than this little boy waving frantically and shouting Hi! Bye! Bye! Moon! at unsuspecting people who aren’t always sure how to respond. During the course of his weekly baby sign class, he learnt the sign for pig during a book reading. That earned him such admiration from the group that he spent the rest of the day ramming his finger up his nose at the slightest hint of an animal. He’s a busy little thing these days with so many new things to do.
He reads his books, babbling seriously to himself in his own language we’re too stupid to understand, despite his attempts to teach us. He runs back and forth in every room, generally falling over sooner or later. The resulting tears are more to do with loss of dignity rather than pain. The contents of kitchen cupboards are ransacked every few minutes. Jars of spices roll drunkenly around the floor. Tins of beans are underfoot. Carrying food to the kitchen table is a walk across a dangerous minefield of unexpected objects. Spoons of food are no longer acceptable unless HE is the one wielding them. So pre-loaded spoons of porridge and yoghurt are being flung about the room, smeared in hair and ears, wiped on any nearby adult (even more so than usual). Washing the floor and scraping the mushed food off of everything is a marathon undertaking whilst simultaneously sprinting back to shut the oven door he’s attempting to pry open. Then he figured out how to open the sitting room and kitchen doors downstairs. Game over. The entire ground floor of the house is now accessible at his leisure. He’s making the most of it.
After a couple of weeks of fierce internal debate, I had finally caved and forked out a lot of cash for what could essentially be called a large wooden box. The Little Helper funpod conveniently arrived towards the end of the week as I was getting more and more desperate at trying to reign in the rampaging toddler. There was definitely a lot of interest in the packaging when it arrived. Assembly was fairly straightforward, the most difficult part was dealing with the schizophrenic toddler that was dive bombing me with both kisses and scratches to let me know he wasn’t getting enough attention. It looked the business all put together with Mr Cranky perched inside, looking a little confused about what was going on. We could only wait to see if the “fun pod” could possibly live up to its ambitious name. I was looking forward to trying it out, but the radiator in the kitchen promptly broke overnight and we had to avoid the Arctic temperatures for a few days until a plumber could come and work some magic. A delighted Mr Cranky shovelled chicken katsu curry into his mouth in Wagamamas one evening, and even got to sit on the couch and devour a takeout dinner of rice with Thai red curry sauce in front of the TV on Sunday night. Silver linings and all that.
Next week we shall attempt to overcome all obstacles, and return to our usual irregular schedule. Maybe we’ll even get out of the house for more than just one baby sign class. Before I lose my sanity completely would be nice.