For a lot of reasons this is the first update on my son in almost two months. Mostly the lack of updates is because I’ve been spending more time with Victor, which means less time for writing… or sleeping, and also because I’ve been spending my available writing time on my “other” blog.
Anyway. Explaining this stuff presupposes there’s actually an audience for this blog. Which, I hope, there isn’t. So…
Over the past six weeks there have been three major events in Victor’s life. He finally met his shorter and younger cousin, Victor then got really sick for a long time… I’m positive the former had nothing to do with the latter.
But the biggest change in Victor’s life is his mommy got herself a full time job, so now daddy is the primary caregiver… at least during the week.
Diane is working a line at a cheese factory near St. Eugene. Mostly she’s doing it for the money, but after spending almost two years trapped in the house, she was losing her mind. So, it’s minimum wage and all the cartons of Greek yogourt she can cram into her jacket.
She’s having a great time. All of the cliques on the shop floor are based on language… the Asians hang out with other Asians, Mexicans with Mexicans, the Quebecois French stick to themselves, the Ontario Francophones are on their own, then there’s the Greeks, and the maudit Anglais (Diane).
It gives her something to think about. And it fills up my days with Victor. Which is pretty cool.
When he’s awake, which is about 30% of the day, I’ll sit near his playpen and we’ll talk to each other while we play with his giant yellow ball, or the plastic container lids he likes to wave around. He also has a long cardboard tube that he likes to wave around like a giant two-handed sword.
When he starts pointing at stuff, like a doorknob or book, I’ll pick him up and take him to it. Once he’s tried to move whatever it was he’ll point somewhere else, and we’ll go around my apartment a few times. I try to take him outside a few times, just on the balcony, and he does the point thing out there as well.
His favourite thing, at the moment, is holding on to my neighbour’s steel wind-chimes.
He does talk. Just no real words. He’s using his hands to emphasize his points, the cadence sounds like someone speaking, and he has specific sounds that he uses for commands. Like, when he points and says “dat”, it means “bring me whatever that is”.
A few days ago I actually taught him to fetch stuff for me… I was a little fed up with getting stuff for him, so I pointed at something in his playpen, and said “dat”. And he looked at it, so I kept going. And, after a few minutes, he picked it up and brought it to me.
Suddenly I’m thinking this situation could work out better than I thought it would. Pretty soon Victor will be walking, so all I have to do is make sure the cans of Diet Coke are on the bottom shelf… “daddy want dat”.
I broke my foot a few weeks ago, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to take him anywhere in his little buggy, but next week we should be able to go places and do non-inside stuff.
Victor was sick for a week with some kind of weird flu… bird, minotaur, pig, whatever. He had a really hard time breathing at night, with a river of snot pouring down his throat. There were a couple of times where he threw up buckets of mucous. And when he tried to drink from his bottle he’d gag because his nose was so stuffed, so he’d have to hold his breath.
The little dude was miserable. There was a lot of crying. Diane took him to the hospital in Alexandria, and they gave her some antibiotics. Victor loved the stuff, we dosed him with a syringe (orally, no needle) and, after a couple of times, he had his mouth already open when he saw what was going on.
Actually… by “gave her” I mean she had to pay for them out of her pocket because she has no health plan, and the Ministry in charge of us disabled people won’t let me put Victor on my account.
Anyway, Victor is better. The flu broke this past week, and he’s been eating like he’d been starving for a week. I think it was Tuesday when he went through five or six bottles of formula, a small jar of mushed stuff, some tapioca pudding and some cookies in just a few hours.
Victor met his youngest cousin in February. My brother and his wife brought Chase, their first child, to Vankleek Hill for a visit. It took about five minutes for Victor to take a swing at Chase… unfortunately the visit took place right in the middle of Victor’s “slapping phase”.
Victor had been slapping and punching Diane and I for about a week before Chase showed up. With Diane it was usually a punch to her nose, with me it was my eye. With Chase, for some reason, it was the ear.
Mom managed to get a photo of one of the punches, Victor actually lunged at Chase, but when she showed my grandfather he deleted it… or tried to, which I thought was an LOL moment.
I have one photo of Victor poking Chase in his ear, which Chase didn’t really seem to register. The two boys, once they were in the playpen together, got along great. Or, at least, they stayed out of each others way.
Chase is adorable. He’s half Victor’s age, and about half Victor’s size. His parents dress him formally, apparently every day, including a little bow tie. My brother says it’s “Chase’s thing”.
After visiting for a couple of hours Diane and I had to leave the event early, so we could pick up her oldest son from a birthday party.
…hopefully they’ll have many more opportunities to throw down.
Photos Of Victor’s Week(s):