Little Victor Update | Speed demon

Copyright ImageVictor and his new friend Oboe


Victor has been walking since April. Every day he gets more confident in his stride, and the motions get less jerky. Unfortunately the confidence is leading him to move at speeds he’s not quite ready for.

Which means my son is getting his first bruises. Mostly on his knees, but also on his elbows. He loves climbing stairs, which is also something he’s trying to do faster. Earlier tonight he tried to climb the single stair outside the kitchen door. It was raining a little, and his foot slipped. His little body absorbed most of the fall, but his chin hit the door step.

He has new tones in his crying. He pretty much hit them all tonight.

He’s also fed up with being carried. He never used to cry when I picked him up. In fact, picking him up was always part of the strategy to calm him down. But not now. At best we can pick him up for a ten count, then he remembers he loves to walk, so he’ll try to squirm out of my arms and start to cry.

Not a heavy cry, like he’s in pain, but his “enough of this crap” stutter cry.

I’m not sure I like this stage of a baby’s development.

Victor and I spend a lot of time together during the day. Generally we play and talk to each other in the morning here in my apartment, then in the afternoon we go for a long walk. He’s still okay with being pushed around in his stroller, thank Christ.

Three times a week, in the afternoon, we end up in Vankleek Hill’s park, next to the Community Centre. We get there around 2pm, so we usually have the park to ourselves. Victor loves the flowers, and having the freedom to run around.

With the two or three extreme heat waves we’ve had I’ve introduced him to the “SplashPad”. It’s like a waterpark the size of… I guess the infield of a baseball diamond. Only round. And with colourful toy-shaped sprinklers.

Whoever decided to put one in Vankleek Hill should have their name taught in schools.

Victor loves it. He even seems to really enjoy how cold the water can be. He’ll walk up to a fountain, through the spray, then turn around and run away. But he always goes back in.



Something I am worried about is losing the PlayPen. Victor is nineteen months old, so he’ll outgrow the PlayPen in roughly three or four months. What I’m worried about is, I don’t think I can make my apartment toddler-friendly.

For the moment I’ll let Victor walk around my apartment, but I’ll be walking right behind him. Even so he’ll dart towards one of my three bookcases with the intention of grabbing photos or books. Which would be great if I knew he’d read them, or that he wouldn’t try to climb up the shelves.

I guess it’s just going to take some work. But I think most of that work will be spent emptying my apartment of bookcases.

Victor is eating pretty much everything a normal sized human would eat. Except peanut butter and anything with a hot sauce. He can feed himself with a fork now. Which freaks me out, but Diane thinks it’s normal. He can even dip his french fries in ketchup… but then he’ll usually dip his whole hand in the ketchup, which he’ll eventually smear all over his face.

Which is what he did this past Saturday when we took my grandfather (aka: Big Victor) out to lunch for his eighty-eighth birthday. We took him to his favourite local restaurant, Jos Patate, a chip stand in Grenville, Quebec, for hot dogs and ice cream.

Big and Little Victor always have a great time together. This time Little Victor showed his great-grandfather his latest skill, holding and eating his own ice cream cone.

By the end of the meal Little Victor’s face was covered in ketchup and chocolate-vanilla ice cream, but Big Victor had no problem kissing both cheeks.


Photos Of Victor’s Week(s):

Victor and his new friend Oboe

Victor at the Vankleek Hill Community Centre


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Champlain Township, Eastern Ontario, Family, Parenthood, Parenting, Vankleek Hill, Victor, Victor's Week In Review, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Little Victor Update | Speed demon

  1. egills says:

    What a little cutie! Such a clever little boy too from the look of it..
    The book shelves? Bolt them to the wall, that way he can’t pull them down on himself and put his books / toys on the bottom shelves so he learns they’re furniture and not a climbing frame ( although all kids will climb anything given a chance ).
    My youngest had permanent bumbs on his forehead when he was at the stumble stage ( so embarrasing ). I used to hate it when he worked out to go floppy on me if he didn’t want to be picked up, a complete dead weight and he’d just slip through my arms.
    Enjoy this stage, he’s just working out his own personality now it’s great to watch ( even if he does find it frustrating! ).

    • Gabriel says:

      Hi egills. I have a hard time judging how far along his development is, or being able to compare it to other kids his age, so I pretty much look at everything he does as being remarkable. But he does seem to impress people who have been through the parenting thing before.

      The things I usually find really remarkable generally get strange looks from other adults. Like, Victor can open anything. As long as the top of a jar isn’t screwed on too tight, he’ll get it open. And he’s always trying to fit things into other things. Today at the SplashPad, for example, he picked a blade of grass, carried if over to a tree, and tried to push the blade into the tree. Usually the things fit together better.

      And he can work a phone. He’ll pick up the handset, push a bunch of buttons, then hit ‘send’. I figure one of these days the Chinese food delivery guy is going to show up with his order.

      The worst injury so far resulted in a black eye around his first birthday. He rolled off the pull-out couch while Diane was reaching for a new diaper and landed face first. I’m surprised there haven’t been more, when he’s in his PlayPen he’ll launch himself from one corner to another. It’s cringe inducing to watch.

      Thanks for commenting…

  2. zoom says:

    I love the picture of him with Oboe the lovebird on his head. He’s such a sweetie.

    Toddler-proofing – well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. There’s no two ways around that one. It’ll be a lot of work, but look at it this way: It’ll be a lot less work than NOT toddler-proofing. (If you don’t do it, you’ll be constantly having to chase him around and take things away from him and so on.)

    You could maybe try replacing the books on your lower shelves with books for him, and toys and so on. Or have one room that’s not toddler-proof, which is off limits to him. Maybe your bedroom. Keep all your books and photos and breakable stuff in there. But really, the best way in my experience is just to make the place toddler-friendly so whatever he can reach, he’s allowed to play with. (Within reason of course. You can’t move the electrical outlets.)

    The payoff is that it’s a really interesting phase of childhood, and you’ll have a lot of fun watching him learn stuff, especially if you don’t have to interrupt him and take things away from him all the time. (As he gets closer to two, he’ll find it increasingly frustrating to be thwarted.)

    When you guys were here, I noticed that he’s pretty easy-going. My place isn’t toddler-proof at all, but he seemed happy to hang out and play with toys. I’ve seen some toddlers who would literally be climbing the walls and getting into EVERYTHING. Victor’s pretty mellow and cooperative. So you might not have to toddler-proof all the way up to the ceiling.

    (Just be thankful you don’t have to bird-proof. Birds have wings, and they eat wood. Mine have been EATING my bookcases, and my molding, and my window frames!)

    • Gabriel says:

      Hi Zoom… I knew you’d like the photo of Oboe and Victor. I tried to write a shout-out in the caption, but it came out weird, kind of awkward and long.

      I’ve been looking around my apartment tonight looking for ways to make it Victor proof, and I think I have some ideas… most of which involve duct tape and chicken wire. I’ll figure it out, probably this weekend. I’m starting to feel like a jailer keeping him in the PlayPen for entire mornings.

      I have a tall, stand alone bookcase that I can turn on its side. It’d be perfect for his toys. The thing is, my apartment is basically one big rectangle, with my work area taking up a fairly large space… basically it’s the size of a single bed. At the moment Victor has most of my bedroom to himself. It’s the only place I can put him so he can get some sleep.

      I’ll figure it out.

      Victor is definitely mellow. I didn’t realize how much so until I started hanging around other parents. The four of us were at a birthday party for one of Andrew’s friends a couple of weeks ago. Victor was pretty much by himself in a room full of 5-year olds, and he was great. Other than him yelling at himself in excitement he was quiet, and somehow got it into his head that the large basket of toys was in the wrong spot. So, toy by toy, he moved them across the room, where he stacked them on the couch and chair.

      He also enjoys just standing still in his PlayPen and staring out the window at the cars and people. I’ll go in there and he’ll have his arms crossed on the bar, and his chin on his arms, watching the people walk by. I think he gets that from me.

      Speaking of chasing him around… we went out and bought a harness last week. It looks like a backpack in the shape of a fuzzy funny monkey, and the tail is the part we’d hang on to. I don’t want him to be a harness kid, but if he gets any faster, with my crappy knee, hips and feet, he’ll be miles ahead of me whenever it occurs to him he can do it…

      Something else to figure out.

      Thanks for the comment, Zoom. We all hope to see you and GC soon.

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