Leaps and Bounds

Andres’ development is progressing in leaps and bounds. Even when he’s hot headed and absolutely wants to do domething his way, he will listen to an explanation and then opt to give in.

He has reached the question age, asking “Iiiiss dass?” (is this?) for anything and everything. If there’s no answer he will be instant. If there is an answer he’ll ask the same for the next nearby object. He also asks “und dänn?” (and then?) meaning what the next activity will be once something has been done. After hearing an answer, he’ll ask again, repeatedly, to no end.

We were in the Succulent Gardens of Zurich yesterday, which does have a pretty nice collection of catii etc. As soon as we entered, Andres started pointing to the technical stuff in the building, pipes, electrical switches, switchboards, mechanical apparatus for operating the greenhouse roof etc, competely ignoring the plants. When I pointed them out to him, he said “nid luschtigg” (no fun)!

He loves to play store, when I am the customer and he the storekeeper. Recently, it’s moved on to a computer store. So after buying ventilators of various sizes, USB cables and the lot, I wanted to pay. Then he said “täsche?” (want a bag?). And then he brought a “gschänkkli” (gift) before I went on my way.

He has bad fits of stubbornness, and a lift button pressed in haste has caused a fit lasting 10 minutes. When previously you could get him to come aloing from anywhere he was by just saying “Tschüss Adi” (bye now, Andres), if he’s not in the mood he ignores the bluff and just sulks.

He loves ice-cream, especially water ice cream and can down a stick himself. It does usually produce some puddles of sweet, sticky water on the floor, hands and furniture, though. The latest sticks which have a chewing gum in the stick don’t help!

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März bis Juli 2006, 35 Monate

Want to go for a ride?

Im Brandnertal, Österreich. Nei, nöd Foti mache!

Am Lüneburgersee im Brandnertal. Klick, klick, jetzt mach ich aber ein Foti von dir!

He, was läuft denn da?

Mmmmh, ich glaube meine Milchzähne fangen schon an zu wackeln.

Kickebuh, fang’ mich doch!

Also ich finde, diese Sommerhitze hat durchaus auch positive Seiten!

In der Badi Uster. Soll ich dir mal zeigen, wo du den Stein setzen sollst?

In der Badi Uster. Schaukelpferde und Rutschbahnen sind meine Favoriten.

Wenn Mami einen grösseren Staldencrème-Vorrat angelegt hätte, dann könnte ich einen noch viel höheren Turm bauen!

Ein truber Bub, nein zwei, in Trub. Ich habe gehört, es soll Hochwasser geben und habe darum schon mal die Gummistiefel angezogen.

Schau Mami, wenn ich mit Holzkohle spiele, werden meine Hände ganz schwarz…

Mann, diese Schlaflieder machen immer so müde.

Auf der Dachterasse zu Hause, im März. So viel Schnee!

Auf der Bogen-Staumauer des Lüneburgersees im Brandnertal. Hier lässt es sich toll herum hüpfen, es hat nämlich keine Autos!

Auf dem Weg nach Holland entlang der Autobahn in einer Raststätte. Tolles Spielzeug!

Am Lüneburgersee im Brandnertal. Nein, ich will NICHT laufen!

Mit Onkel Bart in Nieuwegein, Holland. Ich kann super Treppen laufen.

Am Lüneburgersee im Brandnertal auf Mamis Schultern. Hach, ich bin ganz müde vom Rumsitzen.

He, was du kucken?

Ich bin schon ein grosser Koch und helfe Mami gerne beim Kuchen backen.

Ich hab dich gefunden!

Das ist meine Nichte Gerjanne. Ich hab sie ganz fest lieb und passe gut auf sie auf.

Auf der Dachterasse zu Hause. Hätsch, ich habe meine Schuhe ausgezogen!

Auf einer Schiffrundfahrt auf dem Zürisee. Mann, bin ich müde…

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The awareness Andres shows to his surroundings amazes me constantly. Today we were on the way to the car when he points to the other side of the road and says “frei”, he’d noticed a free parking spot, which are in short supply in our area. He then clapped his hands, being proud that he’d noticed. All buttons, knobs and dials are noticed at mind boggling speed. A month ago, he smoked an Apple Mac I’d gotten by shifting the tiny voltage selector at it’s back from 220 to 110 volts within minutes of discovering the box. Trust Andres to find that single, critical switch!

He’s also started asking what stuff is. In the local electronics store we visited just the other day, we were in the household appliance department when he started asking “das iss?” (this is?) for each of the appliances displayed: egg cooker, deep fryer, mixer, blender and so forth.

Interestingly, he remembers a lot of the stuff I explain to him.

Yesterday we were in the bath when he asked what a small plastic bottle contained. A hotel give-away, I told him it contained coconut oil, which you could rub on your body. Several hours later, I found him in the bathroom sitting on the washing machine, the coconut oil bottle beside him and him rubbing his arms in with the oil!

Andres is now 2 years and 10 months old.

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He’s really caught on to singing in the past 1-2 months. Before that, he mainly liked to listen to Merengue, Techno and songs by Leann Rimes. Even his last daycare said he didn’t particularly care much about singing in a circle. Now he’s caught on to children’s songs. The first he started actively singing was “Happy Birthday”, and he got it down pretty well. He always sang it with his own name. Before that he used to complete sentences (mostly the last word) which Annewien sang. Now he’s gotten down to singing whole songs. Annewien brought back a CD and book of popular Dutch songs from her last trip to the Netherlands in May and he’s really likes to listen to the songs. Sometimes he just sits and looks engrossed at the accompanying book with his thumb in his mouth.

I’ve noticed that Andres has started walking up stairs one foot per step for some days now. Previously, he’d always needed to put both feet on a step before continuing.

The current dialogues are nice too:
Andres: Papi, Canby-sap ha (I want some cranberry juice)
Me: There is none left
Andres: Chauffe (buy some!)

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Andres has always liked meat, especially processed meat like sausages, salami and the like. Salsiz, which is a small, square salami-like meat, is one of his favourites. Yesterday he first went to the fridge, took it out, then took out a knife – not just any knife, but the correct size and type of knife, with saw-teeth – and brought both to me and said “Andres ässe” (Andres eats). So I had to chop off a few pieces of the salami till he was content.

He also loves pasta (which kid doesn’t) and can down an amazing amount of the stuff in one sitting. Big size pasta is best, since it’s easiest to grab with his hands.

Annewien had huge success with getting him to sleep without all bars in his bed while I was away for 10 days. You could actually put Andres in his bed and he would stay in and sleep, both for his afternoon snooze and for the night. In the morning, he wakes up early, usually just past 7 (used to be past 8 before bars). Yesterday night was a downer, since he didn’t want to sleep and didn’t want to stay in his bed. He’d slept a lot in the afternoon and perhaps it was just one of those days. It was harrowing, and Annewien and myself had spent two hours trying to get him into bed. In the end I had to put in the bed-bars again and tie them, so that he couldn’t remove them. Within 5 minutes he was asleep.

Andres is 2 years and 9 months old.

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More Talk and Bed Problems

His verbal skills since starting the new day care have been rising dramatically. The other day I was in the toilet when he comes over and says “Papi chumm, zwei Ameisen” (daddy take a look, two ants). We do have sporadic ants every summer in the living room and when I came to look at what Andres was pointing to, there were indeed two ants strolling on the floor.

Another morning I came into the living room where his table and chairs are and I saw that he had a pack of Ballisto chocolates on his table which we’d forgotten to put away the previous night. I expected resistance when I took them away but there was none – surprisingly. A bit later I came in again and he had a single bar of Ballisto on the table – aha, he’d known previously that even if I took away the whole pack, he still had the bar, so no need for complaint. hehe. Since it was morning, I said let’s have some bread instead of the Ballisto, and to give me the chocolate bar. Clever that he is, he said “Ballisto do anne legge” (I’ll put Ballisto on the table), putting the bar on the table. That way, he’d put it away, but still had it under HIS control :-).

This morning I came in with a toast and put a slice of smoked salmon in it. He said “zu mache” (close it). It took me a moment to realize that he wanted me to “close” the bread, i.e. make a sandwich.

We’re going to have a bit of a problem with his bed (it’s loaned and we have to return it), since there’s no way he would stay in the bed if it didn’t have bars. Andres is 31 months now. Since about a week or two he’s able to remove the two removable bars in the bed and climb out himself. It bugged me so much that I tied the bars so he couldn’t open them himself. Today I was up in the attic putting away some stuff when he suddenly pops up. That REALLY surprised me. He’d managed to remove the two bars from the OTHER side of the bed (facing the wall), which I hadn’t secured, climb out, and ascend the stairs all the way to the attic.

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Day Care

Andres has been in care for quite some months now. I’m amazed at his behavior when I go to get him in the evening. He is very talkative, says new words and wants to show me stuff. He picks up a lot at day care, both from his carers and from the other children. Unfortunately, day care has a big down side as well, and that’s that he regularly gets sick a day or two after being there. By the time he’s well again, it’s time for day care again (Thursday) and the cycle repeats himself. He’s had so many colds, a stomach flu and some other stuff we couldn’t identify (red spots all over). On Tuesday he had 40.5° fever and we went to children’s hospital at 11 in the night. We stayed till 2 am, we still couldn’t see doc. Meanwhile, Andres had recovered and was walking all around the place in a good mood. So we decided to go home. He felt much better the following day. It was strange that the 3 doctors and nurses we’d talked to that day gave conflicting information as to what he could have caught and how we should treat him.

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Andres has surprised me with how rapidly his verbal skills have been advancing. Yesterday, entering the lift from a walk in the winter cold outside, he said “schön warm da inne” (nice and warm in here). When I asked him where his house shoes were, he said “Wohnzimmer”, living room. He’s been very talkative when speaking with his grandparents, although they don’t understand what he says.

He’s been using the potty well since last Saturday, when Annewien allowed him to use just his short pants, no pampers. He’s had the occasional pee in his pants and the floor, but he’s pooped into the potty each time and mostly peed too. I’m really looking forward to a pamper-free Andres!

He’s been plagued by an on and off cold / running nose / and part-fever for three weeks now, and so have I. This leads to occasional sleepless nights and a mood during the day.

He’s been quite naughty at times, scratching, biting and hitting Annewien and me. We’ve been using the corner as a kind of punishment, although he’ll hardly stay there for any length of time. He does promise not to do it again, but this is of varying quality.

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Today’s Firsts

Today was the first time he allowed me to collect mail from the mailbox downstairs with him remaining in the flat. Previously, he could never stay alone. Perhaps it was due to Ogi, our cleaning man, being present?

After lunch I told him it was time for his afternoon snooze. He went to the sofa, grabbed a large pillow and placed it on the floor, knelt and put his head on it and said “Moo, sehr sehr moo” (tired, very very tired). How sweet. But within the next five seconds he was up and running about again..

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November 2005 – Februar 2006, 30 Monate

Was, dieses Baby auf der ID soll etwa ich sein??

Hier sind wir ein Wochenende mit Tom und Bea in Sedrun. Wart nur, ich bewerfe dich gleich mit meinen Schneeballen!

Schaut her, ich kann sogar ohne Trampolin schon sehr gut hüpfen!

Hier, meine Damen und Herren, sehen Sie das erste ferngesteuerte und gegen
Vogelgrippe immune Zwergkaninchen.

Halloooohhh, wie findet ihr mein Retro-Telefon?

Hier sind wir auf dem Etzel, auf der Suche nach der Sonne. Sie muss irgendwo
da hinten versteckt sein.

Es ist nie früh genug, sich MBA-Wissen anzueignen!

Weihnachtsausflug mit Krippe und Eltern auf den Üetliberg. Wir pflanzen gerada einen Kürbiskernen. Anschliessend gabs warme Kürbiscrèmesuppe. Ich wusste gar nicht, dass Kürbisse soooo schnell wachsen!

Hallo meine Züri-Enten, wie geht es euch?

Der Entenfänger von Züri-Enge

Am holländischen Samichlaus-Abend mit Jón, Elín, Petra, Roeland, Bea und Tom
habe ich es genossen, mit Jón in meinem Bett herumzuhüpfen.

Als wir am holländischen Samichlaus-Abend dann doch etwas müde wurden, hat
Bea Jón und mir etwas vorgelesen.

Und wenn mir etwas nicht passt, kann ich schon recht böse dreinschauen!

Mit Opa und viel Schnee auf dem Üetliberg!

… You can leave your hat on… wo das wohl hinführt?

Hah! Ich habe euch soeben die Schoggi weggeschnappt!

Auf dem Toms Schoss habe ich eine Super-Aussicht. Wir schauen gerade das
Skirennen an den olympischen Spielen in Turin :-)

Hier bin ich mit Gotte Bea auf dem Schlitten in Sedrun.

Ich bin der Kitchen-Master of Spices. Ich sitze gerne auf dem Kochherd –
natürlich nur, wenn wir nicht gerade kochen…

Mmmhhh, also ich bin mir noch nicht so sicher, ob ich wirklich reiten lernen möchte.


Beethoven Junior

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A Year Ago

Today we had an appointment with the Children’s Hospital to look at Andres’ wrist. A year ago he had a septic arthritis of the wrist, an internal infection. It was very painful for him. His doctor thought it was a dislocated elbow and tried several times to snap it back into place. Late that day, we decided to take him to emergency hospital because he was yelling non-stop and his deputy doctor advised it. At first, they also diagnosed a dislocated elbow, and it took the keen knowledge of another lady doctor to detect that that wasn’t correct. Several blood tests, X-ray’s and many hours later, they told us it was an infection and Andres would have to stay in hospital for about 2 weeks. That was in the wee hours of the morning, after we’d spent most of the night in waiting rooms and doctor’s inspection rooms.

After two weeks in hospital on antibiotic infusion, we finally returned home. During those two weeks there was an MRI made, more X-Rays, an operation to first test for pus, then clean out and remove it, an infusion-point near his collarbone, a bout of stomach flu which successively spread to the whole family and a friend who visited us (Nora virus was on the rampage at that time – v e r y infectous!), and Annewien taking her own therapy very badly.

Luckily, mom thrust herself upon us and took a flight from Alicante to help us out.

A year later, Andres’s wrist is fully healed. It turned out that Pneumokokken bacteria were to blame. What a victory for Medicine and the Doctors and Nurses who did so much for him. I’m endlessly thankful.

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Today was daycare day. While dressing up in the morning, he prepared to don his cotton sweatshirt with wide bright horizontal stripes: red, yellow, blue. And said “Nadine keike, Adi moi”. (Nadine will look, adi is beautiful)! Nadine is one of his day-care girlfriends.

A month or two back, I’d just applied hair gel to his hair when he wanted to lean forward so he could see himself in the bathroom mirror. He then exclaimed “Adi moi”!

After donning nice clothes, it’s easy to ask him to go and look at himself in the mirror, which he does with gusto, taking great pleasure in looking at himself in his new clothes from all sides.

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Yes and No

After a long period of saying “no” to anything we asked him, Andres is differentiating between “yes” and “no” for several weeks now, articulating his “yes” with wonderful gusto and a vertical nod (up to down). A real pleasure for me!

He does a lot of stuff unattended and tends to stay away from dangerous objects and actions, which is a relief from constantly having to observe him. Yesterday I was at a bookstore browsing through some books and the lift really grabbed his attention. I couldn’t watch him constantly and was delighted that he never stepped into the lift himself (which he would have done the first thing the doors opened a month ago) but restricted himself to watching it travel up and down through the glass panels at the side of the lift. He walks stairs almost effortlessly, and holds the railing to keep him toppling should he lose his balance (which he still does at times).

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Pureed Homemade Babyfood Recipes

I finally posted my yummy pureed Baby Food Recipes online before I lose the scrap of paper they’re written on.

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Andres loves Daycare!

Since 3 weeks now, there’s been a radical 180° turnabout in Andres attitude of going to daycare. It’s absolutely no problem anymore! He looks forward to going there and once didn’t even want to come out with me to go home. I don’t know what caused the change, but it seems to happen often with kids. Anyway, who’s quibbling, Andres loves daycare and that was the goal. Anything else would have been quite a headache.

The Man Himself!

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Munching a cookie

Andres has begun engaging in real dialogues. I’m amazed!

Today on the diaper table:

Ich: „du adi, was machen wir heute“

Adi: „baby“ (daycare metaphor)

Ich: „nei adi, hüt hämmer kei babies“

Adi: „duntig baby“ (dunschtig/thursday) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Andres has been saying two-word sentences for some days (or weeks?) now:

– “Mami Schaffe”
– “Dädi Tanze”
– and more…!

He’s been in Childcare every Thursday and Friday regularly since last week. It’s with Kids and Co. from Childcare services Zurich. The first few days I was there I noticed that laughter was missing and the kids didn’t really play with each other. That was odd. Seeing his previous activities with other kids, I’d expected Andres to love to play with the other kids, but no. He didn’t like being there, it seemed, or maybe it was just me leaving him there which caused a lot of problems for him. He had stayed with Bea for a day or even overnight without problems, so what’s going on?

Now, 2 weeks later, it’s another Thursday and he already said “nei nei” early in the morning. The nearer we got to the daycare center, the more he said nei nei and started sobbing. Very difficult for me. The women who care for him keep saying he stops complaining soon after I’ve gone, but how can I gain confidence if I don’t see it myself? He’s quick to leave as soon as I’m back to pick him up. I’ll have to monitor the situation. A hard consequence would be to stop day care if there’s no improvement.

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September+Oktober 2005, 25 Monate

Nam, nam, nam, das Schoggijoghurt war fein! Und bitte beim Telefonieren nicht stören.

Hier schlürf’ich meinen ersten Drink (alkoholfrei, natürlich).

Hier füttere ich Mami mit Lego-Steinen.

Papis Sofa ist von der Grösse her genau richtig für mich.

Warum ich auf diesem Foto nicht selbst drauf bin? Ist doch logo: weil ich dieses Foto vom Irchelpark selber geschossen habe!

Das ist mein erstes, selbstgemachtes Foto von Mami. Ist doch schon recht gut,

Hier fahre ich Dampfwalze auf einem Spielplatz in Rapperswil. Ganz schön anstrengend, wie man sieht.

Im September haben wir den 70. Geburtstag meiner Oma Gerri in Zwolle gefeiert und meine Cousine Gerjanne besucht. Sie ist schon 6 Monate alt und ich bin sehr stolz auf sie.

Hier sind wir im Delphinarium in Harderwijk, Holland. Glücklicherweise sind
Gerjanne und ich die Hauptattraktion und nicht etwa die Delphine, Walrösser oder andere Viecher.

Hier zeige ich Gerjanne, wie man mit Spielzeug spielt (aber eigentlich suche ich ja nur einen Vorwand, um mit Nijnte zu spielen, Anm. der Eltern)

Das ist doch ok, wenn ich auf dem Tisch herumkrieche, oder?

Aus dem Schimmbad in der Feriensiedlung bei Zwolle war ich fast nicht mehr wegzukriegen.

Auf Einkaufstour!

Willst du mir etwa verbieten, mit dem Geschirr zu spielen?

Oh, das ist mein Geburtstagskuchen für meinen zweiten Geburtstag!

Und das ist mein zweiter Geburtstagskuchen für meinen zweiten Geburtstag
(kriege ich dann für meinen dritten Geburtstag 3 Kuchen?!?). Links und rechts von mir sitzen Iris und Iris.

Und auch Andrina mit Mami Gabi und Papi Urs hat mich besucht.

Ich gehe jetzt, wenn ich Lust habe, selber aufs WC. Töpfli und WC-Aufsätze
sind albern, ich machs (fast) wie die Grossen.

Seit Ende Oktober gehe ich 2 Tage in der Woche in die Krippe. Eigentlich
gefällts mir gut dort, doch der Abschied fällt immer ein bisschen schwer.

In Holland habe ich Käse und Erdnussbutter eingekauft.

Ich kann schon ganz alleine die Rutschbahn rauf und runter, hier auf dem Spielplatz in Rapperswil.

I’m singin’ yeah, yeah, yeah… sonst noch eine Frage?

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100th Word

Andres has reached his 100th active word, and I’m closing my word journal.

84. Bam – Ball
85. Hand
86. Muuss – Computer Mouse
87. Hoi
88. Dunka – Dunkel
89. Fish
90. Mand – Moon
91. Nack – Nackt
92. Chucki – Kitchen
93. Sissh – Light
94. Jakka – Jacke
95. wa-wa – wasser
96. yo-yo – sauce
97. döt – dort
98. baue – bauen
99. iis – Reis
100. shushi – Schlüssel
101. Schöki – Schockolade
102. Ko-kä – Kochen
103. hhha – (let me) have it
104. Su-ga – Staubsaugen
105. Sausss – Salt

He poops regularly in his potty, after taking off his clothes and Pampers himself.

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More Stuff

Andres has started pooping by himself in his potty since almost 2 weeks now. He doesn’t do it in our presence, but somehow disappears and returns and says “gaki”, pointing to the toilet. And lo and behold, wonderful poops made right in the center of his own baby-potty. He had pooped on the balcony several weeks ago, but considering my comments I made to him immediately after, I reckon he understood it wasn’t really a good idea to do that again. The problem is that he’d managed to step into it and smudged remnants all over the flat where he walked…

His latest word catalog is:

64. Dobe – dort oben
65. Uma – aufmachen
66. Bop – Brot
67. Iup – Sirup
68. Bea
69. Mike
70. Oma
71. Nai – No
72. De-ki – Decke
73. Tomate
74. Cama – Camera
75. Scoth – Red
76. nä – nehmen
77. a-no – auch noch
78. na-me – noch mehr
79. me-ko – mitkommen
80. keiki – schauen
81. mäss – Messer
82. tiintz – jeans
83. za-pa – Zähne putzen

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