Big Transitions

01.27.11 17 months old


So. It’s been a very busy month here in the Flaim household. Since last summer we’ve been sporadically looking for a rental in Cambridge that would give us parking, laundry, another bedroom (it’s been a real bummer having our families stay in hotels for a week at a time during visits) and, most important, a first-floor entrance. Our condo had 52 stairs from sidewalk to front door—yes, I counted—and it was slowly killing me.

Anyway, in mid-December we finally stumbled on an amazing place in a completely ridiculous location, one that we’d frequently walked around saying “maybe one day when we’re old we’ll be able to live here!” We lucked into one of the only rentals in the neighborhood, and it’s a huge place that was in the process of being de-leaded! (For those who don’t live in a town like Boston with lots of old buildings, de-leading is a major headache for homeowners and renters in old buildings. Most landlords who haven’t de-leaded (which costs $10K-30K) won’t even show a place to a family because if the child ends up testing positive for lead the landlord will be forced to de-lead.) ANYWAY, this place is amazing but it was a bit of a back-and-forth getting it to work out, and then we had to find renters for our condo, and then it was Christmas, and then OMG we moved January 13. There was a crane involved (for the piano). Tuck was in heaven, obviously.

Oh, and our babysitter basically vanished 10 days before the move, and officially quit 3 days after.

Long story not-very-short, I’ve barely started to come up for air!

The amazing news is that this new place is so much better for Tuck. It’s much roomier, not just in square feet but in layout—more open, more room to run, a patio area and shared driveway where we can go play outside for a couple minutes at a time, and....*drumroll*...a PLAYROOM in the basement! The playroom isn’t very exciting yet, but it’s newly carpeted and is going to be amazing this winter. I’m just so thrilled to know I can park my car outside and walk straight in without dragging Tuck and groceries a block or two and then up all those stairs.

The babysitter thing was upsetting but I posted on my alma mater’s job board and quickly got about 15 responses from girls looking for regular babysitting gigs. I’ve hired someone already for a couple of the days I need, and hopefully will have someone for the last day by next week, which I hope means I can get my work done, finish unpacking the house, and generally pull our lives back together.

Tuck has dealt relatively well with the move, but it’s been a huge transition. He was ok while we packed (my Mother-in-Law, who deserves to be sainted, came for a few days before and after to help out with packing and with watching him), but the last day I started to pack up his books and he lost it. I started crying too—he was devastated, and no matter what I said he just kept sobbing and trying to pull the books back out. Oh god, heartbreaking.

Since we moved he’s been sleeping ok at night, but not napping very well, and he’s been WAY clingier and more tantrumy than usual. Lots of sobbing about nothing much, or completely losing it over not getting something he wants. I have a feeling the combination of hitting 17 months and this huge change have just thrown him off-kilter, and I hope he gets back to normal relatively soon.

The toy situation was pretty limited for a while there, since everything was packed and jumbled and is still not quiet in place. Luckily as long as Tuck has the truck books I mentioned last time he’s pretty happy. He is seriously obsessed with construction vehicles, and can point out every single one in the books if you quiz him. On that note, he’s become very attached to the digger (“Bo!” for backhoe) from his little Plan City Toys construction vehicle set. It’s been so unseasonably warm that we’ve been spending lots of time mucking around outside, playing with sticks and gravel and things. And when we did get a little snow last week, we had a hilarious time playing in it: Tuck hated it at first and was totally offended by how it stuck to his already—offensive mittens, but he liked digging with his sand toys.

My continuing challenge right now is food. He’s gotten pickier and pickier, especially because we have tried to really cut back on how many of the Plum Organics pouches he eats. It’s hard—he loves them and they’re packed with great fruit and vegetables, stuff he won’t eat whole. But he was getting to a point where he’d just yell for pouches and refuse to eat real food! I really biffed his whole eating....plan, I think, relying too much on the pouches and falling down on offering normal adult table food, in part because we weren’t having many dinners that translated to leftovers, anyway. Ugh. So by earlier this week all he wanted were graham crackers, shredded cheese, and fruit pouches. I finally put my foot down and offered him his dinner—corn and bread with hummus, stuff he likes—and explained that it was the only option. He literally didn’t taste one bite, even of the bread. He yelled, pushed it away, and pointed at the cupboard where crackers and pouches are. We sat for half an hour while he screamed at me, and then he had his bath, we offered the hummus again, he rejected it, and we put him to bed. I was so upset—it felt just like sleep training, complete with me crying out of guilt, but my friend S, who is a pediatrician, told me he would be totally fine, and sure enough he slept until 7 and had a nice big breakfast the next day. I’ve decided I have to just start controlling it more or he’ll be eating crackers and shredded cheese until he’s 11.


Last thing and then I have to run: After all those words popped up around his birthday, Tuck stopped talking while he figured out walking. Now it seems like he’s about to explode with language. It’s the cutest thing in the world to hear him literally find his voice—this sweet little voice pops up, “Hiii! Uh-Oh! Byyyyye!” Agh, it kills me. Combined with much better signing of “More, please,” and the addition of nodding “yes,” communication is finally getting so much better!