Day Five: The family head – Friday 19 June 2015

I want to talk about injuries around the home.

Milo, I believe, is in a high risk category; he is adventurous and appears to have no sense of self-preservation, he has a strong little dancer’s body which he got from his mum and weird powerful little legs like a Kazakh boxer. He also has the family head, which is large. I would conservatively estimate 1/4 of his entire weight is above his shoulders; potentially around 2kg. He also has an unusually tiny bottom for a cranium of that size. The scenario, I am sure, is clear to you. Milo clambers up everything, his strength and determination far exceed his balance and sense. He is therefore terrific at getting himself into compromised positions, but less terrific at getting out of them. His solution is oft to just release his hands and land on his bum, hoping this will be sufficient to counter his momentum. It usually is for a moment, until his weighty head passes his centre of gravity and carries the whole thing backward in an unpredictable and fast moving sprawl.

For example; yesterday Milo managed to clamber into a cardboard box, about 2′ x 1′ and about a foot deep. It had some ballast inside which enabled him to get up and over the lip like a slug. He kind of lowered himself in cheek first while grunting, and then contorted his lean little body until he was sitting upright, as if he were piloting a go-kart. With a beaming smile on his face he then commenced humping back and forth, squawking and slapping at the dangling lid of the box which resulted in a satisfying springing action. I sat and watched this unfold, giggling but otherwise offering no assistance or encouragement (our philosophy on this in a moment). Inevitably of course Milo tired of this entertainment and then sought to extricate himself. Not his strong suit.

I was hovering but trying my best not to assist. After thinking on his strategy for a couple of seconds Milo concluded his best option was to rock the box forward until it tipped. He would then, he hoped, be able to successfully cushion his fall with his forehead (his arms were quite useless, trapped inside the box). Milo swiftly moved his plan from concept to execution and plummeted forward, using his large head as an effective pendulum. Due to my hovering I was able to stick my palm out and catch his forehead just before it made contact with the carpet. Milo, unfazed, giggled and crawled away in his jaunty style, likely in pursuit of a passing cat.

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The box

This was a situation in which I intervened because it seemed possible he could really scuff up his face if things went awry, but usually I don’t. In fact usually I try not to watch because it is pretty hair-raising. I can hear him clambering and humping away, standing on his tip-toes and laughing maniacally when a good flat-footed pose and solid concentration would be more appropriate. To begin with this policy resulted in regular tumbles and tears leading to lumps and scratches; I figured unless he experienced these ailments he would never put forth the effort to improve his extrication skills. There are obviously flaws in this policy but I think he is improving. Kuepps and I have removed all objects that may offer serious danger, like big heavy didgeridoos standing upright on wobbly stands with their centre of gravity about a metre above Milo’s head, and the wardrobe that is shaped liked a staircase leading to nowhere, but that’s about it. He now seems to value his body a little more and is easing his way down a little before adopting the face down parachute position for the last few inches. But there are still daily tumbles and his face does look a little like there are wild blackberry bushes growing in his bedroom. This is one of the many parenting dilemmas we face which I am sure continues forever in this theme with greater and greater consequence as they grow. To hover or not to hover, tough one. Hopefully the rest of his body will catch up with the family head soon, and at least for now make that decision easier for us.

So yesterday was family fun-day (Kuepps’ day off) so no blog. Today is Friday and grandma (Lali) and grandpa (Papa) returned from lots of places, but most immediately New York at 0620hrs this morning. That is prime Milo time so we drove out to the airport to meet them. It was a miserably rainy, cold morning so Kuepps took the opportunity to dress Milo in his blue bear onesie from Target; all man-made fibres, quite flammable looking, massively overspec’d for any climate outside of winter in Vladivostok, but really really cute.

Milo was delighted to receive a series of New York Knicks onesies from Lali, including a replica jersey-onesie thing featuring the overpriced man himself Carmelo Anthony. It brought a tear to my eye to see him in Knicks paraphernalia but internally I was apologising to Milo for the lifetime of basketball mediocrity I have now committed him to.

To get full value for the blue bear Milo had his first sleep in it, and then out we went again to take on the baristas. Surely this time. I perched the little smiley blue bear on my hip and ordered my coffee; “small or large” was the only reply, damn it. Good god, he has tiny little adorable blue bear ears on top of his head, he’s irresistible! Apparently not. We took our take away and trudged home in the rain to put on some more practical clothes.

Shortly after we returned we got the great news that Kuepps was on her way home, early mark due to office relocation. So we all went out to lunch together, Milo again eating a wide array of interesting foods and very much enjoying seeing his mum’s face in the daylight. Unfortunately Kuepps offered Milo some sweet potato puree which was a little warm. This soured Milo’s mood, and he sulked for the rest of the meal.

Hopefully the weather will improve over the weekend and we can test out Milo’s new bike carriage in the park (another example of me attempting to force my hobbies on him).

  • Number of kale seedlings planted – 6
  • Hours spent worm-farming – 0
  • Hours spent researching alternate internet plans – 2
  • Phone calls to the sheriff’s office to be excused from jury service – 1
  • Hours spent re-oiling the outdoor furniture – 0
  • Podcasts listened to – 1
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