Saturday, February 28, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: 15 months: The good, the bad, and the basically competent

1. Tad turned 15 months old last week and I've been saying this for ages but he really looks more like a little boy than a baby now. It makes me broody.

He had his checkup this past Wednesday. He was 30.25" long and weighed 22 lbs 12 oz, a gain of 1.25 inches and 1 lb 10 oz since his last appointment 3 months ago. I keep waiting for him to hit the weight gain plateau everybody talks about, especially considering he's so active, but apparently his insatiable appetite is good for something.

I had the clever idea to bring along his little wooden truck to the appointment, so after he sobbed indignantly through being weighed he sat happily driving it back and forth and saying "Bruu bruu bruu." Then the resident (our pediatrician's practice is a teaching practice) came in and he stared at her soberly and silently while continuing to push the truck back and forth. (He didn't resume sobbing indignantly until she actually started to examine him. Stethoscopes are EVIL, y'all.)

I hope the resident got some practice not phrasing questions in confusing ways, because she needs it. First she asked if we were "both still at home with him" and after Scott and I conferred with our eyes I decided to cover all bases and say, "We both live with him, I stay home, he (Scott) works." Apparently she was going for the first part. I'm sure these it's common even for toddlers to have one parent not living with them, but it still weirds me out every time they ask.

Then later she asked if we "play with his teeth" and we were kind of like: ???? She clarified that she meant toothbrushing. "Ohhhhh. Yeah, we brush his teeth."

After she asked some more questions and did an exam and praised Tad's awesomeness (because he's obviously awesome), our regular ped came in and got major brownie points for bringing up a concern we'd raised a couple of months ago and making sure to get an update (everything's going fine now) and being generally awesome and competent. I think my standards are low when "competent" and "awesome" are basically the same thing, but there you have it.

We went with this pediatric practice because they were the only one we could find that took our insurance and had openings for new patients (we had our "new patient orientation" literally 4 days before Tad was born, so it was definitely down to the wire) and ended up with this particular primary doctor because he was the one who happened to have an opening when Tad was 5 days old. (When your baby is born on a Wednesday and you don't get home until just before close of business Friday and you need an appointment on Monday, you can't afford to be picky.) I was irrationally grouchy about that for a long time (I like feeling like I have a choice) but now I'm starting to appreciate how lucky we were.

2. It amazes me how good Tad is at walking now considering he wasn't taking more than a few steps here and there at the beginning of the year. The other day he amused himself by walking backwards all the way down our long main hallway, and in the last couple of days he's decided to start marching--just marching around like an itty-bitty soldier at intervals for no apparent reason. It's kind of adorable.

3. He's also up to at least 13 teeth. He's had the 8 incisors for a while; the molars have been coming in slowly since the beginning of December, with #4 poking through at the beginning of this month.

Meanwhile, in late January his first canine (the lower right) began poking through. The other three are on the very brink. I thought I felt the upper left one poking through the other day but now I'm not sure. It's a little hard to feel for teeth when you have to fit your fingers in the small gap between incisor and molar during the 0.005 seconds your child will hold still without biting you.

When the resident asked how he was sleeping I told her it could be worse. (Though not by much.)

4. He's continuing to add new words and signs to his repertoire, and I think his advanced vocabulary really does help with the whining. He still whines, but I can prompt him, "Hey, what do you want?" and he'll generally stop whining and tell me. (Hint: It's usually "milk.") This month's new additions:

- "Ih deh", said when pointing to things. I think it means "right there", but I'm not 100% sure. I'm counting it as a word because he uses it consistently to mean the same thing. ("Hey, look at the blank wall! So fascinating when I'm supposed to be sleeping!")

- "Thi-theh", which means "thank you." It also means "Give me that" and "You're welcome" and "Hey, you need to take this thing!" Words need to be multi-purpose when you know less than 20 of them.

- The sign for "pee." He's a little fuzzy on how it works, since he thinks he has to touch MY nose, but hey, he's trying.

Speaking of, he's been peeing on the potty off and on for the last couple of weeks. He kept running away during diaper changes so he could hide in a corner and pee on the carpet, so we started sitting him on his potty chair once his diaper was off. When he pees in the potty we praise him. When he pees on the carpet we whisk him off to the seat and explain cheerfully that pee goes in the POTTY. If he doesn't pee at all we wait a minute or two, ask him if he's "all done" (this often prompts him to stop bouncing around and actually sit down and pee), and then put him in a fresh diaper.

Scott thinks we should try him in pull-ups, but I am not so sure. Recall which one of us would be home with little Potty Prodigy all day and would have to clean up most of the potential puddles.

5. He also recently mastered drinking out of an open cup, which is fantastic because he won't drink out of the Take and Toss straw cups and I'm too miserly to buy the expensive straw cups that mold after one use. Now, when he asks me to nurse for the 15th time in one day, I ask him if he wants a cup instead and then hand it to him without waiting for an answer. Because seriously, you can't nurse 15 times a day when you're over a year old.

We're not interested in weaning anytime soon (though I'm sure that I'll be ready way before he is) but now that he is over a year I have been feeling a lot less conflicted about setting boundaries. We'll see if that actually leads to a reduction in his overall nursing sessions or if he just asks more in order to compensate.

6. His love of books has really taken off lately. He can sit through Big Red Barn or The Snowy Day in their entirety and will follow me around most of the day shoving books into my hands (or throwing them at me if I refuse to hold out my hand) and insistently saying "Thank you!". (Which in this case means, of course, "You need to take this.")

My tolerance for reading board books is not nearly as big as his tolerance for listening to them. And I won't read the same book twice in a row either. I told him yesterday that we can't do that because the poor book needs a chance to rest in between readings. I should probably feel bad for lying to my child at such a tender age.

7. When he's not throwing books at me he's generally getting into something--his current favorite escapades include snatching things out of the fridge (he's particularly obsessed with the bottles of salad dressing) and using his ride-on car to get things off the dining room table.

It's sometimes hilarious but usually also exasperating. And I have a feeling he'll be able to reach a lot more things before he finally develops some impulse control.

On the other hand, he's been learning how to give hugs and kisses. This toddler phase definitely isn't all bad. :)

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