Friday, April 3, 2015

Seven Quick Takes: 16 months

Tad turned sixteen months old a while ago (I have been very remiss in my blogging), so here is an update!

"You eat yogurt HOW?"
1. His separation anxiety is definitely better. We went to a park playdate the other day and I was expecting to have a fun time chatting with the other moms but instead spent the whole time chasing after him so he didn't wander off and fall in the creek. It's a lot of work. I kind of miss the days when he would cling to my skirt the whole time.

However, it is nice to be able to leave him playing with his father while I run a quick errand or take a shower without coming back to find him crying hysterically in Scott's arms.

The daddy attachment is getting stronger in general, incidentally--the other day, he woke up from his nap and after cuddling with me for a few minutes toddled over to the gate in the doorway of the "office" (the second bedroom where we keep computers and other stuff Tad isn't supposed to touch) and jabbered emphatically for several minutes. When that failed to produce a result, he toddled into the living room, found his jacket, and started trying to put it on. I could just be reading way too much into this, but I am pretty sure he was trying to get Scott to come out of the office and when Scott didn't respond, decided, "Oh, Daddy must have taken the bus to work today; we should go pick him up."

2. He's turning into a very affectionate little guy. At another playdate he was actually playing with a baby about 9 months old--the other baby was sitting and playing with some balls and then threw them; Tad toddled over and fetched the balls back for the other baby. So the other baby grinned and threw them again and Tad fetched them again. They kept that up for quite a while.

He also loves giving hugs. Earlier today he went back and forth between me and Scott for a good few minutes, just hugging each of us alternately.

Who wouldn't want to hug this baby?
3. His favorite toys right now:

- Books. Always books. He reminds me of those aggressively friendly people handing out pamphlets on street corners. Like, seriously, child, I am in the middle of eating, can I read Big Red Barn in a few minutes? (Spoiler: The answer is no. He will pretty much deposit the book directly on my plate in order to force me to read it to him RIGHT THIS SECOND.)

- Blocks. His fine motor skills are ridiculously advanced for his age. I think the main draw for him is not the "making impressive and developmentally advanced towers" thing, but the fact that the solid wood blocks make nice clunking sounds when whacked together.

Six blocks high!
4. He balances out all this sweetness and light by regularly using his genius to get into as much mischief as possible. For a week or two he went through a phase of knocking over chairs--the chairs weren't in his way or anything, he would just walk up to them and shove them over for no reason. Or because, "Hey, this makes a loud noise when I repeatedly rock it back and forth so it bangs against the wall!" (Our poor neighbors.)

Then earlier this week he decided to switch things up by climbing on the chairs. This terrifies me, since of course there's nothing standing between him and climbing on the counter to play with the steak knives except the fact that he hasn't put 2 and 2 together yet. ("I can shove these chairs all around" + "I can climb on top of them to reach other things" = "FREEDOM!!!")

5. His new favorite word (the only word he's added this month) is "Outside." Usually it sounds something like "Ow die." (It is distinct from "Ih deh," which is what he says when pointing to things other than windows.)

There have been patches of nice weather lately, so we have been making an effort to go ow die occasionally, partly to keep the short one from going stir-crazy and partly because my therapist suggested exercise/Vitamin D as an alternative to antidepressants. (SSRIs have been good to me in the past but I'm just not feeling them right now. Hopefully I'll perk up presently and we won't have to have these conversations and can go back to therapy-ing about other stuff.)

A week later he was wearing mittens again.
6. I think his expressive language acquisition might have slowed down because he's busy working on receptive language. He can understand just about everything we say to him now. (I mean, everything that is concretely related to his little toddler life. He probably doesn't understand when Scott talks about Python hooks at length.) Some examples:

- I tell him, "Do you want to go use the potty?" and he trots over to the bedroom door, points, and waits for me to open it. (And then sometimes declines to actually sit on the potty once I've got his diaper off. It's cool, we're in no hurry.)

- I ask, "Do you want to go unload the dishwasher?" and he trots into the kitchen, waits for me to unlock the dishwasher, opens the door, and pulls out the bottom rack. And then starts pulling stuff out and handing it to me so I can put it away. Lately I've even had success with saying, "Can you put that in this drawer?" (He's tall enough to throw things into the waist-height drawers but not take them out yet, thank you Jesus.)

- I offer, "Do you want a cup of water?" and he trots into the kitchen, points at the cabinet where we keep the cups, and grunts affirmatively.

What do you do when you want a drink
but don't want to put down the ducky?
7. A couple of weeks ago, he decided that he no longer wanted to be worn to sleep. He just kicks his legs and merrily stays awake now, whereas before wearing him and pacing back and forth was the magic bullet of sleepiness. In some ways that's nice (my spine is very happy!) but in other ways not so nice--now the only foolproof method for getting him to sleep is strapping him into his carseat and driving around, and gas prices aren't so cheap that I'm going to do that twice a day. So unless our errands are conveniently timed I basically just have to wait for him to get tired and fall asleep on his own. He is definitely not getting the recommended 13-14 hours of sleep right now.

For example, normally he goes down for his nap around noon, but today apparently he is a pious baby heeding the Lord's admonition to stay awake and keep watch, because he got up around 7:00 and it's currently 2:45 and he is STILL AWAKE. I should probably finish this blog post and go rock him in the La-Z-Boy/offer it up/fantasize about how much chocolate I'm going to eat in about 33 hours.

Overtired baby falls asleep in his lunch.
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Emily said...

Have you tried laying down with him, patting him, pretending you're asleep, etc.? That is how I usually put my toddlers down. Sometimes on the couch is best, so you can lay on your side along the edge of the couch and effectively roadblock the tot (or two tots, in my current case) from running away until they get bored watching you pretend to sleep and fall asleep themselves. The only problem is that often pretending to be asleep puts me to sleep too. :/

The Sojourner said...

That usually results in him pulling my hair, poking me in the eye, and otherwise being so annoying that I give up.