Growth: Over the past few months people have started to refer to you as tall. We always knew you would be tall based on the fact your Papa and I are both tall, but you’ve become quite the bean sprout as of late. Here are your stats from your 18 month appointment: weight 24lbs 11oz (30%), height 33 inches (70%), head 18 7/8 in. (60%). I’m reminded that all kids grow at their own pace and am encouraged to leave the stress of worrying about your weight, or your brothers weight, behind. Whereas most kids drop weight percentile at your age due to the “thinning out” phenomenon, you’ve gained. You are on your own growth pattern and that’s fine with me. You’re still in a size 4 diaper. Your PJ’s are size 18 months, but you appear to be growing out of these any day now. You wear a size 5 or 6 shoe.
Teeth: You have 15 with one more due any day now, though I’ve been saying that for what seems like months. Those bottom canines have been little white caps since your 17 month recap. The bottom right has come through, but the left still appears to be bothering you from time to time. One more to go. I believe you have all the rest of your teeth, with the second year molars next on the list. Dun dun dun.
Favorites: Your Papa loves stealing kisses from you and will stop at no end. His latest attempts involve bribery by way of putting a raisin in between his teeth and having you eat it out of his mouth. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me sharing with the public that he does with you what many 13 year olds are doing at parties in closets. I somehow doubt even you want to know about these shenanigans of your father’s, but at this age, I have to admit it’s pretty sweet to watch and I’ve been known to put a raisin or two in between my teeth as well. Your love for the trash bins has evolved to now listening for the trash truck, pulling on one of our shirts, directing us to the front door all the while proclaiming “kah”, “kah” (“truck”). You are into books more than ever before. Your favorite is “Hooper Humperdink” by Dr. Suess. It’s about a little boy named Hooper, who is a party pooper, and is not invited to a party. It’s kind of a mean story, but ultimately Hooper is invited to the party so I guess all ends well. I had no idea this book even existed until one of your Papa’s co-workers mentioned it after you were born. One more person with your unique name. Too bad he’s a party pooper. Oh, lets not forget about the broom and other janitorial items. Those still rule your little world. You could spend all day outside and are constantly yanking one of us toward the front or back door. You love to take the car keys and climb into the drivers seat to play with all the buttons and pretend to steer the wheel. Your are developing a love for cars or “gongs” as you call them, constantly riding your vintage playskool giraffe or speedster around the house. We’re contemplating buying you a motorized power wheels. I’ve been checking craigslist for a good deal on a used one. You may just get lucky one of these days.
Sleeping: See that guilty little look on your face in the picture above? You have that little grin because of the socks in your hand. For whatever reason, you love taking your socks off when you wake up and you obviously think this is something that poses a problem. FYI, I have no problem with you taking your socks off. Get on with your barefoot parties. You’re still the champion sleeper and I suppose you always will be. We’re debating transferring you to a toddler bed but are unsure whether giving you that freedom is the best decision. You are perfectly content in your crib and we’re hestitant to create a problem where one doesn’t exist. But, with your brother on the way, we’d like to avoid buying another crib. I’m pushing for the big boy bed, I think it’s time. While we could brag about how good of a sleeper you are until we’re blue in the face, the truth is that you sleep well in your crib or in your car seat. Otherwise, you’re a horrible sleeper. You have yet to be that toddler that falls asleep anywhere and in any position. You have to be confined in crib, otherwise you are too easily distracted and will keep going and going and going. Sometimes I wonder if you would ever fall asleep if your crib magically disappeared. Oh yes, I realize I’ve never discussed your bedtime “routine”. I hesitate to call it a routine because it takes all of 5 minutes. Anyway, since you finished breastfeeding, it has been your Papa’s job to put you to bed. He changes your diaper and puts you in your jam-jams after a nighttime session of tickles and giggles. Papa always has you rolling in laughter on that changing table. When your clean and changed, he brings you out to me. I give you a kiss and you go back to your room with Papa. He throws your blanket over his shoulder, you put your two fingers in your mouth, you rest your head on his shoulder, he sings you “hush little baby” and to bed you go.
Development: You love designating things as your own. Often you will pretend to hand us a toy or some of your food and then just as we’re about to grab it, you’ll pull it back and say “me” with the cutest little grin on your face. It’s a grin so cute that the fact you are being an Indian giver doesn’t bother us. You’re also repetitious. You like to play the “me” game over and over and you like to read “Hooper Humperdink” over and over. You have made the transition from not sitting through a whole book to asking for books to be read from the beginning just as you get to the end. You have a longer attention span and will sit through as many YouTube videos as we put on for you. Your favorite YouTube videos are: “If you’re happy and you know it”, “Hickory dickory dock”, “Five little monkeys”, and anything by the Wiggles. You follow most directions, demonstrating that you know all about the things in your environment. You still like to think of those who love you as your personal slaves; you are the dictator, we are your enslaved soldiers. You pat the ground exactly where you’d like us to sit to read you a book. You grab at our clothing until we follow you wherever you want to go and do whatever it is you want us to do for you. I see the tantrum throwing stage around the corner, but at present you are still relatively easy to redirect or distract. You have become incredibly sociable and love being the center of attention. You draw people in instantly with a came of peek-a-boo. On the flight back from Maui, you initiated a game of peek-a-boo with a nice lady across the aisle. She had you giggling so hysterically that people a few rows up were turning around to see just what in the world was so dang funny. You could barely catch your breath and you stole that woman’s heart instantly. You’re very adaptable and out-going and seem to make friends easily. You have quite an array of facial expressions and a very likable personality. The fact you like doing leg kicks helps your likability as well. Again, following in the footsteps of your Papa. You like nothing more than watching yourself in the long mirror as you kick your left leg up into the air and giggle. You also have a lot of pride in the fact you can go down a step by yourself. You like to do this over and over with a grin that shows you’re overflowing pride. You think you are pretty rad. You have quite the sense of humor and your beaming confidence still looks stellar on you.
Feeding: The days of eating in your highchair are at a standstill. Even if it’s food you like, or what you call “yum yums”, you can only sit for a short period of time. You stand up, throw yourself at your papa or I and the rest of your eating is done “on the run”, so to say. I have a sneaking suspicion that in light of this highchair reluctance and with your brother’s arrival just around the corner, the days of enjoying meals out as a family are on hiatus. With that said, you’ve been much more agreeable with what you eat. You’ll try more things, but don’t appear to like much of what you try. I always try reintroducing things that were previously refused and sometimes you’ll give it another try and other times you won’t. Your favorites seem to remain the same: berries, scrambled eggs, cheese, yogurt, deli meat, chicken nuggets, mac n’ cheese, raisins, peas, corn. You like avocado off and on, same with sweet potato and carrots. Your Papa has been getting in trouble lately for leaving his nighttime cookies out on the coffee table. It’s a momentary tantrum every morning when you awaken, pitter patter those little munchkin feet out to the main room, and discover Papa’s cookies that I don’t allow you to eat on the table. The other morning I transferred them to on top of the kitchen table only to find you climbing onto the table to get them. You are indeed a cookie monster. Like father, like son. Now is probably a good time to let you in on a little secret: When we put you to bed, we stay up late eating cookies or ice cream and watching movies. We thank you for this time. If you had the ability to read and conceptualize this, I’m certain you’d never go to sleep again.
Talking: The world has become a picture book. You are quick to point out all the things you are aware of in your environment. You say too many words to keep track or record of and you exhibit understanding of other words you have yet to use. Your favorite words are “baby”, “quil” for squirrel, “done” and “gone”, “kook-E” for cookie, “wellow” for yellow, “gong” for car, “ka” for truck, “ba” for bird or plane. You also are fascinated with the world above you and love to point out the moon, stars, planes, helicopters, birds, ceiling fans and lights. Just as with the brooms, your love for planes has shed light on just how many planes there are flying over head at all times. We were at the park the other day and in a five minute span I think we saw at least four planes. You know the sounds a sheep, cow, and pig make. When we ask you what a skunk says you wrinkle your nose as if smelling something bad. It’s the cutest. You still like to mimic us by saying “noooo” before touching something you shouldn’t touch or eating something you shouldn’t put in your mouth. You love to wave your hands over Sarah’s food bowl while looking us in the eye and saying “noooo”. Then you proceed to put the dog food in your mouth anyway. In any case, at least you know what you’re doing is wrong. And yes, you still love dog food.
Upcoming: I bought you a potty chair. I have no expectations for you being potty trained anytime soon, but I figure we’ll keep it in the bathroom and start talking about it. You have good knowledge of what “ca-ca” and “pee-pee” are, but I doubt your ability to actually do it in the potty chair at this point in time. You do enjoy sitting on it and you also enjoy taking the potty part out and putting it on your head. Probably better that it has yet to be used. We also bought you a full sized bed that is set up in your new room. We have a guard rail attached but have yet to take the leap to transitioning you over to your new room. I’ve started to take you in there daily to play so that you are used to the room. We’ll also be working on refining your teeth brushing skills. The pediatrician called your teeth “yellow” and I won’t have any part of that. So yes, shitting and pissing in a hat, sleeping in a real bed, and brushing your teeth correctly. Add those to your to-do list, okay? And please hold off on being able to open those closed doors. It’s so nice to block you out of a room by simply closing the door. Stop trying to make my life more difficult with all your developmental milestones, okay?
Oh yes, one last little surprise. I’m totally behind on sharing these little videos, as they are already a few months old. Not sure why I procrastinated, uploading to YouTube has proven to be a breeze. But anyhow, enjoy these little videos of you dancing. You still love music and beg, always, for the Ipod or record player to be on.