Carson is 15 months old today, which means he actually started life right around 2 years ago! He is our constant joy. He is also exhausting. I don't think he is a difficult child; actually from my limited knowledge I'm guessing he may be on the easier end of the spectrum. But I don't think parenting a toddler is ever easy. He is so busy! We made the decision not to do much (any?) childproofing around here, which means there is lots of trouble for him to get into. I take my eyes off him at my peril.
Wearing dad's glove makes him happy
Wearing dad's glove makes him happy
I realized recently that what truly wears me out through a day with Carson is the constant feeling of resistance. This is just a normal toddler issue. Part of it is a communication problem: he doesn't always know what I want him to do, or why I won't let him do what he wants, and I certainly don't always know what he is asking for or crying over, and so I feel I must drag him past whatever it is he wants, through the activities that must be done (eating, washing, changing...). And then there is the inevitable discipline. He has to learn that limits are set for him, and that he must obey, and that I really do mean it when I say no. I'm sure this is much easier to teach at this age than it would be later, but it is still a draining conflict.
But it's such fun when we're on the same wavelength and headed in the same direction--when he can tell me what he wants and I can make it happen, or when I can tell him what to do and he does it! And when we can play together; today he started a game of throwing a sock back and forth at each other, and this delighted both of us.
He uses about 10 signs at this point (although some of them are similar), including more (also means "I want it"), milk, drink, all done, fan, light, hat, dog, hot, outside. In the past week or so he has shown much more inclination and ability to imitate signs I'm trying to teach him (outside being one), but he also imitates everything I say, so he seems more inclined to learn and use new words than the new signs.
His words number at least 30 now, these being the ones he has independently and appropriately produced repeatedly, not counting the dozens more that he tries to say after me: cheese, banana, tea, avocado, car, shoe, book, snow, tree, keys, water, milk, light, bottle, bye-bye, night-night, backpack, outside, cracker, spoon, bowl, bath, down, swing, foot, toe, teeth, chair, jacket, blankie... Of course, his versions are not precisely correct. I've counted them if they are intelligible in context. Cheese, tea, tree, and keys sound rather similar, but there are differences and you can always tell which one he means. Blankie actually sounds a lot like baby, and he also says "ween" for tangerine; maybe I shouldn't count those! He's picked up most of these words just since Christmas--it's amazing how fast he's developing these days.
Some of the more adorable things he does include clapping for himself when he's proud (especially when he's stacking blocks, something dad recently taught him how to do), meowing at the cats if they are noisy around him (he really gets into meow-wow-yowing at them), and when we ask if he's tired and wants to go to bed and he responds "ny-ny" with audible relief. He goes down for naps and bedtime easily as long as he has one of his favorite fuzzy mini-blankies, which almost never fail to make him happy. Today he found a large soft fleece blanket that belongs to him but that the cats have been sleeping on for months and was quite taken with it. He immediately lay down on it and said "ny-ny", then dragged it to his room and tried to put it in his crib. What could I do? Of course it is washed and in his crib tonight.
He will go to his high chair on his own if we talk about eating, to his room to be changed if I announce "diaper change!", and to the bathroom if I tell him it's time for a bath. He'll fetch his shoes or hat or a book on command, and will go put his book back on the shelf if asked. A concept I was impressed that he understood this week was downhill; after we went on a walk where we went up and down a hill and talked about it, he volunteered "down" as we went down from the top of a footbridge a few days later. He also understands that cars go on roads and will point the road and say "car!". Getting him to stay off the road may not be so easy!
He is generally an excellent eater and likes everything except broccoli so far. He is just getting to the stage where he can't see us eating without insisting on having some too, even if he just ate a big meal. Cheese, avocado and just about any fruit seem to be his favorite foods. He's getting pretty good with a fork if the food is of a consistency to stab well, but his spoon skills leave much to be desired.
I told you I might bore you with my scrapbooking (or baby-booking) excesses! I promise next time my update will be shorter :^)