Sunday, April 10, 2011

One and a Half

Our baby Carson is 18 months old today. He's growing up into a smart, curious, talkative, good-tempered, handsome, and generally charming little boy. I know, I'm his mom, but it's honestly true. Just yesterday I had total strangers tell me how sweet, well-behaved and darling he is; they offered to trade him for their cat.

But today he had a bad day. Maybe it was the cumulative effects of two days of mom working followed by two days of weekend lack-of-schedule running around. Maybe he's catching my cold; maybe he's teething. In any case, he was cranky all day, crying at hurts and disappointments that normally wouldn't be cause for a batted eyelash, seemingly searching out places and things he's not allowed, and repeatedly, intentionally disobeying instructions I had given him just previously.

And as happens more frequently than it should, his bad day became my bad day. Instead of being the wise, gracious and loving parent he needed to help him through it, I got frustrated, gave up trying to comfort him, selfishly bewailed the nap I didn't get because he could not/would not nap himself this afternoon, whined right back when he cried at me. It was not my worst hour, but it wasn't anything to be proud of. By dinnertime we were both reaching the end of our rope. I was snapping at him for minor infractions merely because there had been so many of them, and it's safe to say I was not in an elevated state of mind.

And then my 18 month old, through his tears and sputtered bits of green bean on his face, wailed "Jesus?" and then "Pray? God." So we prayed. And we sang "Jesus Loves Me." And we both felt better, at least until bedtime. Next time maybe I'll remember to be the mom and point him in the right direction.

Little tidbits from the world of Carson: We bought a forward-facing car seat a couple of months ago for our trip to Portland, hoping it would keep him from disintegrating after the first hour of travel. He definitely prefers having that view (although I still make him ride rear-facing most of the time around town--he's a dinky kid). He likes being able to point things out to me: "Twuck... Odder twuck... twees. Snowing!" And sometimes, "Mountain! Shasta!" However, that view of his now includes what mom and dad are doing up front, which has its downsides. Yesterday I bought a tea for the homeward drive from Ashland, and handed Carson his milk before hitting the road. He was indignant that I was not giving him any of my tea. He asked for it repeatedly ("Tea! Pease.") and getting nowhere, finally ordered, "Share!" (He can't say the "r", but I don't know how to phonetically spell what he said.) Thank you Debbie, Katie and/or Reece for teaching him this at daycare, because I'm certain he didn't learn it at home!

He repeats just about everything we say to him now, using a vocabulary in excess of 300 words I'm sure, and including such gems as "goldfinches" and "moisturizer" (his version sounds like "juwizuh".) "Poopy diaper" is a current favorite phrase. He's also started pointing out text--on aisle signs in the grocery store today, for example--by saying "a, a". When reading books, he can usually interject a key word every page or so if I give him the chance. He does have a preference for sound effects, like the fire engine siren and the fire bell "clang", and the "Bang, huff, toot toot" of the train.

He recently surprised me by pointing out the bicycle (actually very correctly
enunciated), "(gui)tah" and "chewwo" on this page. Oh, and of course
the dog, clock and pot too. He's still working on "saxophone".

This book is his greatest achievement. He can read the whole story--all the words,
leaving out only the "and"s. Actually, he was able to do this a month ago,
but refuses to even look at the book when I try to capture a video.
You'll just have to take my word for it :^)

And I'll try to get some posts up illustrating what else he's been up to besides books and talking for the past few months... if there has been anything else.