17 months

Jman at 17 months. Wow. What a person. so determined. So capable of remembering and making plans.

As an example, there’s a cafe near us we don’t go to very often. And about four weeks ago, we went there, and for the first time, as he’s older, I let him go to a play table in the corner and play with the trucks and cars and wooden fruit there. He loved it, so much so I was worried the frozen food in our shopping would defrost.

Two weeks later, we went in. I was planning on a take away coffee, but as I’m ordering, he shouts “truck! Truck!”, pointing to the barely visible table in the corner with the toys. He couldn’t see it from where we were. Amazeballs.

Here’s another example of scary good memory. Finds a gift bag from Xmas. Says “gandma! Choc? Gandma! Choc! Choc?”. I had to stop and think. In the gift bag, when he got it, was a chocolate Lindt bear from grandma.

If he gets bored now, he stands at the front door making requests. Shop? Park? Walk? (Walk Woo woo woo puddypuddypuddypuddypa boat? Woo woo? Car?) Meaning : can we go on a walk to see the cars, cats, and dogs please mum?. “Walk, key?” means can we go to the yard and try and unlock the garage with the keys?

Vocabulary at 17 months (that he can say. Heaps more words comprehended. Not a brag list, a memory aid for us).

Mum
Dad
Bub
Grandma
Uncle ray
Bec
Santa
Spoon
Fork
Drink

Bowl
Plate
Kick
Clap
Hat
Shoe
Sock
Toast
Apple ( very new and very clear)
Pear

Clock (cock)
Car
Truck
Bike
Plane
Ute ( a new one right on Xmas when presented with a matchbox ute)
Choo choo
Bath
Tea
Choc ( chocolate. I blame gandma. Often requested at breakfast time. There is no hope.)

Pea
Chicken
Giraffe (jar aaa)
Zebra
Door
Key
Book
Woo woo woo (dog)
Puddypuddypuddypuddypa ( cat)
Bird

Boat
Bread
Yaaaaay
Hooray
Party
Walk ( new in the last few days)
Up
Peg
Stuck (stuck! Stuck!)
Horse

Turtle
Toot toot
Star
Tree
Milk
Light
Cup
Shower
Towel
Flower (fow ah)

Plant
Cheese
More (about everything now, not just food)
Shop?
Press?
Bye bye
Crane
One
Two
Three

Four
Five
Six
Seven (seben)
Nine
Ten
( he counts, but not in order. Eight is not popular )
Whale
Cloud
Sss ( pointing to letter s on the nursery wall)
Cake

Fish
Gnocchi (it used to be gna, but now it’s gnock)
Pasta
Stick
Duck
Cow
Goat
Pad ( for ipad)
Twinkle
Gone (aw gone)

Ta
Please (peas)
Crab (cab)
See?
Some!
Ball
Wall
Tickle
Eight ( new!)
Sheep (shup)

Chip
Wow
Sit
Water
Park
Rock
Uh-oh
Pool
Swim

The thing that blows my mind is his in context use of language. It is not mere imitation. People he can label in photographs. He shouts things in the car “cane cane!” When we drive past a big crane we haven’t even noticed. There are many other words he has said, this is just his working vocabulary, things he says all the time.

There are quiet sentences that I am sure are happening all the time (press it, I do it, some more…open it, turn on etc, but they run together and are muddled and hard to decode).

New developments in play / doing:
* walking in a circle
* walking backwards ( even up a stair, he loves it)
*grabbing my hand and dragging me when he wants to go for a walk / show me something / get me to do something
*grabbing the keys and trying to get the key in the lock (when I don’t cooperate he tries to open locks with a feather or a leaf!)
*Being able to turn lights on and off
* trying to screw on lids
* very occasionally kicking a ball
*handing out cups of tea and fake toast from his Xmas pretend play gear
* doing squats. I blame my 12 days of Xmas fitness challenge. I have video of him killing himself laughing as I do burpee box jumps. There is no video of me doing burpee box jumps. Never will be.
*hugging, mostly from behind!
* kissing! Love it. Very wet. And blowing kisses.

I can hardly keep up with the vocabulary changes, or indeed the changes in motor skills. Climbing up the back of the lounge to stand on the top of the backrest? No problem. Getting a key in a lock? Sure can. Finally turning pages in books (he was slow on this one) and loving it. Asking for a particular app on the ipad (lalalalallala means he wants the Sandra Boynton ebooks). Downsides: pulling wrought iron dining chairs down on his face. Ouch. Running on the bed. Climbing in and out of the bath unaided. Danger! danger! warning!

We have more tantrums now, mostly of the “why can’t we keep walking outside why do we have to come in” variety. A couple a day. They generally involve dramatic hand on forehead gestures and laying down on the floor crying. There’s also the new getting dressed tantrum. Not sure what’s going on there. It’s usually easy to see them coming it my distractions don’t always work. Often don’t work.

The just getting through has mostly passed, and I have a lot of moments in the day where I look at him and he looks at me and I think “you. Are. Just. Amazing”. It is like a crazy grown up version of that mutual gaze I had with him as a newborn.

He is deliberately silly more. And ridiculous in his attempts to join in singing songs and doing gestures. I can’t believe how much he knows. It’s like the big payback for all those months of feeling like an idiot singing to an unresponsive blob child have just paid dividends. He has retained everything. He starts singing songs so well now, I know which one to join in. Random “walking down the street lets sing a song” songs that come out of nowhere. “Hey mum. Check this? Up above the….”. gotcha kid. Yep, let’s twinkle twinkle.It’s so cool. Which means it’s definitely time to move onto rock n roll.

Here’s an amusing video.
jman counts ish and twinkle twinkles

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The reason for the season

Jman has has another word explosion (more on this in a future post), which made Christmas even more entertaining.

I didn’t quite expect:
A) to already be assembling presents late into the night Xmas eve and Xmas eve eve
B) for him to shout “yaaaaaay!” And clap each time he saw a present (and then say, and sign, more)
C) for him to open the present then demand in his jargoning jibberish for the box to be removed so he could see what was inside
D ) for him to be so conscious of Xmas this year, to understand so much, and to enjoy it so much. He holds a copy of our Santa photo and points: “mum”. yes that’s mum “dada!”. yes, that’s dada. “San!” yes, that’s Santa. “tree!” yes, that’s a Xmas tree.

It was nice to have a celebration where I felt I had a little thinking communicating person on board, not a baby, and it gave a reason and a forward momentum to the season. Slightly edgy with the imminent return to work, but at last feeling like a mother with a child to care for, not an infertile with a bonus baby…just a real family.

I wasn’t very happy in the lead up to Xmas for a number of reasons, (some in my previous post), but it all pales into insignificance when you see your boy meeting his new toy kitchen for the first time.

Our stockings are full.

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16 months

Wow a lot can change in a month.

Running.

Word explosion.

I can’t even list everything he can say anymore. Honestly. It changes every day, every few hours I’m saying “how do you know what that’s called?” He is a sponge. He soaks everything up.

Old words:Tree (twee!) ,Bird, Car, Mum, Dad, Bub, Bath (bart), Grandma, Bye, Hi, Toast ( pronounced toat), Pear (all fruit and some veg is “par! Par!), Shoes (sues! Also covers socks, and toes), Cake (keck), Tickle tickle, Cheese (chee), Plane, Pup, Ted, Cat, Up, down, pasta, gnah! (gnocchi, usually pesto).
New words: some, jump, stomp, truck, bike, bus, goodbye, keys, cup, door, press, chicken, turtle, tip, stop, ….and sentences “some more” (sounds a bit like summa, with the sign for more done very clearly), “i press it”, “I tip”, and there’s others that are repeated strings of sounds which I know what they mean but I can’t quite decipher. There’s one “cub di car” which usually means ” I’d like some of this can you open it please”. There’s another string of sounds that means “no I’m not finished, let’s keep doing this”, and it’s the same string of sounds each time.

The tornado thing has settled down, a touch. Perhaps it comes with more coordination, he burns off his energy faster, then stops. Who am I kidding? He hardly every stops. But it isn’t as bad as it was. Maybe I’m just better at understanding how to operate within toddler parameters.

He’s fast. and silent. I leave him in the lounge room vrroom vroom vroooming a car around his parking garage, I go to drain the 70th bowl of gnocchi he’s asked for this week and he’s suddenly, silently, right beside me. He’s a ninja.

He delights in the attention of other people. The more the better. He’s very social, and a bit of a show off.

He’s funny. Mad after his bath, trying to settle him down with a breastfeed, and he’s being silly.
“Jensen! Stop being a psycho chicken!”
He pulls off the boob. Looks me in the eye. Quick as lightning: “Bock bock bock.”

He is growing in independence, in a two steps forward one step back cha cha cha kind of way.

He initiates games and songs. Like this week at play group, he found a gum nut and spent about ten minutes throwing it into the air, chasing it, picking it up and throwing it again, laughing. Row row row the boat is the song of the week, and he starts rocking back and forth and tries to sing it, starting an mm sound on the “merrily merrily” part. He initiates twinkle twinkle, open shut them, and incy wincy spider

Play developments: more copying and pretending, like answering pretend phone calls, putting on deodorant, brushing his hair. More initiating play, like running to me with one animal magnet after another, asking what sound each one makes and for me to tell him about the animal. Our nightly walks continue, though he’s clearer about the beginning and end now, and also responds to warnings like “once more then we go inside” without too much fuss. He’s getting much better at transitions; “bye bye playground” when we’ve finished at the park. “Bye bye bath” when we pull out the plug. There’s not as much fighting about these switches in activity now, provided I give warnings that there’s a transition coming up, and build in some elasticity when he’s very involved in something.

Toys of the week are cars.

Let me just say I’m an extremely patient woman. He must say “car” to me 200 times a day. I am not kidding. Each time I respond and chat. Like I’ve never heard it before. He carries little cars everywhere. He was really good on a long walk on Monday, and I bought him two matchbox cars at the shops. You have never seen anyone so happy as him coming home from the shops, sitting In the pram, one in either hand, banging the wheels together.

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He says car in his sleep, with different intonations, about a dozen times every night.

It is a mark of love how your child changes your view of the world. Where perhaps you saw traffic, now you see “car”, “truck”, “bus”. Where previously I hurried through the car park to get to where I was going, now we stop and soak up the view of the cars. I am on the lookout for the wowowowowowos, and the puddypuddypuddypuddypa ‘s and the birdies, because that is what is interesting to him. I love the sound(and sight) of him lugging a watering can bigger than he is across the threshold, with the demand to drop everything I’m doing, fill it up, water the plants, then let him make a god awful mess with the water that is left because he loves it.

He is such a person now. At once easier and harder to deal with. More stubborn, but also more understanding of first this then this. He remembers , so situations that he had to relearn each time his now remembers, and doesn’t find as difficult….for example at mums n bubs boxing class, when I need to do a shuttle run away from the pram he remembers how the thing goes and how I come back. You can see it in his eyes oh yeah, this bit, I remember this.

He assigns roles to us both. Only mum is allowed to read to him if both of us are here. It’s mum he goes to if he’s hungry. Only dad plays with the parking garage, and puts him to sleep.

He delights me more, and frustrates me less. He is so engaging. Perhaps part of that is the clock ticking it’s countdown to the end of maternity leave in a mere matter of weeks. I dread leaving him. It fills me with anxiety. But I also know our bond is excellent and that this will help him in the transitions ahead.