Saturday, November 26, 2011

Caleb: 17 Months

17 months. Before I was a parent, I wondered why when I asked a toddler's age I got the answer in months instead of years. I mean really, couldn't you just say "1" or even "1 and 1/2", but "17 months"? Really?

Of course, now that I'm a seasoned veteran (hahahahahaha!)I know it's because the 12 month old who had barely figured out how to put food in his own mouth, hadn't even learned to point yet, wasn't walking and didn't sign or use language in no way resembles my almost-one-and-a-half year old. In fact, my 17 month old doesn't even really resemble my 15 month old. We're steadily moving from older-baby/pre-toddler into full blown toddlerhood.

We were so excited at 12 months when Caleb started standing without holding on

17 month olds say, "See you later, alligator!"

This month, Caleb has really begun to assert his independence. He doesn't want his diaper changed, he doesn't want his teeth brushed (toddler toothpaste to the rescue...), he thinks he's hot stuff because mommy lets him walk around with a water sippy cup instead of confining him.

Clearly thrilled about being allowed to walk around with his sippy

He loves imitating us. Here he is pretending to be mommy

Now pretending to be daddy

Back to mommy again

It can be very challenging at times, especially when something that is usually a "yes" becomes a "no" (he wants to go outside when it's pouring, for instance). However, it is really exciting to see him becoming his own person. I know this is all part of the process (and I will keep repeating that to myself as I take deep, deep breaths...)

Caleb's language skills have taken another big step this month. Although his clear words are still limited to "ball, 'ello, and uh-oh" his babble is beginning to resemble "real" words more and more often. So many times he is clearly trying to say "more" (Mo!), "all done" (A-doe!), etc. He also says "yeah". He also started saying "moo" when he sees a cow. It's sooo adorable!

We've seen a huge leap in his understanding as well. When reading Go, Dogs, Go (for the 1000th time) he pointed to the page with the boat and water and started signing "bath". When he sees the banana in his "b" book, he signs "eat". If we talk about "night-night" or say "are you sleepy?" he pretends to sleep on the spot. He also waves bye-bye when people leave and signs bath when he's ready to start his bed time routine. It's so incredible to go from having to carry him and make choices for him to being able to say, "Are you ready for night nights?" and have him run into my arms and start sucking his thumb. Or have a tantrum. He is a toddler after all : )

Caleb, are you ready to go night-nights?

What happened next was not such a Kodak moment

Our little daredevil continues to be fearless in the face of danger. While at the playground with my parents, he decided he was a big boy and could climb the giant ladder to the slide all on his own. He did frighteningly well with Daddy spotting him.

Reaching the top

Worth the effort

This month also has the distinction of bringing a bittersweet milestone. My little guy has officially weaned himself from day time feedings. We're down to one short nurse in the morning and one longer one before bed. It's amazing how much my feelings and goals towards nursing have changed since we got the news we'd be having a baby.

Before he was born, I definitely wanted to nurse for a year. Afterwards, during those hard first weeks of nursing that felt unending, I just wanted to make it to 6 weeks, when I heard it got better (it did!). Then, as his first birthday rolled around, I knew neither of us was ready to wean. I hoped it would happen naturally sometime between his first and second birthday. Obviously, that's exactly what's happening...and yet I'm still a little sad. If had told me a year ago I'd have this response, I would have been a little surprised.

There were several times during the first year I felt a bit "trapped" by the feeling that I couldn't be away from Caleb longer than the space between feedings (3-4 hours) without pumping, which I am terrible at. However, I find that nursing a toddler is actually lots of fun. I can miss a feeing and it was no big deal since he's quite proficient with his sippy cup and cow milk. He needs to be held so much less, so those cuddle times are extra treasured. He's also a huge daddy's boy these days, so it's nice to feel needed.

All that said, I am really excited he feels ready to take this step, excited to see yet another sign my baby is growing up and increbily humbled and thankful that we've been able to nurse so long.

This month also included a wonderful visit to Florida with friends and family, but you'll have to wait to read all about it in Thanksgiving- Part I : )

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