Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Caleb: 20 Months

Where did my baby go? This month is the first month Caleb has had more "toddler" days than "baby" days. One big clue that babyhood is fading fast: My big boy no longer needs a morning nap. Not that he's never skipped it before now, but we always knew he'd be a nicer person if he got one. Then, as if a switch flipped, he stopped needing one a few days before Valentine's Day. He still rubs his eyes a bit around 10/10:30, but that's it. No other obvious signs of tired crankiness. He just doesn't need it anymore.

No morning nap means more time to play!

Enjoying our neighbors swing on a sunny, spring-like day (read: high of 55! I have totally acclimated...)

Why won't this sled work?

Giving his friend a ride.

This month also brought one of my favorite "milestones". Caleb loooves snuggling up next to me while I read book after book! I love it because my little ball of energy rarely snuggles. I'm also thrilled that his attention span has grown enough to allow him to enjoy an entire story (or 3!). His current favorites are any book with a cookie illustration (really, we are never living the Christmas cookies we gave him down!) or any book where I make a sound effect (like sneezing or animal noises). He is also obsessed with a Little Critter book called "That's not my Frog". David and I will probably still have it memorized when Caleb is 30. Still, there is something really fun about seeing what he likes. He's no longer just a little baby along for the ride of life!

Special Caleb and Daddy reading time after work.

Caleb added a few words to his vocabulary this month:
He likes to say "baaah" (bath) any time he sees a tub
"Baaaa" (Back- as in, you must go to the back of the slide to go up again)
"Buuuh" (Butt- as in, you sit on your butt to slide)
"day da" (thank you)
"Dah-Dee!" (Daddy!!!)

Although he isn't saying much yet, Caleb is great at following directions. I can tell him we're going downstairs and he's waiting by the door to the basement. I can trust him to hold my hand instead of being carried as we walk to and from the car. He knows the names of all the rooms in our house and most objects. He has a pretty good grasp on the concepts of "up", "down", "in" and "out". Even more complex ideas like "wait" and "gentle" are starting to take root.

Just because he knows the word "gentle" doesn't mean we don't still see some shoving during play dates. I'd actually say that's the #1 thing we are working on right now.

I know I wrote about this last month too, but I am still amazed by how much my little helper really is helping. I feel like my life as a mom has gotten so much easier. From having someone to help put the tupperware in the cabinet as I dry it to moving clothes from the basket to the couch for me to fold, it really saves me some bending! I also really appreciate that when he's helping, he isn't busy making a new mess just as I'm cleaning one up : ) Of course, my directions have to be very specific and often it makes a task take a little longer, but I could have never predicted this level of helpfulness 3 months ago!

Sometimes he can't help me yet, like when I'm loading dirty dishes. His kitchen busy box has been our solution. He loves putting his own pots and pans "away". And yes, I know my cabinet is a disorganized jumble even before the baby toys were added and I'm ok with that : )

This is the first month we have seen lots of conflicting emotions and frustration (aka: normal toddler behavior). He cries for help, but when we come to offer it he pushes us away. Sometimes he just pauses and starts screaming for no apparent reason. Those meltdowns are normally my cue to invite him to the couch for some reading and snuggles.

Sometimes though, experience really is the best teacher. Case in point: Caleb decided he, and only he, could snap himself into his high chair. He practiced and practiced until he was able to do so and didn't even cry when his finger got pinched during one of his attempts. As much as it hurt me to see him hurt, I decided I'd follow his lead on this one. Eventually, he decided he really does need mommy and daddy to help sometimes. Recently, he started holding his hand and signing for us to help buckle him in. Apparently there was one pinch too many. Some days he still likes to try, but he's much more receptive to help now, thankfully!

As much as I love chronicling his milestones and marveling at how quickly he's growing up, my favorite moments are those times we are all together being silly as a family. Here are some photos from a recent photo shoot : )

Family Photo Booth

1 comment:

Stephanie Cunningham said...

haha, I love the photo booth pictures of you three, you look like you're having a blast!

I completely relate to the whole "warm" day thing! It was still below 50 here one day and we were reveling in the warmth and the ability to wear one less layer...we felt so light and warm! My, how us Florida folks have learned to adapt!