What an absolutely amazing month this has been. Our budding toddler has officially blossomed!
Watching Caleb's language develop has been like watching a pot come to a boil. You can see the bubbles forming below the surface of the water and hear the hum before anything actually makes it to the surface. All last month we saw those bubbles forming. His comprehension sky rocketed. He seemed to understand almost everything we asked him to do.
The first week of this month, the first bubbles of language exploded onto the surface. Suddenly, Caleb was calling us "Mama" and "Dada" most of the time, instead of only occasionally. He began saying "yeah", "Hi", and "Bye" with authority and meaning. As the month went on he added, "Bye-Buh" (Bible), "Mo-wah" (more), "dur-dle" (turdle), and "Again" to his list of words. He's also got a list of words only David and I can understand, like "Me-yah" for "milk" and "Tay-do" for "thank you". It's been incredible to watch. I've found myself tearing up with the same emotions I felt watching him take his first steps. So so proud...and a little sad about how fast this is all happening.
Telling me the lion sculpture in the neighbors yard says "Roar!"
Caleb's special gift has always been shapes. He loves puzzles, shape sorters, nesting cups, snapping himself in the highchair, etc. Needless to say, we are big on outlet covers around here... This month, he took it a step further. He can now point to a circle, triangle, square, heart, star and oval when asked and sometimes recognizes other shapes like rectangle, half circle, diamond, etc.
Caleb's stuffed animal friends are playing a really big role in his life right now. He loves to nurture them by feeding them, putting them to sleep, etc. They tag along in the carseat, stroller, and shopping cart. They even help him with his chores around the house. Puppy especially likes to hand laundry to mommy.
Bear needs a bib.
Our compromise for messy food.
Puppy plays ball!
This month also brought that dreaded milestone...the first public tantrum. We'd had a good morning and just arrived at the grocery store. I let Caleb walk in the parking lot and he did a great job holding my hand. I typically let him ride in the child-friendly grocery carts shaped like cars. Today, being no exception, he ran right over to them. I told him to hop in, and he pointed to the identical cart, further back, wedged between a pillar and the cart I wanted him to get into.
"This cart Caleb." I encouraged.
More pointing, starting to fuss.
"Caleb, mommy said this cart." I pick him up and start to put him in (I'm never sure if he is fully understanding me just yet).
He understood alright. Back arching, screaming, limbs flailing.
"Caleb, you have a choice. This cart (pointing) or a normal grocery cart (pointing).
"Ok, you made your choice. Normal grocery cart."
At this point he actually chilled out quite a bit. I was ready to shrug it off, but as I started to place him in the cart...
Screaming, flailing, kicking, pointing back to the car carts. We are really attracting attention now.
"No Caleb, you chose this cart." I offered him his milk and stuffed him in during the 2 seconds he took to process my question.
Realizing he was strapped in, he let out one more dramatic scream for good measure and proceeded to enjoy the rest of the trip like nothing had happened. I was quite rattled and couldn't believe he settled down so quickly after all that fire!
He had two more tantrums that day, and one each day for several days afterwards, but they seem to be settling down again. I'm sure he'll continue to test his boundaries, that's part of what this age is about after all. I'm quickly realizing that there is no handbook for motherhood and that just as I get the hang of one thing, something else will come along to make me realize I have no idea what I'm doing.
Despite the difficulties that come with toddler territory, Caleb is still a really fun little guy to be around. At play date this weekend, his buddy Braydon was about to grab a toy Caleb had placed near him, but wasn't playing with at the moment. Caleb's first instinct was to snatch it out of Braydon's reach, but when David encouraged him to share, he gave it to his friend who said, "Thank you." in his sweet toddler voice. Braydon then played with it a few seconds and handed it back to Caleb who said, "Tay-do" also. Precious!!!
He was even willing to share daddy's lap! A big step for our little guy : )
And of course, there are some just-plain silly moments...Last week, while folding laundry, I held up a sock and asked Caleb to find the match. To my surprise, he dug through the very full laundry basket and handed it to me! While I stood there, motherly pride welling up inside of me, my baby einstein promptly put a pair of my underwear on his head. Toddlers! : )
Very proud of himself...