18 Months!

In January, Colt made the transition from the Infant B classroom to Toddler A classroom at daycare. He had already grown s0 much over the last year, I couldn’t imagine what he would learn in the next short 6 months with his new teachers. “What developments can I expect to see?” I asked Ms. Megan. Her answer amazed me.

My little baby, who’s size 12 pants were still baggy, and sleeves too long, now fits just right in 18 month clothes. His tiny feet have outgrown his first shoes, and his second pair of shoes, and now has a whole collection of little sneakers. While he doesn’t seem to have actually grown a single inch, he looks at least 4 inches taller, and at least 5 pounds heavier. We’ll know exactly how much he’s grown at his pediatrician’s appointment next Monday.

Colt’s tiny steps have turned into marches, kicks, and stomps! He climbs, slides, scootches, and crawls around the playground! And just the other day, he used a box of diapers to try and climb on the cabinet in the living room. He can reach and stretch for things he wants on the countertops. And lay on his belly to get toys from under his crib.

Colt speaks! He says a number of words, most often it’s “dada”, “bye bye”, “shoes” and “dog” but I have heard “rabbit”, “cat”, “duck”. He asks for “waffles” for breakfast. And he knows cows say “moo”, and sheep say “baa”. And while being verbal is still hard, he routinely uses sign language to ask for “more”, “water”, and “milk”. He even says “please”. Our bedtime routine includes signs for “bath” and “brush teeth”. And when he’s finished, he says “all done”.

Our daily routine is getting simpler. Though Colt likes to play and pretend to sleep when I wake him up in the morning. Colt is very good at sitting at the table and eating his breakfast while Mike and I get ready for work. Then we get dressed, and he helps me put on his shoes. It’s not always easy getting him into his car seat, but once he’s buckled in , he reads to me his Hello magazine or tells me all kinds of stories I can’t wait to understand. Once at school, he and I practice holding hands and walking together into the building.

Colt is so good for his teachers, Ms. Emily, Ms. Megan, & Ms. Shannon. I am impressed daily with all the activities they do with the kids. His daily sheets are now categorized with subjects like; Art & Sensory, Language, Music/Movement, Fine Motor/Math, Focus Activity, and Physical Fitness. He’s taught manners, and how to clean up. He can tell me where his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, hair, feet and belly button is. He can match colors, seems to understand there is an order to his rings, and knows that his car is for driving. You can ask him to bring you a number of his stuffed animals by their name. And books are still his favorite.

Colt was on bit of a toddler hunger strike for a little while. Things he used to eat were now nearly tossed aside. He’s eating fruit better now, and anything crunchy. I am working vegetables into his diet. His favorites are still mac’n’cheese, and now chicken nuggets. He’ll eat hotdogs, and devour mandarin oranges. Strawberries, bananas, waffles and yogurt are key breakfast items. He eats well with his classmates for snack and lunch. I’ve found that if I just hand him his plate and continue on making my food without really paying attention to him, he’s more adventurous and will try things on his plate. Trying to encourage him only makes him turn his head away or offer it to you in return.

Colt has finally cut one full molar on the bottom right, and the upper right, and lower lefts are peeking out while the upper left is trying to make an appearance. We’ve worked brushing our teeth into our routine. He sits on the counter and “brushes” his teeth, while I brush mine. And then we’ll trade toothbrushes and he “brushes” my teeth while I brush his. Still, putting our tooth brush away at the end tends to lead to a noodle baby tantrum.

I have to be grateful, Colt hasn’t thrown and real in public tantrums just yet. He did fuss quite a bit when he wanted to walk down the path in the park on his own, but wouldn’t offer right of way to the passing bicyclists. He’s usually too busy people watching to throw much of a fit about anything. Our usual arguments are related to “chairs are for sitting, not standing”. Overall he’s a pretty well behaved kid who’s generally happy.

Most of the time I amaze myself at how well I can deal with Colt. I can read the same story with just as much excitement and emphasis the 100th time as I do the first time. Most of the time I am fairly patient with Colt, and can gently say, “no no” or tell him he may get hurt (while also signing the word “hurt”). But there are other times I do still lose my patience. And then I feel guilty. And it’s usually when Mike steps in at just the wrong moment, when I could have used him a second or so earlier. I have found that he knows when I am not paying attention to him. He doesn’t seem to mind if Dada comes in the room and reads a magazine, but if I try to catch up on a news article on my phone, Colt will come over to me and throw himself on my lap and try to bite me. He thinks it’s a fun game. I have told him no, told him it hurts, “cried”, moved him off me, sat him in his chair for a “timeout”, and left the room. Of course all it really does is make me feel guilty that maybe I am not spending the quality time with him that he wants.

Overall, Colt is smart, funny, adventurous, independent, and happy. I am still so proud of him and so grateful I get to be his mom.

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