my little monkey is 21 months and one week old.
writing these monthly updates has been challenging the last few months. while there are SO MANY changes from month to month, often times they aren't HUGE milestones like 'he learned to walk' or 'he rolled over for the first time'. instead, they are many small skills being acquired that comprise the overall changes and development from month to month.
sometimes that can make it seem like not much has changed from the prior month, which is how i feel this month, but i've tried to jot down in my phone moments i want to remember, and that's what i often use to write these updates.
my little monkey in a nutshell -
- the child LOVES putting together puzzles. he's bored with the chunky piece puzzles, which he's mastered; instead his current favorites are the melissa & doug 12 piece jigsaw puzzles, especially the one with the construction vehicles. we put that one together EVERY day, multiple times a day.
- he's suddenly become quite interested in letters. i have no idea what spurred this, since i've never really sang the 'abc' song to him in a concerted effort to have him start learning the alphabet. not sure where he picked it up, but a couple of weeks ago, he started pointing at letters on boxes, etc. and saying 'E!' every letter is 'E', which i think is funny. i guess that's the easiest for him to pronounce.
- he's also become quite good at recognizing most colors, and his favorite to say are green ('geen'), purple (his pronunciation is pretty spot on) and yellow ('yea-yow').
- loves looking at the big, plastic pumpkins the neighbors have displayed over their light posts at the end of their driveways. the pumpkin belonging to our next door neighbor has eyebrows (most don't), and he's especially fascinated by those, and will usually touch them, then touch his eyebrows, then my eyebrows, all the while saying 'eyebrows'. oh, and he calls all pumpkins 'apples'.
- he must have seen daddy kill many a fly in our house this summer, because he loves pulling out the fly swatter from its crack between the fridge and the stove and pretending to swat flies on the nook windows, while saying 'fly, fly' repeatedly.
- LOVES his grandma, who he now affectionately calls 'gaga'.
- is really starting to love playground structures, even more now that he can climb most of them quite independently.
- LOVES other people, especially children, and is always waving and saying hi and bye in a sing-songy voice. melts my heart.
- loves playing peek-a-boo, although when he says it, it just comes out as 'boo', which i guess is also appropriate for the upcoming holiday. he usually does this on the playground with us or when he meets other children and is being playful.
- wants everyone to sit at the table when he's eating. he'll point to the chairs, telling us to 'sis, sis'.
- is my little helper when it comes to many things, but especially when it comes to wiping up messes. after meals, i wipe his hands, mouth and tray down, although now he won't let me wipe his tray; he wants to do it, all the while saying 'wash, wash'. this has translated to him wanting to wipe off his cars, puzzles, books, pants, EVERYTHING.
- LOVES ringing the doorbell, then laughing almost hysterically, while saying 'ding'!
- is able to communicate more and more exactly what he wants (or does NOT want). when hungry, he clearly says 'eat' and if we're home, will also push the high chair and grab his bib. when we're out and about and he's ready to leave, he says 'home', although he's got to be really tired for this to happen. also loves to give commands such as 'up' when he's done eating, 'zip' when his jacket needs to be zipped up and 'wash' when his hands are dirty.
- recognizes where we are when driving around. for instance, he knows when we turn into our neighborhood and will say 'home'. it used to just be when we pulled into the driveway.
- and my FAVORITE thing of all: he now says 'I LOVE YOU' which sounds like 'AH-YA-YA'. he doesn't say it on his own, just when he's prompted, but it's the sweetest sound my ears have ever heard.
and some of the challenges this age is presenting -
- HATES having his teeth brushed. we've tried all sorts of approaches (letting him brush our teeth while his are being brushed), singing songs, etc., but he just clenches his mouth up tight and gets upset. currently, we let him watch youtube videos of diggers, bulldozers, etc to music and it's sort of helping, especially since watching any form of tv is a treat.
- tantrums - not the full-blown kind i'm expecting in his 2's and 3's, but nonetheless, they've begun when he doesn't receive what he wants. they usually manifest themselves in him throwing himself on the floor, and while they usually fizzle out pretty fast, sometimes, he keeps 'fake crying' even after he clearly doesn't have his heart in it anymore...just to get a reaction. most of the time it's pretty amusing and difficult for me to keep a straight face.
- he's become extremely connected to me (i hate using the word 'clingy' but i guess it's appropriate). not sure if this is a new phase of separation anxiety, and if every child his age goes through this (and maybe i just notice it more since i'm with him all day), but in the last month or so, he literally needs me next to him at all times. he says 'push, push' and pushes/pulls me to where he's playing, whether it's at home or we're out and about like at a playground. i hate to even refer to this as a 'challenge' because part of me really cherishes how much he 'wants' me, but it can also get exhausting.
- this probably goes hand-in-hand with the above, but starting about 3 weeks or so ago, he won't go to bed without being rocked to sleep (or pretty close), and most of the time, it MUST be me; daddy won't do. again, i'm assuming this is a phase, and i'm trying my best to enjoy those nighttime snuggles as much as possible.
- and another aspect of going to bed at night (and i wasn't sure whether to include this here or in the above section since it's not necessarily a 'challenge') - he gets REALLY sad when placed in the crib after being rocked and says 'night-night, bye-bye' in the saddest voice i've ever heard. breaks my heart because it seems he is truly sad he must say 'bye-bye' and leave us for the night.
and a photo taken last month at the park -