You are so not a little baby anymore.
Mommy’s been keeping track of the words you say, and you’re up to a few dozen. Your vocabulary has just exploded in the past month, and you’ve been learning literally a new word every day for the past week or so. You say words that we didn’t even know you knew — we didn’t teach them to you on purpose. But some we did, and it’s rewarding to hear you repeat them. (Just make sure not to repeat the words we don’t want you to know…!)
Food: juice, milk, apple, cheese, poofs, Cheerios (you say it like “chew-EE,” but we know what you mean). You also sign “eat” and “more” and recognize words like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.
Body Parts: teeth, ear, eye, nose, belly, knee, pee-pee. You’re working on “head,” and you know where your feet and your cheeks are, even if you don’t say the words.
Objects: book, spoon, Pinky (your Beanie flamingo), Eeyore, Totoro (although you just say “Toto”), diaper, pillow, sock, shoe, ball, hat, block, and Mei (our cat). You also ask for “Hop on Pop” — that’s actually become synonymous with “book” lately, much to Mommy and Daddy’s confusion.
Concepts and Sounds: all done, please, hi, hello, bye (and buh-bye), up, open, closed, uh-oh, oh no!, no, ow, yellow, meow, woof, moo, buzz, and most of the other sounds from Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? which is now one of your favorite books.
You understand many more words than you can say or sign, though, and I couldn’t begin to catalog all of those. Some things you seem to get from context clues and body language, and some you get from repetition. You know that “two” comes after one, and you do say “two,” but I’m pretty sure you don’t understand that you’re counting two objects, so I didn’t really count that as one of your words.
Mommy snapped this picture of the two of us with her “good” camera (instead of the iPhone), and when you looked at it on the little screen, you pointed and said, “Mommy!” (OK, it sounded more like “Mimi,” but I’ll take it!)
You’ve become quite the willful and opinionated little toddler this month. When Mommy goes into your bedroom to get you up and change your diaper in the morning, you’ll forcefully sit back down in your crib — then look up with this mischievous grin on your face, like you know you’re doing the opposite of what Mommy wants you to do. We have to play the game until you decide you want a clean diaper and some breakfast.
Taking pictures of you with the “good” camera has become a bit of a challenge, too. You want to see the pictures as they’re being taken — which we can’t do with the Nikon like we can with the front-facing camera on the iPhone. This weekend, we started making it a game: you’d go pose, then Mommy would take your picture, then you’d run back and look at yourself on the little screen. You also try to swipe to the next picture, like on Mommy’s iPhone, but that’s not the way the camera works.
Along the lines of wanting to do things on your own: you’ve figured out how to spoon-feed yourself. Kind of.
Mealtimes work best now if we give you a spoon, then feed you with a second spoon. That way, you can choose to feed yourself a few bites here and there, but if you get hungry and frustrated, a grown-up can feed you bites.
Mommy was a little confused when you stopped brushing your own teeth these past couple of weeks. I mean, you’ve always been so proud of yourself when you brush your teeth… and Mommy hates to “help” against your will. But that’s exactly what we did a few days ago. Then Mommy saw that your gums were bleeding from your molars coming in. Poor guy. So, Mommy’s been a little more lenient about the tooth-brushing… for now.
You’ve got some big changes ahead. Tomorrow is your first day of daycare; we’re giving Daddy a break on Tuesdays and Fridays and sending you to a daycare center that’s really close to our house. Mommy’s going to drop you off at 7:30am and pick you up after work at 5:15pm. You’ll have fun. You’ll make new friends, and you’ll get to see how other kids play. Mommy’s just a little anxious, like all mommies are when their babies go off to someplace new.
There’s a bigger change, though: Mommy and Daddy bought a new house. A bigger house, in a better school district, with a big yard and room to run around, both inside and out. Daddy pointed out this weekend that Mei Kitty will probably be more upset about the move than you will, but it’s still a big change for you. For everybody. Plus, you’ll have to change daycares, after having (hopefully) gotten used to going to daycare in the first place.
Everything will work out, though. You’re a resilient, smart, cute little boy, and you’ll be fine.