Dear Connor: Month 20

Dear Connor,

Mommy’s a little late with this month’s update, and there’s no good reason apart from just being busy. And tired. During the weekend, Mommy’s been napping when you nap; during the week, Mommy will put you to bed and then play on her phone for an hour before she realizes what she’s doing, then will realize that she’s super tired and just go to bed. Mommy’s trying to be better about getting things done, and better about being good to herself and getting enough rest. There’s a balance there.

But enough about Mommy. Let’s talk about you!

Running in the Back Yard

This month, you’ve had a language explosion! You repeat words like a parrot, and you seem to actually understand the words you’re learning. Your diction is improving, but not perfect by far — Mommy and Daddy can understand words that probably no one else can.

Plus, you’ve become much more independent. You’d rather walk than be carried, and rather feed yourself than be fed (until you get tired of your food falling off your spoon en route to your mouth, at which point you ask for “help”). You started signing again, after a couple months of getting away from that. “More,” “banana,” “help,” all have been in heavy rotation this month.

You’ve also been singing songs all the time! You’ll sing Twinkle Twinkle, and your ABCs, and some songs from daycare that Mommy and Daddy don’t know (like the one that goes, “Dah dah doo, dah dah doo, dahdahdahdah dahdahdahdah dah dah doo!”). Your diction is a little muddy still, but we can hear the words in there, kind of, when we know what they are. You’ll even make up words to Twinkle Twinkle, which is super cute.

You’re getting better at following directions, but only when you’re paying attention and when the mood strikes you. You like to help take out the recyclables — there’s a small basket in the kitchen that we fill up and take outside to the big recycle bin every day, and we can’t tell if you’re saying “outside” or “recycle,” but you want to take the recycles outside, at any rate, and you’ll put the bucket back where it belongs when asked. You also like to pick up Mei Kitty’s bowl and hand it to Mommy when it’s time for kitty dinner, and you like to wipe off your high chair tray after meals.

In the High Chair

You’ve been kind of a fickle eater lately. Mommy tries the trick of “Do you want this or that?” but you still answer, “No?” One day you’ll love Goldfish crackers, and the next, they’ll be passe. You went quite a while with no interest in yogurt, then suddenly wanted it for every meal. Nutrigrain bars (aka fruit bars, or “boo-bah” as you like to call them) are all you want for breakfast at the moment.

You’re also counting! You forget some numbers sometimes, but you’re usually good for three correct numbers in a row. You like to count the recyclables as we put them into the bin. When Mommy lets you climb down the stairs in the morning — you hold onto the railing with your left hand, and hold Mommy’s hand with your right hand — you like to count, “One… two… five….”

You’ll climb up the stairs at night, too — mostly because Mommy’s back was hurt earlier this month, and she couldn’t carry you up without hurting a lot. So, you got used to climbing them on your own, with Mommy right behind you. You’re still crawling on your hands and feet, but it won’t be long before you hold onto the rail and walk up like a big boy.

You now require two books before bed, usually re-read two or three times each. You used to need two songs, too, but now you’re refusing songs. I guess the same old songs are getting boring, but you don’t seem to like new ones, either. Sometimes you’ll sit still for Old MacDonald, but Twinkle Twinkle or Sing (from Sesame Street) just don’t cut it anymore.

The bedtime routine usually starts around 7:15pm — sometimes as early as 6:45pm if you’re not feeling well, or as late as 8pm if we lost track of time or were out somewhere. We’ll go into the kitchen and get your sippy, give you some medicine if you need it, and make sure we’ve got your iPhone. (We still use it for white noise at night.) You’ll crawl up the stairs, celebrate getting to the top, then we’ll put your phone and sippy on your dresser and go into the bathroom to brush teeth. You have a little stool that you fetch for yourself, so you can see in the mirror while you brush your teeth, although lately you’ve been getting distracted by wanting to flush the toilet. Sometimes Mommy has to “help” you with brushing your teeth, and sometimes it’s not pretty, but we always get the job done. Usually, you do very well.

Time to Brush Teeth!

Then we go into your room, change your diaper, get you into some jammies, and read books in the antique rocking chair with the woven wicker seat. Your favorite books lately are Each Peach Pear Plum and Nursery Rhymes. Then Mommy has you finish your sippy, puts you in your crib, turns on your white noise, and tries to sing you a song or two. Usually you’ll get fussy, but sometimes you’ll be perfectly content to let Mommy tuck you in and say good night.

Mommy mentioned giving you medicine before bed. You’ve been fighting off a cough and runny nose for months now, so the doctor put you on another round of antibiotics to deal with your cough. We finally got the go-ahead to give you children’s Claritin, and you seem to be clearing up now. Guess it’s partly allergies. Now we give you Claritin when you seem to need it.

Daddy and Mommy have been introducing you to children’s programming, now that we have digital cable and more options. You and Daddy like to watch Curious George after lunch and before quiet time. You know that monkeys say, “ooh-ooh ahh-ahh,” and you love Curious George on TV, so Daddy got you a stuffed George. You love him! It’s so cute to watch you carry him around and hug and kiss him and feed him your sippy.

You’re just a big mess of cute these days. I can’t get over it.

In the Sunroom

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