Monday, August 20, 2012

LG's golden month-iversary

Editorial note: Well, I created this post eleven days ago so that this post is dated LG's 20th month-iversary, and then proceeded to take another eleven days to actually get the content up because I was being a perfectionist and trying to do a fancy photo collage with his 8-month pics from last year. As you can see below, the pics are there but not in a collage or even formatted to my liking, but whatev. If I ever get around to doing a "why I'm blogging" post, it will explain that I'm actually going to get my blog made into a book each year. Our family yearbook, if you will. Much easier to keep up and serves many more purposes than a scrapbook. So here it is, late, but up, so I can move on to some of the other things I want to write about. A preview: camping, NASCAR, evil, and back-to-school. Stay tuned.

Well, LG, you're 20 months old on the 20th. Your golden month-iversary.

Though I didn't have signs, stickers for your onesies, or a stuffed animal to sit next to you for size reference, I did manage to take a picture of you on each of you month-iversaries (or a few days before/after) during your first year. Here are your 8-month-old pictures from last year, taken on 8/20/2011:


[The rest of the pictures throughout this post were taken on 8/20/2012.]

Here's whats been haps with you as of late:

After your first day back at daycare after our family vacation last month, we Mommy decided that we she was going to take away your pacifier, cold turkey style (your dad agreed that it needed to be taken away at some point, though I don't think he saw the necessity of taking it away right then, and he definitely had moments of weakness in the days following the split, but I was strong and never once gave it back to you). In the months prior to vacation, we'd let you have your binky at bed/night/naptime, and as needed to keep you quiet in public or to keep your h'anger in check during dinner preparation. However, while we were on vacation our daily schedule got all kinds of cojagulated and a lot of your naps took place in the car, so you and your binky had a lot more quality time together while we were away. 

You threw a tantrum in the daycare parking lot that first day back when I left your binky in the car, then asked your teachers for your "baba" all day, and then threw another tantrum when I picked you up and we had to leave that binky at daycare. That's when the executive decision was made. Though there have been times when I've wished I could just stick the plug in your mouth, you've done great without it. The main post-binky change we've had to make is with your bedtime routine.

Let me say here that I still rock you to sleep, and I really don't care what anyone thinks about it. 
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow. For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs; dust go to sleep! I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
From birth until sixteen months, I'd basically top off your tank with breastmilk before the long haul through the night (you actually started sleeping through the night around 4 months), and you'd fall asleep in the process. For several months there, it was kind of difficult to transfer you to your crib without waking you up, and at one point I determined that the minimum waiting period between sleep initiation/de-latch and bed transfer was nine minutes (with time, we got it down to two or three minutes). As we wrapped up nursing, I'll admit that I was pretty nervous about how you were going to settle down and drift off to sleep without imbibing in that magical elixir, but we transitioned to your post-breast bedtime routine (described in this post) pretty naturally. I was even able to get you, the child who could care less about stuffed animals, to connect with a lovey. But without your binky, you'd just thrash around in my arms long after your projector had turned off, and I'd end up having to put you in your crib to cry it out. This, coupled with your growing attention span and interest in books, led to an addition of bedtime stories (finally!) to your post-binky bedtime routine. 

Every night, we read [at least one page of] the following books [before you're "all done"]:

- If I Were a Puppy by Anne Wilkinson (you point to the puppy's nose, your nose, and then Mommy's nose, and you point and say ball)
- Hickory Dickory Dock by Sanja Rescek
- Nursery Rhymes by Roger Priddy (you like to point out the "wawa" in Jack and Jill)
- Danny the Duck With No Quack by Malachy Doyle (you can point out and say duck, and point out the flowers and trees on the cover)
- Baby Einstein: Pretty Poems and Wonderful Words by Julie Aigner-Clark (Mommy loves reading you old-school poetry)
And you'll actually let me read the entirety of these books:
- Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden (you can point out and say owl and choo-choo)
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The last and first word you say each day is "book." You're not talking in complete sentences, but your vocabulary, word linking, and communication skills are certainly growing. You have started saying "hi-eee" and waving [when coming and going]. Whenever we walk past a car, you point to it and say "room room." You can sign please and say "eese." At the table, you like to point out that everyone has a glass of "wawa" (your generalization for any drink). And I'm pretty sure that your term for yourself is "deh-deh." 

You moved up to one of the toddler classrooms at daycare about six weeks ago, and are once again a little fish in a big pond. Especially so, since the age range in this class goes from 18 to 30 months. This transition has been more difficult than when you started at this particular[-ly awesome] daycare a year ago or when you moved up to the last classroom; never before have you cried, clung, or ran up to the door before/after me when I've dropped you off in the morning, but I'd say that's the case about 75% of the time so far. Outside of daycare, you've also been having what I'd consider to be pretty normal separation anxiety when it comes to Mommy and Daddy, and sometimes Nana and Grandpa. I don't know if this has anything to do with separation anxiety, but for whatever reason, you seem to get upset lately when I sit down on the toilet or take off my clothes before your bathtime (our gigando tub requires Mom or Dad take a bath with you).

Another tenet of toddler behavior that we're plagued with are tantrums when you don't get what you want when you want it (usually food, Mommy's attention, or an item you're not supposed to have). In my letter to you at 18 months, the only mention of tantrums was during dinner preparation, and those tantrums still come each an every day, as sure as the sun rises and sets. This past week, it seems like if we're at home and you're not eating something you like (which is hard for Mommy to determine these days), reading books, riding your tricycle/fire rig outside, taking a bath, or otherwise have Mommy's undivided attention, you're not happy. Supposedly, tantrums and whining are completely normal, but I have to admit that one of my biggest concerns right now is that the whining/discontentment will become a permanent behavior or personality trait. As a parent, one of the most important things I hope to instill in you is a general gratefulness and appreciation for the non-tangible and simple things in life: people, laughter, memories, nature, creativity, spirituality, etc.

Other toddleristics that you've acquired: doing what we tell you not to just to push your limits (example: making [a bigger] mess of your food, yourself, the table, and the floor towards the end of a meal, all with that sassy smile aimed right at Mom and Dad), jumping right into a new activity to avoid a less desirable activity (example: hopping on your fire rig when we've just put away your tricycle and are supposed to be heading inside for a bath)--though this is definitely more desirable to me than a tantrum.

And some adorableness: A few nights ago when we were all cuddling (aka Mom and Dad lounging and you climbing all over the place, dropping elbows and knees) in bed, you took the tissue I had used on you and set aside, folded it up just so, and proceeded to wipe your nose. The past month or so, Daddy has been picking you up from daycare after your nap. Some days he'll bring a snack (or have one of the daycare gals put your afternoon snack in a baggie to-go) and take you to the park, where you'll eat your snack on the tailgate of his truck and watch and point and giggle at the cars going by, before you play, of course. Other days you'll follow him around the backyard or the garage (most recently putting his 1957 Johnson two-stroke boat engine that he is restoring back together--or taking it apart, again). As I approached our house the other day after work, I could see you and Daddy walking down the street, little hand in big hand, each of you in an orange t-shirt and jean shorts (which was not planned, as I had you dressed and out of the house before Dad was up), and I thought my heart might burst. I'm so glad you and Daddy have your special time together.

You were handed down a beautiful red tricycle, which is currently your favorite toy. You can get yourself on/off the tricycle pretty well now, and once on, you grip the handlebars, rest your crotch where the seat and frame meet, and push yourself along Fred Flintstone style. And boy, can you haul on that thing; once you get some speed you pick up feet, lean back, and cruise. Mommy and Daddy have been teaching you how to use the pedals, but I think your legs are just a titch too short at this point. Give it a week. You're just about grown out of 18-month size bottoms, and are into 2T/3T tops and a size 7 shoe.

In deep concentration


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