Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Typical Toddlers, Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about Fall22months' newly discovered voice. Even more fun are his newly discovered climbing skills.

Movement. Fall22months was a very late walker. Not a 15 or 16 month old late walker but a nearly 21 month old late walker. Such a late walker, he was almost elderly. Fall22months was late to crawl so when he wasn't walking at around a year old, I didn't think anything of it and honestly sort of thanked my lucky stars that I still only had three children who could run away from me. Fall22months also has three big brothers who provided his every want so he didn't really need to walk. When he turned 18 months old, I started to worry. I asked our reassuring pediatrician who did a few tests and told me that Fall22months is hypermobile. The doctor assured me that Fall22months wouldn't wind up as pretzel boy in the circus but he has some pretty cool party tricks. Thumb to wrist, check. Top of foot to shin, no problem. Knees turn to face each other, yes sirree.

This all meant that the act of walking would take some time. The good doctor promised me that Fall22months would walk by the time he was 21 months old and sure enough, with a couple weeks to spare, he did. His hypermobility caused him to wobble rather than toddle but he was at least moving on two feet. A few days later, Spring7 announces "Now that he can walk, I'm going to teach him how to RUN!" I managed to convince big brother that walking is good enough for now and that Fall22months will learn to run in his own time. (Perhaps weights on his little ankles will delay this? Hmmm.)

Fast forward a few weeks and Fall22months is walking (still wobbling a little) everywhere. He's been climbing stairs for months but is now strong enough to climb up on the couch. He's graduated from sitting on the couch all proud of himself to climbing on kitchen and dining room chairs. Fall22months will look at a book or play with a toy while sitting on the chair seeming all proud of himself, "Yep, I decided to sit on this chair to play today." His big problem...he can't get down. Here is where his voice comes back in. Fall22months is vain enough not to yell for help for a while. He sits there, "yes, this is where I want to be" for a few minutes before YELLING for help to get down. "OOOOUUUUUUTTTT" is his word that means "get me anywhere but here."

This weekend, he took sitting to a whole new level, literally. He now sits on tables. As self-important as all toddlers are, he sits right in the middle of the table, sometimes munching on the snack that someone left there (not realizing Fall22months could get it, aha!). Of course, he can't get down from the table any more than he can get down from chair but he thinks he's so cool. Until he gets caught and removed from his perch. Then he gets mad!

Overall, Fall22months is a sweet and happy baby. Summer10 called Fall22months "a little package of joy" which sums him up perfectly. His adventures are just beginning!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Typical Toddlers Pt. 1

Oh great. I knew this was coming. Fall22months has started acting like a normal toddler. In my house, all signs point to noise and movement.

Noise. Fall22months is my quiet child. Summer10 isn't too loud but Winter3 and Spring7 can blow out your eardrums with their enthusiastic voices. If they get excited or hurt, watch out and cover your ears! Fall22months has so much to compete with in the house, I expected that he would be loud too. Not so. When he started talking, he'd say words like "book" in an itty bitty voice that made the word sound like [insert very quiet little voice] "boo."

It's possible he's been talking since he was six months old and none of us knew because he was so quiet. Things change and big brothers are so useful for teaching baby brothers things like HOW TO BE REALLY LOUD SO EVERYONE HEARS YOU! It didn't take Fall22months too long to realize that if he sits in his booster seat at the table and says [insert very quiet little voice] "more" or sweetly signs the word at dinner time, it takes a while for us to notice. Now, he yells, "MAAAAAA" (his way of saying more) and even waves his empty plate in the air. This works. It's his way of indicating, "Hello, I'm here and I'm hungry. Try and ignore me now, Mama. Geez, the service in this place is terrible."

He also used to let brothers take toys from him and he'd only voice a quiet complaint. Ha! Those days are gone. Now when a brother tries to play with his toy or push a button he wanted to push Fall22months unleashes a newly discovered piercing, shrieking, screaming sort of noise. Again, this works. He's still a little young to understand sharing and as far as I'm concerned he can yell at his brothers all he wants to. For almost two years now, Fall22months only whimpered in protest but now he has the power to make them back off a little.

Fall22months is still quiet most of the time. Since he's developed this voice, I'm quite grateful that he knows when he really, really wants and needs attention and when he's happy to simply play, quietly.