Liam ran seven or eight steps on Wednesday. Twice. All on his own. Watching other kids walk around at daycare has really spurred him forward into the whole use of legs alone as mobility enablers. He later proceeded to climb the six or so front porch steps by himself quite handily when I went to pick him up that day. I’ve only ever seen him climb one stair before, but that’s because we don’t have a staircase he can climb on at home. He loves daycare, loves the kids and his caregiver, loves the cats and small fuzzy creatures in cages, loves the turtle. He sleeps well, eats well, plays well. He’s a great kid.
He had macaroni and cheese for the first time that night: the real thing, with homemade cheese sauce. He seemed to like it. He especially likes using a fork to eat it. The fork is my secret weapon: if he decides he’s bored with dinner, I bring out a fork — sometimes the little silver fork I used as a child, sometimes a Grown-Up Fork, sometimes his plastic one — and stab some of the food onto it. He’ll take the fork and place the food in his mouth, gently close his teeth around it, and delicately slip the fork out of his mouth leaving the food on his tongue. Great fun. He tries to stab food on the fork by himself, but he just manages to rub food into the tray or plate. Same with spoons; he knows what’s supposed to happen, he just can’t turn his wrist enough to scoop it into the bowl properly. I usually end up tipping the bowl to make the food fall over the spoon so that he can feed himself that way. Otherwise, I load the utensil and he takes it from me to deliver it to his mouth.
Other new foods? Well, he eats everything now; we’re no longer worried about new things. Digestive cookies are a big hit, as are the Italian biscuit animal cookies his Nana found for him. Anything we eat is fair game. He even seemed to like tea when he managed to get at my teacup the other day, although that’s not going to be a regular thing. He seems to prefer vegetables to fruit, which is mildly puzzling but I’m not going to argue.
Words, let’s see… I’ve lost count of what he says, particularly since he doesn’t use some of his words regularly. He held up one of his pirate ducks the other day and said, “Duh.” Yes, this was indeed a duck, I confirmed. Then he touched the duck’s head and said, “Ha.” Yes, I agreed, the duck was wearing a hat. A blue hat, in fact. He knows “dog” and “cat”; every other animal kind of defaults to “fish”, which is amusing but incorrect. (Got a rat? Fish! Got a turtle? Fish! Got hamsters? Fish! Well, squirrels are “cat!”, but that’s the exception that proves the rule.) Somewhere along the way I started calling him Sparky, and the nickname has not only stuck but the use of it has spread to others. It reflects his personality so well. He’s cheerful, excited about the world, and interested in absolutely everything.
Books are still awesome. We keep his books in two places: on a shelf in the living room, and in a bin in his bedroom. He’ll go into his bedroom, pull the bin over, and spend a good twenty minutes reading his books to himself. If he brings a book to you, or points to one for you read to him, it turns into a Choose Your Own Adventure sort of deal, because three pages into the first book he’ll suddenly grab another one and open it randomly; we’ll read another couple of pages, and then there will be a third book brought into the equation. So on some days the great green room goes fishing because you are my little bunny, that’s good hopping thought Little Nutbrown Hare. It hurts my brain sometimes, but then, I hate not finishing books.
He’s still coming up with little games, and it’s fun to figure out what he wants me to do when I play with him. The other day he repeatedly held out one of his two little toy engines from the Thomas the Tank Engine series, somewhere around the base of my throat, so I took whatever one he was showing me and drove it around for a while, then handed it back to him. Then he’d hold out the other one with a giggle and watch closely while I drove that one around. It took me a while before I figured out that he was trying to make the engine drive up my arms the way we do to him, up the arms and over the legs and down the back, making train noises. He makes car noises as he pushes his little wooden cars around too. Very entertaining.
He’s doing really well with being put down drowsy but awake for a nap or at night. He cuddles his Magic Rabbit, now known as Presto, in a full-body hug, and sometimes sings to himself after we leave the room. He doesn’t have a fit often about being left (unless he’s not drowsy enough), or cry himself to sleep; he talks to himself and his rabbit and five or ten minutes later we realise that the noise has stopped, and he’s out for the next twelve hours. He takes two naps, one mid-morning for about ninety minutes, one mid-afternoon for an hour. Nursing is now rare, because he needs the milk he gets before naps and such as part of his daily intake. Sometimes he asks to nurse if he’s upset about something, or if he wants to snuggle for a couple of minutes, and I’m fine with that.
We’re up to ten teeth. We’re expecting the lower first-year molars to begin making their presence known very soon. He’s wearing size 2 shirts, and 18-24 mos pants. I think I have to go get him bigger sandals, because the size fours are snug. I’m having trouble reconciling these facts with the knowledge that if he’d been born on schedule, he’d be one year old today.
The car seat facing forward is a huge success. Not only can he see where we’re going, but I can reach back and hand him crackers while I drive if he gets fussy.
He figured out how to undo the second kind of cupboard safety locks very quickly. (He simply broke the first ones open. The packages say “Discontinue use when child can defeat lock”. This amuses me in a frustrated sort of way.) I let him open the cupboards where we store pots and pans, because he’s so proud of getting the doors open, and then letting all the oppressed pots out to play. He pushes the cooling rack and the wooden cutting boards around the floor like toy cars. (Car noises and all.)
He’s a little boy. I keep having flashbacks to this time last year, being awake at four in the morning, sitting in the living room to nurse him, reading a book and listening to a CD on low volume. And now he’s nothing like a baby, despite the fact that I can’t stop calling him one.