I believe that we are officially hitting another developmental milestone. No longer content with single words, he’s moving on to phrases. He did, of course, have a few phrases already, such as “up high” and “power drill”, but much like his explosion of words, we’ve seen a similar explosion of phrases. In the past few days, he’s said the following:
me sleepy (I’m pretty sure I heard this – this was the first time I’ve heard him say “me”)
can, can, open, open
I realize some of those are single words, but they’re long and they were all very clearly enunciated. Plus this morning when I told him it was time to make breakfast he demanded “Want pancake!”, which made me laugh and of course got him pancakes. He tried it again after his nap but I thought twice in one day was excessive even for me. And, while reading, several times he told me “I like book” which made me teary with pride. When I asked him if he’d like to go to the library the other day, he gave a huge grin and said, “Yeah! Library!” We found one called “Trucks trucks trucks” which seems to have been written just for him. Jon was wondering if we’d exhausted the truck-related toddler literature, but I think we’ve only scratched the surface.
Along with the language explosions have been the twin developments of extreme affection and serious defiance. He is capable of the most enthusiastic hugs you can imagine one minute, followed immediately by a sobbing fit because I won’t lift him onto the kitchen counter to play with the coffee pot. The other day Leigh was reading him a story which involved a baby seal finding her mommy in the water, and every time she got to the mommy part, he’d say “Mommy huggee!” and run across the room and plant a big slobbery kiss on my cheek. Sometimes it’s like having a poorly trained but friendly dog in the house.
For the most part, we’re dealing with the toddler fits of anger pretty well. For some reason, he frequently finds it very funny when I count to three in warning of the thing he doesn’t want me to do, usually pick him up to go change his diaper or put him down for a nap. So I’ll start counting and he’ll grin at me and say “One…. Two…. Three…” right along with me, and then when I swoop in and pick him up he’s usually giggling like mad, which is a great improvement on screaming. We only had one rough night recently when he decided that it would be a fun game to toss his Baby and Pooh Bear out of his crib. In an effort to smooth bedtime, I had introduced the game of dropping them into the crib and saying “Wheee!”, which he usually did very happily, but for some reason this night he decided they wanted to go wheee! out of the crib. I tried to avert it by faking leaving and then rescuing them after he started screaming, but he just threw them out again the second I shut the door. And then was furious for 20 minutes while I paced back and forth and made Jon repeatedly convince me that I was doing the right thing. It’s been a while since we’ve had a seriously angry baby at bedtime, and I swear it gets harder. Apparently it was the right thing to do, since he fell asleep and didn’t even ask for Baby and Pooh the next morning and there’s been no repeat performance, but it completely wrecked me for the rest of the night. I mean, I don’t want to be playing “Rescue the Stuffed Animals” all night, but I also didn’t want that lesson to be quite so harsh.
Most of the time, of course, he gets himself to sleep just fine. He always talks over his day, which recently has involved shouting “A TRUCK!” at the top of his lungs over and over.