Friday, May 20, 2011

A Mover and a Climber

Our little Josh-a-roo turned the big 1-8 months in April. A year and a half. A full-fledged toddler. A little boy with strong observations and opinions. It's a milestone that I was somewhat dreading because 18 months brought lots of tantrums for Owen, but so far Josh has been aging into this milestone without any major crashes in behavior. Perhaps he's reveling in simply being healthy. What a joy he is! (Edited to note: the tantrums have come in force at 19.5 months. Lovely.)

Josh is a mover and a climber! At 18 months, he's figured out how to scale just about anything. Scott turned around the other day to see him standing on one of our bar stools - that are taller than him and only have one step bar. Owen was a major climber compared to most of his friends, and Josh has literally reached new heights. Even Stephanie (our amazing daycare/preschool provider who knows the full range of "normal" for this age group) recently gave me a knowing look and said, "Oh yea, you have climbers." Goody? Consequently, tumbles, crashes, spills and gashes seem to be the rule of the game these days. We are continually thankful for Scott's genetic toughness, seemingly unbreakable bones, and clean healing scars. Each day that passes without a trip to urgent care is a blessing indeed.

Josh is still hovering at 19 pounds. Well, 19 pounds, 14 ounces at his well child visit. He's lagging about 6 months behind the average and "wasn't any lower below the growth curve" at this visit. Success!? Consequently, the most common comment we receive when we're out in public is, "Whoa! look at that baby running! How old is he?"

With all the moving, Josh has surprisingly taken a greater interest in snuggling and "giving hugs" at this age milestone. It's a treat we will never take for granted. Those sweet toddler hugs and that soft breathing against your neck. Parenting bliss.

We finally got Josh down to 1 nap (around 17 months). He made the transition pretty easily since he was pretty old to be taking two naps. We're all thrilled by the way it has opened up our mornings.

JOSH LOVES SHOES. Our shoe baskets are one of his favorite toys. He's recently taken a greater interest in pushing cars and can throw and kick pretty well also.

We've concluded that Josh also has a sneaky, mischievous streak that is likely going to cause us some real heartburn. He's started to develop his own methods to instigate battles with Owen (which is pretty funny, since Owen has been mercilessly tackling him for the last 12 months), and seems to innately know what the most dangerous our destructive activity is in any given room. He seems fairly impervious to any sort of scolding we may try and merely gives us "the look" or a joyful giggle when we gently or forcefully try to redirect his attention.

I think when it comes down to it, Josh just doesn't know he's little. He's always around Owen and Owen's friends, so I think he just assumes he should be doing what the three year olds are doing. He gets mad that he can't ride Owen's balance bike (which he will inherit on Owen's birthday...), and tries to copy most "active" play that Owen is doing.

Josh is a boy of few words. He's all about the "oh" sound - no, ow (owen), oh-oh, go, ell-o (hello). Occasionally we get a "at" (cat) and an "ah-da" (all done). By 19 months, Josh has also picked up "yea" and "I-da" (hi dad) and is now consistently signing "all done" when he wants down from the table.

At his 18 month check, Josh's speech was far enough behind to warrant some concern, but not enough concern to head for a separate evaluation. We have no doubt that he understands 100% of what we are saying. We're pretty sure he's just stubborn and do busy DOING to slow down and talk about it. He seems to manage other communication and isn't frustrated, so the speech is just a "wait and see" at this point.

A small part of me is concerned that he may have some muscle tone issues - never liked the bottle, couldn't drink from a sippy cup with the valves in, never a voracious eater, slow weight gain, and now the lack of words - so we'll keep tracking him and know that a full eval may happen once he turns 2.

On the other hand, Josh can whistle! Certainly a skill he's picked up from Scott, and he loves making the sound back to Scott. Last week, we were hiking and I kept hearing his whistling in my ear from the back pack. So cute!

Josh has the best faces, it's one of his better communication tools - mocking, questioning, shy, sad, puzzled, contemplative. We'll never be able to do capture it on camera, but his faces crack us up.

We are looking forward to a full and adventurous summer with this active, busy boy!

(...and if anyone knows where I can get another set of eyes for the back of my head... I'm really going to need them)

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