Monday, May 18, 2009

1.75 Years

In less than 3 months, Rolo will turn two and THANK GOD because I feel like I've been living with a two year old for months now. The tantrums, honestly, aren't too terrible, it's just that depending on what kind of day you're already having, they can sort of shred any nerves you have left. We have started using a "thinking chair"--a place for Rolo to go chill out when he's not understanding that biting is never acceptable. Because yes, occasionally, there is biting.

But there's more good than bad. We took Rolo to a helicopter museum (who knew there even was such a thing?) and he was in his glory because that's one obsession that's just not going away. It's funny how much and for long long he remembers things now. On Mother's Day, we took him to the zoo and he's still talking about the animals he saw and what they were doing. Actually, he surprised me because he went fearlessly into the petting zoo and brushed some sheep and fed a goat. I thought for sure he'd be spooked--small jumpy dogs seem to spook him--but no, he loved it.

Rolo able to say enough now that we can understand most of what he's trying to get across, which makes things a lot less frustrating for both of us. Right now, he's really big into labeling everything. Everything "belongs" to someone. He'll point to the TV and say "Daddy's". Or he'll point to the computer and say "Daddy's." Or he'll point to a broom or a bottle of Windex or a sponge and say "Mama's". Ahem. You can draw your own conclusions.

He also likes to take roll call. When the three of us are together, he'll point to each of us and say our names, over and over. Like he's looking for validation that all the players are present. This happens often in the car.

He knows just about all his colors and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed. Although, I am easily impressed because I don't know the first thing about when kids are "supposed to" learn things (baby milestones I knew, but toddlers or bigger kids? no idea), so to me, knowing your colors at 21 months old seems pretty advanced. He doesn't know black, white or gray, but he's all over orange, blue, "geen", red, yellow, pink, purple (the first time he pointed to something and said "puhr-pul" I about died, because, 1. I don't think I've ever taught him the words pink or purple--they just don't seem as important as the more primary colors and 2. I hate purple). Now, numbers, we're not quite as good with. According to Rolo the correct numerical order is "one, two, free, five, five."

Rolo's also entering the eager helper phase. He loves to put things in the hamper or help load the dryer. He also insists on having his own paper towel to "dust" or "clean" while I'm cleaning. And he loves throwing things in the trash. Fortunately, so far he only throws actual trash out although I am waiting for the day where I find pieces of mail or my cell phone in there.

And speaking of cell phones, Rolo has started engaging in pretend play, mostly involving phones. He'll pick one up and have a very animated conversation, sometimes throwing in names of kids at his school for good measure. Sometimes he'll hold the phone up to Elmo's ear or my ear and demand that we speak to whoever is (not really) on the phone.

One of the biggest adjustments for me has been realizing that Rolo is now a kid, with his own ideas and needs. With a baby, well, you get a baby dressed whenever you want, take them out when you want, etc. With a toddler, I'm realizing there is a certain level of negotiation you need to do. I'm not talking about bribing a kid or anything like that. I'm talking about making him an active participant in the family. So instead of just assuming that I'm going to take him to the store after school and just heading the stroller in that direction, I talk to Rolo about it. "So, we're going to head to the store now and I'm going to need your help picking out pasta." Or even with fun stuff, like going to the Aquarium. Much to my surprise, Rolo did not seem to enjoy the fish at the aquarium, which is strange because he likes books about fish and he has a toy aquarium on his crib that he loves. And several times after that visit, we would ask "Do you want to go see fishies?" and he would tell us no, like he remembered that he didn't like it there. So we didn't go. I guess I could have just taken him anyway to see what happened, but I figured why push it? And then last weekend, sure enough, when I asked if he wanted to see the fish, he answered "Yesh". And we went and he loved it.

"School" is going well. He's become a complete whiz at puzzles because they have about a gazillion there. Oh and also? The other day, when I picked him up, they were teaching him how to sew. Seriously. They have these kits with felt squares that have holes already punched out, and a completely blunt, fat needle to thread yarn through the holes. Hysterical.

So that's the latest and greatest. The next few months will bring adventures in consistent utensil use (which Rolo still thinks is completely inferior to the hand-shoving-food-in-mouth technique) and beginnings of potty training. We already let Rolo pick out his own potty at the store and have it housed in our bathroom. I suspect it might well be another year before he's ready, but who knows? The kid surprises me every day.



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