We have a full blown toddler now. A running, shrieking, giggling, tantrum-throwing, funny-face-making, I-love-you-saying toddler. He’s 18 months old now…a year and a half! We are getting closer to not counting his age in months anymore. I don’t know when that stops…
Just shy of 18 months old
So…least pleasant stuff first. Whoever coined the term “terrible 2’s” is a big fat lying liar. The terrible 2’s start WAY before their 2nd birthday, at least that has been the case in this house. Caelan started with mini-tantrums around 10 or 11 months, but since then, he has been perfecting them. By the time he’s 2 or 3, he should be a master We have carried him over our shoulder literally kicking and screaming through a parking lot, he’s thrown food in restaurants, refused to hold our hands in the street, sobbed in the check out lane at the grocery store, and even kicked one of the little kids at his daycare. As obnoxious, frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing as those things are, I know they’re developmentally appropriate. Still testing those boundaries I suppose. And honestly, I wrote the first part of this paragraph a couple months ago and his behavior has been better since then. Though daycare often reports that he’s “acting like a 2 year old” and he even got sent to timeout for the first time last week, that only makes up a small fraction of his behavior. Most of the time, he really is very well behaved, sweet, and gentle. But he has his moments, like all toddlers I’m sure.
When Caelan was almost 16 months old, we took away his last bottle, the bedtime one (it seems like forever ago!). It went surprisingly well. I’m very glad to be done with bottles!! An unanticipated side effect of dropping the bottle was that now Caelan sleeps with the seahorse not just for naps, but at bedtime too. Bill and I were both a little wary of Caelan becoming dependent on the seahorse to sleep, but on the other hand, most kids sleep with a stuffed animal and is it really such a big deal? We do have 2 just in case 🙂
Just when we finally got Caelan’s naps under control, he started refusing naps in the crib around 16 1/2 months. All the sudden he would just scream and scream if we put him in there. He did the same thing at my parents’ house and Bill’s parents’ house, but not usually at daycare. Only this past week have we had any success at all with getting him to nap in the crib. Around 17 months he started crying at bedtime too, but thankfully that only lasted a few days. I was really caught off guard by this fabled “18 month sleep regression” but (hopefully) it’s on its way out!
Just in the past couple of weeks, Caelan has really started to master eating with a fork and spoon. He asks for utensils and is pretty good with them, particularly the fork.
Eating with a fork
The total tooth count is up to 16. Between 15 1/2 and 16 1/2 months he cut all 4 canines. I think he was a little fussy because of it (they practically all came in at once), but it wasn’t too bad. Now I think we get a teething break since he has only 4 more baby teeth to go and those (the 2 year molars) aren’t due to start coming in for another 6 months or so. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they come in a little early – Caelan has always been on the early side with his teeth.
We still haven’t run into any serious separation anxiety (unless that’s what’s going on with his sleep). Sometimes he’ll cling to us for a minute or 2 when we arrive at a new place and he does usually take a little while to warm up, but then he’s very friendly. He waves hello and goodbye, he gives hugs and kisses and high-five’s, he blows kisses, and he is great with animals. He’s not too scared when a bigger dog licks his face and he loves to pet cats and smaller dogs. He still needs close supervision, but I’d say he’s gentle with them 75% of the time.
Cuddling with Jake
Caelan’s vocabulary has exploded in the past few months. I was originally going to list all of his new words here in this post, but I quickly lost track! I stopped counting his words around 60 but that was more than a month ago and I’m sure he’s got 75+ by now. He knows the names of all his family members (though many are still pretty garbled), he knows his daycare teacher’s name and the names of several of the kids there, he knows plenty of Sesame Street characters by name, some foods, some colors, a couple letters, a handful of animals and animal sounds, 10-ish body parts, the names of his toys, and even what a pirate says (“ahhhhrr!”). “Outside” was his favorite word, but lately he says “Unca Day” (Uncle Dave) and “uh oh” incessantly. My favorite thing he’s learned to say is “I love you”. He’s even said it a couple of times unprompted which is fairly heart-melting.
Riding his bike and pointing at Mama
Around 16 1/2 months old, he said what I’m going to call his first sentence: “Ghee (Jake), get down!” Haha!! I love that he scolds our cat for jumping on things he shouldn’t. But other than that one time, and maybe one or two other times, he isn’t really stringing words together yet. But Bill and I continue to be fascinated watching Caelan learn. We’re stunned to hear him say a new word or demonstrate a new skill and we glow with pride like the silly parents we are.
Caelan continues to do really well at daycare. Sure, sometimes he gets sent to time out or acts like a 2-year-old, but he also has so much fun with the other kids. When I drop him off in the morning, the other kids yell “Caelan!” and run to greet him. The other day we asked Caelan who his best friend was and his face split into a wide grin and he named a little girl at daycare.
Now we are entering into Caelan’s SECOND holiday season! I am excited to see how much of Christmas he “gets” this year. We are planning to take him to meet Santa in the next couple weeks and I’m sure I will post something about how that goes down! In the meantime, here’s a comparison pic of Caelan from his first Thanksgiving last year and his second this year.
Thanksgiving 2011 (6 months) and 2012 (18 months)