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I recently had a revelation. Colton is fun. And not just fun in a hey he smiles at me and maybe does something funny once in a while, but fun in that he has a real personality, likes, dislikes and a sense of humor. I don’t just love him because he’s my child, but I like his personality and little quirks that are all his own.
Also, I totally had a phone conversation with him yesterday, and that pretty much rocked my world. I mean, the conversation may have gone, “Colton, Mommy is coming home.” “Yay! Mommy home!” “Do you want to talk to Nona and Popa on the computer with Mommy when she gets home?” “Uh-huh.” “Okay, Mommy is almost home, go wait for Mommy at the door.” “Uh-huh.”
Part of what is making him so much fun all of a sudden are his communication skills. He’s always been a talker, but now his understanding and social skills have caught up with his plain old ability to talk, and we can have real conversations. We talk about his friends, what he learned about at church (goldfish, not God), what his favorite songs are and what kind of birthday party he wants to have (his request, cake).
Colton has figured out he can say things that are funny, and there are times he really tries to be funny or make a joke. He even has a special face he makes when he thinks he’s being particularly funny; he grins, scrunches his noes so his eyes crinkle at the sides, and holds his bent hands by his face. It almost looks like a mouse impression. This face came out this week during dinner (hamburgers for the adults, a hotdog for the toddler) when we had a bottle of ketchup on the table. There’s a picture of a tomato on the bottle, and Colton pointed to it and said, “apple!” We told him it was a tomato, and he told us again that it was an apple. Finally, I guess he thought we were joking with him, because he made his funny face and proclaimed, “that not apple!” and laughed.
Colton loves to get dirty when he’s playing, but then moment he stops playing long enough to realize he’s dirty, he wants to be cleaned up. He loves playing outside, and one of his particularly favorite activities is to sit in our ivy. Today we went to the park, and he picked a flower and clutched until after we’d been home for a while, telling me, “Colton pick beautiful flower.”
I’m not sure I can put into words what I love about this kid. I love the way he sucks his lower lip in, bits it with his top teeth and grins when he’s really happy. I love the way he runs, his knees pulling way up to his chest, arms flailing while he yells.
My toddler is a stinker.
I still adore him though! This month has been all about testing boundaries and consequences. For example, when I ask Colton to stop and come back to me, he will frequently stop, turn and face me, grin, and then run in the opposite direction. That earns him an automatic time-out. So does hitting me, Daddy, or anyone else. For all other offenses he receives at least one warning before I implement a consequence. Lately, he’s even pushing the boundaries while he’s in time-out. He knows I ask him to look at me when I come to get him out of his chair, and when he sees me coming, he covers his eyes and laughs.
He’s developing his sense of humor, and loves to be called a silly boy. Mostly this comes in the form of him answering us with made-up words, calling us things like “MommyGaGa,” and putting things on his head. A stand-up comedian he is not.
This month, I’ve also realized how much of a ring-leader Colton can be. I’ve seen several different situations where he convinces other kids to chase him, run around like crazy people, or just do whatever he think is fun.
I love hearing Colton’s broken sentences. Some of my favorites are: “blanket, white truck, show you,” “Mommy hold you,” “Daddy, stroller ride push,” and “Colton do it self!” He also says “uh-huh” after most of his statements of fact or specific things he wants to do, like “Colton, trains read, uh-huh.”
I’m so very thankful this kid is mine.
Last month, I mentioned Colton started calling himself “Ten.” Over the past month he’s definitely developed a preference for being called Ten or Tenny. I love hearing him call himself Tenny-Ten; I think it’s one of the most adorable things he does.
Colton’s favorite things are still Thomas Trains, Curious George and trucks. He knows all of the major Thomas characters, and many of the minor ones as well. His favorite train is Thomas, but his favorite Thomas and Friends personality is Jack, a tractor.
Colton also greatly enjoys being outside, especially when he gets to play with rocks or dirt. At the park, he usually hands me fist-fulls of mulch, or just dumps it on his head. He also likes to pick out a “special rock” that I take home. We don’t do anything particular with the rock when we get home, but I love seeing him look at the rocks and select one that seems interesting to him.
Colton’s vocabulary doesn’t seem to have exploded as much as it has in previous months (though that may be because he has been so verbal that I don’t notice new words as much), but his enunciation has improved. Now, fish sounds like fish, rather than a curse word.
He’s working on sentences, though most are only three words, like “Mommy get it.” Most of his sentences are either commands or statements of what he sees; we don’t really have any “real” conversations yet. Colton does say please, but he won’t say “Mommy get it please.” Normally, when he says something like “Mommy get it,” I’ll ask him to say “Mommy get it please.” Usually he’ll say “Mommy please.” I don’t know if he can’t remember more than three words together or if more than three words is just too much effort or what, but I know it will come.
I worked with Colton over the past month or so to cut down drastically on his pacifier use. Prior to our cutting back, he just walked around with it in his mouth all day long. It did nothing to soothe him when he was upset, and I knew it had just become a habit for him to have, rather than being soothing. Now he only uses his pacifier for nap and nighttime, and is doing GREAT. I do allow him to use his pacifier, if he needs it, when he’s in his bed. This usually happens only occasionally after nap, and I would say he stays in the bed for 5-10 minutes until he’s ready to put his pacifier down and get out of the bed.
He is getting so big!
This past month, Colton’s biggest obsession has been to be big.
These days, he will only occasionally sit in his booster seat, and when he does, its always sans tray and straps. I’m very excited that he eats off the table, but I do wish he would sit in the booster seat for more meals just so he could reach the table better. If I try to put him in his booster and he wants to sit in a regular chair, he’ll say, “Big Mommy. Big,” meaning he’s a big boy. We’re now working on keeping ourselves in our chair during meals.
The last couple of days have been a little rough obedience wise. Colton recently told me “no” when I told him to do something recently. Now, he’s ignored me when I’ve told him to do something before, but he’s never outright told me no. Oh well, it won’t be last time that happens. Also, the tantrums have become more and more frequent. I’m trying to be patient and I try to help him express himself (ie; “I know you’re mad. You wanted to go outside, but we have to come in and cook dinner.”), which seems to help. I’ve seen a big improvement with tantrums over one particular thing lately that’s just a result of consistency, so I’m hoping that will help over time as well.
In the past month, Colton has become fond of puzzles, which makes me really happy. I was ever so slightly worried he was behind in his fine motor skills since he wasn’t doing puzzles, but then I realized the one large knob puzzle we have has lots of grooves for the pieces to fit in, which actually makes it harder than the smaller knob, ages 2 and up puzzles I had saved for when he was older. He’s getting good at those now!
Colton’s vocabulary is still insane. I stopped counting words about a month ago, but I would guess he probably has at least 200 now, including some three syllable words. He’s also beginning to have parts of some books memorized or will tell us the words based on the picture. His favorite book to help “read” is “The Eye Book,” but he also really likes “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Thomas and Friends ABCs.”
Colton’s favorite past times include: running outside, reading books, playing with his toy microwave, looking for rocks, looking for trucks and tractors, feeding the dog, vacuuming, and helping me with laundry. He recently loaded and entire load of whites for me while I folded laundry. He needed help a few times when things slid out of the washer, but for the most part he loaded it entirely on his own. Wednesday, some friends of ours were meeting at Barnes and Noble for story time and then having lunch. I asked Colton, who was currently “vacuuming” if he would like to go play with his friends and he said, “No Mommy. Bacuum.” So he vacuumed a bit more than said, “Mommy car. Go.”
Some other fun personality traits/skills/strange things he does include: rubbing one particular corner of his blanket under his nose to comfort himself, walking backwards, calling himself Ten, calling me Mommy-o, loving to shave, finding his parents a pair of shoes if they don’t have any on, and will always come running if I’m putting make-up on.
If I had to characterize this past month with one phrase, I would say separation anxiety. More than anything else, this has characterized 18 months for me.
Apparently, this is developmentally normal for 18 month-olds, but it sure is awful! Colton wailed every time we left him in the church nursery, so much so that he would be brought to us by the service hour because he was inconsolable. If we went into a new situation, even if we were staying with him, he would cry. I’ve been doing a ton of preparation with him, “Mommy is going to stay with you and we will have fun!” or “Mommy is going to leave you to play with your friends, but I will be right back, and you will have fun!” and it seems to be helping, as we’ve had a good week being in the church nursery, story time and music class with a little crying at the beginning, but warming up and having a great time by the end.
Speaking of music class, Colton has been to two classes now, and seems to be enjoying it. Basically, the class is “music and movement” for toddlers. There are two leaders who sing with the kids, and each song either has motions or things for the kids to play with during the song (stars for “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” a marching song, bells to shake, etc.) and they listen to a classical piece of music each class. The best part? There is a giraffe puppet named GiGi who comes to visit for the second half of the class. The first class was pretty awful; he clung to me, cried, told me, “car, go” and clutched a bag of crackers like a security blanket. But when GiGi came out, Colton decided that maybe music class would be okay. When they brought out the bubbles in his second class, he was sold.
Colton’s vocabulary is HUGE. He says, unprompted, over 100 words and has a variety of animal noises. Apparently, the developmentally normal word count for his age is 15 words, so he’s well on target for verbal development. He doesn’t really talk in sentences much, and when he gets upset or excited has a hard time telling me what he wants, but the 100+ words really helps in terms of reducing tantrums and just seeing his personality.
Colton is still tiny, barely tipping the scales at 22 pounds (somewhere between the 5th and 10th percentile). He’s in the 25th percentile for height, wears a size 5 shoe and a size 4 diaper. As we like to say, all his calories go into his vocabulary.
Colton has really started climbing more this month. He’s always climbing onto our dining room chairs, and has started climbing onto the table too. Yesterday, he decided this was the best way to play with his train table:
Imaginative play has really taken off this month as well. Colton loves to pretend to feed his bear and his parents. He also likes to put bear to bed, laying him down, covering him with a blanket and patting and rocking him to help him sleep. He also recently helped me “fix” his glow-worm. That was so much fun, he went around “fixing” as many other things as he could find! The play microwave I found at Goodwill Outlet is also a big hit.
Colton loves to “help” around the house. He picks up anything he thinks is trash and will proudly bring it to me. His favorite way to help, I think, is making my coffee in the morning. If he’s upset about having his diaper changed, all I have to say is, “we need to change your diaper, then we can make Mommy’s coffee,” and he’s instantly saying, “coffee, coffee, coffee!” until we make it. He makes a decent cup of coffee too!
We’ve also started time-outs recently (which is really a whole ‘nother post), and Colton is apparently in love with them. When he was trying to unplug something recently, I told him if it could hurt him and he needed to leave it alone or he would get a time out. He walked away from the outlet (yay!) and sat in the corner. When I asked him what he was doing, he happily said, “time out! Time out!” I’m pretty sure that’s not the right reaction to a time out.
It’s official. Colton is a year and a half old. He suddenly seems so grown up. This morning, he just seemed older, looked older, and started doing things he’s never done before.
This month (this week, actually) brought Colton’s first one-year molar. I was beginning to think he’d never get them when I saw two white spots inside his mouth Monday. I wondered, after hearing how terrible cutting molars can be, how we had escaped the initial break-through without incident. That night, he woke up at 11 pm and screamed until 1 am. He finally went back to sleep at 1:45 am. He’s been doing much better since then, thanks to a nightly dose of Tylenol. Along with this, I’ve noticed some serious separation anxiety/clinginess going on. I’m not sure if this is teething related or something that’s typical of 18 month-olds, but he’s recently refused to stay in the church nursery. Instead, he’s just screamed loud and non-stop until I come to get him. He’s okay with Dad in the mornings, but when Dad comes home, he wants me and we have to really work to get him to be okay being alone with Dad.
Other than that, the past month has been a lot of fun! Colton is talking up a storm, adding short two to three word “sentences” into the mix. His only official sentence so far has been “Mommy cracker please?” He also says things like, “grape-grape, Nona, Buffy,” which I can only assume means to convey “Nona gave me a grape, and I gave it to Buffy.” He also sings now! Only really “fa la la la” from “Deck the Halls,” but it is super cute.
He’s obsessed with Curious George, and seems to be developing quite the love for Caillou. Trains and Elmo are still big, but not nearly as exciting as Curious George. He’s also very interested in hair bows and will point them out to me when he sees them on babies in books. He does tell me that boys don’t wear hair bows. He also tells me he’s not a big boy but he’s not a baby either.
I’ll agree with that.
This past month I’ve finally accepted it. My baby is a toddler.
I’m loving that he has his very own interests. He’s recently become a great fan of Thomas and Friends, and asked me one morning to show him train videos on YouTube. Instead, I showed him pictures of Thomas via Pinterest. We looked at pictures for over twenty minutes while he excitedly yelled “train! Train! TRAIN! TRAIN!” He’s also into all the “typical” boy things, like rocks, dirt and big trucks. It boggles my mind that he just randomly sees these things and think they’re the best.ever!
His memory also astounds me. Once, we saw a cat in the corner of our front yard. I took Colton outside and let him walk out to try to get close to the cat. She ran away before we got within five feet, but this made a big impression on Colton. About once a week, we’ll go out in the front yard and he’ll walk in that direction, calling for “me-me, me-me.” He also remembers his friend who moved away in September. At the park one day, he ran around screaming, “Ne-na! Ne-na!”
“Fall,” has entered Colton’s vocabulary, which I LOVE! This word has single-handedly reduced post-trip crying by about 85%. Now, instead of crying, he looks at me and says “fall,” in a sad voice. I just have to say, “uh-oh Buddy. Get back up.” And he does. No crying. Awesome!
New words include: fall, stuck, truck, please (peas!), waffle, Elmo, shoes, socks, nose, ear, outside, mouth, juice, apple and help. New skills include: climbing, feeding the dog, and knowing major parts of his face (eyes seem to be a problem though, he knows where he his ears are, but also seems to think that’s where his eyes are too?). Help is his only new sign this month (he does more of a clapping motion than a thumbs up on an open palm), but it might be one of his most helpful since his help sounds a whole lot like his up.
Up next for Colton? A first hair cut.
Three months is still my all-time favorite baby-age, but fifteen months has given it a great run for it’s money. This past month, Colton’s personality has really developed, even more so than last month, mostly because his communication skills have skyrocketed.
For example, ever since Colton was a baby, when he and Hubby go out without me, I’ve always asked him if he saw anything interesting. He’s never answered me beyond babbling, but when I asked him a week ago, he looked at me and said, “me-me,” Colton-speak for cat. Hubby confirmed that they did, indeed, see a cat. Prior to this, he informed me that his waffle was too hot to eat. So I blew on it, which apparently made it reach optimum Colton-consumption temperature. I can ask him if he wants to go home or go play with trains (at Barnes and Noble), and he can tell me he wants “rain!”
Words he says spontaneously include: bye-bye, ball, baby, bubble, doggie, Mommy, Daddy, car, beep-beep, boo, wee, pap (paci), me-me (cat), Popa, hot, cold, go, people, and no; but he will attempt to repeat most words you say. He also makes these sounds: mwah (when kissing), arf, me-me (for meow), bmoooo (for a cow), ah-ah (a monkey, which actually means Curious George), and he wiggles his tongue back and forth with a uhuhuh sound, which is his version of singing and is also what he calls Elmo. Colton also signs: more, milk, waves bye, bike, water, please, eat, baby, wash hand, brush teeth and is working on train (he’s close, but it looks a whole lot like bike).
Things Colton doesn’t like include: being told no, diaper changes, getting dressed, waking up, people leaving him, loud noises, ans today, his Dad.
I feel like I say this every month, but Colton has really gotten so, soo big in the past month! He is now a full-time walker, and can get himself back up if he falls down. He also loves climbing up and down stairs and tries to climb without using his knees or his bottom. He can also go down slides by himself and loves to open and close doors. Oh, and he’s totally off bottles.
This has also been the month of crazy personality development, which has really been a lot of fun to watch. I love seeing Colton develop into his own little person with his own likes and dislikes. This has also made this month challenging, because he has absolutely no problem making his dislikes known to anyone and everyone in a 500 foot radius. Tantrums abound, but are thankfully usually fairly short-lived. Things Colton likes include Elmo, yogurt melts, cheese, Gerber Little Crunchies, crayons, Tupperware, baths, stuffed animals, the dishwasher, spoons, and stirring things.
Colton has really taken off in the vocabulary department recently. He now says: bye-bye, ball, baby, bubble, doggie, Mommy, Daddy, car, beep-beep, boo and wee. He also makes these sounds: mmm-ah (when kissing), arf, me-me (for meow), bmoooo (for a cow), ah-ah (a monkey, which actually means Curious George), and he wiggles his tongue back and forth with a uhuhuh sound, which is his version of singing and is also what he calls Elmo. Colton also signs: more, milk, waves bye, bike, water, please, eat, baby, wash hands and brush teeth. He also holds out both arms for me to say “ta-da” when he’s done something and shakes his head no. A lot.
Notable events of the past month include your first time camping, first time to Georgia, giant outdoor finger painting, trolley riding downtown, first trip to Ikea and first time drawing on the wall.
I had a hard time picking which photo to use as his month photo, but decided that even though this is a little blurry, it best captures Colton’s 15 month personality. Doesn’t sit still, easily excitable, very easy to tell whatever he’s feeling and a little crazy.
Today you are four months old! I think this month is going to be one of my favorites. You have really started showing your personality in the last two weeks of your third month. You’re a happy baby – you squeal with delight (oh boy is it loud!) and have actually started laughing the other night. You were working on that laugh for a long time; you still aren’t great at laughing, sometimes it sounds like a cough, but you are great at expressing when you’re really happy. You aren’t a big crier either, but lately you’ve been crying to let me know if you aren’t happy with what we’re doing.
We spend a lot of our warm afternoons outside on our deck, looking at the trees. You get this great confused/really, really focused look on your face and look all around, checking everything out. It’s one of your favorite things to do! This past month you’ve been working on sitting up, and have started sitting in your booster seat for about 15 minutes at a time. You’ve gotten very good at picking up your toys from the tray on your seat. Oh, and you’ve also started dropping them too; things are about to get interesting around here.
Recently, you’ve become quite attached to your favorite nursery worker, our music minister’s wife, Mrs. Crider. Every time I pick you up, she’s holding you. Apparently, when you were playing on the floor, she went to take care of another baby, and you did not like that one little bit. You want to keep her all to yourself!
I love you buddy, and can’t wait to see what you learn this month, and listen to you perfect your laugh.