Caleb likes to:
- Sing! He's started humming this week, and puts a low "happy...happy..." in there, which is his favorite song, "If You're Happy and You Know It." He can clap, stomp, and turn around to the song.
- Read. The boy loves his "boots" (not like the shoes, but pronounced like "book" just with a "t"). He will read them over and over again. His favorites: Frog on a Log, Animals, Colors, and the If You're Happy musical book. Also a shapes book I think is hideous (bad design, bad colors, bad drawing...) but of course Caleb loves.
- Talk! He's always been a big talker, but I've kept track of more than 65 words that he now says on his own. He has a few sentences...maybe.... He says "uh" in place of "I want." So, "Uh bapple" or "uh puppy" for an apple or his puppy dog. I've heard him say "stop it," too, but he was just repeating was I was saying, so I don't think it counts.
- Have blankets. And lots of them! Some kids have stuffed toys, some kids have a favorite blankie. Caleb has 5! I thought I was in luck because I wouldn't have to worry about always keeping the one blanket clean and ready for him. But I'm getting a little worried that each blanket has become precious to him, and he needs them all. He's happiest if his crib is lined with blankets, like a mama bird lines her nest with feathers.
- Hold keys. Keys are magic to Caleb. If he wants to go outside, he stands at the door, reaches for the handle, and pleads, "Teys, teys!" When we leave the house, Caleb wants his own set of keys for the car ride. Correction: Caleb wants Mama's keys. He spots keys from a mile away, in someone's hand, stuck in a filing cabinet lock, in my purse, or in Jon's pocket.
- Flush. Give that boy a toilet with a handle he can easily push and he's a happy camper.
- Throw things away. I think he asks for napkins ("nanuts") just so he can go throw them away when he's done. He's not allowed to play in the trash (he's finally learning), so this is his only chance. He lingers and looks to see if there's anything interesting inside the trash can.
Caleb does not like to:
- Get his diaper changed. Jon has better luck than I do, but many times I'm in a full-out struggle to keep Caleb on his back on the changing table. I give him all kinds of distractions to keep him still long enough for the change, but sometimes even that doesn't work.
- Give things back. "Finders keepers" is his motto, especially when it comes to things he really shouldn't have: writing pens, glasses, etc. I get a little stumped about how to handle this. I ask for it back, I tell him to give it to me, and try many other verbal techniques, but end up having to wrench the coveted item away from his little hand. I'm teaching my child that if words don't work, use force. Not sure what to do about it though!
- Take naps. Some days he goes down without a peep, even pointing to his crib and asking for blankets. But others (or another nap on the same day) are hard-won or never happen. We're trying a one-nap-a-day experiment this week. I'm not sure it's the solution, though. It's 1:30, Caleb's been in his crib for at least 30 minutes, and he's still awake. Of course, he did get his leg stuck between the crib rails, which it took me awhile to realize. So we basically started over about 10 minutes ago. So I guess today is a different story than most days.
- Come inside: Like every little kid, the outdoors is a world of wonder, and coming inside almost always leads to a small tantrum.
Speaking of tantrums, Caleb has 'em. When we informed him tonight that it was time to go to bed, he balled up his fists, his face turned bright red, and the corners of his mouth dropped about three inches. He sent up a wail that should have brought us running, but only made us laugh, poor kid. Many times his tantrums come in the form of dropping face-first to the ground. I just walk away from it, and they haven't gotten too bad.
Another thing that doesn't quite fit into the list, but that I want to remember, is his new habit of wanting me to experience what he's experiencing. If he's touching all the different textures in a book, his hand will take hold of my finger and guide it over the textures so that I can feel, too. If he's pushing buttons, he'll press my finger onto the button as well.
Caleb is a precious boy. He's gentle and sweet with enough mix of independence and stubbornness to make things interesting. We enjoy parenting him very much!