Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sixteen mo---ooops. Seventeen Months!

How is it possible that Alex is a month older when only one day has passed? I swear, I am really trippin' out about the fact that he is 17 months old today, and not because he doesn't seem that old, or because, boohoo, my little baby's growing up and all that, but because, seriously, I feel like I just wrote his 16 month post yesterday. I guess it's just the chaos that seems to accompany the holiday season, or maybe the fact that I might be losing my mind, but I feel like the last month has been a blur.

And yet, somehow, I remember this past month being filled with tons of wonderful, memorable days. Alex is at such an exhausting but fun age, so whether we are alone or with family or friends or strangers, he is the consummate entertainer, always coming up with new ways to inspire laughter.

He will go for his 18 month checkup next month - I repeat, 18 month checkup!!!! - so I am anxious to find out his officials stats at that point. For now, all I know is that I can only carry the child for about fifty yards or three minutes, whichever comes first. And sure, that could just mean that I am a complete wuss, but I really don't think so.

I've had to buy him all new 24 month pants because the 18 month ones are just a bit too short, and while I love Stevie Ray Vaughn, it ain't floodin' here in Texas and my kid ain't dressin' like it is, either. Most of his shoes are size 6, although I am still attempting to stuff his feet into his size 5 brown Chuck Taylors. At this point, he's going to end up with permenantly squashed toes, so I should probably think about getting him some new ones. Perhaps Santa will take pity on a poor big-footed boy with little shoes...

He's still climbing everything, and babyproofing has become something of full time job since every day he seems to get his hands on something he couldn't the day before. He can officially reach the water dispenser in our refrigerator door, and conveniently, the particular model of fridge chosen by our sans-child landlord does not have a locking mechanism. That should make things a little more interesting - and wet - in the months to come...

Getting him to eat has become somewhat of a challenge lately, and not because he doesn't like to eat or because doesn't enjoy the taste of the things we feed him, but because he'd rather be doing other things. Basically, food bores him. Sure, if we covered his tray with ice cream and M&M's, he'd probably lick that sucker clean. But that's not bound to happen any time soon. So for now, he drinks his cup of milk and eats what he eats and spends the rest of dinner time trying to make us laugh.

There are a few foods that he does show more interest in than others. He ate his weight in blueberries this month, he loves fish sticks, and I've recently introduced him to kettlecorn. Alex, kettlecorn. Kettlecorn, Alex. It was love at first bite.

But a steady diet of fish sticks, popcorn, and blueberries just isn't going to cut it. In fact, I'd prefer to limit his fish stick intake as much as possible, although I suppose there are worse things he could be eating. (And on that note, Auntie L., in response to your comment on his sixteen month post, those were "chicken-flavored tofu nuggets" he was eating in that video. Thanks for pointing that out.)

He loves his baths and will hightail it to the tub when I tell him it's bathtime, although now he does less playing in the bath than he used to. These days, he just likes to sit calmly in the warm water and relax, you know, since he works so hard all day and really needs to take a load off before he goes to bed.

And I don't know whether it's his disposition or the fabulous lighting in his bathroom, but he seems to be especially photogenic when he's bathing, hence the abundance of bath pics...

Speaking of bed...I remember back when he was a couple months old, when getting him to sleep was an impossibility, the bane of my existence, the most frustrating, aggravating, intimidating challenge I'd ever been faced with. I remember people telling me that it would get better, and it did, and it has continued to get better and better with each passing month. I love that he will take a nap at school, on a mat, on the floor, despite the presence of other kids and toys and noise. I love that I can put him in his bed at home, chat with him, give him kisses goodnight, and walk out without cringing in anticipation of a hissyfit. His naps are like clockwork, and while I wish he would sleep in past seven, he sleeps a full twelve hours every night, with very few exceptions. I am aware that I need to enjoy this phase while it lasts because, before long, he will no longer be confined to the prison that is his crib and will be expected to stay in a big boy bed, without bars to hold him in. Yikes.

While he still debuts new words on a regular basis, the most remarkable changes this month have more do with his personality. He is such a little person at this point, able to communicate most of his needs and wants, with his own opinions, his own preferences, his own agendas. It has been so fun to watch him play by himself, to explore things around the house, to interact with other kids at the zoo or the park or storytimes around town. And of course, he started school this month, so it will be very exciting (and scary) to see what new things he learns when he's surrounded by folks other than, well, his folks.

Despite his relatively limited vocabulary, he and I could sit and have a long "conversation", or more accurately, a "two-way monologue". He has developed this whole bizarre language that, if I had to describe it, sounds something like a cross between French and Arabic. It's like he wants to speak as fluently as we do, so instead of using the few words he knows, he just makes up sounds that sound like words.

He answers most questions with an adamant, "No sir" because that's the phrase he hears most often from me, or variations, including, "unh-unh", "mm-mm", or plain ol' "no", all usually accompanied by a corresponding head shake. We've been working on "yes ma'am's" and "yes sirs" so he'll understand the difference, because I'm pretty sure the answer to, "Alex would you like to watch The Incredibles while I squeeze chocolate syrup into your mouth?" is not "no sir".

It is great to be able to say to him, "Please put this paper in the garbage," and then he goes and does it, without a moment of hesitation, like he was born knowing what to do. I've been trying to get him to help with things around the house, but apparently messing things up is still more fun than cleaning them.

He is a good listener and obeys most of the time, although he attempts to get away with things and plays coy when he gets caught.

He loves to climb and rough house and wrestle, like all good boys do, and thinks it's hilarious to smack me or his dad and make loud "boy noises" at the same time. And while it's all in good fun now, I have a feeling we'll regret encouraging such things when he starts hitting kids in his class who won't find the humor. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, and at that point, I'll blame his dad.

The kid can't stack two square blocks to save his life, but give him two oddly-shaped pumpkins and he'll have one balanced on top of another in seconds.

He loves to read and to color, and he is obsessive about holding his crayons correctly.

He is a good, sweet, happy boy who suffers from the occasional mood swing that elicits intolerable whining that makes me want to stuff his mouth (or my ears) with marshmallows. But the good times most certainly outweigh the not-so-good ones, and I love every second I'm with him and miss him every second I'm not. I'm already dreading the day he goes off to college. No, really. I mean, this past month went by so fast, I could wake up tomorrow and find him at the dining room table, with a cup of coffee, filling in the last word of the New York Times crossword puzzle. Sigh, they grow up so fast, don't they?


Grandpa in Peoria said...

Brown underpants? Whoa.

Amy said...

Yes, you all do grow up so so fast!
That last picture has to be one of the best ever on the planet!!! Rachel wishes she took that one.
Hey! Dibsies!!! I want that picture that you two must have been working on together! I see circles like you were trying to show him how to trace. That would make a great gift for Granny B!
Alex, don't let go of your art supplies buddy! You are smart to guard them!!!
OH! You both are so grown up!
Thanks for the great blog. I needed that!

leah said...

LOVE that kid!!! Even though he tells me "no" A LOT!! Soooo not gonna be cute one day :) dont think "soon to be" uncle chris noticed the cup in the first few pictures...his favorite place!!! Too bad he was too busy being sick this past weekend to go there :(