Monday, May 7, 2012

Theo at 18 Months

Theo had his 18 month check up on April 23rd, but it's taken me this long to get around to writing it up. Theo did well at his appointment, although he still cries on sight of the nurse who's responsible for all the shots. Theo measured in at 34.5 inches tall, which puts him in the 96th percentile for height. His weight is 25 lbs 1 oz, which places him in the 61st (WHO) percentile for weight. And his head circumference is 18.98 inches (72nd percentile), which means he still fits into most of his hats from last winter, especially because the stretchy warm winter variety.

Theo's feet have not grown much by my inexact standards. He seemed to have outgrown his 3.5 Stride Right sneakers that I loved, so I bought him two new pairs in size four. One pair is tight, and the other is too big. So much for consistent sizing. He can still wear a pair or two of pants that are labeled 12 months, although I really ought to retire them. Most of his clothes are 18 months, either the 12-18 month sizing or 18-24, which still has plenty of room. He can also wear his 12 month short sleeved shirts from last summer without a noticeable difference, unless the head hole has gotten too tight. The only exception to his clothing sizes are still full body outfits like overalls and pajamas. He's not quite tall enough for the 24 month overalls, so he has none right now. (Sad, I know. I love a boy in overalls.) His pajamas I bought in 2T (virtually the same as 24 months) expecting them to fit this summer, and he's been wearing those since January. I bought another couple of lightweight ones in 2T when I bought shoes last month and he's wearing those as well - he definitely seems to have outgrown the smaller sizes.

As for sleeping, Theo is for the most part down to one nap. He still sleeps well at night, going 11 to 11.5 hours starting around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. Bedtime routine starts at 7 and he's in the crib by 7:30, and usually asleep shortly thereafter. He gets up anywhere from 6:30 to 7:00 a.m., although we never get him before 7 for our own sanity. He seems to prefer his first nap around 10:30, and it last anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and twenty on the long end. He gets worn out by the time bedtime rolls around, though, so I've been trying to move that nap more in the middle of the day, with limited success. But overall we have nothing to complain about in the sleep department.

In fact, as usual, we have no complaints at all. Theo is a bundle of character and energy these days. His favorite things in general are fish and airplanes. I'm not sure which rates higher. Both are exciting enough that he shivers with delight when he spots them. He loves books, and books with airplanes or fish are even better, but he also likes seeing dogs and cats and other things like helicopters or trucks on the pages. He would never put his lovey, Jez (Polish for hedgehog), down if given a choice. He loves to ride on things, not only his rocket ship and tricycle around the house, but also a large stuffed whale shark, pillows, blankets, and of course his parents. He's really gotten into his train set lately and likes to direct how to build the track and assemble the cars. Actually, he likes to direct people for just about anything: come here, sit down right here, put these together, get me this, take me here, etc.

Theo loves a ball. For his 18 month half birthday celebration, I took him to the playground with a firetruck and rocket structure for toddlers. He had a blast in the sunshine. We then went grocery shopping where Theo picked out his own cereal (he chose Honey Bunches of Oats with dried strawberries) and fruit snacks (Annie's Fruit Bunnies). The bunnies are one of his favorite foods now. He also got a small baseball-sized basketball, and it's currently his favorite ball. He loves to throw and kick balls in general, and just yesterday he consistently started catching balls thrown to him in the air - super cool! The best part of his 18 month fun by far, though, was picking Grandma up at the airport. She came to visit for a little over the week, which means the fun lasted much longer. Not only did we get to visit the airport to fetch her, but we then went to a buffet for dinner. Theo's appetite has definitely dropped off, as he enjoyed the food but didn't need an hour and twenty minutes of constant eating. He spent more time charming Grandma with antics and giving her lots of hugs and attention than actually eating much.

Theo eats well some days, and very little other days, like most toddlers. I have no idea how he has so much energy on such a diet, but when it's an "eating day" as we like to call it, he eats pretty much anything. He likes vegetables, particularly straight from the freezer, and dried fruit. He also reliably eats macaroni and cheese and some other pastas, and rarely consumes much protein in the form of meat. Cheese and crackers are popular, and just about anything geometric can be referred to as cracker, including ravioli and certain cereals. Theo has taken to dumping his food out of the container onto the table, so we usually just give him bits of whatever we are eating into a small dish that often ends up on the table as well. He likes to drink from a cup with no lid, but he also loves to dump it out, so he only gets small amounts that way. He still loves to drop food on the floor, and will sign all done then shove food in his mouth in a hurry before getting cleaned up and released. Then he will eat from the floor, too, so I imagine it's mostly a boredom issue rather than actually filling up. Best of all he likes to share food with Tetley by dropping it on the floor. He knows this is not allowed, and has learned to slid it down his leg and drop it from under the table while pretending innocence. His favorite game when he's really riled up is to throw food and try to hit Tetley with it. He laughs like a maniac when he scores a hit, despite - or perhaps because of - the forbidden aspect of it.

He continues to adore both the cat and the dog. Tetley puts up with his attentions better. He's mostly gentle with both of them, but of course the definition of that depends on who you ask. Tetley receives lots of hugs and directions to go here or do that, most of which he can be convinced by an adult to actually perform. The cat ignores him for the most part, and has learned to move away when Theo gets too exuberant, which takes about three seconds after Theo finds her. He likes seeing other dogs and cats while out and about but isn't too sure about approaching them, which I consider a good thing.

Theo is obsessed with playgrounds. I think he would spend all day at one if allowed. He thinks any green space with grass growing is a candidate for one, and any play structure we drive past incites furious signing of "play" and grunts and anything else to communicate "why aren't we stopping there?" He thinks the crane in one of his books is building a playground, which thrills him no end, and he's also mistaken power substations for playgrounds, which caused a fairly healthy fit as we weren't about to go play on it. (We couldn't have even if we had wanted to let him. It was of course fenced in. Theo was not convinced.)

Theo has about seven to ten spoken words. In order of frequency of use, they are roughly: Mama, Dada, jez, this, Grandma, woof, fish, Granddaddy, and the newest addition, bubble. He babbles in quite a range of sounds but nothing else is quite distinct. His signs are too numerous to list - I know I'd miss a few. The most recent, and his other new addiction after our trip to Boston (where we let him see an app of this for entertainment on Kindle in flight) is Wheels on the Bus. He taps the inner crook of his right arm with his left hand to indicate he wants Wheels on the Bus, much like an actual junkie asking for a hit. And he will listen to it in just about any form all day long - on itunes, Pandora, people singing, whatever. His new favorite verse is the cat on the bus meowing, but really any one will do, and he knows and makes almost all the signs corresponding to the different verses to request which ones he wants.

Theo is aware of the baby in the belly, but of course has no concept of what that means or how it will change his life. It will be interesting to see how he responds once the baby arrives. Right now he likes to lift my shirt and look at the "baby belly" and has even spontaneously kissed it before. Mostly he likes to bounce up and down on it, which is probably the most likely response to the actual baby. In any case, we are thoroughly enjoying our last few weeks with an only child before things get interesting for everyone.

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