Eighteen months

The funny thing about these updates is that the tone is totally set by the week the update happens to fall on.

For example, this month has been amazing. Then last week, David started growing fangs. Some people call them incisors, but these are fangs. All these teeth? They aren’t worth it. Not one bit.

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If I’d written the update last week (back when he actually turned 18 months…) I’d write about tantrums and not sleeping. Instead, I’m writing it now, so it’s about how David’s new favorite game is to hide behind a door, and then jump out. Then I have to simultaneously 1) shout BOO! 2) act like I just scared myself by shouting BOO! Sometimes he’s laughing so hard he can’t move to hide again…and so am I.

At the end of Incisor Week 2 we did a lot of travel, and David taught us that he prefers to sleep in his own bed, thank you. It’s funny, because before you have kids you make all these bold declarations about how you aren’t going to be like everyone else in the world; you’re going to travel and go out and be spontaneous just like you were before. But all it takes is one trip, resulting in skipped naps, lost sleep, and a Cheerio launched through your windshield to make you decide that your next road trip will be the one when you’re dropping your kid off at college.

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David’s always been a tallish and heavy kid, always near the top percentile in height and weight. Just this month, though he reached “tall enough to reach our counters.” When they reach that height, percentiles don’t really matter anymore.

Watching David grow and mature is incredible. For months I’ve said, “David! Let’s go get your coat!” and he’d just look at me and blink. The next day I say the exact same thing and he runs to his room and reaches for his coat.

He plays differently, too. The way he plays with trucks and trains is more “little boy” than “baby” and he’s started building with blocks. He’s even started to read and play independently — something he’s never, ever, ever done, not even when he was teeny tiny. Not unless he was playing independently somewhere like the toilet, that is.

Last weekend he had been in his room for about 10 minutes and Tom and I checked on him. There he was, the sweetest little boy in the universe, playing with his trucks. We didn’t want to interrupt the golden moment, so we started whispering and tiptoed around like we were watching an endangered species in its natural habitat.

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David is developing new language skills, he says lots of words I can understand but even more that I don’t. He still calls me Noni, or NaNa. “Wa” is water, “da do” is cracker. His favorite thing to say is, “Hey Mom, I want that unidentified object over there. Can you give it to me?” It sounds like this, “UH!UH!UH!UH!UH!AAAAAAHHH!!!”

I call this “wanting”. He doesn’t necessarily want a specific item, he just wants to want. When he starts I’m all strong and calm and by the end of it I’m frantically handing him things saying, “Stop crying! PLEASE STOP CRYING! WHAT DO YOU WANT!? Water? A snack? A cracker? Cheese? A spoon? Here’s a vase of flowers! Take a box of ice cream! I’LL GIVE YOU ANYTHING!!”

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One surprising development this month is fighting naps. After months of going down easily, David chooses a few days a week and screams in his crib for over an hour. I think he’s trying to convince me he doesn’t need a nap anymore, but Mama’s no fool.

The way I get him to take a nap is by picking him up from his crib and putting him in the car and driving to the McDonald’s drive thru where (depending on my level of desperation) I get a Diet Coke, parfait, or ice cream cone. I know, no one admits going to McDonald’s anymore. It’d be more socially acceptable to say I took him to the drive thru at Starbucks, or Wendy’s, or to go club baby seals.

McDonald’s works, though. Every single time he falls asleep. And after I finish my ice cream cone, I carry him back to his crib where he takes a huge, mega nap that usually ruins my plans for the afternoon. It’s no fun, and I’m hoping it’s a phase but in the mean time, at least I get an ice cream cone out of the deal.

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I tend to think of David as such a “macro” kid — he loves big movement and big activity and has big emotions. But he’s also incredibly conscientious, too. When he’s shoveling macaroni and cheese in his mouth, if he drops just one noodle he’ll look up at me and say, “Uh oh!” He won’t eat another bite until he finds it. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve taken a noodle off his plate and pretended it was the lost bite, just so we can get on with dinner already.

He’s also amazingly observative. David has learned how to unlock doors, just by watching someone do it once. He hasn’t caught on to other things quite as well. He’s watched me scrub the tub at least twice but for some reason when I ask him to do it he acts like he has no idea what I’m talking about.

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It goes both ways, though. He’s been trying to teach me to find balls for 18 months now, and I’m no better than I was when I started. David is like a drug-sniffing dog…if balls were drugs. We were in the grocery store and, there was a minuscule picture of a soccer ball on a box of fruit snacks. Guess who saw it first.

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Dear David,

All month I’ve been astonished by how tall you are. One day you pulled out your dresser drawer, threw everything out of it, and laid down in it. You know what shocked me most? You, head to toe, filled up the whole drawer. You’re turning into such a big boy.

A week ago you were so so upset and Daddy was pulling out all his tricks to make you laugh, but it just wasn’t working. Then Daddy had to leave, which meant I was all alone with you. If Daddy isn’t funny, then Mommy  has no hope. But then I got this idea out of nowhere, and I went to the kitchen and blew up a balloon. You watched me do it, and seeing a ball somehow come out of Mommy’s mouth? It was almost more than you could handle. Your eyes lit up and you smiled as if I’d just spit out the Taj Mahal.

Then, for the rest of the morning, you bounced and chased the balloon around the living room and were the happiest little boy in the world.

I want to write about that morning, because it was so wonderful, and I don’t want to forget it. I don’t want moments like that to get lost in the jumble of incisors and tantrums and skipped naps.

18 months has such a reputation, Everyone knows 18 months is the best. Even before I had kids I knew. When David was just an infant I’d think, “Man. February 2013 is gonna be the best.”

Love,

Mama

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7 Comments

  1. ashley February 25, 2013

    You’re so lucky to have a baby that transfers from car to crib and keeps napping. Luke more often than not falls asleep as soon as we make the turn into the neighborhood, and that 2-3 minutes in the car counts as his nap for the day. I’ve tried everything I can think of to keep him sleeping, but he just won’t do it. Once the car door opens, so does he. And sadly we don’t have a driveway where I can leave him sleeping (because I’ve totally thought about that, way more than I’d like to admit.) Thus we never travel anywhere unless I know we can get home before his nap OR I have someone else to entertain him in the back until we get home to our beloved crib. 18 months is so fun! 🙂

    Reply
    • amandakrieger February 26, 2013

      yes, the transfer is HUGE.
      he usually wakes up during the transition, but will go back to sleep in his crib (because he needs the nap so much! why doesn’t he believe me on this???) it only works if he’s only been asleep for a few minutes. if it’s at the end of the nap it won’t work… i have before brought a book with me and just sat in the car reading until he woke up because i’m worried about interrupting his nap. tom’s done it, too.
      and when i do it i always think, 1) i’ll definitely not be able to do this for the rest of our children 2) i hope i don’t see any neighbors!

      Reply
  2. Meredith February 25, 2013

    I also am jealous of his sleeping in the car, because Addison will.not.ever sleep in the car. 9 hours to Jacksonville? 15 minute catnap. Just got home from Orlando this past week and we broke the 11-hr drive up into 2 days because she won’t sleep in the car. The first day was awful because we got a late start (left after her nap, which went long) and she was awake in the car until we arrived at the hotel at 9:45 pm. The girl goes to bed at 6:15 most days, surely she would sleep in the car when it’s pitch black and past bedtime, right?!?! Wrong. Any tips on how to get a kid to sleep in the car??

    Anyway, super sweet update, still smiling at you spitting out the Taj Mahal.

    Reply
    • amandakrieger February 26, 2013

      ugh. babies are so weird. two weeks ago on the way to visit my parents he didn’t nap at all (we always arrange travel around naps…) then on the way home, two days later, he took a 3-hr nap. then on sunday he screamed from 6:30pm until 8:30pm. wanna know how we got him to sleep? eventually tom and i couldn’t take it anymore and tom turned up the music. he fell asleep immediately. at 9:30 we turned off the music and he woke up. babies are SO WEIRD.

      Reply
  3. Candace February 25, 2013

    I love hearing about David’s development and all his favorite toys! Oh, and Winston and I frequent the McDonald’s drive thru for small fries and iced coffees just about as much as we stop by 7-11.

    Reply
  4. Kristie February 25, 2013

    He transfers??! That is golden! He is so cute with his balls. I love it! Did you buy the fruit snacks for him?

    Reply
    • amandakrieger February 26, 2013

      i didn’t. if i bought everything that had a ball on it we’d be buried by now 🙂

      Reply

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