Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another potpourri update

What's that, Joshua?

You're wondering how there could be a Keddiebears blog burst without a post dedicated to you?  No fear -- here we go with another bullet-pointed attempt to keep up on your daily milestones!
  • The photo above reminds me -- I cut Joshua's hair myself for the first time, and we both survived!  As you can see, it was getting pretty scraggly, especially over his ears... His first visit to a salon, kid-friendly though it tried to be, was not exactly a roaring success, so I decided to give it a try at home.  In preparation, I spent a fair amount of time watching YouTube videos and googling for tips -- my favorite hit was this 25-step guide to cutting a toddler's hair...  Surprisingly, though, our experience went fairly well.  I set up his travel high chair on our porch, downloaded a Backyardigans video onto our iPad, and very gingerly set about trimming his hair while trying to keep his attention focused on the cartoon.  Which mostly worked -- though every time I brought scissors near his ears, he would crane his head around in an attempt to look at and/or lick them.  So the sides of his hair are very, very uneven.  Sigh.  But we made it without any injuries, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to cut his hair at home at least until he's old enough to want something cooler than what I can manage...  :)
  • Joshua's vocabulary has been exploding in recent weeks.  He has two "command" words down pat -- UP!, and CHEESE! (which sounds more like "chizzzzz").  He'll imperiously yell "UP!  UP!  UP!" right at his chosen target until said target picks him up; he's getting better about letting you off the hook if you tell him "not right now," though.  :)  And when he's hungry, he'll march over to his high chair and start saying either "UP!" or "CHEESE!" until you get him some food.  But he's also starting to expand his regular vocabulary, which is really exciting to watch.  Some of the many words he now clearly understands and (mostly) clearly enunciates: mama, dada, bye-bye, hi, hello, light, hat, chase, knee, wall, apple, vroom.  And he's been attempting "dinosaur" -- his version consists of him getting very, very excited when he sees toy dinosaurs and yelling "DIE!  DIE!  DIE!"  :)  And he's also fairly reliably repeating us when we ask him to say words (like book, spoon, fruit, train, fan, and any number of animal noises).  So much fun!
  • Joshua has also recently experienced crazy leaps and bounds in comprehension.  And obedience!  The other day, David was getting ready to take Joshua out for some errands, and told him, "Let's go out!"  And Joshua immediately toddled over to the shoe closet, found his shoes, and brought them to David for help in putting them on.  Such a smart wee boy!  :)  He also responds to "Do you need a diaper change?" (by running to his changing table and waiting), "Leave the ___ alone" (by sloooowly and reluctantly moving away from the tempting forbidden item), "Put the ___ back" (by actually putting the item back in its proper place!), and so much more.  It's incredible how much he clearly understands what we're saying to and near him -- we're going to need to start watching what we say around him!
  • Speaking of understanding the world around him... He seems to think that all little rectangular objects are phones.  The other day, he grabbed the power cord to my laptop (which he knows he's not supposed to play with), but before I could tell him to put it down, he picked up the (little black rectangular) power brick, put it to his ear, and said "Hello?"  I'm afraid we were too busy laughing to discipline him for playing with the cord...  :)  Other objects he's used as a "phone" include a large Mega Block, rectangular fridge magnets, remote controls, small cardboard boxes, and of course our phones themselves, when he can get his hands on them!
  • The three of us have also recently invented a fun new alphabet game.  Joshua loves running laps around our dining room table, so I'll sometimes sit off to one side and say "boo!" or "hi!" when he rounds the corner and sees me.  He started to repeat what I would say, so for fun, David tried getting Joshua to repeat the alphabet after him -- and it worked!  Though currently only up to the letter J (he seems to have trouble with the hard K sound), and only when Joshua is in the mood to perform... But it's so ridiculously cute, seeing his little legs run and hearing his renditions of the letters A through J.  Especially when he gets distracted by how similar "G" is to his version of "cheese," and gets stuck on one of his favorite words.  :)
  • Joshua also knows an ever-increasing number of body parts.  He has obediently pointed to his head, ear, belly and knee for a couple months now, but he's recently added to his repertoire cheeks, hair, mouth, belly button, legs, feet and toes.  His response to "cheeks!" is the cutest -- ask him where his cheeks are, and he'll think for a second, and then put both hands on his cheeks ("Home Alone" style) and give you a huge grin.  We love demonstrating that particular party trick.  :)
  • We've also started allowing him to feed himself his yogurt with a spoon.  He's a very independent little guy, so he's been wanting to grab the spoon himself for a while, but it's taken his OCD parents a considerable amount of time to be ready for the mess that this entails... The first few times were incredibly messy -- he would stick the spoon into the yogurt, then gleefully wave it around in the air, flinging yogurt on the floor, in his hair, all over his tray... But after just a week or so, he started to get the hang of the whole self-spoon-feeding thing.  These days, he gets probably about 80% of the yogurt actually into his mouth?  Progress!
  • And we've made some real progress on teaching him not to throw his milk sippy cup.  For months (it feels like), he would take a sip of milk, then fling his cup as hard as he could.  I think he thought it was a fun game?  And of course, because we want him to drink his milk, we would always pick it up and give it back to him.  Our usual methods of discipline weren't working -- we tried getting him out of his high chair and putting him in his play pen after he threw the cup, but because it's kind of a long process to get him in and out of his chair, we think the separation wasn't sufficiently linked to his action of throwing the cup -- he'd just look up at us, very confused, and then would immediately throw his cup again once back in the chair.  So a couple weeks ago, David decided to just take all his food away when he threw his cup, leaving Joshua strapped in his chair with his tray and food just out of his reach on the dining table.  Joshua felt this separation more keenly -- he would reeeeeach for his food and whine (or yell "CHEESE!").  We would then calmly but firmly tell him that if he wanted his food, he needed to stop throwing his milk, wait about 30 seconds, and then give him his tray back.  And wonder of wonders, this effectively communicated our point to him!  He'll now drink some milk, look quizzically at his cup, and then gently set it down on the side of his tray.  And though he tests us still, he also now knows that throwing his cup will result in having his food pushed away for a time, so the throwing has dramatically decreased.
  • Our wee monkey now also climbs all over everything -- including up onto the back of our couch.  Which is not a little terrifying... We have to spot him now when he's on the couch, not because we worry about him falling off, but because we worry he'll climb right over the back of it and fall off the other side.  So yes, David was just off to the side while I fired off that shot on the right.  We're trying to teach him not to climb up the back at all, but until we can get that lesson down, we're removing all the decorative pillows, which only serve as stepping stools for our little guy... (Also, notice how he still has two identical objects in his hands, even as he climbs over guests like Bryce and all over the couch!)
  • And his current favorite activity is squatting to read.  Not sitting, but squatting -- he'll take a beloved board book, squat on the floor to flip through its pages, and happily "read" for several minutes at a time in a full squat.  The kid must have incredibly strong hamstrings and calves by now!
So there's your latest installment of all things Joshua!  And that brings us to the end of this blog burst...  Thanks for sticking around with us, despite the long periods of radio silence!


Lisa said...

Joshua is getting so big! Thanks for sharing an update. I miss you and cute Joshua!

Erin said...

Wow, he is getting so big!! What a handsome little man! :)