Lately I've been going on and on about me me me. How boring. Let's move on to someone way more exciting and cute to look at - Sammy! As of today, he is 16 months, and boy, what a personality we have on our hands!
Sammy has transitioned into the ultimate toddler as of late. And even though he leaves at least one of us exhausted every evening, we couldn't love this stage - and this little boy - more.
Let's get some of the, well, less positive aspects of toddlerhood out of the way first. That whole baby-led weaning craze, which I loosely followed? It's all total crap, come the toddler years. I was so, so proud of what an adventurous eater we had on our hands from day 1 (or month 4, to be specific). But now, Sammy has become quite the picky eater. What kid doesn't like pasta? Is it possible that a child of mine doesn't like bread? Chicken is barely even an option these days. Instead, Sammy exclusively sticks to fruit, vegetables and snacks. (Raisins are a new favorite, and I rue the day Teddy Grahams were introduced.)
Sammy the Toddler has become very opinionated and forceful about his needs and desires, and about a quarter of his day is spent lingering outside the food pantry, whining for more snacks. Also, upon seeing nothing else of interest on his meal plate, the individual food items are immediately tossed to the kitchen floor / kitchen wall, soon to be followed by the entire plate. I'm seriously considering installing a hose in our kitchen.
|Turning the car seat around this month was both a blessing and a curse.|
Upon being told no, he can't do something, or no, he can't have his millionth snack of the day, Sammy will whine louder, do a fake cry, or usually, just sit himself down on the floor in protest. We've been lucky to escape any major tantrums just yet, but I don't doubt that they're coming.
Also, separation anxiety has reared its ugly head. This is perhaps what has pained me the most this past month. Remember how I mentioned my anxiety over leaving him with the babysitter at our pool? Well that was the last good report I received. His time with the pool babysitters has since gotten worse and worse. Last week, after a mere 40 minutes apart, I showed up to the babysitting room to find him at the door (trying to escape, no less), with a blazing red face, tears streaming down his cheeks, and his nose running. It broke my heart. On these particular days, it's near impossible for me to leave his side (other than during naps) the remainder of the day. I feel guilty for leaving him, I feel awful for putting Sammy through such trauma, and I feel horrible for putting the babysitter through everything. Anyway, I could write a whole post on this issue, but as for right now, we're taking a week off and will try again next week.
|Sorry to cut you out of the picture, Daddy!|
Okay, enough of that. There are so many things I've loved about this past month. First and foremost, Sammy has developed a love for his daddy that often leaves me in the dust. I initially thought this bond would make me a bit jealous, but it's been quite the opposite. (Especially as he makes up for it by attaching himself to my leg throughout the work day.) The second Sammy sees James' car drive up after work, he runs to the window to wait for him. (Granted, Sammy is newly obsessed with sitting in James' car, but still.) Every morning before James goes to work, Sammy loves to hang out in the bathroom while he shaves, he'll play in the bedroom while James gets dressed, and he'll attempt to follow him out the door as he leaves for work.
This past month Sammy experienced his first Halloween, a lengthy visit with his grandmother from New Jersey, and his first snowfall! (I don't count last year, as he had no idea what was going on.) On Halloween night, he sported his spider costume over his jammies, and had fun answering the door and looking at all the different costumes. (His favorite being a girl who dressed up as a hot air balloon.)
The next day, "Beeta," (don't ask about the origination of this name) James' mom, came to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately I didn't snap any pictures during this time, but I know she really enjoyed getting to spend time with Sammy. By the end of her stay, he was pulling her around the room, making her play and read to him, as he had clearly gotten very comfortable with her.
|Last year's hat didn't quite cover his ears. But at least he kept it on.|
The day after Beeta departed, the Nutmeg State saw it's first snow of the season. And I learned how unprepared I was for the winter! Sammy wanted nothing to do with the new winter hat and mittens I had purchased for him (and thus last year's ill-fitting accessories were thrown on), his cousin's hand-me-down pants were too long and not really appropriate for snow, and his cousin's hand-me-down snow boots would not fit over those chubbo feet to save our lives. Regardless of wardrobe malfunctions, we spent a solid 20 minutes out in the snow, and so long as it didn't touch our hands, we enjoyed it.
|The next day brought a flurry (get it?) of cold-weather purchases, including a hat that stayed on via a velcro chin strap, and the easiest boots to put on in the world.|
It's funny to think back on the days where just seeing Sammy reach for a toy was enough to make me praise his activity level. We are now on the go, go, go - all of the time, and this kid (finally) loves his toys. Anything he can get on and get off of is an automatic winner in our house. Upon coming to our house, Beeta brought with her a, well, we'll call it vintage toy car that he is obsessed with riding - backwards. This should make Christmas shopping pretty easy for us.
These Megabloks are also a huge hit lately. Anything he can put into a container and then take out of a container will keep him distracted for a period of time as well. In addition to loving to take the pumpkins out of the dough bowl and put them back in, Sammy spent an entire hour one evening taking crayons out of a plastic cup and putting them back into the cup. He loves his Melissa and Doug puzzles (though hasn't mastered them on his own yet), and is slowly but surely getting better with sorting shapes.
|I swear this position only lasted for a minute.|
Speaking of music, Sammy loves to sing and dance. He will "sing" a short diddy on command (usually it's something that sounds like the start of Baa Baa Black Sheep, and it is pretty much the cutest thing in the world. (I say that with no bias whatsoever.) We're still doing a weekly music class, and I don't plan on stopping it anytime soon. We've also restarted a Water Babies class, and the difference between when he participated at 7 months and now is pretty recognizable! He's quite the kicker and splasher, loves to blow bubbles (and even practices in the bathtub each night), and has no issues
About a month ago, Sammy learned a bunch of different body parts. Upon command, he can now point to his hair, eyes, nose (this one took a little while), tongue, teeth, fingers, belly and toes. (As apparent by a number of photos, my favorite is to ask him to show me his tongue.)
Knock on wood, Sammy continues to be an excellent sleeper at night. He goes down at 7 and gets up at 7 (sometimes a few minutes earlier, sometimes a few minutes later), and was pretty unphased by daylight savings time. For a little over a month, we had transitioned to just one nap a day, though this week we've added back in a short nap a couple mornings. (When your child grabs his blanket out of his crib and lays on the ground with it, sucking his thumb, what else are you supposed to do??)
I find myself utterly exhausted at the end of each day (and oftentimes, at 1 p.m.), but I also find myself so eager to see that happy little face every morning (after a cup of coffee, of course). James and I are so, so lucky to have such a good, happy, spirited boy.