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Oh boy does time fly when you’re raising a baby. It’s crazy to look at my Facebook memories or take a glimpse at our photo cloud of all of Greyson’s pictures over these last 18 months. It’s amazing to me that time seems to slip by, but nonetheless we get to enjoy these precious milestones of our little guy and here we are – surviving a year and a half of parenthood. I say surviving because any parent of toddlers will tell you that 18 months brings on a newfound set of challenges, excitement, and anxiety for any parent. There’s frustration and extreme joy mixed in there too. Greyson has truly blossomed into a smart, charming, and strong-willed child. However, he always finds the time to get those daily snuggles in and even has grown more attached-to-the-hip with Daddy lately- something we both find completely adorable. Here’s a peek at what Greyson has been up to since the last time at his first birthday.
Greyson has definitely mastered his sense of
walking running! He loves being outdoors and having wide open spaces to run around in. Thankfully we have a beautiful courtyard where he gets to run, climb, kick a ball, and tumble play. Another fun new skill he’s mastered is climbing. Onto – and falling off of – everything! Luckily he hasn’t shown interest yet in climbing out of his crib, but he’s onto everything in the house! From our bed to my desk chair (see above photos) this kid is on it. But he is learning about gravity that much quicker too. He fell from his kid table in his room and learned very quickly that falling isn’t as fun as climbing up on things. Yay, #childproofing volume 2.
Language is in full swing and Greyson loves to talk to anyone who will listen. I’m amazed at how much he understands and can follow directions well, which is a huge help in teaching him about his surroundings or behavior. But, this is also a trying time because he understands more than he can express himself – often leaving him very frustrated. Luckily I’ve been teaching him signs for ‘please’, ‘more’, and working on ‘thank you.’ This has helped him with his manners especially at mealtimes. He knows how to say several words and is only beginning to put them together in simple sentences. Greyson has also become quite the charmer with the ladies – stopping them as we walk and talking to them with no hesitation. I’m quite impressed with his ability to walk up to people and say hi and also loves blowing kisses when saying ‘goodbye’ *heart melts*.
The Thinker & Mr. Independent
Greyson is beginning to understand the concept of coloring and can build his blocks into simple structures. He absolutely loves filling empty containers with just about anything he can get his hands on. Greyson has also been mimicking us a lot like talking on the phone or pretending to feed his stuffed animals. It’s so fun to see him explore new places or be eager to show us things that are interesting to him. Another fun aspect of his development these last few months have been his increasing independence. I say fun because on one hand he’s really learning, and enjoying, to do things for himself. He no longer wants to be fed, but rather feed himself. He doesn’t want assistance with fine motor games like building his blocks or his little action figures. And on that other hand he is strong-willed and stubborn, so when he needs help he doesn’t want it and a battle ensues. Mr. Independent for sure!
- Friends: Elmo and his Curious George stuffed animal
- Animal: Monkeys and dinosaurs
- Books: Anything with cars, dinosaurs, or animals. He also loves any books with flaps! Llama Llama Red Pajama is his favorite to read at bedtime.
- Movie: Minions and Trolls
- Music: He loves all music but Justin Timberlake’s ‘I got a feeling‘ from Trolls gets him going instantly!
- Food: Bananas (thanks, Minions), pizza, and his green smoothies! This kid loves food.
- Loves to help sweep and vacuum!
- Game: Hide-and-go-seek with Daddy
- Toys: Putting anything in containers and anything with buckles or zippers. He also loves having his iPad time in the mornings to play his favorite apps like: Elmo Calls, Storybots, Elmo’s ABCs, and Starfall ABCs.
- Transitioning to taking one nap a day now
- To feed himself with utensils
- Putting on and taking off clothes by himself
- Interest in the potty
- Sort his toys by color, shape, and size
- Brush his teeth with our help
- Identify body parts (he knows his nose!)
How we’re encouraging Greyson into the next phase…
Development of a toddler is huge and it seems those milestones approach faster and faster with time. Now that Greyson is in a particularly exciting time in his cognitive, verbal, and physical development these are the things we’re doing to help him along. For us, it’s all about paying attention to what he’s ready for and how we can keep him engaged with discovering the world around him.
- Coloring and drawing with different kinds of things like pencils and crayons.
- Sensory play like playing with his water table, sand play, and other hand-eye coordinating games.
- Talking to him! Asking him things, giving directions, having conversations with him when he talks to us, and not using ‘baby talk’ to identify things (i.e. ‘water’ not ‘wa-wa’). These help him continue learning words and eventually be able to express himself without the frustration.
- He eats what we eat. Plain and simple. He’s naturally a great eater but is very aware of what others are eating too so we always try to offer him and share our meals.
- We take him out to restaurants so over time he learns manners when outside the home. Most cases the husband has to take him out when he starts his screaming fit, but luckily he’s been pretty great overall. As parents we need to get comfortable and confident with how we deal with public discipline of a toddler.
- He is expected to help clean up his toys – and thankfully he’s happy to do so. We maximize his eagerness to please us as well as his love for putting things in containers by having him help clean up after he’s done playing or it’s time for a nap.
- Social experiences with other children. Being an only child and stuck with me all day during the week, we want Greyson to grow up surrounded by other children and learn to coexist with them – i.e. playing, taking turns, waiting, etc. Doctors say toddlers at this age ‘parallel play’ where they play near each other but not so much with each other. We love that he enjoys the nursery at church and our MOMS group is starting up again this month, which gives him added time to be away from me and play with other kids his age.
Any other toddler mamas out there? How are you surviving this new stage? Any tips, tricks, or advice for other moms out there?