Sam is 18…no 19…crap, almost 20 Months!
Wow. Could I be any later with a post about my boy? It’s just…life. And hair. So I haven’t written about him recently. But there’s lots to tell, and the short version is that he’s completely lovely. And also exhausting. But lovely. I’m getting a tremendous kick out of him these days.
One whole year and a half. More than that even….it’s pretty astounding to think of it.
Sam has really changed in the last couple of months – he’s really morphing from baby to little boy in some really concrete ways. I realized a month or so ago that I’m no longer talking AT him all the live long day….I am talking TO him.
It’s a wonderful distinction – he’s going through a language explosion and talks all. the. time. He has a good number of words that he knows, and when he doesn’t know the words he will just copy inflection and mimic to the best of his ability – but every day he’s coming out with new words. It’s interesting – I don’t know if I’m just noticing it more this time, or if Sam is really different than Anika was, but I find that with Sam he KNOWS the words he wants to use – it’s not his brain slowing him down, it’s his physical ability to form words that’s the barrier. (Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean it in a delay sense, I just mean that it’s really clear that he WANTS to say a whole lot more than he is able to say at the moment).
Words he uses a lot include Ahnka (Anika), Mama, Da-eeee (Daddy), Essie (Soother – well, Essie is what Anika called soother), chaayyyy! (chair), Pu (pingu), Laeee (Larry, from Veggie Tales), Papa!, Da (Dadaji), Chacha, baba (banana), bape (grape), beh! (bread), bo-le (bottle), yar (water), Nooooo (Snow), nooooo, accompanied with emphatic headshake (no), OH Yeaahhhhh, Maaaaayyyyyy! (neigh), and a slew of other ones that I am probably blanking on at the moment. It’s pretty funny, but also awesome because he can actually TELL me what he wants. AMAZING.
I can see him getting frustrated much more than I could see Anika getting frustrated though. He wants to say more, and to be understood immediately, and he’s not yet. He KNOWS what he wants to say – and he gets right ticked off when he can’t make himself understood. I’m kind of scared of what will happen when he actually can form complete sentences clearly. He may never stop talking.
So in addition to the talking, the boy sings. ALL THE TIME. He loves to sing. Even if he doesn’t actually know the song or the words, he will look straight at you, jauntily cock an eyebrow, and do his best to sing along. This is hilarious and frustrating – for example, our go to lullaby since he was born, he now tries to sing along to. That does not help him go to sleep, at all.
He walks around singing “Baaaybbbeee dadooda” (which, for the uninitiated is Baby Beluga), he sings “Shine shine shine” (This Little Light of Mine). He loves the Raffi bath time song, and belts out the “Woooaahh, woooahhh woahh” with as much drama and emotion as he can muster – seriously friends, more often than not there are spontaneous jazz hands happening. He has a toy cell phone that sings the ABC song, and he will sing all the “c’s” brilliantly. He gets it when they get to the third letter of the song, and then waits patiently (or dances) until the “Now I know my ABCs” part, so that he can again chime in on the c’s. He misses pretty much all of the other letters but he’s good at getting the c’s.
And with all the birthdays in our house in the last couple of months he’s getting really good at singing Happy Birthday. It’s mostly something like “Haaaaaapppy, TODOOOOOOOO.”
It’s completely awesome.
So, um, news flash. Boys? Seriously different from girls. I KNOW, RIGHT?? Sam is so much more….physical than Anika was. I don’t even know how else to describe it. He’s physical with everything – he throws himself into whatever he’s doing with his whole body, whether it’s hugging you or dancing or trying to climb something. He’s more interested in physical stuff – he’s been figuring out how to really throw a ball, and he LOVES that. Hilariously though, when you tell him to kick the ball he gets confused with his swimming lessons – so he lies down on the floor, usually on top of the ball, and starts doing his swimming kicks. It’s hilarious. It’s also COMPLETELY ineffective, but he doesn’t seem to care much.
And climbing – the boy wants to climb anything that isn’t tied down. I seriously turned around one day and found him standing on the kitchen table. STANDING. ON the kitchen table. MAYDAY.
Fortunately I’ve been able to sell him on sitting in chairs instead but good gravy.
Christmas was fun with Sam this year – he didn’t really know what was going on, but Ani was really excited which was enough to tip him off that whatever it was, it was a GOOD THING. He helped decorate (and then undecorate, lather, rinse, repeat) the tree.
On Christmas itself it took him awhile to figure out that some of the presents were ACTUALLY for him. He spent so long with Ani’s birthday festivities fetching presents for her, that he spent the first half of Christmas morning dutifully trotting any presents given to him over to her. He finally put it together that HE could open the ones for him, and now he thinks that is great fun – and he’s really proud when he does it.
Sam adores Anika. This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone. She’s still the first one he looks for when he gets up in the morning. If she finishes breakfast in the morning before he does, he is almost immediately “Ahhhhdooooone!” so that he can get down and trot after her.
He does have a growing sense of entitlement now though. He will lose his tiny little mind if she takes something from him, and is tremendously vocal about the transgression. He wants to be near her and doing what she is doing (which totally frustrates her of course) but he’s definitely more assertive about what he wants. The bummer is that he gets a little like that with his friend Aidan now – before he was pretty laid back about what Aidan would do and now he absolutely panics about whether Aidan might be secretly plotting to steal his cheerios. It’s a phase, and he’ll get through it – but frustrating nonetheless.
Sam’s deep and abiding love of animals continues apace. This is totally interesting to me because while the rest of us in the family like animals fine, none of us love them in quite the way Sam does. It reminds me of my wonderful aunt, Susie – she’s about the truest animal person I’ve ever met, and Sam seems to be trotting along in her footsteps. Every morning he will diligently show you every stuffed animal in his crib, and usually require you to hug them. Then he has to hug them all. THEN you can pick him up.
He loves books about animals, pointing them out at every opportunity, and connecting ideas BETWEEN books. He found a tiny little toy giraffe sitting on the bookcase in one of the Goodnight Moon illustrations. He promptly hopped down and found a picture of a giraffe in another book….and then pointed to his stuffed giraffe sitting on his crib rail. He’s connecting things now, and it’s really awesome to see.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, he has discovered snow. It’s kind of unfortunate really – this year has been more about the ice than the snow, which means that even when there IS snow there is a good layer of ice that is also covering everything. He falls down a lot, is what I’m saying.
He’s also at that age where he has NOT figured out how to get his thumb into the thumb hole in his mittens. At all. Anyone living in the south TOTALLY dos not appreciate what a tragedy this is. It pretty much means that he has a really hard time picking anything up outside. He loves the snow shovel, and will stand over it with his arm sticking out and whine until you pick it up for it. Then he wraps his whole arm around it, and proceeds to march up and down the driveway, gathering what he can on his shovel. Usually then he hits a patch of ice and wipes out, the shovel goes flying, and he repeats the stand and whimper until someone gives him back his shovel. It’s very funny but I will freely admit to looking forward to next year, when maybe he will know how to find his thumbs in his mittens.
In terms of health, Sam is doing SO MUCH BETTER since we started to get more of a handle on his allergies. SO much better. We’ve arrived at a combination of rice milk, coconut milk, and a little bit of non-dairy, non-soy formula to get him a combination of vitamins, fat and protein, and it really seemed to help him come back. It’s not easy still – we have to be careful to make sure he’s getting the right balance of things (dude would cheerfully eat nothing but grapes for lunch if I let him!) – but it’s so much better. He’s sitting somewhere between the 7th and 15th percentile for weight now, and as of this morning he’s 22lbs 7oz. He’s getting there. We’re at a point now where everyone agrees that he’s just fine and there’s nothing else going on – we don’t suspect any other allergies or other issues, so we are really thankful for that. Now we just have to keep helping him to get bigger!
I have been nursing him all the way along. Just once a day…but it’s been working for us. The thing is, because of his egg allergy he couldn’t have a flu shot. (And I know. I know I know I know about the studies and trials. The many studies that are showing that maybe it’s okay for kids with egg allergies to have the flu shot. The thing is because Sam was so small and so young, his allergist really didn’t want him to risk it right now. And I trust his doctors and I listen to them. The end.). We were concerned about him getting the flu because (duh) he’s been so small we were concerned about him losing more weight. So we figured if we kept the nursing going a little bit he would get some protection that way.
At least, that was our plan. Sam has another plan apparently. The last six or so days he has completely refused to nurse. Like COMPLETELY. In fact, to the point that if I try to nurse him, he looks at me in much the same way as you would look at someone who flashed you on public transit. It’s equal parts embarrassment and horror. He grabs a blanket or my shirt and attempts to cover me up again.
So I think maybe he’s done with the whole nursing thing. I’m trying to decide if I’m sad about this or not. On one hand, I like nursing him. I wasn’t really under any pressure one way or the other – I wasn’t going back to work or anything, so that wasn’t an issue. But this is kind of nursing nirvana – the boy decides all by his own self that he’s finished, not too early. No drama no issues.
Of course, silver lining – if Sam is done nursing I can have dairy and eggs again. And there is a LOT of Christmas chocolate in my house that has been ignored for quite a long time now! Maybe not a bad thing…..