Happy half-birthday to Rowan – he turned 18 months old today. :)
This entry is partly for his scrapbook, partly to give you an insight into who our little boy is at this very moment. So feel free to skip over, devour or enjoy the pretty pictures. :P
Emotions are huge... I repeat, huge! When Rowan is happy he gasps and makes an “ehrrrrr” sound with his mouth open. No, we don’t know why either but it’s his most obvious form of glee. It’s generally reserved for finding his favourite foods or Play School beginning on the TV (which he really interacts with now, yelling out what he sees at the TV, or ‘dances’ to the songs etc), or if he’s babbling and we interpret it correctly.
Day sleep is pretty good, Rowan usually goes down to his one nap (anywhere from 1.5-3 hours, with 2-2.5 being the average) with minimal fuss, and now will allow familiar adults to put him into bed. He fights nighttime sleep more these days, and it doesn’t seem to be related to the amount of day sleep he gets. He is genuinely tired but seems to be going through a stubborn sleep phase at the moment – wall banging and kicking, yelling, rolling around. Once he is asleep he is generally okay, and sleeps 11-12 hours straight roughly half the time now, with a wake-up every few nights or so.
He wears Size 1 clothing for the most part, fitting into a few Size 0s around the waist of pants, and Size 2 for his tummy and sleeve length (he’s starting to get a little chubbier, so my guess is that he’ll grow in height again soon).
Since we were in Hobart recently (two weeks ago), he gets so excited about seeing pictures of or the hearing voices (or Skype!) of his extended family in Hobart – mainly Matt’s parents, whom we’re calling Oma and Grandad (“Da”, says Rowan; “Dada” is Daddy). Rowan asks to see a short video I took of him in Hobart with his Oma over and over again, he can’t get enough of it. He also refers to Hayley “Aah” (one of Matt’s sisters), who is in the video too.
Rowan has really gotten the hang of cutlery in the past month (I think that childcare may have played a part in this, he came home three weeks ago and suddenly knew how to scoop with a spoon, whereas he previously had no real accuracy with this movement).When given the choice between fork and spoon at the moment he’ll choose a spoon for the most part. Cutlery can also be used for unconventional food choices, as it turns out – Rowan recently spent about 15 minutes scooping the innards of a scone out with a teaspoon at lunch. He wouldn’t have a part in actually biting into it as he normally does, just wanted to use the spoon. ;)
Rowan has 2-3 breastfeeds per day, and sometimes a feed in the night if he wakes up unsettled. After thinking he was starting the self-weaning process a few weeks ago, he is now feeding more than ever (after a growth spurt). I've been on school holidays from work recently, and he's been helping himself to a couple of extra snack feeds during the day, mainly while we're cuddling on the couch.
Rowan is learning new words very quickly now, with a new word every couple of days. He is starting to grasp the concept of manners (“please” and “ta”; he’ll sometimes try to take something out of your hand while saying ‘ta’). He is beginning to refer to himself as “Ro-Ro” at times, especially if he sees a picture of himself. Previously, he and all other children were “baby” (“baah”). Everything seems to be about more at the moment – more cuddles, more books, more yoghurt, more slides. When people go or objects are put away, it’s always “buh bye”.
Books are still a firm favourite – Rowan has a really good memory and after reading a book once attaches a unique name to it (usually a 1-2 syllable word or babble for the book). You can then ask him what book he wants to read, and he will refer to it by name, and he’ll bring it to you. Some of the names are really obvious, “pi-der” for Incy Wincy Spider or “nigh-nigh” for Spot Says Goodnight, whereas others are more of a guessing game. Matt took Rowan to the library over the weekend and they chose six books. He has attached a title to four of these books already, asking for them by name.
Something I’ve been reluctant to talk about (though I’m a proud parent, I don’t want to appear as a boasting one, because that’s not the case at all) is the beginning of Rowan’s self-directed interests. In the past couple of months he has been exploring shape, colour and number. He has a shape puzzle and puzzle with numerals 0-9, and has memorised the shapes (and can apply this to many two-dimensional objects currently – circle, square, oval, heart, star; he points out examples he sees in books, or on TV or when we’re out and about. This is similar for colours too, Rowan has discovered two-level classification. That is, an object has a name but it also has a colour. You might see “car blue” as well as “car red” while out and about (he loves pointing out the colours of cars, and applies colour-spotting to other things too).
And the numbers... this is what is astounding me at the moment, Rowan’s ability to pick out numerals from everyday life. It started with his puzzle a few weeks ago, he was interested in the numbers and wanted to do his puzzle over and over again. We live in an apartment building (of eight apartments) and live on the top floor, meaning we pass by most of the other doors on the way down. Although I think part of it is stored information, he gets excited and tells you the number – which is in black – on each beige door. Rowan and I were in a cafe the other week and we were sitting at table #15. Rowan studies the table for a while before grinning and saying “num-mer five” to me, absolutely blew me out of the water. Other recent examples have included picking out individual numbers in package barcodes (yes, really!) and on computer keyboards. “Num-mer twoooo” is the default when he isn’t sure what number something is, but recognises it as a number.
Rowan was studying the front of a board book tonight so I pointed out the letters of the title, and he happily pointed back “beeeee” (the letter B). Oh lordy....
(I can’t believe that I wrote this much about toddler development...!)