And not because he's actually growing. He's still a little Peanut. Our friends Zoey and Emily, twin girls about a month younger than Ro, are bigger than him. But he says and does things that a 21-month-old just shouldn't know how to do.
Says some pretty fancy words:
Speaking of the Potty, he's so interested in sitting on the potty. He's been "potty training" his dolls, making his Steve doll sit on the potty at Gramma's house, and his new Cabbage Patch Doll, Max, sit on the potty here. He has a stool, but I think he needs one a little taller (not to mention a real potty seat). I've got my eye on these:
Seems like they wouldn't take up too much room in our (very tiny) bathroom.
"Daddy" (instead of dadda)
"Snack" (with a very distinct, if a little nasely, "sn"). Also "snow".
Names all the kids at school.
"Me too", "Momma too" (as in "Momma come too").
"Star Trek" (also, though less clearly, "Space, the final frontier")
"Thank you" (though it sounds like "tdoo tdoo", and still needs prompting)
"Pie", "Pot pie", and 'Bad Kitty, my Pot Pie!"
He can name all his body parts. According to some chart on the internet, half of kids can do this at 22 months."Wee-ooo, wee-oo", the siren from a fire truck or ambulance.
The one thing he really doesn't get is colors. He can say them all, but when you ask him to identify the color he always says Red, and if you ask him to point to a color on the page, he just guesses.
We spent Christmas up in MA with both sets of grandparents, alternating days. He loved giving people their presents. He got some great stuff, including Max, a tool belt, lots of books and puzzles, and an Easel from Santa.
Speaking of Santa ... he LOVES pointing out Santa (and people who sort of look like Santa), "Sa-Sa".
Simultaneously, he is absolutely terrified of people in Santa costumes. I had to preemptively veto R sitting on Santa's lap at the Daycare's Christmas Party. It was a good thing too, because as he watched the other kids sit on Santa's lap and cry, he got more and more anxious. The moment they called his name he burst into tears. We then waved at Santa instead and avoided a lifetime of therapy.
Also he's terrified of the Grinch. Just the book. The movie is fine. But you show him the cover of the book and he yells and takes the book away and literally throws it in another room.
It's pretty simple. He runs everywhere, and jumps everywhere. When it's time to get dressed, he runs. When he goes from one floor surface to another, he jumps. According to the internets, he's not supposed to be able to jump. "A few kids" can learn to jump at 24 months.
He can brush his teeth alone (though we help with the back ones) and wash his hands alone.
He throws balls and kicks balls. He goes down the slide all by himself. He crawls through tunnels. He knocks on doors. He opens and closes the door alone.
He stacks legos.
This past month was the first time he went several days without even asking to nurse. Four days, in fact. I started to freak out. Now he's back, and very demanding about it. One morning I tried to nurse him in the rocking chair (first, hoping the rocking would put him back to sleep, but also because when we lie down in bed I get so sleepy that I can't get up and get out of the house on time). He freaked out yelling, "NO! BED! BOO-BOOS BED!!!!"
There was about 6 hours when I thought about weaning him. I recently was diagnosed with Graves' Disease, a disease that causes Hyperthyroidism. I honestly didn't realize anything was wrong, because all the symptoms have perfectly valid explanations: fatigue (toddler), weight loss (nursing a toddler), jitteriness (too much coffee because he effing gets up at 5am), brittle hair and nails (I'm a hot ass mess, because I had a toddler), and on and on. But apparently those things point to over-active thyroid, and blood tests showed , sure enough, I'm all hyperactive. So they put me on Methimazole, and the endocrinologist told me 1) don't get pregnant and 2) wean the baby. I nodded and thought, "yeah yeah, whatever, you're not a pediatrician or an LC", and got a second opinion (which everyone should always do, seriously). But I started thinking ... well maybe it's time. He's really not nursing that often, so maybe it's time to just cut him off.
But to be thorough, I wrote to my LC friend (Hi, Rebecca!) and asked what she thought. She looked it up and told me it was probably fine depending on the dosage (which I didn't know yet). I looked it up on LactMed and called the InfantRisk Center (who were SO happy to hear that an LC had referred me). Then I made the mistake of calling my Pediatrician's office. My normal Ped wasn't there, so the on-call Dr called me back. As soon as she told me who is was, I almost hung up on her. She's terrible. She's the one who told me to wean at 4 months old because he had a tooth. I took a deep breath and told her why I was calling. I told her medication and she said, "Wait, what is it? What is it for?" "Over-active Thyroid," I said. "Oh, yes, you'll have to wean."
"Well," I said, "The dosage is only 20mg per day, and LactMed says that's fine for infants. And he's a toddler so I'm assuming that means it's even safer."
"No," she said, "you'll have to wean."
"Well," I said, trying to keep a polite, respectful tone, "I called the InfactRisk Center and they told me the same thing."
"Listen," she interrupted. "I can tell you're going to do what you want. I mean it's going to damage your baby, but do whatever you want."
I've since written to the practice telling them, nicely, that she shouldn't give breastfeeding advice if she sucks at it.
So, Long Story Long, I didn't wean him. Mostly because he still needs it ... a little out of spite.
Other ways he's a genius:
He can tell time. Seriously.
While Chris was away in Miami, we had a major issue with R getting up at 5am. This was a problem for several reasons: 1) Chris can usually get him to go back to sleep. He has this magic way to "suggesting" that R needs more water (even though his cup is full), and getting him to lie back down while Chris goes to the kitchen to get more water. It doesn't work for me. R basically calls shinanigans and yells even louder. 2) When one is single-parenting, 5am is just too god-damn early to get up. I had stopped being able to function at about 4pm (oh, also because this child has an "Elf" way of napping -- "I slept great! Got a full 40 minutes!").
I expressed my frustration on Facebook (I may have called 5am a whore, until I met her cracked out lepper friend 4am). My friend and former co-worker Jenn suggested I get this alarm clock.
It comes in several colors and animals, and basically you set it for when "Bunny" (or Cow or Sheep) is going to wake up. You tell the kid that he can't get up until Bunny wakes up. The first night you set it for the time the child is currently waking up (in our case, 5am); then every night to set it back 5 minutes. If kid wakes up at 5, but bunny doesn't wake up until 5:05, kid has to wait until Bunny wakes up. The object of the game is to get the kid to either 1) stay quiet until Bunny wakes up, or 2) fall back asleep and get another cycle in before he realizes that Bunny is up.
R really likes to play "Nap time" (go figure) by putting his toys (or momma) down to sleep and saying "Shhhhhh" and then yelling "GOOD MORNING!!!" at them. So we got the clock and practiced saying "GOOD MORNING!" when the bunny was "awake" and "shhhhhh" when he was sleep. Literally the first morning he woke up and yelled "GOOD MORNING!" at the bunny. When we set it back, he'd wake up and here him whining, and as soon as the bunny woke up we'd hear "GOOD MORNING, BUNNY!!!" After about 2 weeks he's starting trying to trick us by yelling "GOOD MORNING" when the bunny has not woken up yet (or else he's trying to wake up the bunny). And he's worked a few times during nap time.
Bunny has now become the final word on if he's allowed to get up, which really take the pressure off me. Sorry kid, I'd love to rescue you, but Bunny is still asleep. I'll come back at 6:15.
Oh, and he also picks out his own clothes and attempts to get dressed himself.
And when he can't figure out how to dress himself, he dresses the dog.