It’s official; Abe is a toddler.
When I picked him up from day care on Wednesday I was informed by his teacher that they were moving him from the infant class up to the toddler class in November. This shouldn’t have come as a shock to me, but it was. They typically do this sometime between 15 and 18 months – depending on the maturity of the child; Abe is only 14 months.
About a month and a half ago I was given the criteria they look for when moving a child from infants to toddlers. I remember thinking, “We have a long way to go. He’ll probably transition closer to 18 months.” He wasn’t even trying to take steps then. However, Abe has grown leaps and bounds in that last month and a half. It has happened incredibly fast, even by kid standards. To quote his teacher, “You went home sick (about 3 weeks ago he had an ear infection) and you came back a toddler!!”
What is he doing now? What has he learned in the last few of weeks that defines him now as a toddler?
1. First off, he toddles. Abe walks exclusively and is getting pretty fast. I wouldn’t say he’s running yet, but at times it sure seems like it.
2. He plays on the toddler playground, including going up and down the slides – usually face first – all by himself. And he nicely waits his turn for others.
3. He no longer puts rocks in his mouth. Instead he hands them to you. This is a BIG accomplishment.
4. He eats with utensils. Yesterday he fed himself all of his yogurt with his spoon.
5. We’re down to nursing only once a day and should be fully weaned within the month. I would have already weaned him except the little stink has decided he doesn’t like to drink cow’s milk. I was hoping to have that well established before weaning him, but I’m not nursing him his whole life.
6. He sleeps on a cot for naps, on the toddler schedule. Meaning, he takes one long nap instead of two (at least at day care).
7. He is looking for organized activities. When they put out a craft at day care – with fun paint and feathers and stuff -he actually sits and waits for instructions instead of just diving in.
8. We’re currently working on learning our body parts. He knows where his head is, but his favorite is his belly button. When asked where it is, he’ll lift his shirt to show you and point to it. Be careful; he’ll also lift your shirt to find your belly button. If his belly button is at all accessible, his finger will likely be in it.
9. He signs “please” (1st sign), “more”, and starting today, “thank you”.
10. He babbles, but doesn’t really use words yet. He has a fun “duckaduckaducka” sound though.
11. When we talk directly to him, he understands about 65 to 70 percent of what we say, and that seems to grow every day.
12. When he stands, he puts both hands behind him on his lower back, palms facing out. I have no idea why or who he gets it from, but it’s super cute.
13. He now brushes his teeth (we help) with a big boy tooth brush instead of the infant brush that goes on an adults finger. We’re back to liking brushing our teeth, which is nice.
14. He’s decided that reading isn’t really his thing. Mike and I have to act like total fools just to get him through a book.
15. He has a smile that melts your heart. Okay, that’s nothing new, but definitely worth noting.
The only “milestone” we have to work on before November is his drinking without a lid. It never really occurred to me to hand my 14 month old a cup without a lid, so that one is really more Mom’s fault. I don’t think it will take long though.