Months Fifteen and Sixteen
February 12, 2021
The saying goes “you spend the first two years teaching them to walk and talk, and the next 16 teaching them to sit down and be quiet”. It seems that you really only needed about 15 months to get into the full walking and talking now. I think the most often word we hear is “no”. That’s the almost exclusive answer to all questions, except for “what noise does (insert animal) make?” which is invariably answered with “woof”.
You know what you want, and you come and let us know. You do know please, along with the chest-swipe hand motion. We can stall you briefly by making sure you say it. Every day brings new words and phrases, but you’re a one-showing a night type of guy. You won’t repeat those new words for the other parent, no matter what.
Lots more snow in the last couple months, so we’ve had lots of time outside to play. You’ve been out sledding at home a number of times, and out playing in the snow. Your brothers also have taken advantage of the significant snowfall to build some serious snow caves. Our friends also had a nice tube that gave you the opportunity to head down the hill all by yourself. “Wow!” was the response to that.
If you can reach it, you have to explore it. If you can touch it, it’s going to get pushed, switched, pulled, turned, twisted, or knocked down. Once you realized you were tall enough to reach the tablecloth, you realized you could pull on it. Sippy cup out of reach? No problem, pull the whole tablecloth toward you until the sippy cup falls on the floor. Good strategy, until the day that you pulled the tablecloth with the plates and cup of milk. On an unrelated note, we don’t use a tablecloth in our house anymore.
We went to a drive-through light show just before Christmas. The boys got out of their seats for the drive through. You wanted to stand on Daddy’s lap to help drive the car. You managed to turn off the car (push-button starters are normally a helpful tool), turn on the wipers, flip on the turn signal, and climb onto the steering wheel before being banished back to your car seat. It may be true what they say about the third kiddo getting more leeway.
Christmas, as always, was a wonderful family affair. You’re just old enough to enjoy running around with cousins, exploring Grandpa and Grandma’s house, unwrapping presents with little regard for the actual contents, and focusing very hard on making sure the wrapping paper was cleaned up and put in the bag. You made sure to sing along to all the Christmas songs from your car seat, mostly the “ding, ding” and “ring-a-ling” parts, and rehearse “Nana”, “Papa”, “Grandma”, and “Grandpa” for the visit. You rehearsed that all the way to Grandpa and Grandma’s house, and then refused to say it to them for days. However, Grandma’s “Up” movie ornament was the biggest hit. You couldn’t get enough of the theme music it played, and always pointed to it for more. “Up!”
You are very determined to figure out the world around you. No matter what it is, you’ll examine it closely, or watch your brothers do it, until you’ve got it figured out. From light switches, to the baby gates, to drawers and cabinets, we’re pretty sure you know how it all works, even if you can’t quite use it yet (or we have it baby-locked). This all started with light switches, which you will happily play with when you can reach them. Nana’s level-style door handles were next, with you up on those tiptoes to open the pantry for a snack. Now you’re pushing your play table around to climb up and open the drawers. You can also reach most of the drawers in the kitchen, and the lower cabinets. It’s like watching a tornado go through the kitchen sometimes, as fast as you can unload everything onto the floor. You especially like to open the drawers by Mommy’s bathroom sink, to find your toothbrush. Still, your favorite toy this month is Daddy’s protein shaker cup. Just pouring in those ingredients brings you running right over to take it, shake it, and carry it around the house with you.
Fortunately for Mommy’s organizational side, you have figured out how to put things back away. This includes trash in the trash can, which you consider to be the most fun of all. After a diaper change, you’ll jump up, grab that wet diaper, and take it right over to the trash can. Dropping it in and closing the lid then brings an expectant look for the “Yay, baby!” and hand clapping from your parents.
Food this month means more exploring of all the possibilities of taste. You figured out that you love to use a fork, and are working very hard to learn to use it, to include attempting to eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it. Being the first of the three brothers to not have a food allergy as a baby means that you also have the opportunity to sample many more foods, as well as trying out those words. You can identify all the boxes and bags in the pantry, and clearly give us a head shake and “no” when you’d like to have a different cereal or box of crackers for snack. At least, you can try the “no”. It’s only working now because you’re so cute. You love candy, and know exactly which (upper) cabinet in the kitchen holds all those goodies. Your blanket term for all things sweet is “cookie”, and Daddy seems to hear it a lot when he gets home from work and first picks you up in the kitchen.
Your brothers are a source of constant amusement and learning. Naturally, your brothers are constantly running and jumping around the house, so you are now running around the house after them, laughing and squealing. You’re even starting to jump, though footie jammies aren’t the best footing for that. The boys love to have you copy them, from spinning in the living room to bouncing on the trampoline. You’re also picking up other things about your brothers. When you even hear them arguing from across the upstairs, you’ll shout “Stop!” at them from the changing table, in just about the precise tone that your parents use for the same thing. Your brothers have recently started using Rock-Paper-Scissors to decide things, which you think is fascinating, though you’re pretty predictably throwing just rock right now.
We love to hear all your new, clear words, from “Mommy”, to “Daddy”, “brother”, “banana”, “bye”, “bath”, and so many others. It’s completely impossible to keep up with your rapidly growing vocabulary now. “Bath” is certainly in the top few words you like to hear from us. One utterance of that, and you’re headed for the staircase to right up to the bathtub. From your side, we hear “up” almost more than anything, except “Mommy”. You’ll happily stand at Mommy’s feet and combine those two, while attempting to jump up to her arms.
Titus, we wish we could freeze some of these days and weeks with you for a little longer as you’re growing so fast from a baby towards a toddler. You learn to say and do so many new things every day it would be hard to keep up even if we were filming your every move. It’s just a blessing to be able to cherish each of the things we do witness, both individually and collectively. You will continue to boldly be yourself, and we love each and every minute of it.
Daddy and Mommy