I've been neglecting Toddler J on this blog, so here's an update:
J's language skills are finally progressing. I made audiology and speech pathology appointments for him for the first of December, and then, suddenly, he began using more words and mimicking the ends of our sentences and repeating words on command, all the important developmental steps. So I think he was just waiting for me to be really serious about getting him tested, and then he decided it might be time to start making some progress. Shades of interactions future, perhaps?? His language choices are still, umm, eclectic? For example, the first word he learned after I made the appointments was "cookie" in honor of Cookie Monster, his favorite Sesame Street character (tied with Elmo, of course). Or, when we ask him what we should call the new baby, he says "Blue!" loudly every single time. The new kid on the block may be cursed with this as an informal nickname!
Sadly, J's new language skills are flowering at the same time that his pleasant disposition is becoming a victim of the terrible twos, a bit early. Hooray..... So, we are spending large chunks of time each day getting frustrated with each other as he says...something...very emphatically...and I try...fruitlessly...to understand him. Then he has a meltdown, full tantrum on the floor, sobbing as if his life is over. Then I distract...or not...and we move on until the next time. Our only salvation, besides Sesame Street, is Caillou, our French Canadian imported cartoon that makes him giggle out loud. Caillou is a double-edge sword, though, because stopping the DVD is also cause for a tantrum. But then, what isn't? Or we can read Dr. Seuss books, his current favorites, but only if he decides he wants to, and he is very emphatic about when reading is an appropriate activity. Before naps and bedtime, fine. During the day? Only when he's ready, thank you very much!
J is obsessed with all things mechanical, but his special love is school busses. He still uses the sign for "bus" instead of speaking the , and his fist is raised in the air each and every time he sees one. He then asks after we see a few "many?" and I tell him how many we've seen so far. The other day we saw 34 on one trip to the store. It was nirvana for J! Counting is hard for J, of course, since he only knows the number two. Not one, just two. So he counts like this: "two, two, two, two, two." It's cute but doesn't get him very far! He is in love with our friend's 4 year old daughter, has learned her name and everything, and I'm pretty sure his love reached its zenith when he saw her get off a school bus!
He's also become very demonstrative lately. J wants to give lots of hugs, even to the new baby in Mommy's tummy. (We're teaching him already to be gentle so the hugs are subdued and careful, a good precedent.) His most recent hugging variation is to insist on hugging both of us at once if we happen to be close enough to touch the other when one of us (usually the husband--kid is HEAVY) is holding him. It's very endearing!
Perhaps because of his lagging language skills, perhaps because he is our child, J is VERY expressive with his face. His wealth of facial expressions is mind-boggling, but not as uncanny as the moments when he imitates the husband perfectly. Usually he does it unconsciously when he is around the husband, and seeing the two of them with the identical expression on is almost more than I can take some days! Heaven help me--what if I have yet another of the husband's mini-Me's?