Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jonas Update - 17 months

Gone is my little baby. Jonas is very much a toddler these days, playing with the “big kids,” actively exploring his world, and routinely testing boundaries. The rolls of baby fat have smoothed out to a somewhat more slender, little guy. I think Jonas is going to have his father’s physique. Better that, than his mother’s, I suppose. Despite some of the ups and downs, I have to say that I love this age.

Mr. Helper-man. One of the most endearing aspects of Jonas’ development is that he has become very interested in lending a hand. We are certainly happy to oblige and strive to keep him busy. It started with me asking him to go put something in the clothes hamper. Now, he loves doing anything to help. Jonas, can you throw this away? Jonas, can you pick that up and throw it to Ginger? Jonas, can you go give this to Da-da? (That’s a way for me to make him disappear for a minute.) Whatever the job is, he’s up for it. The trick is just keep those tasks coming, which is not always so easy.

Plugged-in. While in the office with Joe, one of Jonas’ favorite diversions is the cord, a cord to anything, be it a laptop, a cell phone, an ipod, you name it. Jonas sits on the floor and folds the cord in ten different configurations. When he tires of that, he walks around the room looking for good spots into which he can plug the cord. Not real outlets, just pretend ones. Sometimes he plugs into the covering of our baseboard heaters, or a drawer, the dog or Joe’s leg. He’s very creative about what will accept a cord. And the best part of the “plug in” are the sound effects that come with it.

For the record, Jonas is never permitted to play with a cord while unsupervised. Once he’s done with it, all cords are always tucked away safely in a place that he can’t access.

Favorite toys: our vacuum, ride-on toys, Fisher Price puppy that talks and sings songs, Uncle Andy’s duplos and megablocks, and the watering can for the garden. We’ve had the ride-on toys for awhile now, but he’s really gotten into them lately.

“Sound effects”. I’ve always been fascinated about the influence of social conditioning on children and the way in which they play. For example, where do boys learn all those crazy sounds they make?? Is it only from other boys? I played with both boys and girls, and I never internalized any of those sounds. When I listen to Joe talk with another guy about some motorized do-hicky, I marvel at the sounds they come up with. These from two grown men! Who taught them that?? I figured that one day Jonas would do this too, but I hardly expected to observe this a year-and-a-half.

In the last month, I noticed that as Jonas pushes around tiny trains and cars, and even other things that aren’t motorized, like a stuffed frog, he has begun to produce these sound effects. Many actions seem to “require” sound effects: when he touches his play tweezers (Animal Hospital) to the When he pushes a toy rhinoceros face to face with his school bus… buzzzzz. I can’t help but laugh. It’s so adorable. And I just can’t believe he’s doing this already!

Tantrums. With the good, comes the bad. So, while 85% of the time, our dear boy is sweet as pie, he also has his moments of screaming, crying, and kicking hysteria. I find these moments occur most frequently between the hours of 5–7 p.m. It’s taken me awhile to get used to these outbursts, but my ability to tolerate the screaming and go on about my business has improved dramatically over the last few months. It kind of has to… it’s either that, or the loony bin.

Talking. No major pronouncements yet. Jonas seems to be wrapping up the Caveman Language Phase, the grunt and point method, and that’s exciting. He now utters strings of vocalizations that sound like words, although none that we recognize. Still, the inflection is much more language-like than anything we’ve heard before. My friend assures me there’s nothing to worry about; her brother didn’t speak until 2 yrs. and when he began, he spoke in full sentences. I know, “every child learns at his/her own pace”. That may be, but it sure would be nice if he could just muster a “ma-ma” or “da-da” every now and again.

Favorite books: Good Night Moon, Time for Bed, Jamberry

Other funny things: He likes to unload the silverware from the dishwasher, whether it’s dirty or clean, and put in an adjacent drawer. He plays in Ginger’s water and food dishes as though it’s his very own sand & water table. He loves to march around the basement with Joe’s bike pump in tow, (dragging on the ground). He thinks *he* should be able to hold the leash while we walk Ginger. Jonas = 30 pounds; Ginger = 80 pounds. Hmm.

1 comment:

Andy said...