I remember not too long ago, we were so proud that Toddles had strung five words together... "I pour the water out." Now he tells whole paragraphs of stories: "Tha's a wadderhose, an' the water comes out, and aahhh *fakes being knocked over by the water* I falling and the wadder's coming out!" This week he has suddenly started singing the entire alphabet song, and he has been able to pick out several letters for quite some time. (He also sings most of a couple other songs. A toddler saying "cause 'uo wanna go antiquing" or "Well tech-ic-ey I am, I guess I am" is pretty adorable.) He can count solidly to 12, then he often skips to 14, then 16. He likes to count going up and down steps. He is not too great at counting images on a page, he will point randomly and count way above the proper number.
Socially, he interacts very well with adults and not quite as well with children, which is a shame sometimes. He will walk up to a small child, point to himself, and say "My name is (Toddles!)" I'm working with him on following that up with "What's your name?," because toddler introductions are super cute. He is really great with greeting everyone at work, with a hello or a good morning, and knows all our staff by name. He asks where did (so and so) go? If they have left for the day. If he is there when they are leaving, he says "Goodbye! See ya soon!" or "See you 'morrow!"
He has been good for quite some time about saying please and thank you, but sometimes still needs to be reminded to ask nicely instead of saying 'I want!" We have always been sure to ask him politely for things, and we naturally respond enthusiastically when he asks for something we want to give him. "Can I have more mushrooms?" "OF COURSE you can have more mushrooms!" This leads to him responding the same way to us, which is just wonderful. "Toddles, can you please pick up that piece of trash?" "OF COURSE I can!"
There are some long standing miscommunications that have recently been cleared up. At night sometimes he will want reassurance that we are not monsters (sometimes by different types. "You not dragon? You not monster? You not Wampire? You not zombie?") He will simillarly assure me that he is not a dragon or 'wampire.' He will sometimes clear a room and declare it monster free. A common phrase sounded like "No bears and no dragons!" He wasn't actually saying bears, we asked for clarification and he gave us an affirmative on Darth Vader. So we knew he was saying "No Vaders, no dragons." Sometimes "No Vaders, no dragons, no trolls!" Vader is definitely a bad guy he knows about, but I always thought it was a weird one for him to catch upon, as were trolls, though he does have a book with troll stories. Then, I finally saw part of an episode of a new show, Wallykazam, and this song came on:
That certainly cleared things up! And when I thought about it, he'd even thrown in an occassional 'And no Giants!" but it was right after we'd seen Jack the Giant Slayer.
There are several areas currently that could use improvement. One of them is politely declining things without being angry. He has been great today about saying "No, thank you," and he only tried to use it once to get out of cleaning up toys. This morning, he angrily swatted a yogurt off of his table (because he wanted another flavor), and he had to clean it up. He was squatting down wiping up yogurt when he said softly, the concern evident in his voice "Oh no, this 's NOT good!" I tried not to laugh out loud while the babysitter had to hide her smile.
He has been shrieking piercingly, and even hitting when he is angry, especially at the dogs. We try to respond as little as possible to his yelling, and reinforce that we don't hit when we are angry/we don't hit people, etc. Lately he has been getting time out until he is ready to apologize. (I don't know how I feel about time out yet, but he sure hates it. When possible, I prefer 'time in,' where you sit with them until they are ready to do the thing they don't want to do. "I'd love to read you that book, but we can't have reading time until all your toys are picked up.")
But the real issue of this post is something that happened during Hell Week. I felt it deserved more attention than I could give it in that post. Toddles said his first curse word. I know that you're not supposed to encourage it when toddlers use a curse word, and that it can be hard because it's cute when toddlers throw thier toys on the floor and scream "FUCK!" Well, I had no problem not finding it cute, because Toddles first curse word was calling me a bitch.
On Thursday morning, after very little sleep, I was taking him to walk the dogs when it was time to get back to the room. For some reason I don't remember, I was rushing him to go faster that we usually would, and told him he couldn't climb the staircase outside (I generally don't let him when we are walking the dogs because it is hard enough to wrangle them on solid ground.) He was very unhappy with me, and turned around and made an intensely angry face, pointed at me, and yelled "You a Bisch!" I tried to question if I had really heard that, but was quickly reassured that I had by him repeating it two or three more times. I tried to react as little as possible while I finished herding him and the dogs back to the room, but I did tell him that that wasn't a very nice thing to say and that it hurt my feelings and made me sad. I even asked him if he knew what it meant and he looked a little sad/ashamed and shook his head no.
I called Lord C that night once Toddles was asleep, and told him what had happened. He asked how I could be sure of what he was saying. I quoted Toddles complete with inflection and tone, to which Lord C responded something along the lines of "Yep, ok. He definitely said that."
I wish I could say that it was a one time issue, but it has reoccurred a couple times since then, and each time when he is appropriately angry at me. I don't know where he heard it, and especially in such appropriate usage, but the word has been officially banned from our household. I had perhaps naively assumed I'd have about a decade before my child said such things to me. Still, I suppose it is one for the memory book, as the first time I wish Toddles had not learned a word.