18 months

Earlier this month Mingli turned 18 months and I wanted to post an update on him.  He is getting so big.  He has gone from baby to toddler.  He not only walks now, he runs.  His running is kind of clumsy, and he falls a lot more while running, but he has a definite walking speed and running speed.  He also climbs up and down stairs.  He has even started trying to walk up and down the stairs, and he can if I am holding his hand or if he has something he can hold onto.  Recently he also started going down the slide by himself.  The first time he did it he was playing on the playset and he started crawling towards the slide and acting like he was going to go down it face first.  I started moving to stop him, but before I could he thought better of it, turned around, and went down on his tummy feet first.  He loved that and did it several more times that day, and then kept doing it whenever we went to the park.

Mingli’s language skills are growing a lot.  He has great receptive skills.  He follows most simple commands, like go play with your toys, bring mommy a diaper, bring your toys to your room, go look at the cars, go get in your highchair, go to the rocking chair, and many more.  He can identify my eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, forehead, hair, leg, hand, tummy, and chest.  He understands many questions and answers them by his actions (pointing at the fridge if I ask if he wants a cheese stick).  He also says many words, but none of them clearly.  I can understand them in context sometimes, but no one else can, and most of the time I can’t understand him, either.  His vocabulary is growing quickly, though.  He has recently started saying mommy instead of mama, and has started saying daddy instead of ya-ee.

Mingli loves looking at cars outside our window.  He used to need me to hold him so he could watch them.  He would want me to hold him so much, and it was never long enough.  He would always cry when I put him down.  Finally I got tired of it.  I pushed a spare chair up to the window and taught Mingli how to climb up and down.  Now he can watch his car anytime he wants to, and he does it often.  He will climb up several times a day, and watch them for up to about 1/2 an hour at a time.  It seems like a long time for a toddler as young as him to pay attention to something, but this is one of his favorite things to do.

His favorite toys are still his cars, but he has many other toys he likes.  His ball is a favorite, and so are his blocks and books.  Up until Christmas most of his toys were baby toys.  He was getting really bored with them.  Now he has so many toys that he likes.  His Duplos are a new favorite.  I thought they might be advanced for him, but he will sit there so long putting them together.  He can make quite the tower.

Food has been an issue lately.  What he eats depends on that day, and sometimes it is hard to get him to eat more than a few bites.  The only thing he consistently eats is yogurt.  A few months ago I decided that if that was all he was going to eat I was going to pack it with as much good stuff as possible.  Now I make him smoothies with yogurt, frozen fruit, spinach, and oats.  Mingli loves them, and they have so much good stuff.

A few months ago Mingli said his first two word phrase.  He said “go bye-bye.”  That is one of his favorite things to do.  He gets so excited when we are going somewhere.  There are times when he wakes up in the morning, looks at me, and immediately says “go bye-bye?”  He will also stand at the door or walk around the apartment carrying his shoes and chanting go bye-bye.

When Mingli was a newborn we started cosleeping with him.  Last month we finally moved him to his own bed.  His crib is still in our room right beside our bed, but he sleeps all the way through the night in his own crib.  We have even started having him fall asleep in his crib instead of being rocked to sleep.  I will lay him down in his crib, then I lay down in the bed beside him until he falls asleep.  He used to cry while falling asleep, and I would pat his back and sing to him, now he just plays in his crib for a bit, then lays down and goes to sleep.  Soon we are going to move his crib to his room, then I am going to start teaching him to fall asleep without me in the room.

Mingli is developing a lot of independence.  There is so much he can do by himself, and he loves it.  He can climb up and down from any of the furniture in the apartment, and he has learned how to push a chair around then climb on it to get things that are out of reach.  Kaanas and I are not thrilled about this last one, and it means that I have to be super watchful when cooking, but Mingli loves it.  Mingli is also learning how to use a spoon.  He has been fairly successful at it, though he still often flips the spoon over while it is on the way to his mouth.  He will also walk beside us sometimes instead of being in his stroller.  This makes me a little nervous, because we live on a busy street, but I make sure to walk between him and the street, I am watching him constantly, there is grass and a parking lane between him and the cars, and whenever he tries to go to the street I pick him up, take him to the edge of the street, and while holding onto him, point to the street and say “this is the road, we do not go in the road.  No road.”  He is actually starting to get it and when playing in the grass near the parking lot at our apartment complex he will go over to the parking lot, stop before he gets there, point at it, then turn around and walk away.

Mingli has started helping me clean recently as well.  We started by having him help clean his room.  He will pick up all the blocks from his room while I do that rest.  Really he doesn’t pick them all up, only about half, then he won’t do it anymore, but I figure that is a good first step.  Recently Mingli has also been helping me clean other areas of the apartment as well.  When I am cleaning the living room I tell him to bring his toys to his room.  Sometimes he will actually go around and pick up his toys and make multiple trips to his bedroom all by himself, but sometimes I have to hand him each individual toy and tell him to bring it to his room.  He also helps me pick up trash sometimes, pushes the chairs back under the table after I sweep, and puts the mat back by the sink after I have swept.

Mingli loves other children.  He doesn’t truly play with them yet, but he loves playing near them.  Twice I have even seen him hand a toy to another child he was playing me.  He also likes to touch them, especially their faces.  I am really cautious about this, because ever since he started learning the parts of the face he tends to poke people in the eye on accident.

Well, that is what Mingli has been doing.  He is growing so much.  I can hardly believe he is a toddler now and everything that he is doing.  I am so proud of him and love seeing how he develops.

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