Friday, October 8, 2010

21 months!

Yikes, John is 21 months already! I've been thinking about John's 21-month birthday for a really long time -- since March 12th, to be exact, since that was the day we found out we were pregnant again and that was the day we calculated that John would be 21 months old when his little brother or sister was born. I think 21 months is going to be a great age for John to become a big brother! He is now very much a little boy, and even though he still has his "baby" moments, I would say he is much better prepared to "share the spotlight" (so to speak) with another child than he was just three months ago when we first moved to Illinois.

For this month's post, I limited myself to talking about just two areas in which John's changed a lot - language and playtime. I have a whole bunch of pictures to upload for future posts, so I can elaborate more about how John's changing in those posts.


September was another HUGE month for John's language development. He is like a little parrot now, repeating back anything you say to him (often adding a question mark at the end, as if he were asking if he said it correctly). Grandma Kay Ellen and I both think it's wonderful (and hilarious) that we can have mini conversations with him now! Today while we were parking at the Children's Museum, John and I had a nice little conversation about the trains at the Naperville station, which is adjacent to the museum parking lot......

John: Choo-choo all-gone (gesturing with his hands out to either side).
Mommy: Yes, there aren't any trains at the station right now. Where did the trains go?
John: Home.

John has also started recognizing letters of the alphabet and what they "stand for." Every night we play the "What's this letter stand for?" game in the bathtub with his spongy press-on alphabet. For example, I'll hold up the letter D and ask him what it stands for. He'll immediately say, "Daddy." John also knows that:

B stands for baby
C stands for "Cah-oo" (Caillou, a preschool cartoon character)
I stands for I
J stands for "Naan Naan" (John)
L stands for "Wiwa" (Lila)
M stands for Mommy
T stands for "choo-choo" (train)

It's interesting that John never says the letter itself, just the word that he associates with the letter. He doesn't seem to know what sounds the letters make (except for the letter I).

Another interesting thing is that John knows when he's looking at letters versus numbers. He'll spout out random letters when he's drinking from his letter cup, for example, whereas he starts counting "1, 2, 1, 2" when he's drinking from his number cup. I've heard John count all the way up to 6 while we were reading a page in of the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, but usually he just counts to 2 or 3. He likes to count as he walks up and down the stairs at Grandma's house and when we turn on the two lamps by his highchair in the kitchen.

Some of John's new words that he uses most frequently include:

Cah-oo (Caillou, the name of a preschool-age cartoon character on t.v.)
Chee-os (Cheerios)
en-nen (engine)
hebby (heavy)
ki-ckle (tickle)
Ma (Grandma)
man-no (mango)
muff (muffin)
Pee-doh (Playdoh)
pump-nin (pumpkin)
tar (guitar)
Wiwa (Lila)

John can identify the following colors by name:
red (he has trouble correctly identifying red sometimes.....he says green for it a lot)

John had his first day of the "Parents' Day Out" program at our church on September 14th, and he now goes every Tuesday from 9 until 1. He absolutely LOVES it! I love it, too, of course - having four hours to myself one morning a week is wonderful!

There are seven other children ages 1-2 in his class. They play with toys, sing songs, make crafts, read stories from the Bible, play outside, and eat lunch. Here are some pictures of John with the backpack and lunch bag I bought him to take to "school" each week.

John's two teachers say he is a very well-behaved little toddler in class! After his first day, one of his teachers said she thought he would make a great older brother because John likes playing with all of the youngest children in his class (he is one of the oldest at 21 months).

Every time I pick him up, I get a little "report card" of how his day went. There's usually a note on there about how much John enjoyed playing with the toy lawnmower outside on the church playground, hehe.......which leads me to my next point......that John is still obsessed with the toy lawnmower he got for Christmas from Grandma Bonnie and Grandpa Jeff! I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, since he is a boy - anything vehicular (with wheels, of course!) captures his attention for the longest periods of time.

John still really likes playing with the train sets Grandma Kay Ellen got for him at IKEA. I would say his trains are the toy he wants to play with most frequently. Here's a video from last month of him playing trains in the basement:

In addition to his trains, John has a number of miniature cars and trucks and tractors that he likes to push around on the floor. He even has two books with wheels that he plays with this way (one is a fire truck and one is a dump truck).

As for bigger vehicles, John still plays with his Step 2 buggy a lot. He prefers to push it around the neighborhood (rather than be pushed while riding in it). And last week, John finally started riding his Scoot-On Radio Flyer bike that was a birthday gift from Stephanie and Elise! Uncle Ethan put it together for us on Friday, and it has already been a huge hit. It took a day or so for John to figure out how to ride it (at first he didn't want to sit on the seat at all), but he now cruises around the house on it like an old pro. As you can see from this next video, he goes so fast on Grandma's wood floors that he almost runs over the videographer.

On the new bike! from Sarah Schuchard on Vimeo.

One more playtime activity I've introduced John to is Playdoh ("Pee-doh," as John says). I'd been thinking about whether John was old enough to play with Playdoh for a long time, and I finally just caved in and bought a set at Target a couple of weeks ago. The recommended age is 2, but John rarely tries to put things in his mouth anymore. I put John in his highchair with the large tray attached and let him play with one color of Playdoh at a time. He likes to use cookie cutters to make shapes. He also sticks toothpicks and golf tees in it, hehe. Here he is with a Playdoh clown nose.....

So that's it for the 21-month post! John is in for a really exciting next couple of weeks, and I can't wait to see how he reacts to everything. Daddy will be arriving in 9 days, and Lila will be arriving shortly thereafter (hopefully).

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