Around the time of Niko’s 2nd birthday, I informed people that he was in size 3T clothing. This was not quite true, but it was close to true. His shirts were getting snug and his pants were getting a bit tight around the waist (although the legs were still on the long side). People ignored me, and got him size 2T clothing which we had to return/exchange for 3T. The 3T stuff was slightly big on him for a few days and then, last Friday, I went to get him dressed and had to discard virtually every shirt in his dresser because he had a growth spurt INCLUDING HIS HEAD, and shirts that were a bit tight but still wearable just the day before suddenly no longer fit over his melon. He had only one clean 3T shirt, and it was one he’d rejected wearing SEVERAL TIMES. I had to force him into it, which was a bit dicey, but once it was on him he looked down and saw it had a guitar on it, and started putting his fingers on the frets like he’s seen his tata do, which is even cuter than it sounds. (I’d shown it to him while offering it, I don’t know why he didn’t realize there was a guitar on it until he was looking at it upside down, but whatever.) (PS: thanks Target for putting toddler t-shirts on sale, we bought a bunch this weekend.)
So all of his 18mo (! I know. It was sized kind of big.), 24mo, and 2T shirts are in a bag, waiting to be labeled and boxed. His 2T pants still fit him, because he spurted upwards and is thinner than he was before, so his pants aren’t snug any more (and are still too long). He’s got some 3T jeans we put a generous cuff on, as well. Can I just say I love the sansabelt system thing a lot of toddler pants have? With the elastic band on either side of the inside waist, with the button holes and button, and you can snug the pants in tighter? BRILLIANT.
In addition to physically growing, he’s had a verbal spurt as well, and is now saying purple (burbuh), pink (bim!), green (geen), and sometimes brown (bowh). He’s putting together proto sentences, and likes to tell the same stories over and over. Like about the time we went on a birthday picnic for a baby’s birthday and there were a bunch of dogs, and one of them ATE HIS COOKIE, which made him furious and he jumped up and down and screamed and yelled until his cookie was replaced. He tells it like this:
Beebee. *makes ASL sign for “baby”* Wowow. *makes sniffing/snuffling noises and ASL sign for “dog”* nauny wowow. OH NO! myom myom! AAAAAH! AHHHHH! AHHHHH! *makes the ASL sign for “crying”*
Translation: “I saw a baby. There were dogs. Dogs bark and sniff people. A naughty dog ate my cookie. I was so mad I yelled! And I cried!”
He also, if you’re interested, STILL tells me The Tragic Yet Terrifying Story Of The Skien Of Yarn That Was Transformed Into A Ball Of Yarn Instead, complete with fake screams “AHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHH!” and signing “tears.” Only now he also grabs my ball of yarn and kisses it, runs off with it, and uses my crochet hook, forks, a knitting needle, etc to fiddle with the loose yarn and “crochet.”
He narrates what’s going on as it happens. For instance, my in-laws came to pick him up the other day and he slipped away from us and ran into the front yard. While herding him back to the car, he informed us that he was a naughty baby (this is, I want to note, not really terminology we use– it’s from a book he likes to read. He knows that “naughty” means “doing something you were told not to do,” but doesn’t really assign a value judgment to it. Because he’s two. It’s kind of helpful that he informs us when he’s being naughty.), that he was walking, that he was going to go for a ride in a green car, that it rained earlier and the cars got wet, that he was with Baba (grandma), and that we made a train (Baba in front, then Niko, then me behind).
We have a copy of Richard Scarry’s “Please And Thank You Book,” which has a cover featuring Tillie (later Hilda) Hippopotamus lowering her large bottom onto a tiny chair held by Lowly Worm. This cover cracks Niko’s shit up and that’s his second favorite story in the book (his first favorite story has cars and stop lights in it) and he tells what’s going on in the story. (she falls down. Boom. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.) It’s one of his current favorites, and he brings it to us all the time, commanding us to READA BOOK.
Niko knows that stop signs mean stop, and that red stoplights mean stop and green stoplights mean go, and yellow stoplights mean “uh oh” (be careful). This is very helpful when we are driving, and he tells us to stop or go as appropriate.
He can repeat numbers 1-10 if you say them and prompt him, and sometimes if you’re counting he’ll jump in with the next number, but not consistently. He can repeat the letters of the alphabet if you say them and prompt him. One of his favorite letters is W. “Dub Buh YUUUUUUUUU.” He’s taken to pointing to random letters (name brands on boxes and appliances, books, fridge letter magnets, etc) and saying what the letters are. He is usually right, and if you have a bunch of letters and ask him to point to specific ones he’s right about 75% of the time. However, if he doesn’t know a letter or doesn’t feel like playing, he just calls everything “E.”
He can consistently point to the colors red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, pink, brown, white, black, and grey, or indicate which of several items is the correct color. He groups like colored things together at times, even when they are very different… for instance, chunky wooden puzzle pieces and plastic fridge letter magnets.
The only body parts he NAMES consistently are “tummy” and “knee.” But he can point to head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin, hair, chest, teeth, hands, fingers, arms, elbows, stomach, legs, knees, feet, toes on himself, another person, or a drawing when prompted to in either English or Serbian. I’ve heard him say “nose” and “toes” but he’s currently refusing to say either.
Nesko has an iPhone, and we downloaded some education apps for Niko (what… STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT). One of them is for shapes identification. Niko can identify square, rectangle, oval, circle, triangle, star, heart, crescent, and hexagon consistently until he gets bored and starts trying to move the shapes around or just going for the heart each time. He can name Oval consistently and likes saying the word. Shape names are something we’re going to start work on soon.
He can go up and down stairs using two feet, ie, not scooting or crawling. He can stacks blocks 10+ high and continues to jump with both feet off the ground… and jump in circles, and hop on one foot, and both walk and jump backwards. He can kick a ball, and actually connects most of the time he swings his foot. His latest trick is clambering up onto the couch and then lying down on his stomach with his feet towards the couch’s arm. He then scoots backwards, so his legs slide up the arm, then over and he’s balanced on his stomach on the arm of the couch, and then he lets himself slip down to the floor. TADA.
He likes looking through our photo album, which means I now have extra impetus to get more photos printed (I don’t think we’ve had photos printed in a year or so… we might have done a few around Christmas to give to our family), and also to take photos of Niko with various family members. He really likes looking at himself and people he knows, especially his baba. I want to put together basically a family photo album, and I’d especially love it if we could update it every year (or even more frequently) with him with me and Nesko, his grandparents on both sides, his aunts and uncles, etc. I’m really terrible at remembering to take photos, even though I manage to remember to bring our camera places, and since I’m usually the one taking the photos there’s very few photos of me.
He opens the fridge door. Constantly. He takes out cans of coke and mimes drinking them. He brings me cartons of eggs (which is foolish, because it sounds like he’s asking for eggs, right? But if I cook him some eggs, HE WILL NOT EAT THEM.) and cheese. We have a strap style latch for the fridge, but I would have serious problems getting it to work. FAIL. He uses tools to reach things he shouldn’t. He is very clever at problem solving and getting into stuff. However, he is still a toddler, so a sudden silence means either he’s working at being clever and getting into things OR he is eating something he shouldn’t be eating.
He’s picking up a lot of Serbian, and frequently what I thought was babble or just noisewords has turned out to be Serbian. He’s been using “tamo” (otamo) for “over there” and “wum” (ovamo) for “here” for a while now. Although he’s said Djedo (grandpa) in the past, he stopped saying it entirely except when in dire need, and now he says “dede” which is a bit easier for him to handle. He says “mene” when he wants to do something by himself or get out of our arms, which Nesko is certain is toddler talk for a Serbian phrase I forget which means “let me go.” He used to say “bava” (spava– sleep) when he was tired/getting ready for bed, but stopped. Nesko tells me that he still says it when with my in-laws. He speaks more Serbian with them than he does here (which, yes, is a cue for Nesko to start using it more at home… and for me not to slack off with my limited Serbian). He can follow directions in Serbian (get your hat, pick up your ball, give me that) but I don’t know if he knows any colors or numbers or letters in Serbian, although I do know that my father in law works with him on those and reads to him in Serbian.
ASL he’s picked up recently include: wind, moon, socks, shoes, cracker, fish, boat, water, drink, milk, juice (kind of), dirty, clean, and soap. I think there’s some more that I’m forgetting.
He still doesn’t consistently show a right or left preference, and when using markers or crayons or pens or chalk or whatever mostly holds them in his fist as opposed to the way one holds a pencil to write. That’s starting to change, though. He’s fairly deft with a fork or a spoon, although we don’t give him cereal with milk or soup with broth… that stuff tends to slide right off the spoon and frustrate him. If we gave it to him more frequently he’d probably get the hang of it quickly but I’m not that in love with another round of “mop up every surface after every meal.” He’s working on drinking from an open cup as well.
Potty training is still a relatively distant dream.
Mirrored from Now Showing!.