This is a doozy of an update, but here’s the state of the zunzun at 18 months!
Still a pretty big buddy, but slightly less so than he was. As previously posted, at his 18 month Well Baby, he weighed in at 28 lbs 4 oz and 34 inches — still very tall, but slimmed down considerably, as is to be expected with the rampant running, climbing, dancing, etc. He wears mostly 2T and some 3T clothes — the 24 month stuff finally got too short. He’s not really filling out 3T stuff, but we overestimated his growth when we bought summer clothes…err… He’s now wearing shoes! when we go out in the world (his favorite! he loves putting on shoes! finding shoes! bringing you shoes! saying “zapatos!” and sometimes also “shoes!”), and those are currently size 7.
12. He’s missing canines, which are on their way, and then we await the two-year molars.
He is still nursing 2-3 times a day: upon waking, naptime (if I am the one putting him down), and bedtime. He’s a full-blown toddler when it comes to eating, eg. yesterday ate 234 strawberries, today will. not. touch. strawberries. no. thank. you. (“But I thought you loved strawberries! I bought a pound of strawberries thinking they’re your favorite!”) He has gotten really good at using a spoon and fork (for scooping, not stabbing), and will sometimes be duped into trying things just for the novelty of using a fork. He still doesn’t really eat meat or eggs, though he’ll eat a few bites now and again (we think the arrival of molars makes it easier). He eats a lot of crackers, hummus, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, granola bars with veggies and fruit slipped in, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni & cheese (when in doubt), peanut butter, and whatever else I’m making for dinners that isn’t too spicy. He still loves water and drinks tons; he gets juice at his grandparents’ house and when we go to T.rader Jo.e’s, where they have juice samples (he loves this — it’s like .2 oz of juice). He won’t drink cow’s milk unless he’s either eating a bowl of cereal (many mornings) or dunking graham crackers into it (sometimes snack). He will often surprise us with his willingness to try things (he loves curries, as long as they aren’t too spicy, sucked down some spicy tomato juice on the airplane, shovels seaweed salad into his mouth by the handful), and at other times with his total resistance to trying things (leafy greens!? c’mon). In a word: toddler.
As I’ve said recently, we’re in a sleep regression right now, but its current state is that he is default crying-it-out at the beginning of the night (~7:30, but these days his crying isn’t very strong and usually only lasts 15 or so minutes) and then is out til 4-7am, when he comes in with us. If it’s before 6am, he’ll usually go back to sleep for a bit. If not, he’ll snug for a bit then be ready to play.
Stuff he can do:
SO MUCH STUFF! There are so many things he can do, it’s impossible to list them all. He is in a crazy learning explosion, and is a super-mimicker right now (verbally and physically). We have been having lots of dance parties, especially in the mornings. He has lots of moves (that Caribbean sperm finally rearing its head) and gets very very into it. He can throw overhand. He can bounce when told to jump, but he can’t get air. He picks up toys (sometimes).
He is very steady, and can now pick up enough speed with his feet — not just his arms, as he did for weeks — to be called “running.” He climbs like a monkey (terrifying), though will usually ask to be lifted onto things like the couch — though he’s completely capable of climbing up himself. He wants to be outside all the time. At the park, he spends lots of time going up and down the stairs on the equipment; he gets bored on the swing now. Though he is unlikely to do it of his own volition, if there are big kids going down the slides, he usually wants to do that, too. He has no fear.
We lost count of his words, but there are many. It’s hard to tell which ones are going to be in regular rotation and which are just parroting for now. Most of his words are in English, but some are in Spanish. He tends, as do many bilingual children, to use whichever word is easiest to say (the exception: “zapato” over “shoes”). He understands both, and he now understands almost everything we say. He can carry out simple directions like “Take this to Mami, please” or “Bring me that ball, please.” He still signs “please” and “thank you” and “done” but now says “eat.” He just this week started to say both “mama” and “mami” instead of calling us both “mama.” He only knows his animals and body parts in Spanish (with a couple of exceptions: dog, teeth, feet). He is right now very into honking noses, and we’ve given everyone’s nose a different noise it makes. Most mornings he wakes me up by honking my nose, then climbs onto mami to do bucking bronco. He likes to get things moving right away in the day.
He now plays independently for longer swaths of time and will sometimes sit and read books to himself quietly. It’s great, both for my productivity and for his development; I love sitting and doing stuff on the computer, being able to look up and watch him concentrating on this toy or that, throwing balls or stacking blocks or whatever. His lower lip juts out when he’s really focusing. Adorable.
Despite his growing independence, and his desire and ability to roam the house playing as he pleases, the zunzun still has separation anxiety about his moms leaving him. He is very good at detecting when real leaving (not just leaving the room) is happening, though when he’s tired any kind of leaving is unacceptable. Our new nanny is over three mornings a week, and he loves her, but still gets upset when it’s time to make the switch; this is assuaged by the fact that she leaves the house with him immediately when weather allows. He is always done crying before they’re out of the building.
He’s enamored of playgrounds, or with the children on them. He prefers to be engaged by another child before playing with others, and if he isn’t will often hang back or play by himself or with his grownup until one of the kids approaches him. Sometimes, though, he is so excited by big kids that he just runs after them gleefully, not caring if they even look at him. The other day he was so enamored of two big girls chasing each other that when they finally stopped running and he caught up with them, he threw his arms around them both — he loves group hugs the most. (My heart almost exploded.)
He still sees his pal O most weeks for babyswapping. He looooooooves her, and literally knocks her over trying to hug and kiss her. She does not, as a rule, really want to be hugged and kissed, but she also loves him, and walks around calling his name endlessly. It’s been really sweet to watch them grow from babies to toddlers together. They both play a home court advantage — at her house, she is appalled that he is playing with all her toys and protects them; at our house, he gets very bossy and tries to lead her around by the neck. Strangers often mistake them for twins.
He is likewise in total head-over-heels love with his cousin, my sister’s daughter, who is 2 1/2. She is also crazy about him. The last time we saw her, he literally fell on the floor when he saw her because he was so excited. They hug and kiss and chase each other and squeal, and all through it she makes sure to declare that he is “still a baby” even though he’s almost as tall as her, and definitely has about 6 lbs up on her.
He goes to a Spanish-language music class once a week. We love it, and he loves it, and the gaggle of toddler boys (the class is, oddly, almost always all boys) follow each other around and usually end up lined up sitting on the window ledge together. So funny. He loves strumming the guitar (while his teacher plays), playing the xylophone and the guero.
He still plays constantly with his wooden blocks, drums, and this musical turtle toy. He is very into balls, often carrying them around declaring “BALL!” He still loooooooves bubbles. He loves to dress up in this fedora his cousin got him, which which he often wears a strand of rainbow mardi gras beads. It’s very dandy. He likes to be guapo. He spends a lot of time playing in the spice cabinet, pulling out bottles, lining them up and carrying them around, and also putting his toys, cups, etc. on the spice rack. Just this week he’s gotten interested in cars and trucks, and spends a lot of time making engine noises and pushing them around the house (where did he pick this up!?? is it, in fact, what A calls the “fire truck gene” kicking in!? we’re wondering if it’ll stick).
He rides his puppy walking toy, which converts into a ride-on, all the time. He loves it because it sings songs when you move it, including his new favorite song, the ABCs, to which he sings along. SO FUCKING CUTE. Other fave songs include “You Are My Sunshine,” which will sometimes halt crying dead in its tracks, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (insta-dance party), “Sabor a mi,” which A sings to get him to sleep, and the Spanish version of “If you’re happy and you know it.” He will dance to pretty much anything with a beat, though.
Fave books still include “Where the Wild Things Are,” which he knows by heart and acts out, and “El Niño con Bigote.” He also loves “Dinosaur vs. Bedtime” (lots of roaring), “Al Galope!” (the pics move), “Goodnight Moon,” “Olivia Saves the Circus,” “I Like it When/Me Gusta Cuando” and “Del Trópico,” which he likes to read to us by finding all the cats and calling out “gato!!!”
Last but not least, he loves his “guys.” The bunny and the polar bear remain firmly #1 and #2, and are absolutely imperative for sleep. He also loves his babies, and carries them around hugging and kissing them, and sometimes nursing them on his belly button. He also loves “little guys,” little plastic animal figures. He remains invested in having one thing in each hand, sometimes making the appropriate animal noises.