The holidays were a whirlwind of fun and left me with a sixteen months old wild child with tons of toys and energy. Fisher turned sixteen months December 27. Sixteen months old is a highly entertaining age. We find ourselves just watching our son do things, it’s better than tv. He has a very short attention span, so he does lots of things in a short period of time. He loves to run everywhere he goes and climb. He has these short, quick strides that are so cute, almost a hop. He falls often and has had more goose eggs than I can count, but he gets back up and keeps going. He has to work hard to get to where he goes! He loves climbing up onto chairs. We are working on sitting in chairs instead of standing, it’s a challenge. The game of chase is big these days. When he has something he knows he is not supposed to, he shows me then runs and attempts to hide. He does things with intention and purpose. One of his favorite things to do is roll the toilet paper off the roll, rip it into pieces and throw it in the toilet. I suppose he’s seen that a time or two!
Sixteen months is a great age to practice following directions with babies. They certainly have the ability to follow simple directions and not. I love working on simple directions (i.e., give it to mommy, get your shoes) at this age, because it involves tons of language and ultimately the parent/caregiver is in total control. There’s very little my son can do to not follow the direction I give him. And he sure tries. He runs away, throws something or cries, but that’s about all he’s got. As kiddos age, they gain control, awareness and willpower which makes things harder. Letting babies know you’re in control very early on is key. Having them follow directions is how they learn about control. The key is making babies follow through with the directions they are given. My son is really testing his boundaries at this age. It’s understandable, it’s how he learns right from wrong. Examples include, turning his vacuum on and running away when he totally knows to turn it off. He turns it on, runs and jumps in a chair and looks at me, knowing I’m going to make him get down and turn it off. He does this to get my attention. He also gets mad when I close the refrigerator door when he wants to play in it. When I shut it, he swipes all of his magnets off the refrigerator. He attempts to refuse to pick them up and put them back. He doesn’t win. He throws things when he is frustrated. I work diligently on making him pick up the things he throws and put them back. I make sure to use the same langauge each time to help him remember and understand what I expect. I say “go get it and put it back” over and over, but it is paying off. Check out my post on Teaching Babies to Follow Directions.
Fisher has lots of words and repeats most anything to the best of his ability. His words are not clear to most people, but the context of the environment and his use of signs/gestures usually helps. For example, when I hear “maa,” I know he’s saying “mess.” If you don’t know what he’s saying, as soon as you see the mess he’s pointing to you will. He loves making a mess then letting me know about it. His sounds are becoming clearer as his speech muscles are maturing. He enjoys making animal sounds and is attempting multi-syllable words (basketball, football). I will not share with you the word he repeated after I spilled coffee on myself this morning. Let’s just say the time has come for this mama to get her potty mouth in check.
Fisher has been working on utensil use. He gets better everyday. I started giving him utensils with meals at twelve months old. At that time, he had little interest and they always ended up on the floor. Now at sixteen months old, he is very excited to use them and show off his skills. We give him a big clapping “hooray” when he gets food in his mouth, which makes him do it again. Score team parents! But, the utensils still end up on the floor.
Fisher has seven teeth. He’s constantly on the teething train with two coming in that I can see. He is very attached to his “bankbank”(blanket) and chews on it for relief. He eats most anything he wants and throws the rest. Throwing food continues to be a problem….When do toddlers grow out of this?!?! Geez.
As for “mama” and “dada,” we had our first night away from Fisher since he was born. We had an overnight date New Year’s Eve. Ahhhh, it felt so good. It was lovely! My mom came to our house and stayed with him. Knowing he was in good hands made it nice and easy for us to leave. The baby-free time was much-needed and all went well. I thought I would be a worry-wart mess, but I was fine. Especially after the bubbly was popped! My mom handled it like a champ. What ya doing next weekend mom?!?!
So that’s sixteen months, a fun, energetic and highly curious age. Onward to seventeen months…..I hope you’ll continue to join in on our adventures in 2017!
Peace, love and wishes for a prosperous new year,