Toddler Shenanigans

First, some advertising:

Get it? hur hur hur

Ah, the leaves have turned, the mornings are thirty degrees, and that means: TINY HUMANS IN ADORABLE FALL CLOTHES!!! Seriously, a lot of the little girls at the playgrounds are way more fashionable than I've ever been at any point in my life.

But, on to the point: toddlerhood. Now that Junior can toddle, he's a toddler, so there. Here is a checklist of what he's supposed to be able to accomplish at his current age (source: BabyCentre, the UK one):

Level 1: stand alone (check), bend to pick up objects (check), use two words skillfully (errr....)

Let's address that last point. Junior uses syllables skillfully. He's bilingual, too! I speak to him exclusively in Tagalog, and everyone else uses English at him. So he understands the term "bola" and "ball" (same thing), and he's settled for a term somewhere in the middle: "boh, boh." He also seems to think that every vehicle is a bus, which he calls "buh, buh." He understands, "Asan si Papa?" ("Where's dad?", or let's be honest, "Go bug dad") and, at peak whiny, will wail, "mama, mama" using just the right tone to trigger an immediate response from me. He is crafty, this one.

Side note: according to his day care teachers, he lectures the other babies when they misbehave: "Doh doh dow dow DOH doh!" is apparently how it goes.

So I'm going to put a check next to that skill. On to...

Level 2: enjoy looking at own reflection (check), drinks from a cup (check, also uses straw), plays "peekaboo" (check, often initiates game using "come-hither" peekaboo face, it is very cute)

All right, he's pretty good on his Emerging Skills. But what about...

Level 3: combine words and gestures to express wants (check, e.g. pointing and frantic head shakes combined with "no no"), tries to lift heavy things (yeah, I really need to stop bringing him to the gym and letting him play near the kettle bells #parentingfail), rolls a ball back and forth (and throws it at your face) 

As mentioned above, his syllable skills are top-notch, and since he points to what he wants, he can get it once we've used the process of elimination on all counter top items ("What d'you want? Your water? Not your water? Peanut butter? No? Oh, you want my food...")

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Now, I know I may be painting a picture of a genius toddler here, and perhaps you are giving me side eye for being biased, but bear with me. Here I present two pieces of evidence for his extraordinary brilliance:

Exhibit A: Problem Solving
Charlie's like, I have nothing to do with this, I'm out.

Junior has been very interested in climbing lately, mostly stairs and his father. He's also very dedicated to reaching for things that are on top of things. Yesterday he combined those two passions by flipping over the laundry basket, clambering on top, and using his newfound height to swipe at previously unreachable objects. In the picture above, he has granted himself access to my vast collection of change, which I've been meaning to put into coin rollers to exchange for bills at the bank. (Well, I at least got the coin rollers. The orange strip near his hand is for quarters.)

Of course, there are  times when he's too clever for his own good, like when he closes the door of whatever room he's in and promptly panics because the big people are on the other side and he hasn't mastered door knobs yet. Or when he opens snack containers by smashing them on the floor and earns the Mom Face of Doom. Or when he used to crawl through the pet gate (!) meant to keep him away from the kitty litter box -- at least now he's too big to do that.

And here is definitive proof that Junior is smaht:

Exhibit B: Drink Preference

That is some fine microbrew that he is holding in his chubby hands. Oktoberfest, yum yum, just the right flavor for tiny tots. And please note how he is rocking that mustache (pacifier). Truly, he is gifted.

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It's not all butterflies and beer in the Fragrant Household, though. Junior is teething, and he goes full-on drama mode when he feels a twinge, which is usually at at 2AM or 4AM, or both. And this is on top of his daily 5:30AM nursing demands, followed by a 6:30AM kick to my face (after we fall asleep cuddling, awww -- just kidding, it's like cuddling next to a giant non-slimy earthworm: squirm, squirm, squirm).

He also gets hungry frequently, and follows me around whining piteously and doing his best to interrupt what I'm currently doing, which is preparing his food. I can only fend him off temporarily with yogurt pouch, crackers, and other small snacks -- he needs his rice and protein to make it another hour! 

He still needs to learn not to throw his food to indicate that he's done. When he first started doing that I was all, GRRRRRR, and now he is instantly exiled from his high chair. We'll see if it works in combination with demonstrating how to hand over his unwanted consumables.

Oh, and he is still the scourge of the kitties. No matter how many times we tell him and show him how to be gentle, he still goes into slap mode whenever Charlie's in reach (Maetel is too smart to be at floor level when he's around). Oy vey. Plus he'll grab for their kibble every chance he gets, which for science I bravely tasted, and it was disgusting -- like cardboard and fish. Blecchhhhhh

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TL;DR: Toddler = shenanigans

This post brought to you by leftover chicken wings!