Moose: Toddler Edition

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You guys, our baby has turned into a kid.  It feels like it happened overnight – one day she was stepping along like a cautious little zombie, the next she was conquering playground slides. She’s really something.

If we had to use one word to describe Moose these days, that word would be “busy.”  In child development, we often talk about play being the work of children, and it’s so obvious watching Moose that that’s what she’s doing – her work.  She is the most purposeful person that I’ve ever met.  She has clear ideas and opinions about everything, and while that certainly has its rough moments, it’s also really neat to watch.  She is delighted by almost everything that she discovers.

Some highlights:

  • Although Moose talks constantly we have yet to determine what language she is speaking (my vote is for Simlish).  We actually did a referral for speech and language services recently because she still didn’t have any consistent recognizable words.  In true Moose fashion she waited until we were worried, and then sailed past the milestone when she was good and ready.  The English words are starting to emerge, just in the last two weeks or so.  So far we’ve heard more (“mooooooooore”, accompanied by frantic signing and sometimes pointing towards the kitchen for good measure), mama, the occasional mommyyeah, book, look (yook), baby (baba), no, Elmo (of course) and Bobo (the little monkey in the book Hug). She also woofs at dogs and growls at pictures of lions or tigers. Today she said two sentences – “no more!” and “no, mama!”  I’m sensing a theme.
  • Moose’s receptive language is good – she can follow simple directions, point to body parts, etc.  I think she’s messing with us sometimes – if you ask her where her nose is, she might point to her ear and laugh.
  • Nobody does an ear infection more dramatically than this kid.  Good lord – I expected lots of bugs when she started daycare, but the amount of illness in the first few months was really quite incredible.  We managed to go her whole first year without an ER visit, and we’ve had three in the last three months.  Poor kid.  She had one really terrible bout of bronchiolitis and one disgusting stomach flu, but it’s the ear infections that are killing us.  We’re going to see the ENT next week.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the words came in slowly because she’s not hearing well out of the right ear half the time – it’s almost never totally clear.  We’ll see.
  • Moose loves her baby dolls and melts my heart by cuddling them close and patting their backs.  Actually, she cuddles everything.  Even the remote control has had it’s back patted on occasion. She also likes to walk things around in her doll stroller:

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    It’s nice that she’s given the magnet her doll’s pacifier for the ride.

  • Moose now gives really good hugs, with a nice squeeze around the neck.  She also likes to stick her fingers up your nose, so it’s a bit of a dice toss.
  • Our big girl is moving up to the toddler room at daycare next week!  We were able to get a spot at the school directly across the street (same daycare, different location), which is going to make life much easier.  She’s been doing transition visits and she is enthralled – older kids, different toys, a playground – it’s the big time.  She’s recently mastered both drinking from an open cup and sleeping on the little daycare cot instead of in her crib, so she’s all set.  I get teary every time I think about leaving her infant room teachers behind – she loves them, and so do Lauren and I.  I could not even remotely be managing my stressful job situation if I didn’t feel 100% amazing about where Moose is every day.
  • I’d forgotten how much this age is about imitation – Moose can spend long periods trying on all of our mittens and hats, clomping around in our shoes, “cooking” in her play kitchen (and blowing on the hot food), talking on anything she finds that might be a phone, sweeping the floor, etc.

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    What?

  • Her teeth are arriving in such an odd order (our doctor – “Well, that’s weird.”)  She got the front four that most kids get first, skipped the following eight teeth and went straight to the top molars, then one on the top left, then one halfway back on the bottom right.  Go figure.  Based on how swollen her gums are at the moment I suspect there’s a whole mouthful brewing.
  • Moose still loves music and dancing.  Her current favourite thing to do is shake her finger at those naughty bed-jumping monkeys.
  • She LOVES books – she reads them to herself throughout the day and brings them to us to read.  She has clear favourites and seems to dig through the pile to find specific ones.  I love watching her read lift-the-flap books, because she shouts “Oh!” every single time she lifts a flap.
  • We are definitely into clear toddler territory, behaviourally.  Moose does a great “dissolve into tears and crumple face-first onto the floor” when things don’t work out the way she planned.  It must be so hard to be little.

I’m sure that there’s more – there are so many little things that I want to remember about this age!  The first year really crawled by -sorry, future Moose, if you’re reading this –  but toddlerhood is a ton of fun and it seems so fleeting.

 

 

 

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About tamarainwriting

I'm a queer, married, child and youth counsellor, in Toronto, Ontario. My wife and I had a beautiful stillborn son and we have an amazing one-year-old daughter. It's a complex journey.
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