Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Month 22

This month, when people asked me how old Wesley was, I found myself saying, "he'll be two in July". Which I think means it's coming right up. 22 months certainly sounds close to 24 months. He's certainly becoming a more capable little guy.

It seems like we did a lot this month, and time passed more slowly than it has been lately which is kind of nice. Wesley went through a lot of separate, intense, passionate phases of interest this month.

For the Love of Slides
We hadn't frequented the playground for months and months. We mostly went to the park a block from our house and explored under the trees. Partially it was because Wesley had so been enjoying gathering nature items, partially convenience, and largely because during the winter months every child at the playground seems to be hacking up a lung and then wanting to come borrow Wesley's shovel. So I tend to steer clear of the busy parks during sick winter months.

However, when we did go one day with Staci and Louis, Wesley rediscovered slides in a whole new way. When he was younger he had always wanted us to go down the slides with him, which seemed reasonable, but now he goes solo and loves it. Oh how he loves it. Especially the tunnel slides.

For the Love of Cutting
The last time I offered Wesley scissors, I promptly confiscated them with serious concern for eyeballs and fingers. This month, though, when the scissors came out, it was a huge success.

Nearly a year ago I bought cute scissors in Japantown. They were in a sweet little case and clearly for kids, but I couldn't actually see the entirety of the scissors. I was surprised when I first discovered that despite the plastic character-embellished scissors case, the actual scissors were all metal with not-so-blunt ends.

Wes did great with them, though. He was so careful. He would repeat safety protocol about fingers, about setting the scissors down before he jumped up and ran around in joy, etc.

The first day I got them out he probably cut up magazines for three hours straight. It was one of those amazing parenting moments where you witness perfect engagement for a developmental stage. No frustration, just intense concentration interspersed with pure happiness and excitement. And progress is always quick during such sessions.

Wesley started holding a handle in each hand and I would spin the magazine to try and get the page at the right angle. By the time the first day ended, he had a system wherein he could hold his own page to cut it. He'd take the scissors, open them using both hands, transfer them to one hand, squeeze with his fingers outside the holes (on the outside of the scissors), and then repeat. It was slow going. He could only make little one-snip cuts on the edge of the magazine, but he was able to cut.

Then I bought him some beginner's scissors with "lift assist". They spring back open automatically after he squeezes them together. This was a game-changer. Now he can cut continuously without having to open them back up. They are awesome starter scissors.

So instead of having us cut out pictures for collages and then Wes snipping the edges to add flair, he can actually cut things out on his own! He is learning to anticipate scissor positioning so as not to cut the desired object in half, how to cut excess away and get "just" the object of choice. He still often holds the scissors upside down which can make the scissors less effective. He puts his thumb in the hole about 60% of the time, but often keeps all fingers on the outer edge of the scissors. Depending upon the paper and format, he sometimes likes for us to help hold he page taught, and sometimes he says "self". For having cut for the first time less than a week ago, I'm impressed with his progress and happy it brings him so much joy and focus.

For the Love of Legos
Wesley went through a serious Lego phase this month, too. He took his legos off the shelf for the first time in months and was hooked. He went from wobbly at first to easily getting the blocks together in order to build trucks and boats.

He has a great design sense. The way he puts together his vehicles impresses me. He'll start to put something together and shake his head, say "no no no", take it apart, and remake it "there". He really concentrates on his work. He likes to play with others, however, not alone, despite often independently designing his own structures. Casey is an excellent Lego builder, and Wesley picked up some of his building techniques.

Oma (Norma) Time
We spent an afternoon and evening at Norma's house. It was basically paradise. She has an amazing garden which is where we spent much of the afternoon. We drank iced beverages in the shade, ate yummy food, and Wes played in the kiddie pool

He took it upon himself to start watering all of Norma's  plants. She was grateful to have them watered in the 90 degree weather.

Aunt Lisa Time
We wished a very Happy Birthday to Aunt Lisa this month.

Wesley helped her prep for the party by washing off chairs.

He also helped her open her presents and wanted to be in on all the action. He is so lucky to have Aunt Lisa in his life, as are we all.

We also visited the farm as Aunt Lisa planted her flowers for her brand new flower business. She was sweet enough to let Wesley help, which he loved.

Wesley has so many words. In full sentences except still lacking all the connector words. The words now have multiple syllables and are more fleshed out versions of there previous indicators.

Wesley has started self-correcting tenses and using the past tense regularly. He'll say things like "Find!" then correct to "Found" and then continue to properly use the past tense version. Eat/ate, came/come, dig/dug, and more. He's also started using -ing verbs like "sitting", "sliding", etc.

Some not quite right words that I love.
"leg pit" = the back crease of your leg. I totally understand this Wesleyism
"pinker fingy" = pinky finger

Riding with Teddy
Wesley has started using possessives, too. He'll say "Frog's" or "Bunny's" or "Wesley's".

He's retaining concepts and putting them into language quickly now. One day we were out on a walk looking at flowers and I identified a poppy for him. The next day we were walking on a different route and he said "Pop!" and pointed at a poppy. He also knows lillies, roses, rosemary ("mary"), and always asks the names of plants we see. Often times I have to say that we have to look it up at home. He has started to saying "look up. home" when I say I'm unsure of a name.

Wes has picked up some expressions, both from us and from his books.
"My my my"
"My goodness"
"Hit the road"

Some other favorites:
I love how when Wes is hoping for something and we tell him that it may not come true, that he always says "maybe" in the sweetest voice. Can he ride a horse in town? "maybe". Will he see a bulldozer on our walk "maybe". Do we have bananas at home to eat (no)? "maybe".

Our little optimist.

"self" as in "i'll do that myself, thank you".

"Daddy" instead of "Dada". For some reason this transition really pulls at my heartstrings. I think the way he says Daddy is so sweet and singsongy it gets me every time.

"Mommy" and "Mother" appear as names for me, though "Mama" is still the most frequent. "Mother" came from two books we're currently loving, Are You My Mother? and Little Bear.

Wes is enjoying practicing writing and reading words. He gobbles up new words and adds them to his vocab. He loves seeing new words written and he enjoys them, too. His writing definitely looks different than his drawing or coloring. Most of it still looks unintelligible.

A page of Wesley's words
One day he was sitting by himself at his table with his marker and paper as I was preparing to sit down with my writing materials. I heard him talking to himself making the phonics sound for "c". Then I heard him make the sound for "a". Then I looked at what he was very conscientiously writing and I was shocked to see it looked like this...

I really don't think it's just because I'm his mother. I swear that looks an awful lot like c-a, given that that's the letters he was intending to write. Then we told him that if he made a "t" it would spell "cat". I think it's a pretty good "t", too...

He still needs to develop finer motor skills in order to exactly execute many of the things he tries to write, but his control is improving.

He has spent a lot of time this month circling objects and letters. He can finally stop his circles almost at one rotation (as opposed to circling about five times in ever-expanding circles). This shows increased control.

Word Cave

After playing cave for hours a day under the sleeping bag, I somehow got the idea to make him a cave in the little cubby in the kitchen. Then it became Wesley's Word Cave. He looooves it. We think up and write all the words together (see his writing above), hang them, and then read them. We tell stories using the words, which is good fun.

We have been talking about Africa quite a bit (his little guys like to visit the African animals on their car rides), so some pics of Africa (along with a collage we made) made it in with the African words.

I have been switching the words out every few days because he seems to get bored of them after that amount of time.

Expressions of Emotion
Wesley frequently expresses his emotions through language. He often says mad, sad, happy. By the end of the month he can say "I'm mad", and frequently does when he's frustrated.

If he's having a good time, he'll say "happy!" which is so sweet to hear.

One of the sweetest things he does now is he spontaneously says "love", as in "I love you". He'll say it and then come and give the biggest hugs. Sometimes he'll be thinking about someone and say "love". He's expressed his love for Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jesse in their absence, without any prompting.

Wesley regularly says "thanks" and "thank you" at appropriate times. If he gives something to one of us, he'll often say "thanks" to remind us that we should be saying thanks.

He also knows that saying "please" holds more weight than not saying it, so he appeals with the magic word quite frequently. It's interesting to watch him use it with his friends. It does not always have the same effect.

He's started saying "no thanks" a lot, too. "Wesley, I see you need a diaper change, can I please help you with that?" "No thanks", etc.

Wesley is still doing well with waiting and taking turns. He really gets the concept and is often, though certainly not always, willing to wait his turn. When at the playground, he always stands way back and says "wait" while another kid finishes his/her turn at the slide.

He is not, however, always patient with us. He will wait for food, but has a difficult time waiting for someone to play with him. Such things go in waves, and we're definitely in a phase where solo playtime is low right now.

San Francisco Day
We visited Marlene in San Francisco. It was great fun. Casey and Wes hung out at the park while Marlene and I drank tea and chatted for hours. I think it was the first extended period of time that I've had socializing without Wesley. My brain functioned much better than when I'm also watching him. It was very relaxing and great to catch up.

Toddler Fun

Japanese training chopsticks. A huge hit.

I love the focus. I remember this shape matching ball from my childhood. He sometimes loses interest before he completes all the shapes (there are a lot of them). He struggles with the hexagon, the trapezoid, and the pentagon--generally the last 3 shapes left. He sometimes gets some of them, but often quits with at least some of those three incomplete.

And then we hung a balloon from the ceiling...

And we painted a ladybug. Wes painted, used a glue stick to glue the spots on, and he taped the antennae onto the bug after we wrapped the pipe cleaner around his tiny little fingers. We love finding ladybugs...

Current Artwall...

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet little guy and special mom who is so attentive!