22 Months, Or … The Tiny Talker
The delinquent dad here with another update – this time for a great big 22 month old. At this point I baffle strangers when they ask, ‘how old is he?’ and I say 22 months. I can almost see them doing math in their head. Following my wife’s lead I have adopted a simpler answer of, ‘none of your business.’ Just kidding. I say a bit shy of 2. And then I say, ‘now get off my lawn.’ This is especially effective for making people scatter when I’m at Target.
I am deep into 23 month land so I can hardly remember 22 months, so this may … for once … be a relatively short update. But we’ll see. I bet I can manage to be long-winded.
The kiddo is all about words. Man oh man he is a good little communicator and mimic. I made a note of every word I heard him say over the course of an afternoon, plus what I knew from memory … but I bet I missed some. Here is what my chatty little 21.5 month old was saying:
mac & cheese
From a thing I read online two year olds should be able to say 50 or more words by the time they turn two, and our kiddo’s chatty style is clearly a point of pride for ol mom and dad.
The kiddo continued to add more words and phrases to his repertoire with his mimic style. Sometimes when my wife or I are pushing him on the swing he begins to demand that WE swing too. ‘Swing?’ or ‘Dada swing?!’ over and over til you take a seat. When I do this I pump my legs in an exaggerated style and ask him to do the same saying, ‘up … and dooooown’ repeatedly. He doesn’t quite get the instruction, but he does repeat what I’m saying. So that’s nice?
An exciting observationt I heard the kiddo put together for the first time was noticing (or being lucky in timing) when we are almost home. Generally I am pretty chatty when driving with the kiddo, asking him things, talking about things, just whatever. One of the my typical observations is when we are almost home I say … surprise … ‘almost home!’ And now the kiddo has taken up the mantle and says the same! Hurray observational prowess!
Likewise when leaving for daycare he often says goodbye to just about everything. ‘Bye bunnies! … Bye house! … Bye neighbors … Bye car … Bye lake … Bye park … Bye truck.’ (And then that one is repeated a lot. We have a lot of trucks around us.)
A very sweet thing that showed up this month is kissing injuries. If the kiddo falls or has a minor injury, ie not tear-inducing, he will come over mildly upset and say ‘kiss?’ A kiss is promptly delivered. Mom or dad will then say, ‘is that better?’ and he would say ‘yeahhhhh.’ That evolved over the month to optimize the conversation. Instead of waiting for a question from mom or dad he would ask for a kiss, get a kiss, then state ‘better’ before running off.
In general a lot of things lead to either high fives or kisses. Threw out some trash? That’s a high five. Bumped into the couch? That’s a kiss. One day my wife, the kiddo and I were hanging out in the backyard when the kiddo found a dead bug. My wife said, ‘oh leave him alone he’s hurt’ and the kiddo said, ‘owwie?’ and she said ‘yes, he has an owwie’ so he promptly got down on his hands and knees and began to go in for a magical, restorative kiss. We quickly picked him up.
I had two heartbreaking things this month with the sweet little guy. The kiddo has a high chair that is sort of mounted on our kitchen table. He ran up to it excited for some food and tried to hang … this is especially worrisome because that hard floor under him is only too ready to greet him if he should fall. I told him no very sternly which earned me the saddest, sweetest little upset face I’d run across in a while. He looked up at me sad as could be, lips turned down but trying not to cry, and he went to his mama. I came around to the couch where they were sitting and he turned away from me, still trying not to cry (why kiddo, let it out man!). The trying not to cry made it even worse. But he was upset with me, and wouldn’t let me comfort him, which was a first. Poor little fella.
The other new heartbreaker, which is only getting stronger, is words mixed in with crying at bedtime. We had ourselves a recent stretch of bad sleep so he wouldn’t go down easy like he had for a long stretch. One night we put him down and instead of going to sleep he began to cry. And in between those cries he managed to say, ‘help me dada.’ Lord have mercy child, you’ll kill me one way or another with those heartstrings you own.
I know it might not sound like much, dear reader, but I’m a light weight.
Another language step that was a bit of a sad arrival was a change in his responses to questions like, ‘how was your day?’ and ‘how did you sleep?’ Previously either of those questions, or ones like them, got a very sincere nod yes. Suddenly the word ‘good’ showed up and now that’s the standard answer.
One thing I enjoy doing with the kiddo is what I refer to as a ‘tickle test.’ I’ll move him so he is flat on his back, and then I say let’s check the left armpit … then I tickle, the neck … then I tickle, etc. He especially loses it at the neck so I usually save that for last. Tickling at a certain age is a harrowing experience to undergo because you laugh so much you can’t breathe and you just sort of writhe around like a snake. So I thought, is this a form of delightful torture? But the thought was dispelled because the kiddo came up to me one afternoon and said, ‘tickle test?’ Buddy, you got it.
The kiddo can be a real stinker. A goose. A moose goose, as I call him. He will say no to many things with absolute delight. When he’s tired he really likes to test the waters and do things he knows he shouldn’t. I’ll be holding him and he’ll hit me very gently and then look at me, really focusing and watching, to see what I’ll do. Generally the first hit leads me to saying, ‘hey, be nice.’ This has led to a hobby which would make a stranger look askance where he will hit himself (not hard) and then shake his head no and say, ‘nice.’ Sometimes he’ll even do that and then pet himself as he says nice. It’s great.
Now we’ll end on a classic little boy story. The kiddo was getting some good naked time in one night, running around happy as could be. He ran into his bedroom and began peeing on the floor. He stared in fascination (as I scrambled for a towel). The urine ran out which prompted a big laugh and a pause, then, ‘again!?’