Monday, April 17, 2017

Joey: 16 Months

Our Joe is exploding with personality, and he has so much to say to us all the time. He mostly communicates in grunts, chirps, and lots of pointing. We've taught him to sign a little, and he's made up his own sign which means "gimme." He holds up his little chicken wing and then extends his arm out and back in repeatedly, in the direction of whatever it is he wants. The only words he's spoken clearly are "Hi," "Bye," "Ma," and "Da." He likes animal sounds too. The cow goes "ooooh" and dog goes "Woo! Woo!"
He does not like being left behind. One day as Tim was preparing to take Timmy to practice, Joe realized that he was meant to stay with me, and did not like that one bit. He put up such a stink about it, whining and clinging to his father, that we decided he could go after all. He looked over Tim's shoulder at me as he was carried out the door, with a big smile and wave. The morning his dad and siblings were rushing around getting ready to head out the door to go to Disney, he cried as if his little heart would break. One day, buddy, you'll get to go too!
He's still not a reliably good sleeper. He'll do really well for many days in a row, and then he'll be back to needing to be settled at some point in the middle of the night. He still has a penchant for waking up a half hour too early in the morning too. Last night he slept from 7 until almost 7, and I didn't hear a peep from him all night. Why can't he do that all the time?

While my mom was visiting we took him to the beach for the first time since he was an infant. He did not like it at first. He was really uncomfortable with his toes in the sand and wanted nothing to do with the water. He mostly clung to one of us and fussed. Then all of a sudden, about an hour into it, it was like a switch flipped. He was like, "I like the beach! Sand is fun! Water is fun!" There were lots of shallow little tide pools for him to play in and it was just perfect. What a relief it was for me because his mood kind of sets the tone for me whether I like it or not.
I thought he'd need time to warm up to Mom when she first got here, but he took to her right away. You always know he's made a friend when he starts handing his things to a person. He was happy to have another face around and someone else to love on him and play with him.

We're still phasing out the morning nap. He'll take it sometimes if it's quiet at home. I now nurse him three times a day: first thing in the morning, right before the afternoon nap, and right before bed. I love our routine and our nursing/snuggling time. Ever since I showed him a few weeks ago that he could 'listen to the ocean' in a seashell on top of the wardrobe, that's now part of our naptime/bedtime ritual. He points to it as soon as we walk into the room and I let him listen in each ear. As he listens he grins as though he were hearing a juicy little secret. How funny. This summer I'm packing that shell in my suitcase.
Joey is a big eater now, and he uses the 'gimme' sign a lot at the table. He gets super cranky if it's close to a mealtime and he's hungry. He is very impatient and demanding if there's a food he likes and I'm not giving it to him fast enough. The problem is, if I give it all to him at once, he will shove it all into his mouth at once, and that makes me nervous. But he's really at a point where he could use his own plate at meals. I keep treats and junk to a minimum, and boy does he love those. He is really greedy and can never have enough. I had to put away Tim's little old Easter basket that was full of candy. Out of sight and out of mind.

He is very curious, always climbing, always getting into things, and always in my hair if I'm trying to get anything done. But when he's awake and not in my hair, look out -- he's getting into some kind of trouble then.
He makes me laugh, especially when he gives me glimpses into his little world and the way he sees things. There's a particularly ferocious toy dinosaur that Timmy has. I believe it's an apatosaurus, but it looks like a meat-eater with that snarl and bared teeth. It growls and makes a stomp-stomp noise when you push a button. That dinosaur, until a couple months ago, lived in Timmy's toy box. I moved it to the top shelf of his closet because Joey was terrified of it and Timmy never played with it anyway. Today Joey and I were in there and I was curious to see if he was still scared of it. I took it down off the shelf and said, "Do you want to play with him?" Joey's eyes got big and he shook his head no a few times and whimpered. "OK, I'll put him away," I said. Joey watched nervously as I put him back on the shelf and closed the door. He stared at the closed closet door and made little worried sounds for a few more seconds. He didn't even like knowing it was in there. It's so funny how scared he is of that thing. I guess I should get rid of it since Timmy doesn't notice it's been put up anyway.

Yesterday I watched him follow a squirrel around, barking at it like a dog. He must be taking his cues from the neighbors' pets.
One more little story and then I'm done: I took Joey with me to Confession a couple weeks ago. It was face-to-face, the priest and I sitting across from each other and Joey on my lap. As I was talking with my hand resting on Joey's belly/chest, I realized something felt strange. I reached down his shirt and pulled out a toy truck, which he took from me and handed to Father. I went on and then felt something else. I reached in his shirt again and pulled out our cable remote which he then took from me and handed to Father who was probably beginning to wonder what else I was going to produce from inside Joey's shirt. I was cracking up. He is always losing that cable remote somewhere and Tim gets so irritated. I searched all over for it today and found it inside some reusable shopping bags in the laundry room.

He is just an incredible little person who gives me so many reasons to smile and laugh, and we all just love him to pieces.

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