Monday, September 04, 2023

Dad Files Months 14-16: Tiny But Sharp Teeth, Uh Oh, and Strong Opinions

Baby will make some definite transitions to the early toddler stage. This can involve strong opinions as to how the world should be including food that will pass agreeably into his belly, willingness towards bedtime or naptime, snuggling or not, and what he wants to play with. Communication capability is growing as he develops more words as well as arm control with direction of desired or undesired objects by pushing and pulling. Words include No, woah, wow, all done, kitty (he loves the kitties, chasing them, petting them, and watching them run around), uh oh, more, yai, boo, nay, moo, up, thank you, didi, dada, daddy, mama, baba, hi, hey, bye, ball, go (the oh sounds are especially cute).

In regards to eating, there will be things he really likes and others that he really doesn’t. These can switch categories on a daily basis. When he’s done eating or doesn’t want something, he may pick it up and deliberately drop it or throw it on the ground. When coupled with him saying “uh oh” it will call into question if he comprehends the difference between “uh oh” and “on the floor on purpose.” Try not to laugh.

When holding baby, you may suddenly feel a sharp piranha bite sensation on your shoulder, arm, or other body part near baby’s mouth. This isn’t malicious but everything including you are fair game as his chompers explore the world.

As he cruises, pulls up to tables and see objects whether books, food, or breakable things he will attempt to throw or push everything on the floor with clean plate syndrome vigor. Be forewarned and secure items that would have a better resting place than the floor. On the positive side, this increased hand and arm control introduces new possibilities for activities with balls which is fun to play with him.

A book we read said that this is best understood as the caveman stage and communication in short words or phrases is most effective with the goal to match and capture the emotion. He may hit objects, tables, bang toys, plates, cups, or silverware, drop or throw things and generally make a lot of noise. Teaching him to use his gentle hands will go far in keeping yourself, cats, and breakable objects in a healthier state. Loud yells when he’s excited about life, mad, or doesn’t want to go to bed also support this theory.

Toys will occupy every room of the house and if you're not diligent with pick up and restoration to their original location, bright colored plastic will infest every surface of your home with an obstacle course winding throughout. There are more toys than you would imagine that make loud and annoying sounds or sing cloyingly cringy songs. No judgement if the batteries conveniently find their way outside of the toy or it's turned off permanently.

As he’s learning to walk, it’s fun to watch him push a table or chair across the room. With significant mobility now, stairs must be monitored closely. On this topic, baby can surprise and scare you and your spouse by climbing independently up the stairs when each of you thought the other was watching him only to look over and see him cresting the top of the stairs unassisted and unmonitored. Install baby gate pronto.

Holding his hands as he learns to walk can put a strain on the back so be sure to stretch and bend your knees. A trip to the beach can yield benefits in learning to walk as well as general fun playing in the sand

though when he eats some sand, it will put an end to the day as curious baby turns into grumpy baby.

He will now largely be feeding himself with his hands and it’s especially fun to watch him double fist peanut butter pancakes. If done when he’s tired, there’s the added benefit of rubbing peanut butter all over his face. Have fun getting that cleaned up with your tired caveman.

He continues to enjoy reading books and especially likes the ones with flaps or slides that he can pull in and out. Sandra Boynton books have been favorites as well as the Peekaboo book series. If reading paper page books vs. board books, hold the book strategically since eager reader, page turning hands can render the paper worse for the wear. 

Ear tubes make a big difference in the number of ear infections though you and he are still subject to the sickness of the week at daycare.

While much of his communication the past 16 months has been related to expressing his many needs, it will warm your heart when he crawls over to you, says your name, and wants you to pick him up just because he’s excited to see you. With so many developmental milestones occurring during this time, celebrate each one and be careful about comparing your child to another. God has designed him uniquely and will help him grow and develop exactly as He has planned. He's a great blessing and your job is to love, protect, pray for, sing to, teach, play with and provide for him, give him your time, energy and attention, and facilitate an environment where he can learn, grow, have fun, and enjoy being a boy and your son.

In pursuit of His best,


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