My little monkey, Lucas,
You’re now 18 months old- that’s a year and a half! This past month you’ve had a great time expanding your physical capabilities of climbing and running and bouncing. We took advantage of your free sessions at Wright’s Fundamental’s gymnastics gym a couple of times this month, and you couldn’t get enough of it. You ran up and down the long trampoline, swam and sat and jumped into the ball pit, climbed the rock wall, balanced on the beam, put rings around the traffic cones, and crawled through the big tunnel tube. We even played with our friends Ellis, Landon, and Briggsley there one time and went out for an impromptu farewell lunch afterward to O’Callahans to say goodbye to Landon and his mommy, Megan, because they are moving to Texas. We’ve also gone to Orange Leaf a few times, and you love to run around and sit at the different tables and climb up on the big orange couches. You’re constantly trying to figure out how to scale the furniture at home too. I once found you sitting on the open door of the dishwasher! (I have to keep it locked now!) You are also still an avid TP decorator in the bathroom when I’m in the shower, running to and fro holding on to the length of toilet paper and strewing it about like party streamers. (I have to take it off the dispenser and hide it up high now!) Unfortunately, along with this high energy has also come pushing/tackling.
I’m convinced you picked it up as a result of the older kids at the park who pushed you down when you said hello. It was haunting and heartbreaking. You walked up all smiles to this 2-3 year old little boy and just stood there staring at him, and he walked over and pushed you down, like knocked you flat on your back. I was shocked! I picked you up and dusted you off, the other mother profusely apologizing and scolding her child, and I told you, “He knocked you down! That wasn’t very nice. You’re okay, though. Let’s go find some other friends instead.” You didn’t cry. You didn’t even seem phased at the time. We walked off to go find someone nice to play with on the other side of the playground. This sort of thing happened a second time, at a different park, different kid, and the next day, I saw you push someone else for the first time.
Of course, I am usually one step behind you and am able to grab hold of you before you completely push the other kid down, but it’s been rough having to watch you like a hawk and swoop in for pushing intervention, reminding you each time, “No thank you, sir! We don’t push! It’s not nice to push our friends. We need to be gentle. Nice touches with our hands, please.” Unfortunately, when you get tired, you tend to be more rough, so if I don’t get you away from your friends or from the park soon enough before nap time, you start getting silly and pushing and tackling left and right. You even get rough with me when you’re tired: poking me in the eye, grabbing my face, pinching my arm, etc. When you get like that, I remind you that it’s not nice to poke/grab/pinch, and I redirect your hands to be gentle and point to the areas on my face and name them out loud and then do the same and have you point to your face. It seems to redirect your sillies into something productive, and you calm down. You can identify eyes, mouth, and nose. I feel so proud for teaching you that. Dad is usually the one who teaches you new things.
We went to your 15 month check up this month (you were 17 months at the time, but apparently they’re behind) and you would not be still! You raced around and around the waiting room, grabbing magazines and books and toys and whatever else you ran by as you said loudly “uhhhhh uhhhhh uhhhhhhh” as you ran, your voice bouncing with your steps, breaking into giggles when Daddy or I tried to snatch you up. Once we got back to the room, you didn’t slow down. You were left in your diaper after being weighed and measured (you grew 2 inches since you turned 1 and weighed 23.8 lbs) and I think being mostly naked made you even more crazy. You climbed up and down and danced on the steps next to the exam table and then would run up and down the exam table on the paper as if it were a runway. You even gave me a crazed giggly look before attempting to jump off the end of the table! Thankfully, Daddy was right there to keep you from doing so! When Dr. C came in to do your exam, she couldn’t help but laugh at your energy and antics. She said you were CLEARLY not stunted in your development. She said everything was great, even your iron level check had come back in a normal range (thank goodness because it was low at your last appointment) possibly due to your new love for scrambled eggs and cheese omelets. She said we should be hearing cohesive and clear sentences by the age of 2, which I don’t think will be a problem. You don’t have to go back next month for your 18 month check up since your 15 month one was so late (at 17 months old), so now we don’t need to return until your 2 year check up in April. It’s hard to believe you’re already 1 1/2.
Your hair up top has suddenly become very long! It’s fun to spike it up into a mohawk. Unfortunately, it’s also gotten long over your ears and down your neck. So, with great reservation, I had you get your first haircut this month on the 26th. I couldn’t bare to take you to it, so Daddy did while I was at work. You went down the street from my work to Cookie Cutters. You played on the playscape before your appointment and tried to play the video game system set up, and you held a car and a truck in each hand while she cut your hair. Daddy said you giggled and scrunched your head down and raised your shoulders up when she used the clippers to buzz the back of your neck. I have a little lock of your hair as a reminder of your unkempt baby hair that had been growing over your ears and down your neck in thick, little, fluffy tufts of white golden blonde. You look like such a toddler and not a baby now. It kills me.
We’ve had a lot of fun times with Maddie this past month. She hung out at our house all day, and you’ve gone to her house for a few hours at a time this month. You two play so nicely together despite how “in charge” she is of everything. You just let her direct you, and when you ignore her directions and do what you want, she gets exasperated with you. It’s so funny to watch you guys. The only time you would get mad at her is when she’d carry something around so that you couldn’t have it: your Elmo, the farmer figurine, and even your entire barn! I caught on to what she was doing, and we talked about it. She started sharing more after that.
You say “apple,” “popcorn,” “pumpkin,” “trees,” “cheese,” and sometimes “water.” I taught you how to say “please” by asking you to say it before giving you a mini M&M. You’ll point to your chest when you say it, so I don’t know if you think it means “for me” or not, but at least you get the concept! The first time you said “pumpkin” was when Daddy and I took to you AppleWorks to take our family picture and go to the pumpkin patch. I was astounded how well you parroted me and then continued to apply the word appropriately as we saw more and more pumpkins in different areas of the farm. We saw goats, alpacas, chickens, and ducks. You enjoyed walking around and seeing the yellow leaves on the trees with Daddy. We got a great impromptu family photo taken too (by a stranger who was nice enough to snap a few for us), which will be used on our Christmas card this year. You loved riding on the “tractor! tractor!” back to the pumpkin patch, but it was so cold that day that you were quickly cranky towards the end of the trip.
We went to visit Mimi and Grandpa together by ourselves for a few days since we didn’t get to go down for your cousins’ birthdays last month because you developed fevers and vomiting the day before we were supposed to leave. Well, the night we left our house, you broke your arm. I was upstairs gathering last minute items to throw in the car, and you were downstairs with Daddy. Daddy was sitting in the recliner when he heard you trip and fall over the baby gate into the kitchen, landing on your side. You started crying, and I called down asking what happened. Daddy said, “He tripped. He’s alright,” because up until that time, you’d always been okay. What was weird is that you usually don’t cry when you fall. When you do, it’s short lived and then you’re fine and running again. This time, you cried and screamed and cried and screamed until I nursed you, thinking you were overtired. You didn’t nurse for long, so I figured you were just tired, and we needed to get going so that you could fall asleep in the car. You continued to cry as Daddy got you in the car and were still crying when I drove near the McDonald’s near our house. I knew something wasn’t right and kept envisioning you had broken ribs or something from falling on your side, so I pulled over and tried nursing you again for a little bit. You weren’t having it, but you also weren’t crying. So, I started feeling all around your legs and knees and undid your pjs to look at your ribs and chest. I felt your neck and head, but I could find nothing wrong. You were using your arms and hands just fine, so I never thought to check those. I put you back in your car seat, and you cried for a little while and then fell asleep. About a half an hour from Mimi’s, you woke up and cried until we got there. Once you started playing with Grandpa, you seemed fine.
We had a heck of a night, up every hour with the screaming/crying. I didn’t know what was wrong! You had a great day the next day, riding the four wheeler with Grandpa, playing with your cousin Cale, exploring the corn going from the dryer into the auger, riding in the combine, and playing with Grandpa and Mimi. You had even napped okay, though not for as long as usual, but you were very sensitive, crying whenever you fell or were bumped into by your cousin. I saw you chewing on your hands and chalked it up to teething. That evening, your Aunt Rachel and Uncle Eric took you to get you undressed and into the tub with Cale, and you screamed and cried the entire time. I got you washed and out of the tub as quickly as I could and into the room to get you in your pjs, thinking you were just worn out from the bad night before, short nap, and busy day. When I grabbed your arm to pull your arm through the sleeve of your pjs, you started crying again, and I knew it was a pained cry. I inspected your arm and wrist and didn’t see much except some bruising on your wrist. I brought you out to say goodbye to your cousin (you two kept laying your heads on one another as a hug- it was too cute) and told everyone I thought maybe you’d hurt your wrist. As soon as I said that, you raised up that hand and waved and said “bye bye,” so I said, “Well, maybe not!” You had a terrible night again that night (I now know because you’d roll over onto your arm at night).
The next morning as you sat the high chair eating breakfast, I went to roll up your sleeves and noticed how swollen your left forearm was. I said, “Barb, come look at this. It’s really swollen isn’t it? I think he broke it.” She looked and felt your arm too, and indeed, it was. Suddenly, everything made sense. You had broken your arm the night we left, and I didn’t even know it! I kept beating myself up for not knowing, for not trusting my mommy instinct that something was really wrong! I felt awful. I called the nearest urgent care to make sure they had x-ray facilities, and they did. We got you dressed carefully and went to the Huntington RediMed. You, of course, kept running around in the waiting room as if nothing was wrong, until you fell and started crying. You did really well at the visit except when they did x-rays. Mimi came in with us and helped position your arm; she’s been an x-ray tech for a long time- what a handy skill to have at that moment! You cried and screamed during the x-ray because, of course, it HURT! You nursed a ton when we got back to the exam room after that, which helped to make it all better. They concluded your forearm had bent and buckled; it was fractured. They put your arm in a splint and wrapped it with an ace wrap and put it in a sling. You were so still and quiet while he did that, fascinated at watching him wrap your arm; Mimi and I were amazed.
You seemed much more stable after your arm was stabilized. You slept on the way from the RediMed to North Manchester, exhausted from the ordeal. We walked around North Manchester’s fall festival, and we got to see and pet Daddy’s Uncle Darryl’s cows. We ate soup and a giant elephant ear for lunch, yum! Boy, did you love that! You liked the giant chalk art on the ground but were confused as to why we wouldn’t let you pick up the chalk and color on the pictures too! Your favorite part was crawling into the little straw filled FFA petting zoo area where there was a calf, some pygmy goats, and some VERY tolerant and loving kittens. You loved the kittens best. It was the first time a cat (other than Susanne’s cat, Basage) had let you near it! The little white and orange kitten snuggled up in your lap and purred. You pet him nicely (though I had to redirect some rather enthusiastic pats at first) and even laid your head down on him to hug him. You’re just so darn sweet. There were also teeny tiny beagle puppies that you got to see. I held one up for you to see and touch, and you seemed fascinated by how small he was. You said “woo woo!” (your bark for dogs) and I said, “That’s right! It’s a baby doggie!” You repeated “baby! woo woo!” You pet him very nicely, very gently, and you even tried to kiss him! You’re killin’ me, Smalls! We finished out the event with a horse drawn carriage ride with Mimi and Grammy (who came up for the afternoon, just to see you, and had joined us at the festival).
When we got back from Wabash, I made you an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist up in Indianapolis. We were recommended to Dr. Barrios by our friend from playdate who’s daughter had broken her leg earlier in the year. I’m so glad we went because he was awesome- thorough, informative, and his staff was very sweet and quick. The nurses, especially, were wonderful with you, calling you “sweetie” and “honey” and “sugar” and doting on you with stickers! You did NOT, however, enjoy getting the actual cast. The guy who did it was wonderful and did a great job, but you were not a fan of having your hurt arm held straight while he put on the cast. I pulled up Sesame Street videos for you to watch while he put on the cast, and it only half kept you entertained. Afterward, you nursed for a little bit to calm back down before we checked out and scheduled your recheck in four weeks. Once the cast was on, you didn’t seem to be bothered by it except at night. We think you kept bonking yourself with it while tossing and turning while sleeping because you had a couple red marks and didn’t sleep well your first night with the cast. We wrapped your cast with a few fleece pieces and then your soft wrap to keep your arm from being a bludgeon while you sleep. You look like Megaman, but who cares if it keeps you safe and comfortable at night?
You’ve been teething A LOT with no actual teeth popping through yet. However, your molars have been on the verge of busting through for weeks and weeks! When we took you in to the pediatric dentist, she pointed it out then and again at your check up a month later. When you’re teething, you’re cranky at night and up a lot to nurse for comfort. The hardest part, though, is that you don’t want to eat much. I was getting worried about your protein intake because you won’t eat meat most of the time, so you were mainly getting protein from peanut butter and dairy (and breastmilk). Then, I tried giving you egg and cheese omlets: ding, ding, ding! You love them! You’ll eat an entire two egg omelette! I’ve also discovered a neat little trick to get you to eat an entire bowl of oatmeal: I put frozen blueberries in it, which cools it down and thaws the berries. You’ll then mine through the oatmeal to eat the berries and finish up the blueberry stained purple oatmeal too! You LOVE fruit. We went out to breakfast with Grammy this month, and you ate an entire plate of honeydew, cantaloupe, and pineapple with a fork! Thankfully (and sometimes not so thankfully), you’re also pretty good at being vocal about what you DO want to eat.
You have discovered how to find the snacks in the pantry (bunny fruit snacks had to be hidden) and have memorized where I put things on the counter (like the cookies above where the dishwasher is). You also still enjoy climbing into the refrigerator to point to the drawer where the “cheese!” (which sounds like “cheeissss!”) is or to ask for the oranges on the second shelf down. You’ve also discovered where the apples are and have also requested GoGurt and popsicles from the freezer! I need to put a low hanging bin in the pantry with your choice snacks in it eventually, but I’m worried you’ll overindulge that way…
Your newest funny tricks would be squinchy eyes, where you squint really hard and then and smile and laugh and then do it again, and playing new games with Feeny. You lay on Feeny while watching tv or movies and love to play peek-a-boo with him in my bathroom by closing the door on him until he pushes it open again and you close it on him again. You think it’s hilarious. You’re becoming much more purposeful in intent when playing with your toys, too. You purposefully put toys in the driver’s seat of your tractor and drive it around!
We went to see our friend Brady perform his music at a showcase at the Franklin McDonald’s. You ran around and danced and had fun walking up and down the concrete parking blocks as if you were on a balance beam. We also went on an outing with our playdate friends to Waterman’s Farm, where we went on a very wet and rainy hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out a little pumpkin, saw a pumpkin eating dinosaur robot, and played on tractors! We also went on a trip to the museum with our trinity friends Kinsley and Maddie. You loved the carousel so much this time that you wanted to go on it twice! We also went to Brown County with Amber and hiked around to see the beautiful fall colors. You loved running around the trails and also being carried by Amber in our Beco Soleil, and you thought it was funny watching Feeny bound up and down the trails, too.
Also this month, I won a cloth diapering meme contest on the Dirty Diaper Laundry blog. I won a new Grovia diaper cover and set of inserts! They are my favorite brand and type of diaper to use when we are out of town, and I’d really wanted the citrus color, which we don’t carry at the store where I work. Speaking of work, your new favorite thing to do is to watch Frozen and to play with Matchbox cars. You even know which drawer we keep the cars in and will run to it and point and say “car car!” You love getting to play with new toys every time we work!
I’m excited to celebrate Halloween with you and hope you enjoy trick ‘ or ‘ treating as much as I always have! Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be very cold that night, as it was last year. We’ll see!
Love you, my little goblin,