Corban turned 21 months old on the same day Mara turned one week old. It’s crazy looking at her, and then looking at him, and remembering that he used to be that tiny (even tinier!) just 21 months ago.
These past two weeks have been such a blessing for many reasons, but one big one is that I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Corban. Being home and being around him all the time has helped me get to know him better as a little person. I’ve come to better appreciate what a smart, funny, sweet little boy he is. He keeps me laughing every day. As exhausting as it can be taking care of a toddler, I try not to wish time away because it truly is a blast having little 21-month-old Corban in my life.
So, what’s new in Corban’s world?
The biggest change from my last Corban update is his language development. He is saying lots of words now! And he even started stringing a select few nouns and verbs together. This came at the perfect time. I think juggling a newborn and a toddler would be much more difficult without the added clarity that language brings to communication.
It’s so much fun hearing the new words Corban picks up on – one of my favorites is smoothie (one of his favorite things to eat/drink), which he pronounces “moo-ee” (see video here). I’ve also been impressed a few times by the connections he makes and then articulates. For example, he heard a neighbor’s lawnmower the other evening and started pointing and saying, “Dada?” Or at the store the other day he saw a picture of a baby on a box, then pointed to my chest and said “baby.” Yup, baby Mara does nurse a lot…
Seemingly overnight he started recognizing and saying the names of people he sees most often. He has been saying Mama and Dada for a while, but while looking through pictures on my phone one day (one of his absolute favorite activities) he pointed at a picture of my mom and said “Dee Dee” (his name for her), then a picture of my dad and said “Papa.” When Peter’s parents came to visit, he immediately started calling Peter’s dad “Papa” even though we haven’t really referred to him that way. I told him I was calling our nanny one afternoon, and when he realized I had hung up and he hadn’t talked to her, he came running over repeating her name frantically.
It’s also funny the connections he makes with people and certain objects. He pulled out coffee filters this weekend and said “Dee Dee,” which makes sense since we rarely make coffee, but she does every time she visits.
It melts my heart when Corban sings, and, much to my delight, his repertoire is growing. When he was a few months younger, he would make feeble attempts at The Itsy Bitsy Spider, but the first song he really learned to sing was Ring Around the Rosie (he sings “Ashes, ashes” over and over). He is also obsessed with playing Ring Around the Rosie with us or with his stuffed animals.
Next, he started singing The Wheels on the Bus, or, more accurately, the line “all through the town.” He also does all the hand motions and some sounds for the verses. Then one day I heard him singing “ee-i-ee-i-o,” and an approximation of “row row row your boat,” then Patty Cake, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star… it’s so exciting when I actually recognize what he’s singing! Needless to say, we do lots of singing around here, with hand motions for everything.
One of Corban’s favorite words, and one that sounds the cutest coming out of his mouth, is “baby.” Ever since Mara entered our family, he has been saying it all the time. (See video of him saying it here.)
He is still very interested in Mara when she is brought to his attention. She is pretty inoffensive to him right now, since she sleeps almost all the time, so he doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings toward her. He likes to touch her head and look at her. He is also really into being a helper. He loves to hand us a diaper or get a wipe wet for us. He gets upset if we don’t pick him up and let him attempt to wipe her (basically, place the wipe on the changing table). He loves some of the baby equipment we have out now – cradle, nursing pillow, co-sleeper – and we have to keep an eye on him so he doesn’t dump Mara right out so he can play with it. He hasn’t displayed any malice toward her, but he just isn’t quite capable of being gentle or careful around her so we have to watch him anytime they are in the same room. He has been known to happily attempt to throw her a soccer ball…
Over the past two weeks the concept of “time out” has really started to sink in with Corban. If he doesn’t listen to us, we ask him, “Do you want to go on time out?” About two-thirds of the time he will shake his head and immediately do what we’re asking him to do. The other third of the time, he will continue to disobey us and we will immediately carry him into his crib, tell him he gets a one-minute time out for not listening to us, and then leave him in there alone for a minute. I’m pleasantly surprised by how successful this has been in getting him to obey us. I think the key is to only threaten time out if you’re willing to follow through.
One thing that has become very apparent to me in recent weeks is that Corban is very orderly. He has always been really into picking up miniscule pieces of fuzz or trash off the floor and throwing it in the garbage, but now he has a whole collection of quirky OCD preferences. He will not sit in his high chair without washing his hands — in fact, if he hears water running, he will want to wash his hands. He asks for his pacifier to be washed, and he asks to help wash dishes. “Wash” is definitely a favorite word. And yet he still loves getting dirty outside, whether it’s in dirt, sand or rocks.
When it comes to his toys, he is happy to leave them strewn around the family room unless we prompt him to pick them up, but certain other things he is meticulous about putting in their place. We had a bunch of blocks stored in a tupperware container on a shelf, and without us even realizing it, one night he dumped the blocks out and put the container back in the cabinet with the rest of the tupperware. He also loves to help sweep, Swiffer and mop the floors. He’s afraid of the vacuum, though.
Elmo. We let Corban watch Sesame Street in bed with us every morning (our guilty way of getting some extra sleep) and like every toddler before him, he now has a strong affinity for the red, fuzzy muppet with a high-pitched, baby voice. He likes to feed his new Elmo stuffed animal snacks and let him drink from his milk cup.
Kissing his stuffed animals goodbye.
Drinking from our water glasses.
Helping – everything from putting fruit into the blender for his smoothies to watering the garden.
Playing ball. Corban now knows how to kick a soccer ball, but his favorite is asking us to throw his beach ball really high up in the air — either to hit a tree branch outside or the high ceilings in our family room.
Nursery Treasury. We flip through this thick book for about 10 minutes at least once or twice a day. It’s filled with tons of songs, nursery rhymes, bizarre folk rhymes and longer fairy tales (that we skip over for now). I think Corban first started requesting it because it’s long enough to significantly prolong his bedtime or naptime routine, but we’ve all grown attached to the ritual of singing the songs and silly rhymes in it before bed. He especially loves the ones with hand motions.
Rhymes and songs in general.
His blanket. He is more attached than ever.
Dada. He has always been obsessed with Peter, and it continues. Now that I’m more occupied with Mara in the evenings, Peter has started putting Corban to bed some nights and now Corban pretty much demands Peter at bedtime (which makes me a little sad). He also mimics Peter’s body language at times… attempting to cross his arms if he notices Peter’s arms are crossed, etc.
Being carried. “Up up up” is a common request, and one that’s hard to resist.
Swiping rapidly through the photos on my iPhone and watching videos of himself and people he knows. (He’s obsessed.)
Weight: ~30 pounds
Height: 34 inches
Clothes size: 24 months
Shoe size: 6
Teeth: Possibly teething right now for two-year molars.