Our little guy is now, officially, a toddler. The walking began about a month after his first birthday. Not that it was "delayed," but I feel like he took his time because he didn't want to try until he knew he could do it. Therefore, there weren't too many "first steps" days - he took his very first steps on a Saturday, and by Monday he preferred it to crawling. He doesn't have perfect balance by any means, but he is beginning to walk with his hands by his sides rather than up in the air like a cactus. He's picking up speed too. Everyday, the pitter-patter cadence is a bit quicker than it was the day before. Kaden's only issue with walking is that he can't stand up without someone (or something) giving him a hand. So, if he falls, he is forced to crawl to the nearest chair, bench, couch, leg, etc., to pull himself back up on his feet. He seems frustrated by this, so I'm sure he'll soon be up on his own two feet, so to speak.
Kaden's newest sounds are those of a monkey and a dog - they sound very similar, but you can tell them apart because the dog sound is elicited twice while the monkey sound is made three times. His new words are "truck" and "bus". His favorite activity is, by far, going out on a stroll looking for passing busses. I think his first word was "hot" and it is still probably his most used word. Whenever I pull out the toaster, a cookie sheet, or even aluminum foil, Kaden frantically waves his hand back and forth saying, "Hot. Hot. Hot." And he always repeats the word three times, never just once or twice. He is making new babbling sounds too - sometimes I hear him having complete conversations with himself or Mr. Monkey. I would love to know what is being discussed, but for now I'll just have to imagine that he's chatting about how happy he is. Hopefully, one day, he'll share all his secrets with me.
Meal time is a little more of a challenge these days. Kaden has definite ideas as to what he likes and what he doesn't. His favorite food is, without question, Dr. Prager's Spinach Littles. I make them for dinner almost every night and Kaden refuses to touch anything on his plate until they arrive. I guess there are worse things he could want. Unfortunately, Kaden dislikes mixtures of any sort; he prefers his food be separated. For instance, Kaden does not like macaroni and cheese, but he does like dry noodles on one side of his plate and sliced cheese on the other. This makes eating out a little more difficult. Kaden's funniest mealtime moments occur when something preferable to what he currently has in his mouth appears on his tray. Rather than chewing and swallowing what he has in his mouth, he spits in out and goes after the new offering. Not the most polite of dinner guests...yet. Kaden is good about letting us know when he is finished with his meal, but if we don't clear his dishes immediately he begins to drop pieces of food onto the floor. Each time, he looks up at us like, "See, I mean it, I'm finished." He knows that he is doing is wrong, his impish grin gives it away.
This month, Kaden discovered his belly button and he loves showing it off. If you look closely, you can tell that Kaden's belly button isn't quite like yours and mine - his really looks like a pink covered button. On our pediatrician's recommendation, we took him to a specialist to see if it was cosmetic, or something else. We were told that it is a benign tumor that should, at some point, be removed. Because the removal will require full anesthesia, we decided to put it off for a while. I know it is technically an imperfection, but I think it is the cutest belly button I've ever seen. I think his fascination with it is even cuter.
Crazy Bed Head!
Kaden has turned into quite the little bookworm. There are books in almost every room of our house and he spends a large majority of his time either thumbing through them himself or bringing them to me to read aloud. His favorite part of reading is finding pictures or hearing phrases that he recognizes; his reaction is a huge smile and a little squeal. Sometimes, he even attempts to repeat the phrase he knows (i.e., "Stop, dogs. Stop!"), complete with hand motions. Kaden even has preferences as to who reads certain books. For instance, he much prefers Kevin read Clifford The Big Red Dog. I'm not sure why, but I find this a little strange. I hope this love of books is a permanent thing - I'm really looking forward to reading him books that I can't memorize.
Kaden's silliness is becoming more and more apparent. One morning, he dug through my purse until he found his sunglasses and, then, insisted on wearing them around the house. He had a difficult time getting them on, but once they were there, they stayed. You could tell it was a little dark because he kept running into things. He would stop, lift up the sunglasses, and peek out to see what it was that got in his way. Silly guy.
Toying with the concept of object permanence, Kaden has taken to throwing items out of his crib and them becoming frustrated when they don't pop back into bed with him. This is usually only done in the mornings. Night time poses a new challenge too - Kaden refuses to go to bed until he is sure his bowels are clear. It took us a few nights to figure this out, but it wasn't too difficult to do. Kaden would stand up in his crib and scream until, after we couldn't take it anymore, we brought him back out into the living room with us. After he did some laps around the couch, he made his tell-tale face and we knew just what he was doing. As soon as I changed him, he pointed to his crib and was fast asleep as soon as his head hit the mattress. Other than those minor bumps, Kaden is a great sleeper. He usually sleeps from 7pm until 7am, and this month he moved to one mid-day nap usually from 12-2:00.