First, the biggest news: You're walking! Wahoo!! It happened suddenly one day as you stood up on your feet, started walking forward and never looked back. No more (or I should say, very little) knee-walking anymore. Unlike most kids who start walking by taking a few steps at a time, you've gone from refusing to walk on your feet (but knowing how to take a few steps) to exclusively walking all the time. Sometimes you've still got the "drunken sailor" swagger as you stabilize yourself, but you've done a great job mastering this big milestone. So proud of you, little buddy!
A whole new world has opened up now you're navigating the world on two feet (vs. two knees). At the library the other day, you discovered the drinking fountain and wouldn't stop pushing the button to turn it on. Water was spraying all over the carpet and all over you as I quickly pulled you away. Silly boy! You proudly walked down the halls of Tory's preschool this month, and bellied right up to the sink to wash hands with the bigger kids since it's now within reach. It comes as no surprise, one of your new words this month is "wa wa" (water) -- you're obsessed with it!
In addition to walking, you've become quite the climber. Monkey see; Monkey do! You watch Tory push the kid's chairs in the kitchen up to the counter to access things out of reach, and now you follow suit. You've started pushing a chair up to the refrigerator and pressing the water spigot. I rounded the kitchen corner the other day to discover you helping yourself to a banana muffin on the counter. And last weekend at the cabin, you let yourself out of the sliding screen door and climbed up the picnic table to help yourself to a powdered donut. (Luckily, I was right there.) You have no fear or instinct of danger, so I've got to have you in my line of sight at all times these days. The cabin is especially scary as you try to bolt down to the lake the minute your feet hit the grass. I looked back at Tory's 18 month update and she was doing many of the same things, so climbing must go hand-in-hand with this age. It's funny how quickly a parent forgets those things!
This was also a big month for you in speech development. You say 28 words now (yes, I keep track); the newest words being "look," "set," "go," "hot," "owie," "see ya," "Tory" and "wa wa" (for water). Associating names with people seemed to really click for you recently. You'll stand at the top of the stairs and yell "Dad!" as if he's downstairs taking a shower like he usually does after work, yell "Tory!" when you're looking for her somewhere in the house, or yell "Chlo!" (for Chloe the dog) when she's barking like a maniac at the front door. I love the way you shout "Bye! See ya!" when someone says good-bye to you. You love to sing and often mumble the tune of the ABC's, Baa Baa Black Sheep, or count "1, 2, 3, 4 ... 8, 9, 10." It's not the clearest, so I'm not sure anyone else would understand but that's totally what you're saying.
You're still a good eater, and will try almost anything I place before you. New foods you tried and liked this month were: corn, edamame, fruit snacks, pretzels and veggie straws snacks. You're not as wild about rotisserie chicken as you once were, and you continue to love eating pan fish. You absolutely love fruit, and it's gotten to the point where I have to hide it from you until you've first eaten other meats or vegetables on your tray. Some foods you'll try, then repeatedly refuse to eat are: bananas, blueberries, potatoes and eggs. At this point, it's safe to say you don't care for them. Suddenly, you can't get enough soy milk at meal times and chug it from the sippy cup. You still take two bottles of toddler soy formula -- 6oz. before your afternoon nap and 6oz. before bedtime, but I feel you gradually weaning away from bottles the same way Tory did around this age.
Your bed head is WILD in the mornings! (And, yes, that's a pink bib from Tory's baby days. Sorry, bud.)
Speaking of bedtime, I put down my foot and started sleep training you this month. Your multiple nightly wake-ups were out of control, and I finally reached my breaking point with patience on the matter. Sleep training is going okay so far; two weeks in, you still wake up once or twice a night and cry for about 5-10 minutes at a time (usually around 2:00am and 5:00am) before falling back asleep on your own. Sometimes, you'll lay awake in your crib and talk or sing to yourself for hours (yes, hours!) during the night. It's quite maddening! I'm definitely not getting any sleep while I listen to you make noises all night, but at least I'm not aiding the behavior by going to your side. It'll get better, right? In regards to naps, you've transitioned down to one, and it's usually for 2 or 3 hours mid-day or early afternoon.
A few growth stats at 18 months: You weigh 23 pounds (according on the home scale; we'll know for sure at your 18 month well-check later this week). You're wearing 18 months clothes, size 4 diapers and size 5 shoes -- and have been for a while now. I see your growth stabilizing now you're officially into toddlerhood. For a while there, it seemed like I was buying new, bigger clothes for you all the time and now I'm wondering when you'll move up a size so I can finally retire all those pants you've worn thin by walking on your knees!
Definitely more of a "toddler" than a "baby" now, as evident by your newfound temper tantrums and curiosity for the world. We wouldn't have it any other way! You're an absolute light in our lives, Aden. We love you so much.