22 Months

Hello, I like to speak to whoever is in charge of turning my little baby boy into this GIANT PERSON. I am dissatisfied with the speed at which it is happening and would like it to slow down immediately. Thank you.

There’s nothing like bringing home a new baby to make your old baby seem, well, old. Although some of it isn’t just in my head – I ask Little Evan to help out a lot more than I used to and so he’s learning responsibility pretty fast. I know “go throw this diaper away” or “bring mommy her iPhone” isn’t rocket science but it’s still cool to see him understand and follow through. Most of the time. Sometimes he gets weirdly possessive of the dirty diapers and cries when we throw them away. And sometimes he throws them at my face. Oh, toddlers.

In “things I really dislike” news, we’ve officially reached a point where I can’t help comparing my kid to other kids and worry about his development. Why doesn’t he talk more? Should he be saying more words? Why doesn’t he know his letters or numbers? Which of course leads to mountains of Mommy Guilt – although some of it might be just a little bit deserved. If I haven’t really been teaching him letters and numbers how is he supposed to learn them? I’ve been so focused on words (and words that actually SOUND like the words they’re meant to be) I totally skipped the alphabet. I guess I thought we had some time before I needed to start on that sort of learning, but based on my Twitter/internet friends we’re now way behind. And although I love his babbling gibberish I’m starting to feel like people are judging me in public because he doesn’t speak more clearly or say more words. One of my goals this month is to write down a list of all the words he DOES say so at his 24 month check-up I can ask the doctor if he thinks we should look into speech therapy.

Luckily the BabyCenter milestones for this month don’t include language skills so I can try to stop worrying for a little while longer. Oh! Although I have news on the block-stacking front! The other day I caught him making HUGE towers of blocks upstairs in the playroom, so I guess I no longer have to be bitter that he missed all those previous block-stacking milestones. TAKE THAT BABYCENTER.

22 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Kicks ball forward – He’s a soccer player in the making.
• Follows two-step requests (e.g., “Get your doll and bring it here”) – Yes! He could probably follow a three or four step request. Understanding language is not our problem.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Does simple puzzles – Does this mean the wood cut-out ones? Because we’re working on those and he’s getting there but he loses interest pretty fast.
• Draws a straight line – Maybe accidentally. He likes coloring in theory a lot more than coloring in practice.
• Names several body parts – Yes. Especially my boobs.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Puts on loose-fitting clothes – Sometimes, although he has a problem understanding pants and shirts are not the same. Also that pants are not hats.
• Might be ready for a big bed – I’m planning to make the switch for his 2nd birthday. The problem is it involves a lot more than just switching the crib for a bed because the room isn’t very childproof and if he got up to play he could ruin a LOT of stuff before I noticed. But I’m hopeful that the actual transition to the bed will go well.
• Understands opposites (e.g., tall vs. short) – I don’t know? He understand enough differences that I can ask him to bring me one of two similar things and he gets the right one but I’m not sure we encounter a lot of opposites.

This morning in a desperate attempt to calm a temper tantrum I let him try out the piano for the first time and he loved it. He clearly heard the differences in the notes and loved sliding down to press the lowest ones and then reaching up to the highest ones. He also taught himself that pressing one key at a time made a different noise than smashing down a whole bunch. I’m not saying he’s an OMG MUSICAL GENIUS or anything, but it’s nice that he enjoys it.

Hmmm...time to write my materpiece!

Definitely need some of these notes up here

Brilliance has struck!

Stop bothering me while I'm composing!!

Now for the BIG FINISH

That's it! I shall touch it no more. My work is perfect.

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16 Responses to “22 Months”

  1. OMG the big finish picture! Love it!

    Sorry if I am part of the alphabet problem.

    Comparing sucks, but we all do it. It is hard to not do it. I am obsessively comparing Spencer to other little kids at the park. Apparently, by 18 months he should have figured out how to go down a slide with out assistance. People look at me funny because I still go up and help him sit. Otherwise, half the time he will just try and walk out on the slide.

    • bebehblog says:

      See, Evan is an EXCELLENT slider. I barely have to watch him at the park anymore because he understands how to be safe on all the toddler sized equipment. So we’re still good on physical development, I just need to help him work on letters.

  2. FourInchHeels says:

    In my I-don’t-have-babies-but-I-do-have-a-degree-in-linguistics-and-that-counts-for-something,-right? opinion:
    1. Boys usually start talking later than girls
    2. Evan’s doing a-ok. Generally, around age 2, kids start making two-word sentences (Mommy sit, Evan help, doggy stay). Before then, it’s one-word utterances. The number of words in his vocabulary is probably pretty small still, but he understands way more than he says. Once he really starts gaining momentum on the talking thing, he’ll likely start picking up a few new words a week.
    3. It’s never a bad idea to start making a word list. He might surprise you with how many words he already uses. It might make you feel better.
    4. In case you really want to read more about stages of talking: http://www.ling.upenn.edu/courses/Fall_2003/ling001/acquisition.html Evan’s about at the “Combining words: the emergence of syntax” point, halfway down.

    Baby Babble (or Child Language Development, if you’re being formal about it) was one of my favorite classes; I could go on about it for hours.

  3. Brigid Keely says:

    Niko’s about a month older than Evan, and people with kids about the same age as him (or slightly older) are very impressed by his vocabulary and how verbal he is. Yet he doesn’t have the magic OMGFIFTYWORDS he’s “supposed” to have, he doesn’t seem to know colors even though I’ve been working (heh “working”) with him on them, he calls all letters EEEEE (although he does recognize letters as something distinct, not just shapes), he doesn’t know the alphabet song, he doesn’t seem to understand numbers, etc.

    These kids aren’t even two yet. Why am I sitting around writing down every word that Niko utters? It’s crazymaking!

    BTW, I think “draw a straight line” is to differentiate from “draw a circle” which is a much later milestone. It’s not so much “takes out a ruler and draws a perfectly straight line” as “gets the pen more or less in a straight line from point a to point b without dropping it or losing interest.”

  4. Jennie says:

    The last picture is my fave!
    One the language front: here’s my unsolicited advice. Don’t rush to enroll him into ST. I had the SAME-EXACT-CONCERNS with Isaiah when he was the exact same age. To the point where, I did as you will, and made a list of everything he DID say and HOW he said it. (Thank you was “TaeTyoo”). I kept the list and added to it as new words emerged. (I kept it in his baby book). The child literally did not say Momma, or anything resembling that until he was 2 1/2.
    I spoke to the pediatrician and he did little to ease my trepidation while giving me his best “boys-are-slower-verbally-he’s-perfectly-fine-keep-doing-what-you’re-doing” speech. But let me tell you. When that child finally opened his mouth to actually speak REAL words at 2 1/2; it was clear, enunciated, beautiful words. I can only figure, like everything else in his life; he didn’t want to say anything, until he got it right (classic overachiever! He gets that from his Dad!)

    • merin says:

      Jennie-this is what I am hoping is going to happen with my daughter (she is 20 1/2 months)-that one day she is going to start speaking in sentences! Much like when she was going to walk-we thought she’d be an early walker because she was so strong and had been confidently on her feet for months, but she didn’t take her first steps until just after her 1st birthday…and then the next day she was running!

  5. Suzanne says:

    I know, it is so hard not to compare your child with others. My Catherine is only 14 months, but I routinely worry about her development. I honestly think she is a bit of a late bloomer- always at the far late end of the range. She is still not walking on her own yet, thought I know she will be there soon. And she only really only says one word- “hi”. Not even “mama” or “baba” (what my husband is called). The doc said he wasn’t worried because she is in a dual language household. But my mommy brain still goes into overdrive.

    FWIW, Little evan seems very advanced to me! And he was an early developer in motor skills, if I recall. He was walking at 10 months or something!?

    • Cole says:

      Mommy is a techer and was a speech therapy major in undergrad; one of the major points about kids living in dual-language households is that they tend to lag behind a teeny bit in language development until about 3rd grade – and then they zoom ahead! Learning two languages prepares them for abstract thought, and helps them understand sooner the cognitive concept of “words.”

  6. MKP says:

    My parents started playing alphabet tapes for me probably when I was around lil E’s age – each letter gets its own tape (these kids today probably use lasers or mp3s or whatevs) so you spend a day or a week on A things, then B things…. don’t feel like you have to teach it ALL AT ONCE…he’s still wee!

  7. Coura says:

    Cute baby, and congratulations on the block-stacking!

  8. merin says:

    I feel this way about Cora too-in fact, after seeing the football video and hearing Evan say “football” and “touchdown”, I can tell you that Cora is not anywhere near that verbally (she is a month and half younger than Evan). She definitely has words but they are all monosyllabic. Some are tonally different (e.g. mouse, mole, moose, mom sound different, but are all “mow” or “mo” or “moo” etc). The alphabet?? Forget it. A and E and that’s about it. And she really only says these mini words when prompted (except “mom” because yelling for me over and over is good fun). But, she also understands EVERYTHING and can follow a multi-step request and associates things she sees or hears with the same thing in another format (cow in book with stuffed animal cow or LP cow).

    I don’t know if we should be concerned either. Almost every other baby/toddler we see her age (or younger) has way more words that sound like actual words. But, like you said about Evan, physically she kicks ass and always has (people have always commented on her strength/agility at the playground. And the pediatrician’s office when she’s yanking on the stethoscope :)

    We have a 21 month check up in early March so I am definitely going to bring up my concerns. I don’t want to rush into speech therapy either but on the other hand wouldn’t it only help?

    Great topic-interested to see what every one else has to say!

  9. Leah says:

    They Might Be Giants’ Here Come the ABCs. It’s not as good as their Science and 123s CD/DVD sets but it’s a really fun way to introduce letters and the fact that the music doesn’t suck is good too.

    My nephew was a slow talker. He’s a bit older than Calder and is still pretty hard to understand at times but he CAN tell you the name of every monster truck ever and some of the drivers. I guess he just wasn’t that interested in non-monster truck words.

  10. Anne says:

    This is great for me. I am one month out from bebeh #2 and #1 is 20 months. I’m starting to worry about splitting my attention between them. I hadn’t thought about how much bigger he will seem but I’m already wishing he’d slow down a little. Just knowing you are out there and your kids are doing well is a lot of comfort. How are they sleeping? My guy still doesn’t sleep well so I’m a bit worried there.

  11. Amanda says:

    Piano playing big boy pictures are too precious! As for the talking enjoy the the quiet now, once they start they never.ever.stop. Maddie didn’t really bother talking until she was about 2 1/2 but like Evan she was a champion on the playground. It will come.

  12. Cole says:

    I love those piano pics! I’m a drum guy – or Daddy’s guitar…

    Also, Mommy likes your milestone updates because they’re a glimpse ahead, and now she’s hyperventilating about trying to teach me numbers and letters…

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