Friday, February 6, 2009

Girls only like guys who have skills...

The Nugget's learning curve is very interesting.  Both Daddy and I have noticed a trend in that he will appear to be "behind" his peers sometimes, but he is just soaking up knowledge and skills in his own way.  When he feels confident enough to try out the new skill he's been absorbing for weeks or months, he is nearly perfect at it on the first try.  For example, he didn't walk until he was nearly 15 months old but was running within a week.  Any attempts to rush or tease skills out of him before he's ready result in tears and frustration, so we've learned to just sit back, relax, and enjoy.  He's on his own schedule, child development books be damned.

New Nugget Skills:

-Stacking his cup tower solo (as pictured).  Lately he hasn't been knocking it down immediately but leaving it be so he can admire it while he plays.

-Signing phrases, such as "more milk please".  New signs include "dog", "fish", and he's working on "water" and "shoes" (I can understand his signs for them but they aren't quite ASL).

-Going down the little slide at the mall solo - climbing up the steps, adjusting himself into a sitting position, sliding down, and (my rule-following heart just sings), walking around the little house to use the steps again!  Well, at least part of the time!

-Walking up the steps at home, holding the railing.

-Going for walks outside, sans stroller.  He is very adamant about the hand-holding for the time being.  If I let his hand go for a split second, he grabs it back.  I'm enjoying this while it lasts.  He stays on the sidewalk well, mainly because there are still great piles of snow on either side.  They are great - it makes me think of bumper bowling.

-Drawing with crayons!  He has made several works of art without snapping the crayons into bits or eating them.  Unfortunately, they've all been on kids' menus at restaurants and got too soiled to save, but we'll have him do some nice ones for the fridge.

-Shape sorting.  He still needs a little help (he hasn't figured out how to rotate a shape more than a centimeter in either direction) but he gets the basic concept and is very interested.

-Understands the difference between bouncing and rolling a ball.

-Can throw Doggie's squeak toy for her without us prompting.  Doggie likes this new development as the Nugget is always up for a game of fetch, but she doesn't respect his throwing arm.  If it bounces less than a foot away from him, she will refuse to fetch it and look up at him as if to say, "That's all you've got?"

-Is working on petting Doggie gently!  I don't want to jinx it, but we've gone nearly a week and the dog hair twisting count is still in single digits.  We've been praising him for petting "gently, 1 finger", and it seems to be working.  Keep your fingers crossed that this trend continues.  Doggie deserves at least a year of respite before Lil Sib starts yanking on her.  Maybe I'll give up and just shave the poor dog at that point.

-Reading to himself - every time he wanted to look at a book, he would request we read it.  Now we still read on request, but he will also sit down with a book and flip through it happily.  This is especially nice for books he likes repeated OVER and OVER - we can read it once or twice then hand it to him to read on his own.

-He is getting really close to talking.  His syllables sound more and more like real words every day, and there are some he repeats often enough that we know he has assigned Nugget-words for certain items.  For example, "dizz-dizz" means fan.  Talking is one of the things that we think he's going to master quickly when he decides to go for it.  My prediction is that he might wait until he's 2 or older, but that he'll go from this toddler babble to full sentences with little warning.

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