I’m actually a month late on this, but I can’t let this milestone go by without a comment – Nugget is eighteen months old! (Well, he’s actually nineteen months old, and I am perennially running behind.) Eighteen months feels like such a huge milestone to me; I felt that way with Peanut, too. I know that the books and the conventional wisdom say that the toddler stage starts when the kid starts… you know… toddling, which Nugget did shortly before his first birthday. But I refuse to leave the baby stage that early. I will not officially declare toddlerhood until eighteen months – that’s MY rule. But either way, it’s here now. Nugget turned eighteen months old, and there’s no denying it, he’s 100% toddler.
^Truck spotting with Nana. I think they spotted the King Street Trolley.
In the six months (seven, okay) since Nugget’s first birthday, he’s grown up a lot, had many life experiences and become very wise. Just kidding. But we have done quite a bit. Nugget moved houses again, for the second time in his little life – and this was a big move, home to northern Virginia. We’re so glad to be back, and glad that he gets to grow up experiencing all the cool things that the Washington, DC area has to offer. He’s already loving his new home – spotting boats on the Potomac and fire trucks cruising the streets almost every day.
Oh yeah. Nugget’s great love is fire trucks. He really loves all trucks, but he has a particular place reserved in his heart for fire trucks. If a day goes by and we don’t see a fire truck, he complains until we take a walk by one of the several fire stations that are moments away from our house. (I knew the location was good, but I had no idea how good it was, or how important it would be that we live near all the fire stations, when I signed the lease.) He is always the first to hear a fire siren and will alert the entire house to the approaching fire truck, and we then must all run to the windows to appreciate the majesty of the ladders. Recently, he got a private tour of the fire station when his nanny was walking him to the playground and they happened to pass by (and his loud appreciation was noticed by the firefighters) and he was on cloud nine for a week. Oh, yeah, and do you see that hat he’s wearing above? He has THREE of those.
Another love? BIKES. Nugget desperately wants his own bike. (He test-drove… well, test-pushed… every one of the kids’ bikes at REI, even the ones that were way too big for him.) Right now he is contenting himself with cruising up and down the upstairs hallway on his giraffe scooter, and riding his sister’s pink tricycle down the street in our neighborhood (with adult help and supervision, of course). At the rate he’s going, he’ll learn to actually ride a bike before she does.
Here’s something good to report: Nugget has finally started eating real food! Those of you who know me “IRL” have, I’m sure, grown tired of listening to me stress out about his eating habits. Short version: while Nugget was always a good nurser, bottle feeder, and puree eater, he took a LONG time to master actual, legit, table food. He’d put a bite of something in his mouth but couldn’t seem to figure out how to chew and push it back along his palate, and the food would inevitably pop out again. We were concerned enough to bring it up to his pediatrician and take him to a feeding clinic in Buffalo (a HORRIBLE, worthless experience, as it turned out) and I’ve been at a loss for months. Sometime around the time of our move, he just seemed to figure out the whole eating thing, and now there’s no stopping him. He loves cheese, scrambled eggs, fruit – especially strawberries – applesauce, vegetarian hot dogs, yogurt, and especially “mac chee.” Still not a big fan of vegetables, but we’re getting closer. And couldn’t be more relieved to see him eating like a kid.
Nugget at 18 Months:
Weight: 24 lbs, 7 oz – just a couple of pounds away from outweighing his (four-year-old!) sister. He’s in the middle of the pack as far as percentiles go, so he’s not huge by any stretch of the imagination. He’s just normal sized, and she’s tiny.
Height: Gah, I don’t remember. Middle of the pack, again.
Clothing Size: He’s in a mix of 18-month and 24-month clothes right now. Most of his summer clothes are the smaller size, but I’ve been gradually buying up a fall wardrobe in 24 months. I’m invariably surprised when I put 24-month pieces on him and they actually fit.
Sleep: Back and forth. Things were very rough right before he turned 18 months old, around the time of our move. Like newborn rough. I was averaging four hours of sleep again, and frequently getting less. Once our furniture arrived (crib!) and we were back from vacation, we sleep trained Nugget (again) because I knew there was no way I could sustain that level of sleeplessness and also adjust to a new job. Things went well for awhile, but just recently have taken a downturn as we deal with teething and an icky cold. Poor guy! He still has plenty of energy to play all day, though.
Likes: FIRE TRUCKS FIRE TRUCKS FIRE TRUCKS. And all other vehicles, too – cars, motorcycles, dump trucks, construction trucks, trolleys, “big bus beep beep,” trains, the Metro, airplanes and helicopters… if it goes, he loves it. But fire trucks are his true love. He’s finally at the stage where he likes to be read to, and his favorite books are Little Blue Truck and Good Night Beach. Also loves the water (he’s a Pisces!) and had a fabulous time splashing at Virginia Beach on vacation this summer. And now that he’s figured out how, he loves to EAT!
Dislikes: Despite loving to eat, and despite what it looks like in the picture above, Nugget is NOT a fan of restaurants. He lasts no longer than five minutes in the high chair, and that’s on a good day. The rest of the time, he has to be walking around, pushing chairs over, throwing flatware, pouring water on the floor and generally embarrassing the entire family. If he was less cute, we’d have been kicked out of more establishments. We attempted to enjoy the restaurant scene after moving back home a few times, but have finally admitted to ourselves that it’s just not the time. He also dislikes teething (of course), his bedtime lullabies (smart kid knows what’s coming next) and being told that he can’t go outside.
Favorite Toys: Hands down, the favorite toy in Nugget’s heart, right now, is his Green Toys fire truck. (Thank you, Santa!) He also loves his other trucks, his WOW! Toys camper van, and his Thomas and Friends train set. He loves books (see above – especially the Little Blue Trucks books!) and outdoor toys, like his giraffe bike and his sister’s tricycle. And he’s amassing a large collection of balls, which he loves to throw (often with a “BOOM!” sound effect thrown in for good measure).
Milestones: So many! Developmentally, he went from walking tentatively to running, jumping, dancing, and climbing on everything. He’s amassed a HUGE vocabulary – rivalling Peanut’s at his age – and has more than 100 words, many of which he combines in two-, three-, and four-word sentences. He tells jokes – or at least, he performs gags that he finds funny, and the rest of us find his laughter charming and infectious. (Current favorite is to call out “Where are you, Daddy? Where are you, Mommy? Where are you, Em?” while we drive in the car – he knows very well where we all are, but he cracks himself up pretending to search for us.) He also switched from daycare in Buffalo to a nanny share in Alexandria, and he constantly amazes us by shouting out the name of the other child he shares the nanny with whenever we drive even remotely in the direction of their house. In social milestones, the biggest one was, of course, his second move – from Williamsville, NY to Alexandria, VA. A lesser milestone, but far more traumatic (for me) was Nugget’s first haircut. I spent the whole time freaking out that he was growing up too fast and wouldn’t look like a baby anymore after it was done, and then the salon made it worse by giving him a certificate that said he had “graduated from babyhood” – poor form, salon.
Quirks: We joke that if Nugget were to run for mayor of Alexandria right now, he would win. We’ve switched up our walking arrangement – he used to ride in the stroller, and Peanut in the backpack. But Peanut has been big into the stroller lately, so Nugget moved to the backpack, and he’s made good use of his new perch. Not only does it afford better fire truck spotting opportunities, but he’s been able to win legions of new fans by smiling, waving, and greeting everyone as we walk down the street. He gets more smiles and waves back than any other baby I’ve ever seen – already a politician. Sheesh.
Happy 18 months, little one! You’ll always be MY baby, even if everyone else thinks you’re no longer A baby. We have loved getting to know you and all of your sweetnesses over the past year and a half – here’s to many, many more months of discoveries and fun. We LOVE you!