At the end of this week, Marcus will be seventeen months old--almost a year and a half. He's got twelve teeth now--his eight front, plus all four molars (though the top ones aren't completely down yet), and he's moved up into size 4 diapers. He also graduated from the infant room to the toddler room at daycare, after being there for exactly one year; he seems really happy to be in Toddler 1 with some of the same babies (er, sorry, toddlers) who had been in the infant room with him when he started there, and he loves the fact that there are steps to climb in his toddler room. He eats (or doesn't eat) the hot lunch at daycare with all the other toddlers, and actually peer pressure seems to work sometimes. On his first full day there, they went out for a walk to the storyhour at the Borders; other days they go to the library storyhour, etc.
He's wearing some twelve-month clothes and some eighteen-month clothes, and the random 2T tee-shirt that runs small. He can almost say a lot of words--he sometimes says things that sound like "baby," "cat," "toy, "sleep," and on and on, but those are usually right after we say them--he repeats them--and aren't turning up spontaneously from him yet, though. He's also making the sign for "more" when he's not done eating, even though Robert made endless fun of me for signing it to him over and over. You can also say, "Say hi," or "bye," or "goodnight," or any sort of greeting/parting, and he will wave on cue--this new phase of waving is more like wiping off a window, rather than the Chinese-cat-hand-flapping of his first phase of waving. Marcus can also give real kisses now, with cute kissing sounds, rather than just the terrifying open-mouthed attack-baby approaches (he still does those too, though). He's getting better about coloring: he sort of understands the concept, and he will color with crayons--vs. put them in his mouth--perhaps fifty percent of the time, which is a vast improvement even on just last month. Oh, crayon-eating baby, why, why, why?
A week ago we did away with Marcus's crib--which he hasn't really slept in in about a year, anyway--and got him a real bed. We got the Kura bed from Ikea, and we set it up as a twin-over-twin bunk bed, but the top bunk is not that far from the ground. Above, you see Robert and Marcus assembling the bed; below, you see Marcus sitting happily among the pillows in the bottom bunk. For now, baby is on the bottom bunk, with the ladder is hidden against the wall and the top bunk just for extra pillows and blankets, but we have the option of moving him up to the top in a few years and using the bottom for lounging/reading. He loves the bed--he helped Robert and me assemble it, and when it was done and all made up with the assortment of red, white, and blue sheets and pillowcases and blankets I'd been accumulating in preparation for this day, he bounded right in. Now he naps here, and also starts the nights here, and then when he wakes up we bring him into our bed still--I'm not ready to do away with daily baby cuddles quite yet, and it seems like he's not ready to do away with his nightly helping of mama-dada cuddles and mama milk either, so it all has been working out nicely. We also put a toychest in his room, in between the dresser and bookcase, so he has some toys to play with in there, and an easy place to put them away.
He definitely understands things like putting away his toys--I can say, "Okay, Marcus, you have two sets of toys out [like trains and Legos]--time to put away one if you want to take out the puzzles too," and he absolutely will. We made a Lego table for him in the living room, and he's great at putting things together now. He plays independently for long stretches of time--recall that at daycare their only criticism of him before he moved up was that he was "too independent." They blamed that on him being an only child, but I did try to point out that, really, an awful lot of one-year-olds are only children. Ah, logic. . . Anyway, Marcus can sort things by shape and color now, and he can build with patterns in the Legos. He still loves eating with utensils and putting lids and caps on things (like those applesauce packets).
School has started for me again; last week and the week before I worked in school with Marnie on our second book (proofed and delivered back to UMichigan for the next round of editing, even a day before the deadline) and at home on my handouts/papers for the coming semester. Meanwhile, I took Marcus to BU on one of my days off to participate in a study through the child study center on how very young children remember absent people. At right you see Marcus, Robert, and another thing that brightened our New Year--we got to celebrate Robert's birthday with a semi-surprise sushi dinner (plus angelfood cake, of course) with Bob and Jef, and Bob brought along this wonderful present from John: the ThinkGeek "Empire Strikes Back" sleeping bag! We all love it--can't wait for Marcus to get to use it in a sleepover sometime! Thank you, John!
This past weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we were supposed to go to New York to visit with my family again, but Marcus got another stomach virus--his second, exactly a year after his first. Apparently baby takes the beginnings of my semesters hard--he managed to get sick, and then give it to me and Robert, just like last year. Being up all night with a sick kid is one thing--I'm fine going in to teach after that--but being sick in the night, and being up with a sick kid, means that it's pretty impossible for me to make it into the classroom at 10:00 in the morning. So, it was my second sick day in a year--whoa, baby, look what you've done to my record!
We all were well by Sunday, though, so we had a nice walk down Tremont Street, a fun Indian brunch at Mela, and then on Monday a playdate with some Wellesley alums and their kids at Mama and Me in JP, followed by dinner for Robert, me, and Marcus at Bella Luna. Meanwhile, the days are getting longer again, as Robert will remind me, and even the cold winter sunshine has been very lovely and welcome, and we are just enjoying every day, week, and month as it comes.
Below are two videos for you to enjoy: first, Marcus helping Robert assemble the toychest for his room (baby seriously loves tools), and finally Marcus's "new" big-boy room.