Day by day, as my little boy grows and develops out of babyhood and into toddlerhood, I see glimmers of what his personality will be as a child, and maybe even as an adult. He may smile quite a lot, and overall he may be a very laidback baby, but it’s not smiles and giggles all day, every day. Especially now that he’s gained some independence with his fast crawling skills.
Our little guy is changing in significant ways, and at times, we’re a little taken aback by this newfound independence.
Within the last few weeks, we’ve noticed that when his mobility ramped up, mainly by being able to crawl for longer distances, at a quicker rate, our little guy starting getting quite the voice on him. Quite the loud voice, in fact! He makes his wants and needs known by vocally screaming at us in a loud holler. No tears are involved, just a very red face and a very loud holler, and a point of his finger. All that time he spent working on his fine motor skill development has paid off, because he can now usually get us to understand him by just pointing in the direction of the thing he wants.
He now understands that he doesn’t have to eat the food we give him, and so, if something isn’t to his liking, or he’s had enough, he simply starts throwing it on the ground. He has made the dog his most loyal friend.
Hayden is starting to understand the word no, and even understand inflection in our voices, especially when it’s us saying, “Haydeeennn,” where we sort of drag out the sound of his name in hopes of getting his attention and distracting him. If he’s getting into something he shouldn’t be, and we use our voices to try and alter his course, he looks at us, flashes the grandest of smiles, and then goes back to doing what he was doing. He tries this 2-3 times before we either remove him from the situation or he grows bored with our game.
He is starting to fight back when his older brother and sister start to man-handle him a bit, or get in his face. Of course it’s all very innocent and it’s usually when our 8-year-old daughter wants to squeeze and love on him and doesn’t let him go, when he so clearly wants to get down and crawl. But in these cases, he is now understanding that he too has some physical power, and is using it to get what he wants, or get out of situations. He has started slapping his brother and sister, and even trying to bite them if they get too close or squeeze him just a little too tight. In addition to his loud protests, some harmless but intentional physical contact usually startles them out of what they’re doing and they stop. I can’t help but laugh a little when the 8 or 6 year old come whining to me that their 1 year old brother hit them.
A sense of bravery is definitely coming over our little Hayden. He’s been consistently crawling for about 6 weeks now, and because he has the stamina to go longer distances, he has no problem crossing the length of our 1900 square foot house several times in just a short amount of time. This sense of purpose, along with the ability to follow through on this purpose, has Hayden digging around into new nooks and crannies of our home, including closets, drawers, underneath tables and chairs, and even attempting to go outside! We do a pretty good job of keeping track of him, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been surprised to find him in my closet, peeking out from behind a dress, a couple of times.
Plain and simple, our little guy is starting to understand what he wants, and his list of likes and dislikes is starting to cement themselves together. On top of that, he has all these new tools which help him get what he wants, and he’s learning how to use them all to his benefit. At times, the dinner table is much louder than it was just a few weeks ago, we’re on our toes much more, keeping track of his whereabouts, and more messes are being made. But those are all good indicators that our little guy is progressing right along, as he should, out of the stages of babyhood and into toddlerhood. Now where’s the box of tissues, because I just felt a tear trickle down my cheek as I typed that sentence?!