18 Months of Maddox Fred

Maddox is 18 months old! A year and a half. So hard to believe my little man is turning into a little boy right before my eyes (that sounds kind of backwards, but you know what I mean).

These days he is very vivacious and so full of energy. He constantly keeps me on my (puffy, swollen, tired) feet. But I love his tenacity and spunk. He has a beautiful, sweet little spirit.  I wouldn't change a thing about him. He just needs lots of wrangling!

He weighs 25 pounds and is 32 inches tall.

He wears size 18 months in clothes, as well as some 24 months. He wears size 5 in shoes.

He still has a bottle of warm milk at nap time and bed time, and if he wakes up during the night.

He still has 12 teeth, but is working on all four of his incisors. They really bother him a lot some days, and other days he is just fine. He chews on his fingers regularly and is loving to chew on ice cubes, and I think it has to do with his those teeth.

He doesn't say any "real" words but says:
   "Go" for ball
   "Lala" for Elmo and videos he wants to watch
   He makes a "tickle tickle" sound when he tickles us or himself
   Says "ma ma" and "da da" occasionally for Matt and I

He understands lots and lots of words: Jasper, Mommy, Daddy, Diaper, Drink, Bath, Outside, Bye Bye, No no, kiss, hug, binky, bottle, ball, train, puppy, kitty, bird, slide. I am sure there are a lot more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

He taught himself to do somersaults on our bed.

He loves to dance and has also started singing along with music.

He loves to sing songs with us and do the actions. His favorites are The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Little Cabin in the Woods, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and The Little Green Frog. (In this picture he is sticking out his tongue for The Little Green Frog)

He knows where his nose, tongue, and belly button are, and we are working on fingers, eyes, and feet.

He loves to talk, and can babble on for several minutes. He also uses his hands while he is talking.

He can make puppy, sheep, cow and monkey noises.

Loves to give hugs and kisses, and especially loves when we do family (all three of us together) hugs and kisses.

He loves to sweep. It's one of his favorite activities. He also likes to unload the dishwasher, and help with laundry.

Enjoys looking at books and naming the pictures, but doesn't like to sit and listen to a story.

Climbs on everything!

Can go up and down the stairs like a big boy while holding my hand.

Has learned to go up and down small steps all by himself (if there is something to hold on to).

Still loves to mimic a lot of our daily activities: talking on the phone, brushing his teeth, playing with keys and using them to "unlock" hinges on all the doors (since he can't reach the key hole),watering the flowers on our deck, walking Jasper, brushing his hair, and, most recently, wiping himself (over his clothing) with toilet paper.

Eats pretty well most days. His favorites are pancakes, most fruit, peas, corn on the cob, rice, cheese, and all kinds of pasta.

There are a few not-so-pleasant new developments as well.

He has started throwing tantrums when he can't have/do something he wants. He throws himself on the floor and cries. Typically, I try to ignore his tantrum and distract him with something else. They usually don't last more than a few seconds.

He will lash out when he is angry usually by throwing things, but can also be found gagging himself or occasionally biting, pinching or hitting. We gently correct him "No Maddox, please don't bite. That hurts mommy" and redirect him "would you like a drink?" which is working for now. At this point, I know he is just testing his boundaries, and hopefully with enough positive correction he will learn which kind of behavior is acceptable and which is not.

He will throw his food onto the floor the moment he has lost interest in eating. Sometimes we are able to catch him before it happens, sometimes I remove the food before he can throw it, and other times I am so worn out I just let it happen. I need to be more consistent with correcting him in this situation, but some days I feel like it isn't a battle worth fighting. I don't know of any adults that throw their food on the floor when they are finished.

Although he typically eats decently, he is reluctant to try new foods. And most of the time won't sample something at all before deciding he doesn't like it. I don't want to perpetuate this behavior by only offering him things I know he will eat. So if he doesn't eat something, I usually try not to offer him something else. It's hard sometimes, because I don't want him to go hungry. It can be tough to balance!

I know that the struggles he has right now are typical of any toddler. His true nature is sweet, loving and kind. Every day I can see little pieces of his person shining through. When he hugs me for no reason, holds my hand, leaves a ball or toy that doesn't belong to him untouched, shares his binky, or throws his diaper away for me, I know that he is going to be okay.

I love this little boy so much. It simultaneously feels like he was just born, and yet has been part of our family for years. He made me a mama and turned our twosome into a family. And although he can challenge my patience at times, he is the sunshine of my days and is a constant source of joy in my life. I treasure him. At night, when rocking him to sleep and singing a lullaby, tears freely flow down my cheeks as I imagine the day when he no longer needs me like he does right now. It makes these days, these fleeting moments, so precious to me. There is no where I would rather be than at home with him, my little sidekick. I love you sweet boy. I could never have imagined having a child as perfect as you.

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