Aiden remains a whim and a synapse away from full-on talking.... he has a bare handful of words ("hi", "uh-oh", "bye", and very occasionally "yeah" and "kitty"), but has been making his comprehension of concepts startlingly clear of late. He can identify parts of the face, though he's a little sketchy on the difference between "Aiden's nose" and "Mommy's nose"), and a growing number of animals (as judged by asking "where's the bunny?" on a shuffle board of animal pictures). He knows what I mean when I say "let's go to aiden's room", "time to go outside", "close the door", etc.
We got him a toy laptop a month or so ago, and with it he's learned to recognize most letters! The simple pattern-matching step of pressing the key of the letter that's displayed on the screen he got a while ago - but now he's extended it to if we show him a tshirt or a headline and ask him to find the "S" (or "B", or "M", or....) he will point to it. Sometimes. It's not a game that holds his interest very long at the moment. But still, impressive.
With his second birthday looming, we are having temper tantrums, accompanied by going limp, full-body flailing, and absolute unwillingness to listen to anything we say. We haven't really figured out a good way to deal with these yet - not responding works all right at home, but if we're out somewhere that's not always possible. And he's strong enough now that if he decides to really put up a fight, it's not physically possible for me to do any form of controlled restraint (like making him sit down). The evolution of this will be... interesting.
But most of the time he remains a very well-behaved, happy little boy. He loves high-fiving people, to the extent that he will come running from the other room if he hears someone say "high five!" He adores his book collection and asks me to read them over and over - but he's not *quite* careful enough with paper pages yet. He starts off well, then gets excited, and, well...
He's finally gotten to the point where I can get him to help with things like weeding outside (I pull a dandelion, he puts it in the bucket). He will eagerly push elevator buttons (usually even the one I point to), close doors that he thinks should be closed, put things into drawers, and bring you shoes. Okay, some of these things are more helpful than others. But he's not even two.
He's also pretty darned close to opening latched doors, so we're having to be much more careful about that front screen door. (Be aware if you come visit.)
He has started daycare three days a week at the La Petite Academy (I know, pretentious much? but it's a good place) in Mill Creek and is doing very well there. It gives me a sanity break and him more social/learning time than I can provide alone.
We've been working concertedly on his bedtime routine for the last month. Currently, it starts at 7pm and consists of change diaper & clothes, brush teeth, 3 bedtime stories, then cuddle to sleep. On good days this takes 30-40 minutes. On bad, 90, and then he's up again 40 minutes later. On the upside, Andrei and I have gotten into a good rhythm of trading shifts so neither one of us goes completely crazy. I want to try a white-noise generator on him next, but am having trouble finding a good one. Next thing to try after that would be fiddling with the light levels in his room - but I don't want him to be too dependent on that for sleep, with how variable the light will be at bedtime throughout the year up here.
He has 12 teeth and is working on the canines.
He's playing with his toy cell phone. It rings. He opens it and puts it to the cat's ear. The expression on her face is priceless.
His day care teacher tells us how he ate all of his lunch except for the green beans, which he lined up one by one next to his plate.
He gets up on the couch with a toy and pats the seat next to him while looking at one of us expectantly - the same thing we often do to him.
Again with the toy phone, he answers it with a ten-second-long "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii" that has Andrei breathless with laughter.
He comes running to the door and tries to open it for our housemate coming up the walk, and closes it behind her.
At the playground he crawls to the edge of a high platform, looks down and says "uh-oh", and backs away slowly.
He accidentally drops a toy on my foot. At my "ouch!" he pets my leg and murmurs a cadence suspiciously close to "are you okay?"
And, to finish -