Friday, December 16, 2011

What's New with Gus this Week?

I've never really spent much time with a toddler before (well, besides my sisters, but I was still just a kid myself then), so I didn't realise how neat it is to watch their understanding of the world just blossom. Gus has learned to do all sorts of new things just in the past week or two.

One thing he is doing all of a sudden is expanding his use of tools. He knows what various items are used for and wants to try them out for himself.

  • He got out his little brush and was brushing the hair of his stuffed animals the other day; he was just toddling around, brush in one hand, teddy in the other. 
  • We've removed the tray from his high chair and pulled the chair up to the table with us for meals. I think this has made him feel very big, and coincided with his insistence on using a spoon for every meal, even if we're just eating sandwiches! Although he still prefers to eat his yogurt with his fingers :)  
  • Today he was insistent that I give him a fork to use and then spent 10 minutes stabbing at his food. And making a huge mess while not actually putting anything in his mouth, but that's par for the course (although I do think being at the table has reduced the mess a bit). Luckily for Gus, I finally ordered his Christmas present yesterday--a ridiculously overpriced set of children's flatware that matches our silverware exactly. Too cute!  
  • We had some friends over yesterday, and after they left, I noticed Gus was trying out some more tool-using skills. Our Advent candles had been on the dining table, and I knew that one of the other babies had knocked them onto the floor. No big deal. What I didn't realise was that the matched had also fallen off the table. I waved goodbye to my friends, walked the five feet from the door to the table, and saw Gus underneath. He had gotten one of the matches out of the box and was holding it to the candle, trying to get the candle to light! Luckily, he hadn't learned about striking the match yet, so there was no fire. But let me tell you, after I put the candles back on the table and lit them (so that he could see but not reach), I definitely put those matches on a high shelf out of sight! 

going to see the neighbors' chickens
Gus has also learned a few new signs this week. He can now say food and please/thank you. He uses the please sign when he wants something, which is really very useful, except when he doesn't have a word/sign for the thing he actually wants! Then he just signs over and over, with me none the wiser about what he is actually asking for. Poor thing; I do try my best. He has also learned the sign for diaper recently, and sometimes walks over to the diaper mat and does the sign. I usually take this to mean he wants his diaper changed, although he does sometimes just walk away uninterested before I can get the things ready, so I am not sure. One of his favourite words is still hat, and he loves to point them out, whether they are on a shelf, in a picture, or on a stranger walking down the street. He might think that people with white hair are wearing hats, though. Luckily he is not really at the stage where other people readily understand what he is saying!

The cutest new "word" he has learned this week is growling like a bear.We got a new book out of the library last week--Say Hello to the Snowy Animals!--so now (along with Ten Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle) we have two books in the house that have a polar bear growling, so I think that is where he picked it up. Although I have a feeling Pa had a hand in the teaching of this trick as well :)  All the teddy bears have been busy growling at me these past couple of days.

yogurt, please! (I didn't get the sign in the pic, though)

Everything is a game to Gus at the moment. With any action that I do, he is likely to ask me to repeat it over and over again. For instance, today we were sitting with the stuffed animals, and I made the sock monkey give Gus a hug. We then spent the next ten minutes getting hugs from various animals. Saying uh-oh! or where did it go? is a surefire way to start a long, drawn-out game. And he has taken to making a sweet little questioning motion to go along with where? (hands out, palms up sort of shrug) and putting his hands over his mouth as if in surprise for uh-oh!. Simple tasks are great fodder for games as well. On Tuesday our veg box was delivered, and there were 8 or 10 carrots at the bottom of the box. I gave him a paper bag and asked him to put the carrots in it while I made the breakfast. He spent the next 15 minutes putting the carrots in, then taking them out, lining them up in a row, then back in again. It's a great way to spend a morning!

carrot packing

1 comment:

  1. The toddler years really are fascinating! It's so fun to hear what Gus is up to. How exciting to be finding new ways to communicate, and new ways to problem-solve with tools. I love the bit about the carrots - it's so neat to see how enriching involvement in everyday activities can be for children. They need this so much more than fancy toys, in my humble opinion!