I know the sixteen-month birthday is nothing significant, but it seems like Soren does something monumental every day. So what better time to boast about my babe than now? (Also, I’m reeeally proud of myself for remembering to take pictures of him on his monthly birthdays, so I need to document them before I get more behind.)
Soren is mostly non-verbal, but he signs like crazy. He has about 25 words in his signing vocabulary, so communication with this kid is mostly a breeze. He can tell us when he wants food or books, when he wants to go out, when he spies a duck or dog, etc. He’s said a few words here and there (mama, hello, bye, dada), but he gets a little defiant when we encourage him to talk, so we’ll stick with signs for now.
Soren was practically the last of his peers to start walking, but he finally decided he’d give it a try last week. I wasn’t worried about his disinterest in using his feet, but it was a little funny to see babies half his size cruising around. I’ll go with the opinion that late walkers turn into smarter kids.
One of Soren’s favorite games lately is hiding things. He’ll place a ball or pacifier or toy inside a drawer or under a blanket, then hold his hands up as if to say, “Where is it?” It’s pretty adorable. Sometimes things go missing for a little while — like Tim’s glasses — until we remember to check Soren’s hiding places.
If I’m sitting on the floor playing with him or reading to him, he’ll periodically crawl or walk over to me and put his arms around me for a quick hug. I hope he never gives that up.
I like to teach Soren to do things that we think are funny. For example, when I say, “Who’s cute?” he knows to point to himself. He loves to look at his reflection in the mirror, and he’s finally figured out who the other baby is. He’ll give himself smooches in the mirror, and sometimes I catch him playing a solo game of peekaboo. He also points to himself when he sees his reflection — maybe he’s double checking to make sure it’s really him.
He’s mastered most of his body parts and can point out his head, hair, ears, nose, eyes, mouth, teeth, tongue, hands, fingers, belly, feet, and toes. We’re still working on things like knees and elbows.
Reading to Soren is really fun. He’s particular about which books we read — I’m only about 50% successful in checking out library books he likes. He knows some of the books really well, and will often act out what’s happening on a particular page before I’ve read the words. So in “The Cat in the Hat,” he starts bouncing up and down when I flip to the page that says “And then something went bump! How that bump made us jump!” He also reacts to some parts of the stories in ways we don’t understand one bit. In “Hop on Pop,” he giggles and squeals when we read the pages about Pat. No idea why.
Soren is endlessly patient with some of the less-fun aspects of life that we put him through. We spend a minimum of five hours at church every other Sunday, and he complains less than Tim does. I was dreading our road trip to Virginia for Christmas, and I spent more time planning for the car ride than I did for the actual holiday. But he was an angel, only whining a bit in the last 30 minutes of the 10-hour day. As long as he has books and snacks and a few toys, he’s pretty happy.
He’s maintaining his stellar eating habits, for the most part. He has some days where he’ll turn his nose up at new foods I offer, but he has a mostly adventurous palate. His eyes light up when I mention Costco — he’ll try any sample available, and he gets pretty confused if we shop during non-sample hours. Like his father, his favorite food is pizza. Like his mother, he can polish off a package of raspberries in one sitting. Soren is still a big-time breastmilk lover and shows no signs of giving it up anytime soon.
Although I’m permanently tired and always behind on work, church responsibilities, and life in general, things are pretty great right now for our family. Now if only we could get Soren to sleep past 5:30 a.m….