Being the slacker that I am, I haven't done a Josh update since February -- although I write about him a lot on Twitter. He's now 20 months old, and a totally different child since that last update seven months ago. He wasn't even walking then, and now he's running. All over the house. And talking! He does not stop chattering, and learns new words all the time. He even uses simple sentences, such as "I like cheese" and "I got a goal" (which was his first sentence, caught on my video camera). He can almost count to 10 and he's learning his alphabet. Colors have been more difficult, but he knows the name of his favorite (blue). We're also working on parts of the face. Unfortunately, his favorite is "eye" and I'm afraid he's going to poke his or someone else's one of these days. He gets pretty excited.
Like many parents think of their children, I think he is just brilliant. I guess it's because it's so amazing how much they learn in such a small amount of time. Just a month ago, I was guiding his hand to put his blocks into the shape sorter, and now he does it himself, in record time. He also recognizes the names of the shapes, and will sort them in the order you ask him to sort.
I also think that it's amazing how young children recognize objects even when they don't always look the same. For instance, my son loves monkeys and can recognize one whether it's a cartoon, photo, or stuffed animal. He even saw a picture of a baboon the other day and recognized that it was a type of monkey. The same goes for dogs, cats, cows, ducks, and other animals with which he is familiar. And he knows that his Nemo toy, the creatures in the aquarium, and the fillets at the grocery store are all called "fish." But his reaction to the first two is "Hi, fishy!" while to the last, "Yum."
Seemingly out of nowhere, he's learned what to do when someone asks you to clap your hands or stomp your feet. And he surprised us one day when he saw a chicken and started clucking and flapping his arms, elbows bent, like wings. He's pretty observant and does some good (and hilarious) imitations of animals and people. I wonder if he'll be a comedian someday; he's a really silly kid. For all my talk about how bright I think he is, some of his favorite times are spent running around with a bucket on his head, or having us chase him around the house with his toy lawnmower.
He is a huge sports fan. He could play basketball all day and yell "Goal!" just as excitedly as the time before every time he scores. He's obsessed with balls -- in fact, for a week or so, he would get mad at me when I wouldn't let him wear his shirt with the big soccer ball on the front (it was in the hamper). He loved the baseball game we took him to the other day, especially when he could see the ball. Maybe not so much when it almost hit us. We heard a lot of "caught the ball" and "Yay, ball!" from him. And then a sad "Bye bye, ball" when we left. I think he is going to love hockey even more this year. Even though they use a puck instead of a ball.
You know, I think he's obsessed with circles. Besides balls, he loves balloons, Cheerios, his belly button, the number 8, the letter O, the sign for Target. In fact, we couldn't figure out what he was calling his belly button and finally realized that he was saying "circle."
We started Josh on the potty ("buh buh," as he calls it) about a month ago and he's pretty excited about it. He usually just goes on before his bath, and more often on the weekends. He's only gone in it a few times. He freaked out a little the first couple of times, but still wants to use it, and seems more comfortable now. I think he just likes when we put the contents into the toilet and flush it. "Bye bye, pee pee!" We have to deal with a lot of potty talk lately (a lot of "pee pee" and "poo poo" mentions) but at least it's starting to coincide with when he actually has to go. I'm at least getting a heads up before having to change a stinky diaper.
We are having an absolute blast with Joshua at this age. He is so fun, and it's great to be able to communicate better with him. He's definitely had his moments -- refusing to nap, getting into everything, throwing tantrums, not eating, etc. -- but most of the time, he's a really good and happy child. We are so lucky to have him in our lives.