In the mormon church, turning 18 months is a big deal, both for the kid but primarily for the parent. It means you only have to "fight" with your kid for 1 hour instead of the 3 whole hours of church. The child, at 18 months, gets to enter the first stage of what we call primary, which is called nursery. At this "class" they get to play with toys, have snacks, play with bubbles, have a 5 minute "lesson", sing songs, etc. Sounds awesome, huh? James hit this milestone the end of December and both Phil and I were very excited about it. We didn't have any concerns that James would run in and not look back for the next 2 hours. After all, he does great getting babysat by other people for the most part.
However, the transition has not gone as smoothly as we have hoped for. Now, I don't want to belittle his success. He truly has done well (and supposedly, according to the leaders, has done absolutely wonderful comparatively to the other children who have recently entered). But once again, I really thought he would not have a hard time AT ALL so when I showed up the first time to pick him up and he was crying, I was a little concerned. Since then, we have had to work on a few things. Apparently my child is a slow eater and takes food VERY seriously...he unfortunately gets that last part from me. When the leader thought he was done (since everybody else was done and had moved on to other things), she picked up the rest of his snacks and I guess he had a breakdown. He also struggled when they had to pick up and put away toys which is something I had never really had him do at home (what kind of a parent am I?!?! I'd just quickly clean up after he went down for a nap or for the night...needless to say, this has definitely changed in our house). The hardest part for him is when people open and close the door frequently to the nursery room as well as when they move rooms for the "class/singing" time.
He has since improved immensely, after us going in a sitting with him through the room change but still becomes a little weepy. I am sure, with time, all will go smoothly and it will get to a point where he doesn't want to leave. But until then...It is a big change for him and I need to understand that. Structured class is a whole new world. We just take it one Sunday at a time.
Just for an update with James, he is growing and growing and we continue to fall in love with him more and more every day. Phil and I frequently express our love for him to each other at the end of the day. It is amazing how much you can love such a little person so much. At his 18 month appointment he had increased on the growth chart in head circumference and height (around 75%) but weight is still around 25%. It is fun to see him learn and grow. He loves cars and trucks (tractors/big machinery). I get an assortment of books at the library for us to read and I got a tractor book a few months ago which he fell in love with. Since then we have gotten several more and he loves them. As soon as he sees any type of big machine outside when we are driving, he is quick to point them out. These include cranes, front end/back hoe loaders, excavators, cement trucks, Semi trucks, etc. Anything that is big. Even just a regular big truck can catch his attention. He has taken to rolling cars around on the couch/bed/our legs (mostly things his level) and this can keep him occupied for quite some time. He is also enjoying stacking blocks together. Balls are getting to be more exciting and of course, any moment we can spend outside, he does...but has needed mom or dad out there with him more recently for some reason.
Word wise, we have struggled a bit. He doesn't say a whole lot and the doctor was a little bit concerned at his last appointment. He only verbally said uh-oh and nana (banana) at 18 months but also signed please, thank-you, and more. He has increased that vocabulary since and has added several words such as:
-bah (ball) or bah-bah (basket ball)
is able to sign cereal, cracker, drink, milk, help and also imitates the following sounds:
-hoo (blowing out air for a dog...not sure where that came from)
-meow...sort of (cat)
-a form of quack for duck
-moves his lips for a fish
-blinks his eyes open and close for rabbit (phil scrunches his nose and that is how he imitates)
-spanks his bum when we ask him about getting a spanking (since that happens so much at our house!)
He has been a little clingy the past few weeks as he hasn't been himself due to sickness/teething. He has needed mom time a lot more which makes me worry about this new baby coming so soon but I guess he'll manage! I hope to be able to give him the time he needs but that he learns quickly how the transition will be. We sure love our boy!