I must say, that I love this stage in Rylen's development. He is definitely challenging our discipline and boundaries which can be taxing, but he is also accelerating his learning. He mimics us and is in constant motion figuring out how to move his fingers, hands, legs, etc to do just what we are doing. He has also surprised me with sudden independence.
Rylen and I now have a morning routine of brushing our teeth together. I prepare his toothbrush with just a tiny dot of his toddler paste and a dab of water, then I prepare my toothbrush and together we brush. He tries to mimic exactly how I brush trying to get the bristles on his tiny teeth and brushing back and forth. This seems to be the preferred option of brushing now instead of chewing on the brush at bedtime like our old routine. We might have to have him mimic us at night as well.
Then just 4 days ago, I prepared his afternoon sippy cup of milk. When he saw the cup he ran out of the kitchen to his little rocker and sat in it. Perplexed, I gave him his sippy cup and he leaned back and sucked it down. My mouth dropped! I had aboslutely nothing to do with it. I was afraid to leave his sight for fear that he would stop. I just praised him and said what a big boy he was. He beamed a huge smile and finished the cup. Ever since that day this is the routine he has preferred for this afternoon cup of milk. I no longer have to hold it! I never thought the day would come.
He is also all about signing and using his hands. We have accomplished so many hand signs and these seems to be his preferred form of communication. (Though today he was trying out his "Ma" sound in front of the mirror again!) He quickly tries out a new hand gesture when I sign it and tonight he even tried counting on his fingers with the song "1,2 buckle my shoe". The list keeps growing longer: "mommy", "daddy", "uncle", "more", "all done", "apple", "pear", "milk", "no", "yes", "book", "bath", "thank you", and "amen". I think that is all of them so far. Quite a list!
Finally, we are at an age that he is responding more clearly to requests and seems to truly understand what you are saying. From getting me a hanger when asked and closing a door, to bringing me a toy or responding to a command. It seems like all of this has exploded in the past week and I am in awe of his humor and desire to learn. Oh to be like babes.
This is quite a wonderful stage!