Ah Oliver! My sweet, peaceful, sleep-loving baby is gone, and has grown into an active, affectionate, forever-teething Mommy’s boy!
He is still our little blondie – the hair on the top of his head is about 2.5-3 inches long now, but it’s so fair and so fine that he still looks mostly bald :) He still has the one little patch of thicker, darker hair on the back of his head which is funny!
The biggest challenge we have faced with Oliver this year has been the teething saga. Every child has different teething experiences and, for Oliver, it’s been pretty torturous. In August I first noticed the purple bruises where four molars were starting to push through. Now here we are, at the end of December, and not a single one of those molars is fully erupted. One of them has three spikes out. He has been teething non-stop for over 5 months. For the same 4 teeth. It’s been a good time for us all!!! Yikes! So my sweet, sleep-loving baby has become my cranky toddler who wakes up 2 or 3 times a night, often more. I have a feeling that this will continue until he has a full set of teeth…. maybe by the time he gets his 2-year molars, we’ll all be able to start enjoying a full night’s sleep again… But he is still a good napper. He takes one 2.5 hour nap during the day – he usually goes down sometime between 10 and 11am, but can make it later than that if he needs to.
Oliver started walking in little spurts several weeks before his birthday. He chose the week that Avery was in Texas for her leg surgery to start walking across rooms and taking 20 or so steps at a time. Since then he has loved being on his feet. In October or November he started spinning around just to make himself dizzy, which was endlessly amusing to watch! He kept on doing it, even though he would often cry when he fell down at the end! He still does it sometimes :) He also likes dancing (super cute) and racing. Of our three children, Oliver has had the clearest first word. His first word was “Go!” The first day he said it, he was watching Avery and Brogan racing from the front room to the kitchen and back again. He was sitting with me on the stairs as we watched them race, and every time they stopped, he bounced up and said, “Go! Go!” After that he started saying it right before he ran anywhere too :) He also says Yay, Mom (maaam), Dad (Da, or day), and there are several other sounds he makes which may or may not be specific to something, but other than that he still mostly communicates his needs with pointing, screeching, and/or whining!!! He has perfected the art of ear-piercing screeches. Ouch! He also has the cutest laugh, and his squeal of delight when he runs to greet Daddy when he walks through the door is the sweetest thing :)
Oliver does definitely understand a lot more than he says. He knows what “No” means, and will also sit down when he’s told. He also will clap, kiss, and jump on demand, and will hide if you ask “Where’s Oliver?” It’s actually very cute, because he’ll put his hands up to hide his face, but he mostly just covers his mouth and nose, so you can still see his smiling eyes peeking out over the top :) Then he’ll pull his hands away and laugh and laugh when you say “There he is!!” He’ll go sit on the step when you ask him to, and will try to help putting on his socks, by lifting up his foot and pushing the rolled up socks against it. He doesn’t seem to understand why this method doesn’t work. I don’t know why I try to put his socks and shoes on him before we leave the house anyway, because the first thing he does once he’s in his carseat is take off his shoes and socks! He has started doing the rolling and beeping motions by himself when I sing The wheels on the bus. He has also started to do funny little things just for the sake of being funny!
Without a doubt, Oliver loves his mommy!!! It is very sweet, but often makes it difficult for me to cook, clean, walk, or look after my other children! There’s nothing like trying to prepare a meal with a screaming child attached to my legs…! In his ideal world, I would not do anything but hold him and love him, 24 hours a day :) Daddy says that he is not like that when I’m not home, and he definitely enjoys calm one-on-one time with both his parents. When he realised that I would pick up and/or hug Avery and Brogan whenever they got hurt, he started screaming and running for me whenever one of his siblings got upset. It was like, “Noooooo! You can’t have her! She’s mine!!” He definitely gets jealous whenever I show affection to my other children, but I think he’s starting to calm down a little bit with that. Whenever we go to the YMCA, Oliver screams as if his heart is breaking when I leave him in the child-watch. A lot of toddlers do that, I suppose, but Oliver takes it a step further by screaming for the entire time I am gone. Every time I have left him there in the past 6+ months, someone has had to come find me and ask me to come get him because he won’t stop screaming. Yup, he loves his mommy :p
This year Oliver went through a phase where he thought hitting was hilarious. Luckily, he mostly hit Mommy and not so much his siblings, but it was still not the most fun thing for Mommy! I tried not reacting, but he would just keep on hitting me until I reacted, and then he would burst into a fit a laughter! Thankfully, he doesn’t do that anymore, although he will pick up a stick or a pole, if he sees one, and whack the nearest person with it…!
Oliver loves cars, kisses, cuddles, food, putting things in containers and pouring them out again, baths, splashing, attention, making mess, pulling the kitchen towel of the oven handle and cleaning the floor with it, being tickled, snuggling closer to Mommy when strangers talk to him, trying to keep up with his big brother and sister, making noise, and all sorts of other things. He has changed and grown up so much this year, leaving the baby behind and growing into a sweet, opinionated little boy.