Today I want to write a bit more about Joshua. For the past couple of weeks his learning has been increasing exponentially, it’s quite incredible to watch. He only turned 18 months over a week ago, but many of the things he does are way ahead of his age. For example, he’s currently learning to wee in his potty. This is not because of any pressure we’re putting on him, he’s made it quite clear that he’s ready for this change, by showing us how uncomfortable he is when he has soiled himself, and by sitting very happily on his potty. As soon as he realises he’s doing a wee (he doesn’t poo much on his potty yet), he opens his eyes wide, his face showing intense concentration, then he stands up and looks at his masterpiece while clapping his hands in delight! More amazingly, he then insists on carrying his potty all the way to the toilet, without tipping it or splashing around, empties it in the toilet, flushes the toilet, then goes to the bathroom to wash his hands, then dries his hands on a towel, and finally returns to his bedroom to get a fresh nappy put on (which he insists on trying to put on himself!). Incredible!
It amazes me how quickly he learns new things. I have a few photos of our family on my mobile phone, and it has a touch screen that allows you to slide your finger across the screen to scroll to the next photo. Joshua watched me do this a couple of times, and now he does it as naturally as I do, scrolling through photos and expressing surprise and delight when he sees photos of us.
His language is also evolving extremely fast, even though he’s still not articulating real words. His voice inflections are always context-appropriate, and include a huge array of emotions, which makes it very easy for us to know what he’s trying to say, most of the time. He loves reading books with us, and sometimes I even think he’s following the words, not just the pictures 🙂 He particularly enjoys books that have rhymes and predictable patterns, with few words per page. He also likes books that have lots of simple pictures on them and he scans them avidly, searching for the items we name until he finds them and points to them.
As I’ve heard some people say, Joshua is very “switched on”. I guess that means that he’s very aware of his environment, very energetic and full of enthusiasm for life. He’s also very happy and easy-going. He almost never complains or whines, although sometimes he throws mini-tantrums but he’s very easy to distract even in these situations.
Recently he’s been enjoying climbing (with great difficulty) into our bed, making himself comfortable under the covers and watching a little cartoon on my phone or reading books with us. He basically likes to do all the things we do!
He’s doing very well at feeding himself, too. Last week he learned to drink from a plastic cup without spilling anything, and when he’s finished he carefully puts the cup back in its cup holder. He’s learned to stab his food with a fork, and is getting the hang of using a spoon without rotating his wrist too much, so the contents actually make it to his mouth. He’s very clean and tidy, and doesn’t like having food on his hands or even on his clothes. If he spills water on the floor, he’ll go get a towel and wipe it off! And I could go on and on like this, about all the little things he does that he’s seen us do. He even vacuums and sweeps the floors, although not very effectively, helps Emmy do the washing (he puts it in the machine, closes it and pushes the on button), puts dirty dishes in the sink and rubbish in the bin (although he gets those two mixed up sometimes), and takes the tied-up garbage bags to the sulo bin… Such a helpful little 18-month-old 🙂
He absolutely loves his daily bath, and has a little array of toys he particularly likes to play with. Recently he’s started laying on his tummy in the bath, I think because it’s a lot warmer for him than just sitting. He used to hate having water on his face, but is getting more used to it now. He often takes little sips from the bath and plays with containers.
He’s an absolute joy to be around, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his dad, other people who have looked after him have said similar things. What a blessing he is in our lives!