My son recently turned 19 months. Those months really flew by. The pregnancy months seemed like an eternity that I can’t believe we are this far along. At this age, he is always running all over the place. He likes to take pots and pans from the kitchen cabinets and play with them. We allow him access to three drawers. The others are off limits and he respects the rules for the most part. Once in while he will make an attempt but complies when asked to leave it alone. Giving him limited access helps teach him what is allowed and what is not.
He’s mastered the numbers 1-10, 13 and 19 but skips seven because he can’t pronounce it. He likes to count objects. He knows the basic shapes and starting to learn colors. He’s also memorized the alphabet at this point. I gave him an extra keyboard to play with and he likes to and can identify all the letters. This is sometimes useful during meal time because it keeps him occupied and will eat anything you give him. He eats well but does need some distraction at times to finish his meal. He likes vegetables and prefers it more than meat at times. He naps regularly but hates bedtime. At bedtime, he will say his numbers and alphabets until he falls asleep.
He is also quite a talker at this stage. He repeats the last word in people’s sentences. He knows words and things we don’t remember teaching him. He has good memory. Three weeks ago, he picked up the Steve Jobs biography book to play with it. I told him it’s not a toy and pointed at the picture saying “That’s Steve Jobs. He invented the iPad”. I didn’t think he paid attention. The other day, he saw the book and said “Jobs, you doing” (Jobs, how are you doing?). I was surprised and amused. It’s amazing how fast kids learn at this stage. They absorb everything in their surroundings.
Here are a few lessons from A:
1. Determination – if you want something, go for it! Don’t let deterrences hold you down. My son will try every trick to bypass barricades or child proof measures to satisfy his curiosity. A lot of times he is successful and he gleams with pride in the achievement itself that sometimes he momentarily forgets what his original intent was. Be resourceful, if a 19-month old kid can figure out 5 ways over a hurdle, don’t give up at one.
2. Have a good laugh regularly – kids are easy to entertain. The mere gesture of a funny face sends my son into a laughing fit. Adults take a little bit more effort, or do they? Try making funny faces at someone and see what happens. Laughter is contagious. Surround yourself with people who makes you laugh.
3. If you fall, brush yourself off and get back on your feet. Have a good cry if you need it but move on- I can’t remember how many times A has hurt himself at this point but it never deters him from having fun. I doubt he forgets the episode or pain because he recounts it with such animation if you ask him. As adults, we often let minor setbacks control our mood for the day. Don’t let it! Move on and enjoy the rest of your day.
4. Be kind and affectionate- kids are great at this. My son will give kisses or hugs at random. It catches me off guard sometimes and always makes me happy. Perform random acts of kindness. Give somebody you love a good hug. Help brighten someone else’s day. I gave a homeless woman $5 one time. I don’t know if people were ignoring her all day but she was extremely happy and grateful. It was a small gesture on my part but was a big deal to her. Evoke positive energy. Even small doses sends a ripple effect.
5. View things with enthusiasm- “Tuck! Tuck! ” my son would excitedly say when he hears the garbage truck and rush to the window to watch it pass by. He’s equally fascinated with a lot of other things like the grass, moon, airplane, etc… The point is, don’t take things for granted. For instance, if you are getting weary of your job. Go to work envisioning it’s your first day. Remember how you felt that day. Approach the day with the same enthusiasm. I actually did this recently and it did wonders for my day.
This is part of a series to track A’s progress. As adults, we mostly know these things but sometimes need a reminder. What are you learning from kids?