Tonji-kun keeps growing:

  • Physical
    • Height – he is taller, and able to reach items on countertops. Dorami-chan‘s usable kitchen cupboard and drawer space has shrunk further! We will need to install some hanging cabinets out of his range. 18-month-sized clothes fit him perfectly.
    • Teeth – he doesn’t open his mouth wide, but there must be some molars coming in at the back (see Sleep below).
  • Motor :
    • He is more comfortable using a (baby) fork and spoon.
    • He can climb into and out of his baby chair.
    • Lately he does a “happy dance” when pleased.
    • He has tried standing on one leg (cheating a bit with hands on the table); we think he is emulating the skating of the hockey players he sees on TV.
  • Language
    • Speech:
      • Ban ban ban (Boom boom boom)!” – when he sees a picture of hanabi (fireworks).
      • Ma (uma = horse)” – he will say this when we start down a road we frequent that eventually passes by horse stables.
    • Signs – some new ones:
      • oishii (delicious) – open hand touches the back of the head
      • sakana (fish) – hands palms together, making a S-shaped swerving motion
    • Comprehension:
      • When asked, he can point out:
        • shingo (traffic light)
        • shimauma (zebra)
        • kirin (giraffe)
        • kutsushita (socks)
        • tebukuro (mittens)
        • saru (monkey)
        • ari (ant)
        • megane (eyeglasses)
        • face parts: mem-me (eyes), mimi (ear), hana (nose) – he will squeeze mine and expect to hear a “beep”.
      • Body parts: dressing and undressing is less of a battle when I ask him for his right/left arm/leg.
      • His full name – when his full name is called, he will raise his arm – only part way, though, so it looks like a Nazi salute (we’ll have to work with him on that!).
      • Negotiation – Dorami-chan was able to make a deal with him to keep wearing his hated mittens in exchange for pulling his sled one more time around our local park. As soon as she stopped, off came the mittens!
    • English – We use only Japanese when speaking to him, but he attends a couple of English-language playgroups, and has regular playdates with a couple of English-speaking buddies. And there are all those hockey broadcasts on television …
  • Social:
    • When I return from work, he comes to the door and bows “Okaerinasai (Welcome home)”.
    • At bedtime, from inside his crib he will pass me one or more of his stuffed animals so I won’t feel lonely.
    • He has met the babysitter Dorami-chan recruited, and behaves himself around her.
    • Dorami-chan brought him to one of my recreational league hockey games, where he was able to get right up close to the boards (they were the only specators in the arena). He pounded the protective glass with both hands like a veteran fan.
  • Toys:
    • Sled – it’s going to be a long winter – he enjoys riding in this, but likes walking around on his own better.
    • Shoehorn – Ours is the long kind – he enjoys using it like a walking stick, or a snow shovel.
    • Box – We finally finished the case of tortilla chips left over from Halloween – he has been very imaginitive with the empty box.
    • Hand puppet – He has figured out how these work
    • “Spot” – He got this stuffed toy dog from Jii-jii (Grampa) a couple of weeks ago. It is as big as he is, but he drags it around the house and knows it by name.
  • Food:

    • He is pretty much weaned off breast milk now. He eats most everything, but not beans yet — he isn’t giving Dorami-chan and me competition for the natto (fermented soybeans)!
    • He “drinks” wine and beer – he will put my glass to his lips and tilt it a bit, then sign “Oishii (delicious)”.
    • He likes nori (roasted dried seaweed) and wakame (kelp). When given the mini-onigiri (rice balls) Dorami-chan makes for his snack, he will peel off the nori wrapping and eat it first!
  • Sleep:
    • When tired, he will say “Nen-ne (beddy-bye)”, climb into bed and pull the covers around himself.
    • He has slept through the night on a number of occasions, but with teething he has had some miserable nights, too.
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