After putting Nicky to bed, it's become a nightly occurrence for him to come open his door, stand at the gate we have in his doorway and try to talk us into coming back to lie down with him while he falls asleep.
He's actually quite good at this verbal manipulation and adds new material almost daily. Some of his favorites:
"Daddy, more cuddles?"
"What are you doing?"
"Where are you?"
"I NEED you!"
"Binky!" (after throwing all four of his binkies into the hallway)
An alarm impression (maybe an alarm clock, maybe a fire alarm?)
and his #1 way to express irritation with someone..."You Stupid."
It seems like only yesterday I was anticipating the joys of his learning to talk and create sentences of his own.
Tonight though he did do something cute. He was looking out the window while Daddy drove to pick up dinner. He said "Hi cow!"
I was pretty sure there wasn't a cow walking down our street, but I asked him if there was a cow outside. He said "no," but then said "Hi there cow. Mooo!"
So I went to look outside. In the yard across the street was a dog with a white face and grey body along with a black and tan dog of questionable heritage. He then switched to saying "Hi puppy!" and "Give kisses?" He just loves dogs.
For a minute the dogs went out of sight into some greenery and I said "Where'd they go?" Nicky said "where they go?" and then, lowering his head, he said softly, mournfully "Oh dear. It's my fault."
He's just so funny. Of course I told him it wasn't his fault, and then pointed them out when they reappeared. He was just being dramatic. What a ham.
He does stuff like this all the time now. I put up a bunch of new movies, and several of them (ok,six actually) are of him during a single morning when he dismantled the sofa and played with the cushions for something like 30-45 minutes straight. (Hey I had like 9 of these, and I narrowed it down to 6 AND even cropped some of them!)
In one of them he climbs to the top of the stack of cushions, very precariously, raises one arm high and declares "Super Hero!" We have no idea where that came from.
He's also getting really good at following some instructions (when he feels like it). He helps feed the dogs sometimes by gathering their bowls for daddy and then putting their full bowls down in their places. This is great for the dogs too. They associate him with bringing them food and see him as a source for good stuff rather than competion for food or as the constant annoyance he can be. One of his favorite things to do is pull tails and feet, sit on them, put his head on them, and hug them too tight. We tell him to stop, or make him stop. And he apologizes to them, but we have to find a better way.
One thing I tried the other day was an actual time out. Benjamin was with us in the living room and he was tugging on Bobo's tail (Bobo is Benjamin's nickname). I told him to stop at least twice, and I know he heard me and understood. But he just looked at me, still holding the tail. I got up and put him nose facing into the corner behind the front door and told him to stay there for two minutes. (One minute for each year of age is the rule of thumb.) It took a few times of moving him back before he got that he was not to move. But eventually he did a full two minutes in the corner, well with at least one foot in the corner. (Baby steps!) After his time was up I told him why he was in time out. I emphasized that he was in time out for not obeying when mommy told him to do something and that he has to listen to mommy and daddy. He was hurting Benjamin's tail and when mommy said to stop he has to stop right then. While hurting (well sort of, but mostly annoying) the dog isn't ok, the punishment was really for not obeying. I had to think that through myself while he was in timeout.
It seemed to make an impression and I think we need to use it consistently. It's hard though. Nagging and repeating are so much "easier" but of course they're not effective. (Otherwise we wouldn't have to keep doing it!) I think to do them most effectively we need a designated time out spot and a timer though. Have to pick one up soon. Till then we'll just use the real clock.
Hmm, it's been quiet in his room for about 20 minutes now. I think he finally went to sleep. It only took 2-3 times of putting him back in bed tonight.