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Tales from the ‘Hood ...Toddlerhood

May 26, 2011
by Lori Hall , Emmetsburg News

At 21 months, Jacob's favorite words are "No" and "Mine." Don't let his limited, egocentric vocabulary make you think he doesn't understand much of the English language, or that he's totally unsympathetic. Believe me, his comprehension is obvious, and his affectionate demonstrations frequent.

Take for example, Jacob's attempts to explore his surroundings. He will push a chair over to the built-in bookcase and climb up to search the bookshelves to find a title he likes. The ones he doesn't like are dropped to the floor.

Another favorite pastime is rummaging through the large drawer beneath the bookcase. Over the years, the drawer has become filled with a collection of pencils and erasers, gift bags, batteries, glue, and seasonal items like boxes of valentines and Easter egg coloring kits.

Jacob finds this drawer a real treat and rifles through it all, letting items fall to the floor or pile up on the bookshelf. When we catch him and admonish that he better stop, he crams everything into the drawer (whether it fits or not) and shuts it quickly.

When I ask him to get down from the chair, he says, "No." When I put my hands on my hips and shake my finger at him and firmly tell him to get down, he replies, "NO!" When I?attempt to take objects from him to put away, he says, "No! Mine!"

Outside, it's much the same. He loves the outdoors and will scamper wildly about, smiling and chattering excitedly. One of his favorite things to do outside is trot down the hill to the garage and check on Daddy's lawnmowers, snowblower, and bicycle. He walks around the wheeled wonders, kicking the tires and putting his hands here and there to touch this and that. All the while, he talks excitedly about "Da-E" (he can't quite say "Daddy" yet, but "Da-E" comes close).

When it's time to go inside, an indignant Jacob emerges, kicking and complaining "Noooo...!" as he's scooped up. Sometimes, the protests will continue for several minutes before he discovers something else inside the house to fascinate and hold his attention.

One of those attention-grabbing items is the Johnny Jump Up doorway jumper. I must admit that these things were completely foreign to me until a relative presented one to Jacob as a gift. Early on, I had my doubts about the jumper. The idea of my little baby bouncing around scared me, but now that my baby isn't so little anymore, Rich tried it out, but only after I had left the house to run errands.

According to Rich, our little one had a great time, jumping to and fro and swiveling all over the place. After a while, Rich tried to remove Jacob from the contraption and he protested loudly "No!". So, more bouncing and swiveling was enjoyed. The good time ended, however, when our dare devil stopped his bouncing, made a face and groaned slightly, and then proceeded to "lose his lunch." Poor Jacob. Poor Daddy.

It's just another tale from the 'hood...toddlerhood.



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