The 16 Month "Calm"?

In the past week or so, Spencer has been eerily calm. We all have different theories about what is causing this. He has NEVER been calm. He made those articles about newborns sleeping most of the time look like total lies. I know he is older, and his attention span is longer (although it's always been on the long side), and he gets tons of physical activity these days.

There is just this haunting voice in my head saying, "There is no way he is ok! He must be sick or something!" I truly think he would sit and watch the television all day if I let him. I know kids do this, I just didn't think "healthy" 16 month old boys did this. My mom says I would watch tv all the time if she would have let me. But, it's not only when the tv is on. Even when we go outside to play he is just markedly calmer. He will still throw a fit if you just out and out cross him, and he'll still get riled up if you chase him and tickle him; it's his overall demeanor that has settled down to about 2,000 notches below his "average." A month ago I was bracing myself for full-fledge "terrible two's" sort of behavior, and now this. I'm not trying to create drama, I'm just uber curious as to whether this is normal--maybe more so with boys? I always feel deficient when it comes to understanding boys.

So, I'm just putting this out there for all of you "seasoned" mommies and daddies (anyone with a child older than mine, ha!). I nannied for a few different families, and I have not yet witnessed this particular phenomenon--so I'm stumped. I just hope he's ok. He has no outward signs of illness, and he just finished a round of antibiotics--so there should be no lurking infections. He was allergy tested a few months ago and only reacted positively to peanuts, they tested him for food and seasonal allergies, so I don't think we can blame the pollen--yet. What do you all think? The change is NOTICEABLE, not subtle. Have I stressed that enough? =) Does he just not feel bad for the first time in months? Teeth finally not hurting? Reflux finally totally resolved (we hadn't noticed him having problems lately)?


  1. I don't know if I count as a "seasoned" mommy, but I have survived almost three years of mommyhood, and six years of teaching high school, and I've read a number of books about dog training which have proven to be shockingly helpful with a toddler. . . All this to say, I believe our young Spencer is messing with your head. He's old enough to be metacognitive, and he's aware of how his actions affect your expectations. He's totally setting you guys up for the twos. (They're not really terrible.) Penny always reminds me of those evolving dinosaurs in Jurassic Park that end up learning how to unlock doors and stuff - those are the scariest ones because you never know what they're capable of. I say, enjoy the calm and brace yourself - you know Spencer isn't going to do the twos quite like anybody else. :) And make sure his collar isn't too tight. No, wait - that one's just for the dogs. . .

  2. Hi Lauren... honestly can't remember what trail of blogs led me to yours but I love how you write so I've been reading for a while. Just wondering, has he changed in how he interacts with you or others,(social behavior) or has his speech regressed at all?

  3. Hi, Kristie,

    Thanks for reading, and thanks so much for commenting! To answer your question, no. His interactions and speech are progressing a little every day. (Too rapidly for me!) He is actually more affectionate, although he's always LOVED his Momma to the neglect of everyone else around him.

    In fact, just today, he has continued his habits of calling his grandparents ("Gi Gi" and "Pa Pa") and daddy ("Ga Ga") by their names without prompting and with much feeling (in order to boss around the whole room of people!). He does it all with a knowing grin, and it usually works for him. =)

    I'm beginning to think that something new in his language center must have switched "on" because he will watch (with rapt attention) dialog on kids' shows and movies that would have bored him to the point of him fussing for us to change the channel in the past. He used to only enjoying watching "movies" that had predominately singing or characters with huge eyes and high squeaky voices. Now, it seems like he is really following their conversation.

    Yesterday, he was eating an apple--taking bites, spitting out the peel and then gnawing on the rest--and he tried to hand it to me. I asked him if he was finished, and he did his little sign for "finished." Then I told him that if he was finished, he could put it in the trash. He walked straight to the trash can and pulled it open with one hand and chunked the apple in with the other. He seems to know exactly what we are saying.

    I think he's preparing to take over the world. Ha!


What do you think?