Meatball has been growing up and becoming more and more of a little boy and less of a baby! He walks probably 75% of the time, can walk holding my hand and change direction with me (useful because then I'm not always picking him up and trying to drag him places), can walk up stairs while holding hands and the railing, loves to imitate motions, and says random new words all the time!
He claps his hands, does the motions for Itsy Bitsy Spider and some for Wheels on the Bus, and he can even wave his arms for the Hotdog Dance.
He can stand up from sitting on a step or a chair, and he can climb up to sit at a table or a bench.
Things that The Boy was barely doing at 21 months old, Meatball is doing at 14 months. I'm not sure how much of that is just that we are "letting" him do it and how much is just that he is physically so far ahead of where The Boy was at this age. It makes us see that The Boy really isn't quite "normal" or typical, no matter how close he may seem. Even though he is darned close to being on track according to his physical therapist, there are still some gaps in there that may take awhile to show themselves.
We were at a birthday party today, and we met a little boy who is a few months younger than The Boy, as he turns 3 in January vs. The Boy's end-of-August. This boy is rowdy, a bit on the aggressive side, loud, and high-energy. Also, very friendly, interactive, and very interested in playing with my kids. In other words, he's a BOY. The grandmother and the aunt said that the mother was very concerned about her son and wanted to have him evaluated to see if he had ADHD. They think he's fine, and I agreed. I told them that it's never bad to get a kid evaluated, and even if he turns out not to have any treatable issues, the specialists might have some ideas for redirecting negative behavior, but to us he seemed fine.
It reminded us that The Boy, while he does enjoy running and jumping and tackling and such, is really pretty calm for a boy in his age group. And also, that the parents and other caregivers of any small child frequently just want the reassurance that their child is normal and doing fine, and if not, that they're taking the right steps to correct problems.
We really enjoy watching Meatball, our thus-far typical child, and sometimes comparing in retrospect. I have a feeling that despite the nearly 2 year difference in ages, our two children are probably going to play with a lot of the same kids and be on the same wavelength a lot sooner than we'd otherwise expect. Meatball has probably said at least 20 different words and he isn't even 15 months old yet; The Boy had only said his 5 minimum by 15 months.
Some of Meatball's words previously used include: Mom, Dad/daddy, 'mpa (Grandpa), ca-o (avocado), yes, teeth, bath, bus, whoosh, ball, 'uba (tuba...yes, I'm serious), meat, byebye, and a few more that I can't think of. Most of them, he just says once or twice and forgets for awhile. But he knows them and will use them again eventually.
It's not so great to compare your children to each other or to other kids too frequently, but it can be a helpful and constructive tool from time to time. It feels nice, though, to JUST have to think about kid stuff and walking and talking...
And bumps on the head.