Bug,  crazy stuff

colors and letters and numbers and silly songs

can still sorta see the liquor store sign

There was a pretty sunset tonight but I was too busy to go any further than our patio to take a picture of it. Toby grabbed his camera and jumped out of here like a bat out of hell. I hope he got his shot. Baby Bug was crying and crying, wanting to go with him or see what all the excitement was about or something. She loves her Daddy. So I carried her out to the patio and tried to explain the pretty colors and the clouds… I think she got it.

She’s really into colors and letters and numbers. I know that’s advanced but sometimes it sort of freaks me out. Is it normal for a kid to sing the alphabet (or her version of it that goes something like “A B D D F Q T W…Z Me”) all day long at 18 months? I think the tune is stuck in her head. She seems to have inherited that from her Dad. Toby hates it when he gets a song stuck in his head. He on purpose won’t listen to catchy tunes because they drive him batty.

Speaking of tunes driving you batty. Baby Bug likes to sing the “Waffle Time” song over and over. Silly me. I started that. In the morning, as I took her frozen waffles out of the freezer, I would do a little can can dance and sing “Waffle Time! Waffle Time! La la la la…something something something” to the tune of “This Old Man, He played sticks…Nick Knack Paddy Whack…” Well, back then it was cute and fun and she’d smile at me because I’m so goofy. I had no idea that every note was sticking in her giant sponge brain like SUPER GLUE!

Now everything is the “Waffle Time” song. Except she changes it to fit her needs. We hear “Cookie Time! Cookie Time!” a lot as well as “Daddy Time” and “Teeth Time” (for brushing her teeth). I suppose it comes in handy when I need her to do something like “Nap Time! Nap Time!” but it is kind of disconcerting that a little tune from way back a few months ago is now our daily mantra. I think I’ll be more careful when I make up songs from now on.

tippy toes

My next question is, is it normal for a child to like one color only and only ever color with that ONE color? Baby Bug is obsessed with the color green. She wants to color all day long but she will only choose the green crayon. First, she finds the orange or the brown crayon and hands them to me. I am the designated orange and brown color-er. Then she finds the green crayon and saves it for herself. I am not allowed to color with the green crayon. It is HER’S and she’s very adamant about it.

Sometimes I hide the green crayon, just to see what she will do. She’ll look for it and look for it and then start whining and complaining. I wonder if it is my fault. She’s such a creature of routine. I wonder if I always grabbed the brown or the orange crayon (because you know, I’m always drawing dogs and dogs are brown or orange, of course) and somehow that cemented into her memory that this is how we do it.

She’s so funny in these things. Remember how she used to find matching things? If she was playing with blocks, she would hold the two blue blocks. If she was playing with her bathtime foam numbers, she’d find the two nines and then get frustrated because one was yellow and the other was green. So she’d match up the green one with the green seven because the other seven was orange. Poor girl. Why can’t they make everything matching?

We seem to have moved past the matching stage. Now she just likes to count and name letters. She doesn’t get them right yet but I have a feeling that’s just around the corner if I help her. I’m not too worried about her having some kind of developmental disorder because she seems so bright and happy but it is kind of weird.


Every where we go she’s naming off letters and numbers. Kind of like Rainman except she’s not tilting her head to one side and looking strangely disconnected from the rest of the world. Today, as we walked through a parking lot to get to the park, she called out letters from the car’s license plate and street signs. Is this normal?

Get that out of your mouth

If it’s not, that’s okay. I love her to pieces anyway.


  • Bethany Actually

    That’s pretty advanced for an 18-month old to know letters and numbers on sight, actually! But it’s not abnormal. Annalie has been able to identify a handful of letters since about that age, though it sounds like BB knows more. And as for routine–singing the same songs over and over, ONLY wanting the green crayon while you must have orange and brown–that is very typical of toddlers. They’re learning how the world works, and they like predictability because it feels more comfortable, just like most adults. :-) She will outgrow her green fetish eventually, and move on to something new. (Annalie, age 3, is in a dress phase right now and must wear a dress EVERY SINGLE DAY while all her cute shorts and t-shirts languish unworn in her dresser.) And as she gets older she will become more flexible, the more she learns about the world.

    SAJ says: I better edit this post to add that she’s not naming letters or numbers correctly. She just sees them and names off what she thinks they are, which is invariably 2 or A or Q or P… those seem to be her favorites.

  • familymclean

    Kaitlyn does the same thing only everything is 2, 3, 6, s, x, t, or o. So cute though, and she will be 2 in a few hours. Now I think she is a little slow,,,I love her all tha same!

    SAJ says: I really doubt she’s a little slow. Baby Bug will be two very very soon. Besides kids are all over the place with these things.

  • Carrie

    Erik is ALL ABOUT the numbers and letters. He can correctly identify 2. Other than that, every single thing is 3 or P or T. He’s four months older than BB, but started this obsession a couple of months ago. I am always afraid he’ll set off a car alarm because he wants to touch the liscence plates.

    Not sure what to tell you about the green. I am guessing it is normal. Kids are just weird. I wish I was brave enough to let Erik go crazy with crayons and paints, but he’s a thrower and an eater so we make do with a magna doodle.

  • Bethiclaus

    Well, since we know she is very advanced, I think the color thing is her expressing her artistic desire to be a color field minimalist. And I think that’s great!

  • bluejaye

    Her cousin had the alphabet memorized by 2 1/2. And numbers made sense to the other when handed the tv remote. They learn what we expose them to. I remember driving anywhere and telling them what everything “started with”.
    On one long road trip I pointed out the mile post signs. B was so mad that she couldn’t say the number fast enough, so I told her to “take a picture in her head” and tell me what the number was from that.
    At this stage it’s all about repetition.

  • Susan

    Amazing how babies pick up on stuff so quickly. When I was teaching pre-k I had one little boy named, Ryan, and he was obsessed with the color yellow. He would only color with yellow on yellow paper. His mom could not break him from wearing his little yellow rainboots and yellow t-shirt. I think its pretty normal. A lot of little girls obsess over pink. Baby bug will grow out of it and find the world of other colors. Green looks great on her with those big beautiful eyes so it may just be her color.

  • Chris

    She’s a smart little bug! My daughter (same age) tries to count but isn’t into letters at all yet. My son wouldn’t even address the fact that letters existed until 2.5 or so. He’s still denying the fact that he must learn to write before “he’s all growed-up.”

    Gorgeous sunset, by the way. I’m jealous of your view.

  • Gretchen

    Is it normal for a kid to sing the alphabet all day long at 18 months? Yes. Or the theme to their favorite tv show, or song.

    As for making up songs – before you know it you’ll be singing about “potty time”!

    My next question is, is it normal for a child to like one color only and only ever color with that ONE color? YES! And don’t be surprised if it leaches into every aspect of her life. Seriously. For about six months, the boy had to wear something Orange, eat off the orange plate, drink from the orange cup, and only color with orange.

    Today, as we walked through a parking lot to get to the park, she called out letters from the car’s license plate and street signs. Is this normal? No, it’s rather advanced. My oldest could do the same thing. When I took her for her 2 year well child check, she could read the letters on the eye chart. My other two – not at all!

    I love reading what’s going on in your corner of the world!

  • Jennifer

    My oldest was obsessed with Twinkle, Twinkle little star. We sang it all day and half the night. My Baby loves to wake up and have a banana and grapes for breakfast every day. Don’t mess with her grapes unless you like screaming children. Kids like consistancy. They watch the same shows, eat the same foods, and play the same games to make sense of the world. BB sounds normal, if a little brainy. Some kids are just smart. :)

  • aimee/greeblemonkey

    Declan was TOTALLY into one color at a time, roadsigns and license plates at her age. And, ahem, he’s a reading madman now. ;)

    And I love the sunset pic, especially the missing Q and U.

  • Jennifer

    I was chuckling over the green crayon love because my Emily was obsessed with white crayons for a very long time. She would get so mad that she couldn’t see her coloring on white paper. I think a lot of what you describe is normal. I would say that as long as it’s not keeping her from being happy it’s just her figuring out her world. Emily had a lot of matchy matchy quirks and has been diagnosed with OCD at 5 years, but her need to match (and other obsessions) was very very extreme and was keeping her from moving on and exploring the rest of her surroundings.

  • Gramma

    The most important challenge of a mom is to “fan the flame” of the interests your little one shows: my cracker crumbs was obsessed with creepy crawly things. When it was her job to fix the table arrangement for a company dinner, she included her friends (baby snails) creeping up and down a gently curving spider lily leaf. She went on to Davis to major in microbiology Her brother “fixed” broken or hurt animals, now is an RN taking care of new babies with problems. Big sister taught her dollies in the playpen, went on to be a certified K-12 teacher. They were exposed to and encouraged to experience whatever matched their special interest. They “read” Wonder World, even Encyclopeida Britanica interspersed with trips to zoos, museums, libraries and just walks down the street. The daughter, who patiently strung tiny beads at 18 months now has a very successful custom dressmaking business. The baby, “organizer” runs a tight ship of four very active children, transporting and keeping them occupied. #1 is still #1 and involved in family dynamics.

  • Christina

    Not that I didn’t read the whole post, because I did.. however I know you will recieve all sorts of wonderful advice and you really don’t need extra from me.

    Having said that… I was looking at your sunset picture and noticed your liquor store sign actually spells LIOR.. which as my daughter read it.. LIAR..

    couldn’t help but laugh..

    hugs Mom.. your doing a great job!!

  • Beck's Mom

    We had one who recited the books of the Bible (at a Sunday School Treat) shortly before their 2nd birthday. Another (extended) family member consistently chose the color green from infancy onward. His degree is in biology and he particularly enjoys reptiles. Celebrate the uniqueness of kids! “Train up a child in the way he should go…(in keeping with his individual gift or bent)”

  • nikkapotamus

    We went through that too. Our little bug demands that Daddy is yellow. Daddy does not like yellow, but since the 2 year old says it is his color, so it will be. And yellow always goes first when we play with our play-doh.

    I also wanted to say how I loved the sunset picture with the neon sign. What a great image!

  • SmocknMama

    For us the most recent set of letters were D, S, Y. Everything was DSY. Flynt would see something and just demand that it said DSY. Now he shouts them out correctly.

    SAJ, don’t be in too big a hurry to have her reading. One day, you’ll be driving along on some grand vacation (like we were) and she’ll look up at that billboard on the outskirts of some town and she’ll say, “Mama, what’s adult entertainment? And what are adult videos and toys? How are they different than MY toys?”

    You know, just speaking from experience. ;)

  • BeachMama

    When my nephew was BB’s age, he knew all of his alphabet and listed them off accordingly when he saw signs and stuff. Then he forgot all about them until this summer (now 4yrs) when my Sister started drilling them into his head to get ready for school.

    I love the photo of the sunset, what gorgeous light.

  • Anna

    I lov ethe sunset photo — esp with the LI_ _OR sign glowing in the distance. If it wasn’t for that you could almost think that the shot was taken in the desert!

  • Sistina

    My babe 19 months and she loves ABCs and counting. Try the starfall website and poissonrouge for french, english and spanish fun.

  • Sistina

    Oh, and the songs are enough to drive me batty! My mom used to teach preschool and she’s taught my daughter tons of crazy songs. Wheels on the bus is the current fave.

  • OMSH

    I have learned that there is no normal. She is delightful and intelligent and loves green crayons. Green is a color for people with a great sense of order and detail – which matches perfectly.

    Let her bask in her green and tell her letters to the world. ;)