Yikes, we’re half way from one to two already!! It’s so hard to sum up a boy just filled with life! This last month? Filled with joy. The older Damien gets, the more clearly distinct his personality becomes from Aiden’s. While they were similar in infancy, as time passes they grow more and more different. Damien is more extroverted still, and quite passionate in temper, has a more adventurous palate, and is not afraid – of anything! He’s a rough-and-tumble boy who loves to get messy, to splash and to roll around and have fun. On the flip side, he’s still a mama’s boy, very cuddly, and loves to read and to listen to or to create music – what a sense of rhythm this boy has!
- Wears size 6 shoes, 12-18 pants, 18-24 shirts
- Has been battling a skin rash on his face, from teething? Several doctor visits later, we’re not exactly sure what it is or if the cream(s) we’re using are helping or triggering it to get worse. We’ll see.
- Favourite foods: fried rice, Mexican rice, meatballs, roasted chicken, salmon, toast with cream cheese, fresh fruit smoothies, yam roll sushi, miso soup, Mexican noodle soup, refried black beans, bran cereal, cereal bars, any kind of protein served in a sauce. He’ll try just about anything!
- Foods he dislikes (meaning he’ll only eat them if he has no choice): crackers, hot dogs, pizzas, most cereals, peanut butter / jam. Basically, all the crap food that Aiden wanted to eat at this age. While we introduced food the same way to both kids, Damien has always gravitated to the mixed / flavourful foods while Aiden always preferred more bland foods, getting more picky about things being mixed by this age.
- Can kick a ball
- Can walk all the way tofrom our house to Andrews on 8th (about 3 long blocks) and back. Aiden was 2.5 before he could do this.
- Starting to identify colours. He is most likely to point out red and black – I’d even suggest his favourite colour may be red.
- Can hold a steady beat to a song or just on his own (super concentrated while doing so)
- Can alternate between slow and fast beats
- Can alternate between tapping and clapping in alternation
- Has some clear obsessions
- Loves to be defiant
- Was a dragon for Halloween – photos to come!
- Loves to make animal sounds: moo, meow, roar, hiss, buzz, caw, whoo whoo, ar (for woof; he mimics the sound he hears real dogs make)
- Started to understand manners: can sign “please” and “thank you” with pride
- Can string together two signs (“more” “please”)
- Favourite song: Hey Ho by the Lumineers
- New words: echo, car, bla (black), ra (red), paw, ellow (elbow), Raffi, star, Mommy, whoa, yoo-hoo, papa, troll, hey ho
Damien has been obsessed with music since he was an infant. He loves to play it and he loves to listen to it. Before he was a year, he was already blowing whistles and harmonicas and exploring anything and everything musical. He was also obsessed with Raffi.
As a young child, Aiden wasn’t a huge fan of listening to children’s music. We have dozens of CD’s, downloaded or borrowed from the library, but they always made him upset. Too much going on? Possibly. He loved classical music, though he did enjoy having us sing children’s songs to him (and he was miming several before a year too).
When Damien came along, we were already in the habit of not playing kids music as frequently. When we did, it became clear that both children now had a preference for Raffi. Though Damien will listen to other music (particularly when live), he went through 6 months of being obsessed with Raffi. To our great advantage, it was something that would instantly calm him down. If he was tired or fussy, all I had to do was turn on some Raffi music on my phone and he would relax and suck his thumb.
As a very fussy child, the ability to play Raffi music was a miracle to us! It bought us the half hour we needed of lap time to get to Keats Island on the water taxi and it bought us nearly 3 hours of fuss-free time on the way to Kelowna (see Raffi-induced naps above). If he was fussy before it was nap time? Raffi. If we were grocery shopping and he didn’t want to sit in the cart? Raffi. Such a lifesaver. It was not a permanent solution, but it bought me a good 10 minutes when it was needed!
Damien was so obsessed with Raffi, I think he overdosed. Most times we attempt to play Raffi now, he wants a specific song that he of course cannot yet vocalize, so the experience is frustrating for him, and for us, since we own every Raffi CD. Damien’s first sentence, 2 months ago, was: “I don’t want Baby Beluga,” when he was going through a very anti-Baby Beluga phase (now over). It’s his only sentence to date, too!
I have to say, though, as far as kids music goes, Raffi is the best. It’s mellow, it’s catch, and it’s usually not annoying. Most CDs for kids are overly perky or upbeat, which can get on your nerves after a while!
Our Favourite Raffi CDs:
Baby Beluga and Singable Songs for the Very Young
As I mentioned in my last post, Damien spontaneously asked for something that was red last week: he wanted a red hockey stick, not the white one, so he yelled RED! We thought, that must be a fluke, right? There’s no way. He wasn’t even 17 months yet!
“Red, red!” Damien points, at Aiden’s new book today.
Well, I’ve been curious. I listened closely and yes, he’s showing me red everywhere, though sometimes he’s saying “ED”, so I was missing it. Now that I am watching, he’s started showing me colours everywhere. I asked him to find “something red” on a page in a book and he showed me many instances. I’ve done the same for other colours. Red is the only colour he can say, but it’s clearly not the only colour he’s noticed.
Early this week, he saw something pink (though he didn’t say red), then flipped two pages and showed me another one. He wanted me to see that they were the same. He is now doing that with many things, showing me specifically the flowers that are the same colours in books or how there are stars on one toy and how they match the book he’s holding. He’s making connections about shapes and colours and it’s just crazy.
I hadn’t specifically been talking about colours of things, since I was more working towards building up his vocabulary by talking about more general descriptions of things (like the dog is jumping, not the brown dog is jumping). He’s been so excited that I’ve clued in to his interests though!!
What a little character!! Damien is so funny now!! In just a month, he’s become a little comedian who loves to perform and shows some sass, ready to take off running away at a moment’s notice (particularly if you tell him it’s time to come in!). Though we’ve had our share of rough patches this month (thanks molars!), it sure has been fun!
- Has 10 teeth (2 new molars)
- Is learning how to undress: can take off diaper, take off long-sleeved shirt, pull off socks and tries to pull down pants. Not a good thing. ;)
- Can say and recognize the colour red. Has spontaneously pointed out red things (red or ‘ed). Curious, I’ve begun asking him about finding other colours of things and he’s been correct most of the time, even flipping pages in books to show me more of the same colour. Crazy.
- Can walk backwards
- Favourite foods: butter chicken, quinoa, salmon, roast chicken, chicken on the leg bone, grilled cheese, smoothies, anything in a squeeze pack, cereal bars, bran cereal, toast with cream cheese
- Loves to play with puzzles. His favourite of our puzzles is the large peg shape puzzle – he can get most of the pieces back into the right spot, though not all of them all the way in
- Is obsessed with the body parts. Is now able to point out at least a dozen both on his body as well as on other people or in books. Is particularly obsessed with Daddy’s nose.
- Is still hesitant to use the many many new words he brings out. His catch-all phrase for things that excitement is “Baa!!”, though he has words that are more useful suck as “Look!”
- Loves to blow on hot food
- Will happily partake in pretend food with sound effects. A very communal activity.
- Loves things that can be taken apart. Particularly fascinated with putting lids on and off or putting megablocks together
- Loves to do art. Will spend a lot of time taking lids on and off markers or making marks with paint. Has moved beyond lines and dots to more fluid, circular shapes
- Current obsessions: flags, the moon (particularly touching the moon art at StrongStart), pumpkins, clocks
- Most common word: yeah. At least he answers questions!
- New words or phrases: Nala, what, hands, head, I want Thomas, other way, dance, shoulders, iPhone, bark, bus, balloon, windmill, moon, pasta, birds, running, peeyal or uzzle (puzzle), fireplace, Riya (for the StrongStart teacher, Rita), eenoa (quinoa), poon (spoon), bottle, inpu (pumpkin), ider (spider), bat, letters, red, fire
At 16 months, Damien’s joy is infectious. He loves life and he knows now how to show it. He is clearly happier in general, less prone to get overwhelmed with places or situations, and much more content when he is at home. He plays more, taking more than just a passing interest in things, and his concentration grows by the day. Just like last month, he has treasured the mild weather and his opportunity to chase around Aiden, collect rocks and splash in puddles.
- Weighs 24lbs (down a bit from all that running!)
- Has 8 teeth
- Began taking only 1 nap at 15.5 months old. After some rough first days, nap lengthened to 2-3 hours. Night is approximately 11-11.5 hours. Early wakings improved.
- Can run, turn in circles, do the twist, and follow many songs and basic commands
- Can walk up and down stairs with the assistance of someone’s hand
- Can stack blocks, but prefers to knock them down
- Loves anything to do with sorting. His favourite toy is a yogurt container with holes for pom poms – he loves to stuff them in and dump them out. Second favourite is the shape sorting cube. Thanks to big brother, he also loves playing with trains (pushing them through tunnels, mostly).
- Began to like stories with longer narrative. Favourite books are Boats, Tugga Tugga Tugboat, books with removable foam pieces
- Learned how to pierce food with a fork and self-feed with a spoon. Can use cup on his own too, though he’s apt to push it away/down when he’s done.
- Favourite foods: quinoa, macaroni and cheese (Burgoo), bacon, pancakes, oatmeal, toast with cream cheese, yogurt, cereal bars, lasagna, noodles, salmon
- Despite his many new words, he is still rare to use them. He has some words he uses a lot, but most are rarely heard or quite mumbled if used again – the first time is always super clear
- Picked up on a gesture I didn’t know I did. It’s turned into his “what happened?” sign.
- New words and phrases: tambrine (tambourine), drum, open, big step, ourtyard (courtyard), alphbet (alphabet), tap tap, dance, iPhone, ada (flag / Canada), jump, ooter (scooter), whee, Hi, yes, thanks, Nala