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
Just today on Instagram, I posted this photo and comment:
This is Damien to a T. Gives me a smirk then walks just off the path. #rulebreaker
And the photo truly does sum up Damien in so many ways. He likes to assert his personality and have his way. He likes to test his limits.
Store shelves? Grabs everything and puts it on the floor or throws it. Paths? Let’s walk in yards instead! Electrical sockets? Hello, holes for fingers! Breakable objects? Can spot them a mile off, has to investigate!
Nothing escapes Damien’s observation. If there’s a limit, he will test it. In the photo above, Damien stopped, gave me “the look” (a smirk), then walked purposefully onto the grass. While I am all for romping in the grass when appropriate, he thinks running into people’s yards or running straight for the nearby road is great fun, so I’ve been trying to enforce this limit. Over and over again.
It will be interesting to see what Damien does with the Christmas tree…. Aiden never pulled off ornaments… I don’t think Damien is going to be like that ;)
The limit testing has given me a lot of incentive to revisit parenting tactics such as sportscasting, positive reframing and holding my limits. It’s a work in progress ;)
When Damien loves something, he LOVES it. This boy can spot any star on a window display or in a busy book and will notice every flag we pass. While he may not (often) use the words for these items, his enthusiasm is plain to see.
Tar! (star) Baa! (general sound for look, I see something awesome!) Ee-Aw (his ‘tick tock’ sound)!
At StrongStart, we have to go say Hello and Goodbye to the moon that hangs in the classroom every day – at least it’s no longer a dozen times per visit! And keep your eyes peeled, because he will surely remind you that every circle (ircle), arrow or straight line reminds him of a clock.
Right now, his obsession with clocks is the most epic obsession, to the point where he gets quite mad if you turn away from any book page that has a clock before he’s fully done with it.
Talk about cuteness, Damien used to call flags Ada, which I think was for Canada. Loved it.
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!!