We have cut back some on books this month due to Wesley's passion for flashcards. Wes loves getting out flashcards and going through them with us. This is largely how he learned all of his animal sounds. He loves to exclaim over animals in books, making their noises while pointing.
Lion: "rooaaar" (he does such a great, dramatic lion roar, very throaty)
dog: "woof" everytime he sees a dog
cat: "ee-aah" very high pitched
elephant: hard to translate, very cute based on "bra-loooooo" noise from a book he has
horse: any number of noises while shaking his head back and forth for the whinney.
|Roaring at the lion|
Grandpa: ga-pa (?) it sounded just like grandpa and he did it a bunch of times while pointing to Grandpa Don. He hasn't made the noises in any other context
The below words he says (generally while pointing) every time he sees the object. He is so excited to point at them and say his word:
bike: "buh" (very similar to bird)
airplane/car/truck sound effct: "vrrrrrmmm"
Wesley loves to push around his cars and go "vrrrrrrr" like a motor. He also takes the toy airplane that Casey carved for him and flies it through the air while making the same sound effect.
One day when we were on a walk, Wesley started going "vrrrrrrrm" continually. I wasn't sure what was going on until I noticed that he was looking intently at a plane that was flying very high overhead.
I must also mention Wesley's new shockingly loud voice. Sometimes he uses it when he's excited about something. Most often it is when he is either demanding something or upset. It is so loud. ear-piercing. almost enough to drive me mad. but this has happened before and will subside. It has gotten better already, I think.
Wes has spent a lot of time working on his speed this month. I say "working on", and perhaps I should clarify Wesley's process. He uses the same method as when he was just starting to crawl and as the first days of walking. He stays up really late for a week stretch, going to bed after 10 or 11. He gets in his zone of wild-energy, happy exuberance, carefree. Then he attempts new physical feats. Like walking back and forth across the living room for an hour trying to increase his speed all the while laughing, babbling wildly, and having so much fun with his efforts.
After two days of this, his speed increased dramatically. His process works. He is so stable, balanced, and comfortable now. He can walk so far that by the end of the month he seems to not think about distance as much and will try to walk clear across the park.
Also, his balance is just amazing.
|Walking up & down the hill|
Following directions/context building
Wesley's context of associations is so much more robust. Examples:
- Wes and I are in the living room after dinner. I say, "oh, we should brush your teeth." I am not sure where his toothbrush is because he'd been walking around with it brushing his teeth after breakfast. I say "Wes, we have to find your toothbrush, do you know where it is?" He looks around, then walks to the bathroom door and starts banging on the door, yelling and crying. uh oh. I walk over and try to explain that it's not in there. no help. Then I open the door and he is relieved and starts pointing at Casey and my toothbrushes. Crying ensues. Eventually I find his toothbrush in the kitchen.
- I take the laundry out of the washing machine and say "ok Wes, let's go hang this up". Wes starts walking toward the balcony. We go out together, he hands me diapers to hang up, often so fast it's hard for me to keep up. Mid-month he began actually hanging up some of the diapers himself and also taking hangers on and off of the rack. He generally hangs a diaper up, takes it off and puts it in the basket, and repeats.
- If I ask him to bring me any number of items my without looking toward the object, he will do it. This works with his books, his blocks, his shoe if I tell him it's by the door, etc. If you tell him to go pick out a book, he goes over to his shelf, looks through his books and chooses one to bring over.
- He's started helping put his books back on his shelf at the end of the day, but he immediately takes them back off and starts looking through them, so it doesn't yet make things cleaner.
- He stands in the kitchen, pointing at our fruit basket yelling "ba-ba-ba", which means banana. He loves bananas and wants to eat them all the time. He knows where we keep them.
- Wes points to his nose, his ears, and his feet when asked. His nose is his very favorite thing to point to. He points to it as soon as you start singing "Sing a Song of Six Pence" because the last line is "pecked off her nose" which is his favorite part.
- He knows which animals correspond to songs. He starts clapping if he finds his flashcard for blackbird (Sing a song of Sixpence), the king (the same song, it is his favorite nursery rhyme), the goose (Goosey Goosey Gander) and the spider (itsy bitsy spider). This surprises me. His associations are so strong with those nursery rhymes.
Attachments /Social Interactions
He loves his stuffed monkey. He gives it hugs and kisses and is so excited when he sees it. When he was stung by a bee, his monkey was the only thing that would soothe him.
He gives kisses. And sometimes he just comes up and hugs or nuzzles us. Also, he continues to rub noses with Eskimo kisses when I say "want to do noses?" It is one of my favorite little sweetnesses. Love it.
Also, he appears to be going through a phase of being more sensitive to separations from both me and Casey. He is still very social with most strangers, and he loves watching older kids, though sometimes will focus on his own mobility and business in lieu of watching others.
Nightmares. He's had a few night terrors. It is disturbing. He wakes up SCREAMING and can't be calmed. He is confused and shakey, looking around, so afraid. The only cure is to take him out into the living room, turn on all the lights, and spend five or ten minutes helping calm him. Finally he does readjust. He had three major nightmares this month, all in the same week. I wonder what his nightmares were about.
I have been trying to do some more planned activities with Wesley, because I can tell sometimes he gets fussy out of boredom. He always responds really well when I show him a new skill and watch him work at it. He is so hungry for new knowledge. Much of his learning he absorbs from his environment, but he loves new activities, toys, and information. He often does the activity briefly and then continues focused play in his own way utilizing the materials. He likes to spend a lot of time looking at pictures of animals, then looking at us inquisitively, waiting to be told what sound they make. What sound does a snail make?
Below is a pic of one-to-one correspondence practice by putting small blocks in ice cube spots.
Wes has started shaking his head no right before he does something that he knows he's not supposed to do. It is hard to keep from laughing when he does it. Also, it is a good opportunity for preemptive intervention.
For example, he shakes his head before he puts rocks in his mouth, before he goes into the corner in the bedroom to screw with the cable which comes out of the wall, before he tries to play with the plunger in the bathroom, etc. He clearly knows that there are certain things he is not supposed to do, but is not yet able to always keep himself from doing them. At first he'd look straight at me, shake his head and then continue on his way. Now he will shake his head even to himself without looking at me, and then complete the disallowed act.
Toward the end of the month, he has started shaking his head "no" to express a preference when asked a question. For example, when we ask him if he wants to go on a walk, if he's busy with something else, he shakes his head "no" as opposed to walking over to the door per usual. Or sometimes if he doesn't want food and I show him the food, he'll shake his head.
What a crazy month for eating! So many different wants throughout the month, a great increase in volume consumed, and many new preferences of how to consume food.
For a couple of weeks I swear Wesley was eating almost as much as an adult. Three large meals a day. He must have been having a growth spurt. It has been a total lifesaver that he signs "food" when he's hungry. Otherwise, I doubt I would have known that he wanted to eat so much more all of a sudden, and I would have had one upset baby. He signs "food" by looking at us very intently and then slapping himself in the face, which is sort of what the sign looks like.
By the end of the month his appetite has waned and he really has the eating habits of a toddler. He does not want to sit in his high chair to eat unless I am also eating so that he can eat the food off of my plate instead of his, which is totally fine. He prefers to eat finger food on the go.
One of his major eating patterns, when in the high chair, goes like this:
Step 1: Intentionally drop a large amount of food on the floor.
Step 2: Yell to be let down, or sometimes sign "all done" while yelling to be let down.
Step 3: Pick item up off floor and eat while walking around house.
Step 4: Return to scene of mess, repeat step 3 until full or all food pieces are eaten.
So, I have taken to giving him quite a bit of finger food throughout the day and offering a couple meals.
Not all of his food translates into fingerfood so sometimes I'll spoon feed him as he's playing because it's easier, faster, and more pleasant for him. He's a busy guy. Sometimes he does use his spoon, which he can handle successfully himself now without assistance.
His Great Aunt Cindy and Great Uncle Rick visited us from Iowa. It was special to share our home with them, to have them meet Wesley, and to have extended family from the Midwest visit, because we haven't made it out there yet. Wes learned a cute trick of boomska which is touching foreheads. He still does it if we say "boomska". So sweet.
Our friend from college, Priya, came to visit before taking off on a trip to France. We hadn't seen her for a few years (since we flew to a Tom Waits concert in Houston). It's always inspiring to hear about her projects and adventures.
He's one year old.
Here is a picture of the birthday boy. I will try and do a separate little post on the birthday.