Thursday, August 12, 2010

Alec at thirteen months

You know, I had kind of been dreading this age, the age of mobility with absolutely no sense of self-preservation or discipline. The age when they cheerfully try to kill themselves on a regular basis while ignoring your yelling at them to stop. And then throw a tantrum because you ruined their fun.

What I had forgotten is how astonishingly cute this age is. Little babies are cute because of what they are, while toddlers are cute because of what they do. Whether he's making his toy cell phone play music and dancing to it or clapping and cheering for his ball popper, he exudes cuteness from every pore. He dripped cuteness this morning when he picked up his sister's electronic hamster and went crawling after it. He radiated cuteness as he sat down on the bathmat in the bathroom to examine it closely. And then he positively radiated cuteness as he got up on his knees, lifted the toilet lid and threw it in the toilet, as we shouted and futilely ran to try and stop him, which was difficult given that we were almost helpless with laughter at the same time. That's early toddlerhood in a nutshell for you.

Anyway, Alec is busy adding skills at a great rate:

Gross motor: No walking yet. But he can stand unassisted for a good thirty seconds or more, and can sometimes stay standing when I put him down on his feet. He has taken a step when moving between two support objects. He can also walk while pushing something, but after a few days of doing that, he largely lost interest. He's on the cusp of movement, but just needs to decide he wants to do it.

When it comes to climbing, however, he has seized the day and then some. For quite a while, he would crawl over to the stairs and just look up at them curiously, which was quite a relief given that K had figured out crawling up stairs before she could really crawl across the floor properly. He has it all figured out now though. I'm not sure how to feel about the fact that when he manages to get free in the basement, he now makes a beeline for the stairs instead of the cat food. He can also climb onto couches and the bed. Thankfully, he has also figured out how to climb down safely instead of his previous method of falling off head first.

Fine motor: This is more of a gross motor age, but he's definitely working on using his hands. He's very interested in using a fork and will pick up pieces of food and stick them on his fork. One of his favorite pastimes in restaurants is putting straws through the hole in cup lids.


We're starting to hear new words pretty often: Mama, Dada, Ka (Katherine), cat, woof, book, train, block, uh oh (this is a big favorite, especially when he's peering over the edge of something at an object he's just thrown down. I keep telling him it's not uh oh if you do it on purpose, but does he listen?)

We're seeing a lot of imitative behavior now. Putting the toy phone to his ear, attempting to use silverware, pulling tissues out of the box and blowing his nose are all fun games. The other day, I had grabbed a couple packets of Splenda to put in my iced tea, and he grabbed a packet and looked at me expectantly until I opened it for him and let him pour it in my tea. He looked incredibly pleased when I called him a good helper. And then K got upset because she's supposed to be the helper. Ah, sibling rivalry.

He loves music and paging through books. Books featuring baby faces and touch and feel books are the favorites right now. He's starting to work on stacking rings and nesting cups. It's incredibly cute to watch him put one cup inside another and let out a very pleased "Gah!" with a grin.

At his last checkup, he was 26 pounds six ounces and 31.5 inches (although I think it was close to 32). That's 85 and 95 percentiles respectively. He's pretty much out of 18 month clothes. He's our huge, happy, good natured baby.