17 Months Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated on our little guy’s progress.

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Hi! Did you close the door to get away from me for five seconds? Did you? Well I found you! Hi! Hi hi hi hi hi!

It’s funny how the photos, videos, mental documentation, all ground to a halt pretty much around the 13th month. After The First Birthday, you just stop thinking in terms of months. Events no longer feel uniquely significant. Sleep disruption? Grumpy season? Developmental milestone? Another tooth? Whatever. We’ve seen a hundred of those, around these parts.

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He’s not walking. By the way. He’s always been incredibly risk averse, and falling down is like AN ABSOLUTE CATASTROPHE so he’s been a little reluctant to heave himself up on his wobbly legs. It’s mostly mental, I think, because if he’s distracted enough, he can stand on his own for a couple of minutes, tearing up the mail or sorting out the oranges at the grocery store or whatever it is that he loves to do, while I hover in the background sniggering at how he’s standing all by himself without realising it, silly donkey. The moment he notices that he’s on his own, the game is up and his legs buckle.

He is, however, doing this:

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Practising at being a happy-drunk man walking a tightrope. I actually love this stage – apart from the fact that it’s cute as heck, it also means that when we are out and about I no longer have to desperately scan my surroundings for clean-ish, flat surfaces to set him down on so he can crawl to let off some steam. I just get him out of the stroller, land him on his feet, and off we go, happily exploring our neighborhood supermarket for the one thousandth time, but it’s all new and fun now because he’s like, two feet higher?

On the flip side, he’s also started to develop a habit of shrieking if I so much as suggest that we walk in a certain direction (because he would like to go over there, and don’t you stop me, thank you very much) but it’s a vast improvement to the crawling stage. Upward and onward!

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Loads of fun.

No talking yet either, by the way. But the bubbly babbles are still really cute, and I’m kind of mourning the day that he’s going to stop all that and actually start speaking words which mean something, because that would mean he’s no longer a baby, right?

On the other hand, I do wish he had the ability to inform us just why the heck he is up at 12am yelling his head off.

Speaking of which, here’s a shout-out to Hyland’s Teething Tablets. Where have you been all my life? Specifically, for the past one year? Funnily enough, I’m still not a total believer, because I mean, it’s a couple of tiny pills and homeopathic *roll eyes* but 1) Michael LOVES them, especially since I’ve been calling them “candies”, and 2) we went from three weeks of horribly disrupted nights to suddenly sleeping through again starting on the very night that I broke out the bottle of overpriced pills ($19.90 in Singapore, available at Guardian stores). So if your toddler has been teething his molars for weeks on end and everybody is generally having a terrible time, give this a whirl and then tell me what happened. Because I still can’t shake off my conviction that it must have been a coincidence. Paracetamol and ibuprofen do zilch for Michael’s teething pains, so I can hardly believe a minuscule amount of chamomile or whatever it is can do the job. You guys gotta check it out because it could change your life.

Moving on… to day time activities.

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Putting things into other things is still da bomb. He’s totally compulsive about it. He’ll do this for about five minutes (when we first introduced it, twenty!) and then sweep everything away in a rage because the level of concentration required is SO EXHAUSTING.

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Rice. And pieces of ginger. And sweet potato. And sometimes garlic. This was interesting for about ten minutes.

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THANK GOD FOR PLAYGROUNDS. But he’s starting to get a little bored. As he does with everything else.

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Except for this!!! This never gets old!!!

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Nor this!!!

I have no idea what to do with him, very often. Yes, he is a little sponge at this point, and no, I’m probably not giving him enough good stuff to soak up. He has no patience for books, but I’ve discovered that if I treat them like flash cards (“Dog!” “Tree!” “There’s a butterfly! Turn the page!”) instead of actually reading them, he remains pretty interested. So the other day, I also got him a stack of flash cards, which seem to be working rather well even though I would very much like to question the inclusion of “Unicycle” and “Yacht”. He enjoys throwing the cards about like confetti.

And I guess, we’re just busy being a toddler family. It means lots of eye rolling, laughter, hugs (Michael invented this thing where he hugs us alternately, ten times in a row, and it’s the best thing in the world, clearly), and mock chasing through tunnels constructed with folding mattresses. The power struggles are ramping up, but so far he’s not managed to prolong his tantrums beyond a few minutes. He’s too easily distractable at this point. (“Look! BIRD BIRD!” *Point at phantom birds in shopping mall* = Tantrum over.) I have no illusions that this is going to continue forever.

Meanwhile, we just hang on and take the turns as they come.

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And enjoy the baby fat while it’s still here. Sigh.

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