Thursday, September 27, 2012

A much-needed update on Jim.

I've been taking monthly pictures, but I haven't written a full update in, what, three months? Something like that. I suppose it's justifiable in that he's not changing nearly as fast any more, but still, totally reprehensible. Allow me to remedy it.

Thirteen months old.

In terms of physical appearance, Jim now (16 months old tomorrow) is pretty much the same as when he turned a year old. His face is maybe a little longer, but he's about the same height, and I think exactly the same weight. His next doctor's appointment is October 10th, so I can give you full stats then. He's still a skinny little dude with a big belly. In terms of physical development, though, he's made some pretty big strides (ho ho ho, walking pun).

He now not only walks but also runs. He can bend over at the waist to check something out and then straighten up again, and he can kick a ball if he concentrates really hard. He scribbles enthusiastically, makes stacks of 3-4 blocks without assistance, and uses a fork pretty well. Poor kid kind of sucks at spoons, though. He doesn't realize that you have to scoop, so he just dips it into his yogurt or what-have-you and licks off whatever sticks to it. Not very efficient.

Fourteen months old (I'll post more of this series later - it's hilarious).

As far as communication goes, he is AWESOME, but he still doesn't talk. He doesn't say any words, really, except for da-da. He does try to repeat things that we say, but they mostly come out da-da with various inflections. But hey, he tries. Sign language is kind of a life-saver. He has a ton of signs. At the moment, he knows daddy, kitty-cat, milk, more/food (same thing in his mind), water, book, good, good job (clapping hands), apple, no (shakes his head), and I think cheese. Sometimes I think he combines them to make sentences (mainly just signing 'milk GOOD' every three seconds while nursing), but I might be overestimating his abilities. He's pretty good at making himself understood in other situations, too, by pointing or other things. Whenever he wants to go outside, he goes to the door and grabs one of my boots and drags it over to me. It gets the point across. He also has a great passive vocabulary. He will dance, stomp his feet, and squat if asked, and he can point to eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, teeth, head, hair, chest, belly, toes, feet, butt, and penis. His overally understanding of what's going on around him is adorably muddled. He tries SO hard to imitate whatever we're doing. For example, he will grab wipes during diaper changes and try to wipe his own butt, and he always gets a paper towel if he accidentally pees on the floor so he can wipe it up (but he usually forgets where he peed and just wipes up some random spot nearby). The cutest thing he's started doing recently is trying to wash his own hair. He'll pick up a bottle of shampoo and rub the bottle on his head, then start batting at his hair with his hands.

Overall, Jim's a pretty entertaining guy right now. He's getting a fairly defined personality now; if pressed to describe him in a phrase, I'd call him an iron-willed daredevil with a mean sense of humor. When he wants something, he wants only that thing and he wants it right now. He cannot be dissuaded or distracted. If denied, he hurls himself to the ground and starts flopping around while sobbing in a convincingly anguished fashion. He has no respect for danger of any sort. If we go to the playground, he wants to go to the Big Kid side and climb up the ladders and stairs (he's pretty muscley for a little guy - he can climb ladders under his own power if we just stabilize his back for him), and he goes down the biggest slides by himself. He wants to chase any animal he sees, which results in him being permanently covered in a variety of cat scratches. His sense of humor is actually pretty respectable. I know adults who have worse senses of humor than Jim. His favorite joke is coming up to you with a fist full of nothing and handing it to you. You have to accept it and thank him, at which point he laughs at your foolishness. Other jokes include extending cheese to the cats (Bruce loves cheese) and then yanking it away at the last second and eating it himself. Told you it was a mean sense of humor.

Fifteen months old.

The biggest challenge with him right now is probably that he's going into a pretty negative phase. A typical conversation with Jim at the moment looks something like:

Jim: *signs WATER*
Me: Oh, do you want water?
Jim: *vigorously shakes head NO*
Me: Okay, no water. *goes back to reading book*
Jim: *yells, stomps foot, WATER WATER WATER*
Me: Okay, here's your water.
Jim: *NO NO NO hurls himself to ground, eventually gets up and drinks water*

I think he just likes that he has the power to reject things but lacks the discernment to only reject things that he doesn't want. I hear that this will continue until he's two, give or take. Lord have mercy.


Oma said...

Signing sure helps them communicate doesn't it? I'm thrilled that you've decided to continue the tradition. Need to set up a skype date with Noah.

Leah said...

Yeah, it's really amazing. With him having no words at the moment, I can't even imagine how frustrating it would be to try to figure out what he wants all the time if he couldn't sign.

Maureen Plotts said...

I am glad there is a way for him to communicate. Genius to teach him some sign lanuage, at least you know he has some idea on what he is thinking about. Or his leanings to something he wants, without you guessing endlessly.
Sorry to hear Bruce is not pleased with the charging Jim. So yeah unless you have one patient dog or cat. Jim will continue to get the flight or fight response from animals.
My mom has mentioned that despite school age issues, which can change personality. That the personalities of my sisters and I are the same we exhibited from Jims age. So you will see the wicked sense of humor and conflicted decisions for a while. It will be interesting to see how maturity will help Jim resolve some of his decision making skills.