Liam is 14 months old! We zoomed right past his birthday and somehow ended up here!
We’ve celebrated his birthday, gone to the beach, played in the pool, and had a pretty great summer, despite an unexpected shakeup in his daycare situation and all the chaos that inspired. He’s getting big and strong and fast and LOUD and he’s just the greatest.
Current Liam status report:
He started army crawling in May, and now he zooms around the house chasing the cats and yelling. He’s gotten fast, and we gated a bunch of doorways to keep him from getting too far when we blink. With some help from the physical therapists, who’ve taught us how to properly facilitate his movement, he’s gotten very good at pulling up to his knees and even pulling to his feet if we sit him near a box or table. He still mostly needs to support his weight by leaning his chest or belly on whatever he’s standing beside, but he’s slowly gaining control and in the past few weeks he’s gotten better at just holding on with his hands. He still doesn’t move his feet and cruise along, though. Instead, he pulls his whole body up onto the table and then crawls across it. Smart baby, going for the route that’s easiest for him! He’s very clever and thinks up workarounds when he hits an obstacle. I can tell we’ll be in for trouble as he gets older.
Over the summer, he also learned to push himself from a lying position into a sit, which is huge. It was a major source of frustration for him not to be able to get up and change his position to see better or play with a taller toy. And now that he can do that, he’s shifting his energy to learning how to pull into a stand. He can hold himself in a standing position for a long time once we help him up, and that’s a whole new way for him to look at the world. He LOVES standing.
His hypotonia means he has to work harder than other kids to do the same motions, so the fact that he’s come so far means he’s working really, really hard. We’re very proud of him.
The newest delight: he dances. In the high chair or on the floor – he’ll bop side to side with a big grin. He’ll also wave his hand back and forth like he’s conducting whenever he hears music. Adorable.
Sleep is pretty good right now, but god love you if you take our WubbaNubs. We have a short bedtime routine and he’s able to put himself to sleep within a few minutes most nights. When he’s sick or upset, he still needs company in his room to fall asleep, and sometimes even on a good night he’ll be up chatting to himself and rolling around for an hour or more. That’s been happening more as he gets more physical. I think that’s normal for a kid who’s making big leaps in abilities. He still wakes up a few times a night, but for the most part he’s able to settle himself again without any help, and we just watch on the monitor as he settles into a new spot with his butt in the air. He’s still napping twice a day most days, but sometimes the daycare report says he only took one nap around midday. At home, though, it’s always one morning nap around 9 and an afternoon nap around 2. He likes his sleep.
We’ve started getting some signs out of him, which is wonderfully helpful. He uses the “milk” sign to mean both milk and water, and I think it’s also extended to “cup.” He taps his mouth to mean hungry/eat/food. He signals “safe” when he means he’s had enough lunch, and he lifts his arms for “up.” He has a few proto-words, like Bubba for his WubbaNubs and “gak” for cat (he used that for three days and then dropped it, so I’m not sure). He’s doing ah-ah for uh-oh, and “ga-row-ga-row” for the ceiling fan (it goes round and round). He doesn’t know when to end a word, though, and “bye bye Wubba” becomes bababuhbuhbuhbuh!” But he uses that every time we leave his room and toss the Wubbas back in the crib, so I know he’s connecting it with that activity.
He understands a ton now, too. He knows how to point out a ball, a cat, mama and daddy. He understands “up,” “bring me,” and If I ask him what a dinosaur says, he’ll RAWR. He also started singing. Not words, just a string of syllables, but he’ll do it when he hears music, and it’s the sweetest thing. And he claps his hands!
Still no real mama or dada, though. I hope that comes soon.
Toys & Games
Simple shape sorter: he can get the circle in the hole very easily (and claps his own YAY when he does), and he’s getting better with the square and triangle. If we play when he’s too tired, he’ll give it two tries and then fling the more difficult shape across the floor in disgust.
Boxes/cups/bowls and small toys to put in them and pull back out. Any combination will do. We’ve got a huge coffee can he likes to fill up, and a cardboard box with a hole cut in it. Both are fun to stuff rubber ducks and plastic balls into.
He gets a huge kick out of holding things to his head or feet and then looking at us so we can tell him whether the item is a shoe or hat. He will also place things on our feet, because everything is shoes. Except when it’s hats. He likes “where’s Liam” peekaboo games but doesn’t try to hide himself yet.
Books are his favorite thing ever. He will scoot across the floor dragging one to toss at my feet and stare at me, which means I have to read to him within the next few seconds or he will push the book INTO my feet to make his point. His favorites right now are Peek-a-Zoo, Carry Me (full of pictures of BABIES!) and Who is That, Cat the Cat? I know them by heart. I now understand why my parents repeatedly hid the Grover at the Farm book when I was a toddler.
We’re in a food slump. On his hungry days he’ll eat a ton, but the variety of foods he’ll accept has declined horribly in the past month or so. He doesn’t want to touch anything squishy, except to squish it. Many very serious experiments on the compressibility of grapes and blueberries taking place on his highchair tray. He’ll mash fruit pieces gingerly with a thumb to see what will happen – and sometimes if we’re lucky and it sticks to his thumb, he’ll bring it up to his mouth and pop it in.
He’s very into cheese and crackers, holding the big round crackers triumphantly to the ceiling before chomping on them, He also loves applesauce and meatballs. He wants to feed himself with a spoon but his aim is still horrible, so we mostly keep that activity for bath night. For the moment, I can get veggies into him by making purees into pancakes or smearing them on bread to make a sandwich. It’s so sad, because he used to love broccoli before (much to the diaper genie’s dismay), and he refuses to touch it now.
Every week there’s something new going on, and he’s starting to put the pieces together and make sense of the world and his place in it. He’s trying to move and communicate and he’s developing his personality, and every change amazes us. It’s hard work for him and for us, but it’s so much fun to see who he’s becoming. Love you, little man.