Monday, September 14, 2009

Ani at 13 Months

So my little monkey is the dreaded 13 months. And what a strange month it has been.

We started the month with the beginning of Early Intervention on the recommendation of our pediatrician. Because Alan was not yet pulling up to standing, she wanted to be on the safe side.

They came in, evaluated him in a million different ways and found that he is developmentally on track or advanced in every way... except gross motor skills. Even though we pretty much already knew this, it was a relief to hear. We set some goals for his development, booked the first appointment... and then he started pulling up. And getting to sitting from his back and tummy. Then he started cruising and then he even started taking some tentative steps. We have no idea if he heard us talking or decided just to develop at his own pace, but here he is, in much better shape than he was a month ago and I am left with that old familiar feeling: all children develop at their own pace.

Whenever people tell us that Sam is "gifted" or "exceptionally verbal" or any of the other compliments she often gets, I tend to take it with a grain of salt. Kids develop the way they develop and while it's true that Sam has the verbal/literacy skills of children almost twice her age, it really does not mean other kids won't catch up eventually (which is why it is super irritating when people get competitive about these things). The same is true of Alan. He might be a little behind physically, but I am not worried that means he is any less intelligent than any of his peers. There is no prize for reading at 3 and there is no prize for walking at 7 months. It all comes when it comes. So there.

I will say though that I am relieved. There were a couple weeks there where we were concerned, but the the physical therapist has pointed out that Alan is just a victim of the "Back To Sleep Campaign" combined with a vicious older sister who scared him off the ground and parents who carry him almost everywhere. "He is a perfect storm," she told us. Perfect, indeed.

Of course now, after all that stress, he has become a major pain in the ass. He no longer wants to sleep, after all, he has cruising to do! He no longer wants to be in the Ergo, after all, there are things to explore! Suddenly Ani is a toddler without the toddle, replete with all the demands and frustrations of the age.

He is a hard to please little guy, not unlike his sister in that way. But he is still a cuddle bug and yes, we are still nursing. Quite a bit. He will wean when he weans. I don't mind nursing him through this flu season anyway.

He loves animal crackers and blueberries and strawberries and bananas. He is a picky eater, although not nearly as bad as his sister (I am pretty sure anorexics eat more than her). He is obsessed with pretzel sticks and gatorade and the way to keep him happy in the car is to feed him about 2,000 pretzels or "feed the beast," as we say.

He has gone from saying simple one words to small phrases--"what's that?" (which he says all the time); "I want this," etc. He also says mama, dada, bye, hello, Rocky, more, no (which he says almost constantly) and a few others. He is fond of pointing his finger and shouting at you to "goooooooo!" Can someone please tell me how to live under TWO dictators?

He is a boy through and through, liking all the typical boy things like trucks and balls and rocket ships (not that Sam does not like those things as well). He has also gotten much more into the park and will rarely stay in my arms, now preferring to try to climb and explore on his own.

The kid is all right. I think we'll keep him. I wonder if he gets sick of my constant kisses and squeezes, but I can't help it. He is just that loveable and I want to squeeze every last bit of the baby out of him before it is gone never to return.

Some photos:


halloweenlover said...

Are you loving the summer birthday thing? I'm very jealous, what with 2 december birthdays. Ugh!

What a cutie! I notice the differences between Josie and Gabe all the time and get astounded every time, even though I tell myself that obviously they will be different because they are two different people.

Kristi said...

Adorable! And he looks like he's getting more blond hair like his big sister.

This "There is no prize for reading at 3 and there is no prize for walking at 7 months" is something I'm going to need to remember. The twins are so far behind where their cousin (born full-term and 5 days before them) is right now, but you're right. Every child develops at his/her own rate. I have the same thoughts about Isabella as you do about Sam: we hear all the time how verbal and intelligent she is, but my guess is that once she hits kindergarten, she'll likely even out with her peers.