[Self-flagellation for failure to post more often.]
Barrett is now 14 months old. He jabbers a lot–more than we remember Liberty doing. Especially when he wakes up. Sometimes when he’s frustrated and the jabbering totally sounds like swearing in baby-talk. He sleeps through the night on occasion, but is often up around 12-1 AM for a bottle and then again at 5:30 AM. Nothing fires him up like food delayed, although sometimes he lays there awhile talking softly to himself (again with the comparisons, something Liberty never did). I usually set him on the toilet first thing to avoid cleaning a dirty diaper. He puts up with it because it involves snuggles with me and looking at a board book.
I put him on the bathroom scales the other morning and he was 28 lbs. He’s been walking for about two weeks, so he still has lots of gushy baby fat on him.
His coordination is pretty impressive. For a new walker with a chunky body, he has a great sense of balance when he switches between squatting and standing. He knows how to hold and use a crayon–gets so excited when he sees crayons and coloring books laying out. The other morning he took an orange crayon to the kitchen floor and then tried to clean it off with a tissue. This morning I found him messing around in a kitchen cupboard. He rearranged the items to get his hands on the pitcher and then went through the motions of pouring from the pitcher into a small jar. Then he set the pitcher down and pretended to drink from the small jar. My heart melted a little to see him transition from merely modeling behavior to imaginative dramatic play!
It’s as though with walking opened the developmental flood-gates. As of the past few mornings he has finally responded to all my months of modeling the baby-sign for “more.” (From birth he shrieked when he was hungry, screamed when breastfeeding wasn’t fast enough, and finally downgraded to a whiny yell when he needs more scrambled eggs in the morning. Twice this morning, he signaled “more” before yelling. A huge breakthrough!)
Another developmental change is that he has a reduced tolerance for sharing his dad or me with anyone. He pushes Liberty away when she comes to either of us for snuggles (actually, this usually follows immediately after he has enthusiastically greeted her with smiles and hugs). This first became evident a few weeks ago when we were grocery shopping at Hy-Vee. Barrett was sitting in the cart when Liberty asked to sit next to him. I helped her up into the double-seated cart and he instantly protested, elbowing her to move away. It was the first sign of sibling rivalry between the two of them; I sadly realized that despite my high parenting ideals, my children won’t entirely escape it after all.
I’ve noticed in the past week or so that he’s now more interested in than frightened by dogs and trucks. Someone at daycare taught him to blow kisses which is what he does now when he thinks it’s time to leave the house in the morning. He likes to go so much that keeping him in the house on the weekends is often a recipe for a disastrous “witching hour” in the evenings.
What amazes me most about the development of Liberty and Barrett is how much they stay the same despite their developmental changes. Somehow Barrett still hangs on to that stoic facade that slips away in moments of impatience just as he did as a newborn. In fact, the things he loves most–snuggles and food–appear to give him no joy in the moment. He just gets down to them as things that must be done; fun can come later. Of course, he laughs a lot too. Especially when we’re playing peek-a-boo or he’s nipping at my arm.