March & 17 Months

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Mark and "Pink", Ottawa, March 2013

Mark and “Pink”, Ottawa, March 2013

I skipped the 15-month update because we were in Mex­ico and the 16-month update because I was in Nicaragua. And now it’s March… and “baby” Mark is 17 months old. Almost one year and a half—well, I have been telling peo­ple he is 1.5 years old for a while, peo­ple who don’t have kids don’t talk in months!

Mark changed a lot dur­ing our three weeks in Mex­ico. He truly blossomed.

First, his walk­ing skills improved since we let him run wild in the streets in Mex­ico. We real­ized he was able to walk for quite a while before get­ting tired—I was actu­ally impressed. He ran every­where on the beach and in the ruins and learned to climb stairs bet­ter. He also enjoys push­ing his stroller or a shop­ping cart.

Mark has been under­stand­ing sim­ple com­mands such as “no!” and “come here!” for a while. Now he gets more com­plex sen­tences. For instance, he can bring me what­ever famil­iar object I ask for (socks, a snack, a toy), if I say “let’s go take a bath” he walks to the bath­room, etc. The past week, he also started answer­ing ques­tions. We were in the car and he was fussy. “Are you hun­gry, Mark?” I asked. “Mmm!” It def­i­nitely meant “yes”. Last Sat­ur­day, Feng and I took him to a jun­gle gym. He played with foam balls and I tried to take it to the slides, but he didn’t seem to be will­ing to go. “Do you want to go up there with the other kids?” He replied by shak­ing his head, a clear “no”—I could tell he was a bit scared of the older kids and I respect that.

Being able to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter is pretty awe­some. Now, instead of assum­ing he is hun­gry, I ask him. And he seems less frus­trated as well since I under­stand him bet­ter. Okay, he doesn’t say five dis­tinct words but I get the mes­sage most of the time!

His fine motor skills are pretty amaz­ing. He can play with all his toys (he love his garage, throw­ing balls, stack­ing rings, Dup­los, etc.) and he likes turn­ing the pages of his books. He is still fas­ci­nated by lights but it’s hard to find Christ­mas trees in March…! He also enjoys shar­ing his paci­fier with me—it’s a silly game we have, he puts his paci­fier in my mouth (oh come on, it’s clean!), it makes him laugh. He can also hug (although not for long!) if I ask him for “un câlin”.

Mark loves music. He dances by him­self and claps his hands (we could have made quite a bit of money in Mex­ico when he was “per­form­ing” in the mid­dle of the street!). He likes Bob Markey, Mark Anthony (his hit song was big in Latin Amer­ica when we were there) and rock music. He also “sings” along if he feels like it. For­tu­nately, he doesn’t get his danc­ing skills from his dad or me!

 

When we got out, he walks with me, his hand wrapped around my fin­ger, and he explores the world. I don’t take the stroller any­more in the stores or at the mall, I am proud that he can walk for forty min­utes to an hour and I encour­age him to do so. He likes to play hide and seek in stores and grin to whomever com­ments he is cute (in Eng­lish or in French!).

 

 

He doesn’t seem to suf­fer from sep­a­ra­tion anx­i­ety too much and he is not trau­ma­tized by the fact mommy went trav­el­ing for a while (phew!). Actu­ally, con­sid­er­ing he was a Vel­cro baby, he is more inde­pen­dent now. When we are out, he often leaves me for a bit to go explore (I keep an eye on him, of course!) and he comes back when he is done. At home, he can play in the liv­ing room while I am in the kitchen (although I don’t like that because we have many things he is not sup­posed to play with and he will grab them if we are not looking).

He started to be more social as well. He finds other kids, espe­cially older ones, fas­ci­nat­ing. Again, this started in Mex­ico, he had never cared much about any­one else before. He still doesn’t like it when peo­ple get too close (he hides behind me) but he smiles back and waves “bye bye!” He likes stay­ing with his grand­par­ents and he is very excited when I call his “grand-maman” (my mum) on Skype. He grins and tries to touch the com­puter screen.

Prob­a­bly because we spend so much time with me, Mark hates feel­ing left out and he wants to do every­thing like us.

 

If I drink Coke Zero or cof­fee, he wants some too—fortunately, he is happy to just pre­tend drink­ing. He wants what­ever we eat, fol­lows us every­where (“Mark, I just need to pee!”) and screams if I ever leave him alone in his room with the door shut for a minute (since his room is com­pletely child­proof, I don’t have to worry about safety when he is in there).

Over all, Mark is com­pletely exhaust­ing but he is turn­ing into a fas­ci­nat­ing lit­tle boy. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring!

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

6 Comments

  1. Glad Mark is a lit­tle more inde­pen­dent now! I think a lot of qual­ity time with par­ents can actu­ally give a kid the con­fi­dence and ease to become more inde­pen­dent in the future. Sounds like the trav­el­ing did him good too!

  2. I agree — the where is ques­tion def­i­nitely also applies to cats. It is always excit­ing to see what trea­sures are under there every once in a while! Mark looks like a ‘proper lit­tle boy’ (seems like a strange say­ing, if you think about it though)!

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