Thirteen Months

Mark, October 2013

Mark, Octo­ber 2013

Mark is turn­ing thirteen-month-old on Novem­ber 12. Not a big mile­stone like his one-year-old birth­day but it still deserves an update, as he has been busy learn­ing new tricks!

So, what’ new this month?

These days, Mark is mostly work­ing on: 1) explor­ing the house 2) walk­ing 3) express­ing him­self. He also cel­e­brated Hal­loween dressed as a pirate, and we went trick-or-treating.

After tak­ing his first steps alone on his birth­day, he has become stead­ier on his legs. He can walk for quite a while if I hold his hands and he can walk alone on short dis­tances (i.e. a few meters). In his bed­room, he walks from the bed to the chair, the chair to the wall, the wall to the win­dow, etc. He gets incred­i­bly frus­trated when he falls in his bum and cries loudly for a few min­utes every time. I bought him his first pair of shoes about a month ago (he was bare feet all sum­mer like any hip­pie baby) and putting them on is a fight.

Well, to be hon­est, any­thing I a fight these days. He doesn’t like to get dressed and protest when I have to put his socks on, his pants on, etc. He doesn’t like if we stop pay­ing atten­tion to him and calls for us—screams, really. This is his most annoy­ing new “trick”: the scream­ing, the yelling, the screech­ing in his toddler’s high-pitch voice. We’ve been try­ing to curb this not-so-social behav­iour (appar­ently, it’s a phase) by whis­per­ing, talk­ing softly, etc. but it’s not work­ing and some days, Mark is a real headache. My in-laws seem to have found a “mute” but­ton as he is usu­ally quiet when he comes back from their place. I sus­pect they are so noisy them­selves (Chi­nese can be loud!) that they leave Mark speechless!

The sec­ond annoy­ing behav­iour is throw­ing stuff. Throw­ing food from his high chair, throw­ing toys down the stairs, scat­ter­ing his clothes every­where in the room… it dri­ves me crazy but again, it’s appar­ently a stage and there isn’t much we can do.

Mark seems to under­stand us most of the time. “Come here!”, “non”, etc. He may not want to come but yes, he under­stands. And he defi­antly does the opposite.

He can comb his hair (and mine…ouch!), turn the tap on and off in the bath­room, put his pirate hat on his head (and on mine) and clap his hands. I bought him a Fisher Price toy (this one… but much cheaper!); I had the same when I was a kid. It’s funny because he picks it up if I say “hello” and he can “dial” a num­ber. I won­dered where he learned that because Feng and I never use the land­line, and we are not phone peo­ple in the first place!

His favourite activ­i­ties are bang­ing on the walls, cruis­ing around, explor­ing new places, dig­ging into his “toy box” (an empty box of dia­pers) and push­ing his cars and trucks on the car­pet, open­ing and clos­ing draw­ers (which he isn’t sup­posed to do) and shak­ing things. He is redis­cov­er­ing his big Win­nie the Pooh plush toy (Win­nie doesn’t look so big any­more!) and “hugs” it. He doesn’t have a “com­fort blan­ket” or any­thing like that though, which is prob­a­bly good con­sid­er­ing they get lost and lead to drama.

He is more curi­ous about kids than before and he met quite a few “friends” in var­i­ous play­grounds. He observes and copies: if an older kid climbs stairs and goes down the slide, he will try to do the same. He is usu­ally friendly with strangers (he smiles, waves, etc.) but he absolutely hates when any­one but Feng or I hold him.

He finally over­came his fear of the bath­tub.. phew! He just couldn’t fit in the baby bath­tub any­more (pic­ture an octo­pus: only his bum fit, arms and legs were out­side!) and it was get­ting dan­ger­ous but he was gen­uinely ter­ri­fied of the big bath­tub. It took me a week of patient plead­ing, show­ing, etc. One step at the time… and he even­tu­ally made it! He likes bath time now and plays with his toys and the water.

Mark doesn’t speak much yet except “mama”, “dada” and a vari­ant of “mama” that mean “milk” (I think). He bab­bles a lot but I have no idea what he is try­ing to say… although I do know he wants to get out of the room when he starts bang­ing on the door.

Over­all, he is fol­low­ing the devel­op­ment mile­stones and I’m not too worry about him—I mostly worry how we can keep up with him! Keep­ing him busy and enter­tained is very hard on us and I think Mark is most active (and sleeps less) than most kids his age… at least that’s what I under­stand from talk­ing with other mums.

We will see!


About Author

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


  1. Thanks for the update and I cer­tainly recalled all my fond mem­o­ries with my daugh­ters back then. I think I will be at a loss as to how to take care of boys as I have two girls 😀

    Still, a joy indeed and yes keep­ing them ‘enter­tain’ yet to make sure they don’t hurt them­selves is very chal­leng­ing espe­cially when we are deprived of sleep.

    Have fun Zhu.… :)

    PS: Sorry haven’t been vis­it­ing your blog.…went on a short trip…update soon 😉

  2. Eh bé, que de change­ment pour ce petit bon­homme! :) (j’ai dû skip­per d’autres infos avant :/ ) Je croy­ais que c’était juste le mien qui fai­sait ça, lancer des trucs 😀 Apparem­ment c’est pro­pre à tous les petits entre 1 et 2 ans 😀 Mon Fis­ton lui, dès qu’il y avait une fenêtre ouverte, il bal­ançait qqch par la fenêtre! 😀 Un jour on avait retrouvé un paquet de café dans un buis­son sous la fenêtre 😀

    C’est cool qu’il n’ait plus peur de la baig­noire :) Tu dois être soulagée parce que c’est quand même un truc où qu’on fait tous les jours quoi, pren­dre un bain ou une douche :)

    De gros bisous pour le petit octopus! :)

  3. Wow, I find that it induces a smile on my face when I read your updates; read­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing vic­ar­i­ously how babies grow month by month is just won­der­ful, though per­haps not won­der­ful enough for me to want my own.

    Kudos as well to the fact that you are very explicit in writ­ing these down; at one point I pre­sume you’d prob­a­bly review these and read what you have writ­ten before, and real­ize how fast chil­dren grow up and change. :)

    • Hon­estly, I don’t think there is a right time or that it takes the right kind of per­son to have kids. So hey, you never know…! 😉

      Yes, I think one day I will enjoy read­ing the “Mark” archives. And show­ing them to him!

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