Mark, November 2013, Ottawa
Mark, November 2013, Ottawa

This December 12, Mark is celebrating his 14-month-old birthday.

When I look at last year’s pictures at the same date, I can’t believe it’s the same kid. But it really is—Mark has never been away from me long enough to be switched with another baby.

Mark is walking everywhere now, preferably toward:

1) My laptop (“non, Mark, non!”)

2) Anything colourful in stores (too bad it’s Christmas decorations time… it makes our shopping trips very inefficient!)

3) Shelves and cupboards (and everything ends up on the floor).

We had a busy month:

And of course, Mark discovered snow.

I told him about Santa Claus (and his French brother, le Père noël). The first time we went to the mall after that, we bumped into Santa Claus, and he froze. For a second, I thought, “wow, that kid is bright, he understood everything I told him!” And then Mark moved toward the metal poles around Santa Claus and proceeded to hug them for a good ten minutes. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: I have the only kid fascinated by metal poles!

Mark is very assertive these days and complains a lot if he doesn’t get what he wants. Dragging him away from those metal poles or whatever he fancies leads to mini-tantrums. For a while, I put him in shopping carts but he no longer likes it—he’d rather walk. And grabs anything within reach.

He eats a bit of everything (and throws some to the floor). He loves cereal bars (some crumble easily, I keep those for when we go out, I ain’t cleaning the kitchen floor again!), carrots and potatoes, rice and noodles and those pureed fruit pouches.

He discovered “talking toys” and likes them. Me, not so much. These “Peekaboo friends! We are going to see the beach and the deep blue sea…” and “Elmo’s got five crayons!” are invading my sleep. But hey, whatever keeps him busy…

Generally speaking, Mark likes anything new. The portable heater we put in his room is his new best friend, and so is anything we forget is within his reach (he’s got long arms!)—keys, remote controls, etc.

His new trick is pointing to the sky (or the ceiling) and going “oooh…” as if he spotted something unique and mysterious—most of the time, it’s just the light, really. Or maybe he sees God when I don’t. I hope not. Poor kid, wouldn’t want him to turn mystic.

He still screams (very annoying) and doesn’t speak much yet (not our language, anyway). I’ve heard it was common for kids exposed to several languages to start talking a bit later. We mostly speak English at home, but I talk to him in French and his in-laws speak Chinese. He understands the three languages but he may be a bit lost in translation!

Overall, he is growing up fine. I think. Not that I know what I’m doing…

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  1. Gail at Large December 12, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I think with the first kid, NOBODY knows what they’re doing. The only difference is at what moment you happen to look at them!

    1. Zhu December 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

      That’s true actually! I try to embrace my uselessness, it’s fun actually to learn as you go.

  2. Isa December 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

    It’s so cool you’re speaking french to him! He’s going to be a perfect little canadian, 3 languages! 🙂
    He’s so big now…! It’s always a pleasure to see him grow up through your words

    1. Zhu December 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Yes, he changed quite a bit! I like that. I like toddlers better than babies, they look so.. fragile!

  3. Christiane December 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    You are doing great (this coming from a non-parent yet)! My niece did the same thing i.e. not wanting to sit in carts and throwing mini tantrums. Though she was obsessed with my sister and brother in law’s Iphones and trying to take it out of her hands was like Mission Impossible lol

    1. Zhu December 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Mark doesn’t like my Blackberry as much as my laptop… which is too bad because I care more about my laptop than my phone!

  4. Jeruen December 13, 2013 at 2:17 am

    The scientist in me is so excited reading about the linguistic developments Mark will show. Is Feng speaking to him in Chinese? It would be very interesting to see how Mark sorts all three different languages in his head as he grows up!

    1. Zhu December 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      My in-laws speak Chinese to hi, Feng an I not so much. I’ll keep you updated on the language progresses!

  5. I Say Oui December 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Dang, you’ve got a cute baby!

    I don’t even want to think about what happened after you took the balloon picture. I’m not fond of popping balloons.

    Santa Claus and le Père noel are different people!?

    I love the pole story.

    1. Zhu December 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      No, they are the same guy, just different names 😉

  6. Lily December 24, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I had the several-languages-at-home conversation with an acquaintance once. He told me that his own kids didn’t seem to have spoken any later in his case (2 languages) but his friend, whose children were exposed to 3 languages (chinese, french and another european language I forget) had spoken a bit later compared to the average. Once it started though, there was no problem at all.

    Maybe 3 is a big step while 2 is still relatively easy… but what is a few months now compare to the few years we need, later, to learn foreign languages!!!

    To me the big question is: is he going to get the Québécois accent? I still can’t make myself accept that my children could get it! 😀

    1. Zhu December 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      I doubt it considering I don’t and I am the main French speaker around. We still live in an English environment after all!


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