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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!

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