Becoming one

Generally, Xmm reaches his milestones earlier than Xxm. It certainly pays to have someone showing him the ropes.

Perhaps what is most strikingly different between them is the way they crawl. Both Xxm and Xmm started to crawl at 8 months. However at 10 months, Xmm was reaching places Xxm reached at 11-12months. From what we observed, Xxm is a very skillful crawler. In our household, we do not limit their boundaries. We contemplated but eventually we didn’t get the haenim play yard. Basically, they are free to roam anywhere and everywhere in the house and that includes the dining set, sofa, MIL’s bed, the steps up the platform in my bedroom and the huge step (equivalent to 2 normal sized steps) to my bathroom. Both learnt to maneuver their way about these obstacles very well. With Xxm, we taught him the safer way to go down the steps is to descend butt first. He still practices this diligently to this day, even on the playground’s ladders. For Xmm, he is quite resistant to such safety talk and only chooses to practice this when he climbs down the sofa or bed. When he comes face to face with the steps in my home, he deals with it head first! And this applies to the step to my bathroom which is a long way down for him. Initially, it is very terrifying to see him. But he has never failed once. So far, he has not plunged face forward into the ground (touch wood!). Observing him, he knows his limits very well. Xxm does too but perhaps he isn’t as careful as his brother.

When Xxm turned two, we bought a double decker bed to signify his eventual move to the big bed. There is an accompanying staircase next to the bed which both boys enjoy abseiling. Xxm is more prim and proper. He climbs gingerly up the ladder and down just like how I taught him – the way to position himself, where to hold each time he progresses down and where to step. Xxm will also warn me before he climbs down the ladder. For Xmm, it is a different story altogether. For sometime, he could only climb up and will cry for us to carry him down. However, a week after he turned one, he suddenly figured a way of coming down. He will hold onto the sides of the staircase and slid his legs forward until it touches the next step. Then, he will propel himself forward and stand up, with his back leaning against the step for support (see pic below). At first, his actions were rather clumsy. You will notice him trying many times each day, at times advancing and on not so brave days, retreating. As I write this at Xmm’s 13 months, he is going up and down as if it’s second nature to him. And he certainly delights in his newfound ability.

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So it seems Xmm knows more ways to solve the same problem. This is why Xmm is blacklisted as the naughtier of the two. He is not as simple as his brother.

In terms of speech development, Xmm displayed more octaves and notes than Xxm at an earlier age. I enjoyed bantering with him (see video) at an early age. His first words are “eat”, “哥哥” and “kakak”. I thought I would be upset that Xmm didn’t call “mama” first. Somehow, I wasn’t. It isn’t his fault. He doesn’t hear this term often enough. In fact, Xxm’s first words was’t “mama” as well. It was in fact his last. 奶奶 was his first. Nowadays, mama is uttered so often that it irritates me at times.

Xmm could utter abc now, just purely imitating his brother. He can say the letter sounds for /a/ and /s/ when I teach Xxm. Whenever I read to Xxm, he doesn’t want to be left out as well. We give him foam puzzle books which he can meddle with and chew on. He’s great at finger pointing us to do what he wants. Nope I don’t teach either of them sign language but we understand them perfectly.

Xmm has another quality which I really appreciate. He can play by himself most of the time. He amuses himself with the simplest things like dispersing his saliva on our floor windows, drumming his milk tin etc. His favorite song now is “If you are happy.” Whenever he hears this, he will clap his hands with joy. It’s a must have song when he’s car sick as well. I love Xmm’s smile and laughter. It definitely brightens up my day, so giving and not demanding (actually he’s commanding more of my attention lately).

Diet wise, Xmm falls behind Xxm a lot. His diet now comprises of nestlé nan pro milk and nestle cereals. This is a far cry from Xxm. At 13 months, Xxm was feeding on porridge, meat, rice and vegetables. He could spit out fish bones and grapes’ skin. Perhaps Xmm is more of the norm. He frequently chokes on water or food bits. He detests purée whether commercial or homemade. It was a joy to feed Xxm but a chore to feed Xmm. That’s why MIL stopped preparing food for Xmm coz he always spits out what she cooked, every last bit of it. Thankfully, I persisted in giving him cereal. It took him a while to get used to it. For a few months, the cereal was always added into his milk. But I insisted that he is fed the cereal by the spoonful. Thankfully, he loves it now and is having it three times a day. Mil has regained her momentum and decides to force feed him porridge again. We are happy as long as he eats. He weighs a healthy 11.2kg now.

Perhaps what’s limiting him is actually his teeth development. Xmm has a total of 4 front teeth now. Xxm at this age has double of his. I certainly hope it’s not due to calcium depletion from the first pregnancy. But he looks really kawaii right now!

Oh yah, Xmm dislikes anything hairy e.g rambutans. It’s inborn. Think we are going to have a tough time making him catch worms or insects like his brother. My mum chides me for giving him a girl sounding name, hence his behaviour.

I think I am all about done for Xmm’s development right now. Will add on if I recall any 🙂

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