Xmm @ 18-19 months

Although seldom mentioned in my blog, I enjoy Xmm’s company very much. Xmm has a very cheerful disposition and a smile that melts anyone’s hearts. He readily calls anyone including strangers when prompted to in his cute little voice. When ignored, he clings onto your legs and pleads for your attention. He does not do it in an irritating way. His pleading is not gentle too. However, when you see his doleful eyes look up to you and hear his sweet little voice wail out for you, I tend to soften at his knees and quickly picked him up. In fact, I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Many other family members have become weak in front of him, including my stern Dad who had proclaimed that Xmm knows the way to his heart. Despite a spinal injury resulting in a weak back, Dad still carries Xmm as and when he asks for it. And Xmm especially loves my Dad, more than his kakak, my domestic helper. It’s quite a sight to watch when he will rest his head onto my Dad or myself, refusing kakak’s attempts to carry him. Times like this, I felt so loved.

Xmm has come a long way in his developmental milestones. It really warms my heart to see my baby grow so beautifully.

Gross Motor

He is walking very steadily now. He can run very confidently too. Lately, I have also noticed him going up and down the steps without holding onto any support. He is nearly there in his progress.
Although a fairly late walker, he had caught up fast and furious.

Fine Motor

Ever since I introduced the scooping activity to him at 13 months, he loves it! However, we have not progressed beyond scooping balls because he likes to pop things in his mouth and using materials like beans or rice or water creates a mess which gives me a headache. If I am dealing with him alone, it might be easier. Many times, big bro wants to be a part of the fun and eventually, a fight will ensue. So, scooping activities so far are limited to the sand pit, bath time and mealtimes when I sat him on my laps and have him eat off my bowl. Both boys particularly love mealtimes with me at this age.

I bought Xxm a noddy fun book and Xmm particularly enjoys playing with the grid. He likes removing the pieces and replacing them with precision. I love Xmm for being very focused in his activities and when engrossed, he can play by himself. When I first started playing the noddy grid with him, I introduced him to the shapes on the grid. Subsequently, I realized he was doing simple sorting by himself. He loves circles and you will always notice him arranging all the circles on the grid first, followed by the other shapes. He definitely knows circle, triangle, square from the noddy grid and star and moon from the shape sorter.

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I bought an imitation set of Montessori materials for home use. I introduced the pink tower to Xmm. The baby milestones chart that I was referring to says he should be able to stack 3 blocks by 18 months. I can proudly say he can stack 7-8 blocks in one sitting. The proper assembly of the pink tower requires you to build the tower in decreasing gradations i.e. the largest block makes up the base of the tower. Once, I caught Xmm arranged it in a somewhat orderly fashion. I was so amazed. Note that Xxm at 32 months hasn’t even demonstrated this ability yet.

Another Montessori material that I play with him is the cylinder blocks. Xmm, I noticed has more of an eye for precision and detail. He doesn’t guess wildly but studies his options. Xxm, on the other hand, tries each and every option until he finds the right fit. He usually finishes ahead of Xmm, but that’s purely because his motor skills are more coordinated.

Language

Xmm is very articulate for his age. He attempts to enunciate every word even though his pronunciation is off. It’s a family activity now to call Xmm to repeat whatever we said. Even Xxm joins in the fun. He will ask his brother to say things like train, motorcycle, digger etc. He will also readily reply with a thank you in his sweet little voice whenever something is given to him.

He comprehends almost 90% of what we say to him and can follow instructions prettily well. Though we converse to him in a mixture of English and Chinese, Xmm predominantly speaks English.

He enjoys flipping through books these days. Compared to his older brother, he doesn’t get read to as often as his brother was at his age but books are readily available throughout the house, so he gets access to them easily. There is also some mimicking of his older brother. He likes to pick out the shapes board board, point to the pictures inside and mutter to himself. It appears he’s appreciating a good read!

Diet

This boy has finally grown more teeth. Armed with more than the six front teeth that he usually has, he has gradually become quite a pleasure to feed. We are no longer that afraid he will regurgitate all his food at the first sign of discomfort. He has a strong reflex to vomit out all his gastric contents whenever he is too full or slightly choked, be it water or food. Whenever there is some discomfort, he does not hesitate to become our family’s Merlion.

These days, he is able to stomach more solids but we still hesitate giving him small pieces of meat for fear he does not chew. We are slowly weaning him from the Nestlé Cerealac which was a huge part of his diet for the last few months for he dislikes purées of any sorts, porridge unless those painstakingly cooked with dried scallops and pork.

All in, it’s a major improvement when it comes to feeding.

Concerns

Xmm hasn’t grown very much in length for the past couple of months. His weight remains fairly constant at around 12.5kg. I sure hope he will benefit from a future growth spurt. This boy seems to enjoy basketball very much, often mimicking the older boys doing their shots at the basketball court. In case he wants to become a basketballer in future, I sure hope his height won’t become a liability to him.

That’s all for this update!

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