Goodbye April, hello May and 15 months old. April turned out to be a big month of development. I’ve been noticing a shift in the way he plays and a big effort on his part to really start communicating with us. And growth… Mr. Long Arms is really good at stealing the mouse from the desktop if I don’t push it way back. So many new things are fair game for him! Not to be outdone by all the awesome development this month we ended things with an unexpected bang.
I love how play and developmental growth is linked together. That so much is learned through laughter and fun. From how to interact with others to critical thinking to motor skills, building confidence, and the list goes on.
I find it most interesting how much Gabe enjoys pushing things around. While he still loves and uses his push cart but he has definitely upped his game. If it has slide ability, he pushes it. Chairs are obvious. All of them are fair game. Laundry basket? Sure why not. But then there are the not so obvious like the basket of squash in the kitchen. One morning while I was making breakfast he goes and pushes it from the kitchen into the dining room and back. And then there is the small tool kit we keep upstairs. It slides so he pushes it. How about the base tray to his high chair. Yep, that one made it all the way into the living room! He is not afraid to test things to see if they will slide either. Though he isn’t a big fan when things don’t switch from hardwood to carpet. :)
We returned to our walks this month. I had taken a break from walking in effort to tire him out more by taking him to the park. Through a series of interactions at the park with toys that appeared and disappeared I realized just how much Gabe actually does enjoy being pushed in the stroller. I feel a bit bad though if he doesn’t get any outside play while we are outside. Then it dawned on me that instead of focusing so much on time/distance/intensity that we could stop and play a bit. And you know what? He loved it! He fell in the weeds, picked the weeds, rubbed his hands in the dirt, walked the path with me, pushed the stroller, picked things up off the ground, fell on some more plants, watched the birds. Hands down best play decision. He had so much fun running free. Definitely something I’m working on making a part of our week. It’s too good for both of us to not do it.
Last month I mentioned him starting to take bigger steps. Mostly with how he would go up and down the stairs at the park. He is now all about walking down our stairs. Forget crawling/sliding down, now we must walk down them. He gets so excited when I open the baby gate and tell him to hold my hand. And down we go. Step by step. Now if we could get him to watch where he is stepping. shakes head
He is starting to clap a bunch more. It’s kind of funny how clapping has taken a bit to catch on with him. Maybe we just haven’t done enough of it around him. But he knows now that when he puts a block in the wheel or something of accomplishment, he smiles big and claps several times. Same with waving. It’s cute, he does this whole arm move back and forth two times thing. It’s like he gets it but isn’t bothered to really do it. I’ve also seen him really make an effort to hold two balls in one hand. He does that all the time now… and then proceeds to push them through the baby gate and down the stairs with delight. Oh and one of the best things this month! He’s starting to put things away. So now when he takes everything out he truly does his best to try and put it back!
Much to my surprise I noticed him doing a lot more solo play which is a nice break for me. I’ll be doing something and then notice he is off playing with his toys or chasing the cat or generally getting into things he shouldn’t. But it is really nice to see him start developing that ability to play alone. It’s often not when I need him to do it the most but ehh, I’ll take what I can get. I’ve also noticed him grabbing a book in his reading corner and “reading” for a short time. He will open up the book, sometimes stare intently, sometimes make noises at it or point. Sometimes he tosses the book aside as quickly as he picks it up and picks up another book. Sometimes I’ll stop what I am doing and go over there and attempt to read to him. Sometimes he is interested. Most the time he isn’t and is moving on to another book or picking up and leaving. It’s all good though, he is only 15 months. Besides, I have a captive audience while he drinks his milk so he gets a good reading to every day.
Da da da da da da da da da. Dadadada. Maaa ma. Ma ma ma ma. Ah da. And all the variations. He has though added to his vocabulary. He has now taken to saying, “all done” or at least his version of it. And he knows what it means. On top of that he has started signing “more.” The two very important questions he is asked at every meal. “Do you want more?” And “All done?” While we are far away from precision, seeing him grasp the concepts and start communicating his desires is pretty awesome. And then there is the pointing. He points at Kitty, birds, airplanes, and just about anything that catches his attention.
I shall eat ALL the carrots.
Gabe has never really been a fan of me spending time in the kitchen. More often than not (that is, unless he is off playing with something) when he sees me in there he will come in and try to get between me and the cabinet. It’s super annoying and often ends up with him crying from falling over or hitting his head on the lower cabinets. I think it has to do with the fact that he can’t see what I am doing. He knows I’m doing something (not giving him attention!) and wants to know what it is. So I’ve started pulling up a chair and letting him stand next to the counter top. Usually he spends more time playing with the jar of measuring spoons and mini scrapers but he totally digs it. He loves getting a taste of whatever I’m cutting up or making. And usually it is enough time for me to get the task done. Then I put him down and he does his best to push the chair back to where it goes. It’s pretty cool to having him “helping” alongside me. I initially wanted to make a Learning Tower but have yet to find the time for a project like that. While the safety aspect sounds great, they didn’t have learning towers when I was growing up. So with lack of time and the fact that Gabe is pretty stable and cautious, the chair it is. I think I should be more concerned about teeth marks in my silicone spatulas and the slat jar being knocked over.
He has started drinking from a glass. Like a real glass, not a plastic cup. Often, as a treat he will get some coconut water with dinner. He gets super excited for it too. For a while now we’ve been serving it to him in the shot glasses we have for espresso. It’s the perfect 1 oz cup for him. He now does a pretty good job of picking up the glass with both hands and drinking from it. He still has to work on the tipping it immediately before getting it to his mouth but other than that he drinks from it like he knows what he is doing. Can’t say the same for using utensils but I’m not rushing that. ;)
And then like that, when we are done with dinner and I take him out of the high chair, I set him down and he runs off into the other room. And you know? It’s really nice to have him leave the kitchen so I can clean up. It’s kind of impossible to load the dishwasher with him around! His belly is full and he is happy. Time to play. Oh the little things.
Not too many new foods this month. He has grown into a love of fruit. Blackberries are currently his jam. He can eat whole roasted carrots without me cutting them up. And he has become a fan of little cheese wheels. And while this should technically be on the 16 month update, I made some homemade cashew butter… Homeboy is kind of nuts over it.
So we did this thing. We were at the park getting a little bit of play in before lunch. We were having a great time. Gabe was climbing the play structures really well. Once at the top I asked him if he wanted to go down the slide. I got in position, set him on my lap, as we normally do and down we went. Except that when we got to the bottom he wasn’t happy. I notice his left leg was bent back. No, he was crying. Crying really hard. The “I’m really not okay” cry. I knew something bad just happened and as much as I wanted this to be a sprain, I knew it wasn’t. I took him home, got him calmed down, and gave him some lunch. And then the test… could he put weight on it? No… no he couldn’t. A quick google search, found a pediatric urgent care, made an appointment. This all happened just hours before picking Will up from the airport. So we picked up Will, Gabe napped in the car and we drove straight to urgent care.
A few x-rays later (and a whole lot of tears) and as I suspected, a hairline fracture of his left tibia. Apparently this is a very common young child injury! No one was really surprised at the accident. We were sent home with a full leg splint and a next day appointment to get a cast. We had to wait for the splint to dry before putting him in the car seat (and evening commute traffic) so we went and grabbed some dinner before heading home. Then due to the stress of the injury and the visit to urgent care, Gabe threw up on the way home. I was so thankful to be sitting in the back seat with him. Trying to catch throw-up and undo the carseat straps so I could lean him over to make sure he didn’t choke on it is quite a task!! Apparently when there is some kind of trauma to the body, often the body shuts down certain systems to direct resources to the injury. It was an exhausting day and Gabe basically passed out once he got in his crib. We, on the other hand, stayed up cleaning the car seat because you know, we needed it first thing in the morning!
Getting the cast was pretty uneventful. So so so thankful he is in a walking cast. Meaning he can walk on it when he is ready. The doctor we saw said it was the best break we could have done. No bones were moved and that this will heal 100%. It was interesting watching them put the cast on, I’ve never seen it done before. Gabe wasn’t a fan but I know the stability of the cast immediately made things feel better (same as what the splint did). The doctor was pretty convinced that he would only need 4 weeks in the cast. She isn’t a fan of doing two casts. We have an appointment on May 26th to have it removed. Meanwhile we have been adjusting to life with a cast. Within 8 hours of getting the cast, Gabe was crawling. Frustrated at the inability to walk though. Now, a week into this? The cast isn’t stopping him from doing anything! He still isn’t walking on it but he is standing on it. One step at a time, healing as we go.
Lots of things happened this month. Much more than I anticipated. Now to see what life will be like with a cast.