14 month developments

Time is going so fast it seems. Yet strangely, by documenting so much in pictures and tagging it with the month the time seems to slow. Even when she’s ‘almost 14 months’ she’s still 13 months in the tag, which makes it more ‘real time’ in my brain. It’s nice.

So, what’s new in Melody’s world? Oh so much of course.

Words/sounds

I combine these because learning to do animal sounds is the same development for her body as words. And boy do we have a lot of them! I’ll try to recall them all. Dog, cat, monkey, bear, owl, sheep (one of her favorites), owl, duck, cow and as of yesterday she has horse. Sometimes they need a reminder, but that’s normal I suspect. Her words change often but she’s definitely learned no! We have play arguments already to help keep the charge off of no which is fun. She has ‘caca’ for cracker. Something that sounds like cookie, but we don’t have cookies often so I think she’s made that word mean anything sweet and bready? It’s hard to tell. More is still adorable, and it sounds like she’s getting milk, though it sounds similar to more so is hard to determine. She’s working on mawmaw for grandma. I’m pretty sure More is her favorite word, as this kid wants more of EVERYTHING! lol I’m told that’s normal with special kids, as they want what they want and feel entitled to get it. I know that happens with most kids, but it’s on a different level from what I’m told.

Yesterday on our walk we passed many dogs barking in their backyard and Melody barked back. It was cute and improved the quality of her woof woofs. Interestingly, she didn’t bark at the dogs that were being walked on a leash, which is probably a good thing.

She also has these sounds that I can only describe as alien but adorable. I think she really enjoys learning to make new sounds with her mouth. She’s playing with her tongue more as well. And because of this, I’m learning to make new sounds and play with my mouth more. It’s a rediscovery of play which is so awesome and beneficial.

Physical 

As of this weekend, she’s learned to walk backwards! It’s also adorable (but really, everything new is adorable still). She’s learning to take smaller steps without having to sit down or crawl up them. We’ve mostly got her trained to wait for a grownup for stairs, but not always. My wife trained her to close the bedroom door instead of running through it which has dramatically increased the safety factor. We haven’t found gates that work with our current stair setup unfortunately. Thankfully she has no clue how to open doors since she can’t reach the handle…yet.

Running is becoming more and more possible, as is crashing into things. She loves to throw her body around and be upside down. Add spinning to that and this kid is always moving it seems. I think she’s really going to enjoy dance class in another 2 years. Her dancing  continues to improve and there are hints of rhythm. Her favorites include Jessie J, Adele, and Pink but she loves so many kinds of music. It’s easier for her to dance to the dance stuff though. I’ve just learned to ignore the lyrics and focus on the cute baby dancing. I mean, no one will claim that Do it Like a Dude is appropriate for children, but the music is hard to ignore. And in YouTube, it just comes on after listening to other stuff. I now understand how some of these other ‘inappropriate’ baby dancing videos can happen.

Sleep

We have entered the space of nightmares which are really just overwhelming dreams – too much of a good thing. I’m told this is normal with special kids, as they can create so much in their dream world but don’t know how to uncreate as well. So they’ll create baa baas or ooh ooh aaahs (monkeys) and have lots of fun but then create too much and get scared because they can’t make them go away so fast. This has caused resistance to sleep which isn’t so fun, plus the waking up freaked out part. We’ve been working on this on many levels (her angel, guide, and my wife on the astral) and might finally have it worked out so she can create and destroy fast enough to not wake up scared. Side note, she views all animals as cat sized because those are the only animals she’s seen in person (in memory) that give her an idea of scale. It’s time for the zoo!

We’re still bed sharing and nursing to sleep. My wife can get her to sleep without a bottle many times, and there are plenty of times when I nurse her to sleepy and my wife gets her down the rest of the way. My hope is that before long we can get her sleepy and then down her the crib so my wife can get up more without worry. I don’t want to do the crib at night yet since she nurses plenty and that keeps her calories and my supply up. She doesn’t have the spare body fat to encourage her to miss night feedings yet. But she is very strong, so I want to keep nursing as much as we can until her solid intake increases substantially.

Overall

I adore this kid. Yes, she’s challenging at times when she keeps trying to play with the garbage, or eat things off the floor, or pull the flowers off the crocus. But that’s all normal stuff. I have a few books to read to help me learn to discipline her more effectively (using discipline to mean guide her to making good choices and keep herself from serious harm). And I’d like to minimize the tantrums in these coming years. She’s just so aware and wants so much from the world that I need tools to direct her with less yelling and frustration (which is how I was raised). And I want to be an example to other parents to see that there is another way instead of physical punishment and yelling. For so many, that’s all they know. Sometimes the best way to change the world is to be an example to inspire others.

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