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Drum - fifteen months

On February 1 Drum turned 15 months. He's a hoot right now. He's either being silly or he's grumpy as hell. His grumpiness is wearing on me, so let's discuss that and get it out of the way. Basically he hates everything most of the time. That might be overstating it, but only a little.

This is a typical scenario: He starts screeching and crying. I offer him a pacifier. He shoves it away in tears. I offer him a snack. He wails. I offer him water. He screeches and shakes his head. I walk away, he bends over and puts his head on the ground in exasperation. His face is covered in tears and snot, he's crying, he's miserable. I offer him a snack again. He wails some more, then succumbs and takes the snack. Repeat repeat repeat. 

Drum puzzle

 I've been struggling with this. Everything we do leads to him screaming. I'm sometimes anxious to approach my child to complete a simple task because I don't want to hear the wails of anguish. I hope it's a phase, maybe teething - he did just grow some molars, skipping over the several teeth that typically come first - because his persistent grumpiness is wearing on my psyche!

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I also continue to wonder if some of it is related to some frustration with not being able to communicate adequately. He doesn't talk at all and he only very recently started signing "more" again - he stopped signing awhile ago the couple other signs he had. To get what he wants he usually just makes some urgent noises while looking or pointing at the thing he wants. But I wonder if, when the thing he wants is more complicated than "that pacifier that I can't reach just there," he screams and cries in frustration.
Every couple months I complete an online assessment through a local nonprofit, and in his 14 month assessment I wrote that, though I'm not worried about his inability to speak, I do wonder if there is more I could do to help him communicate if indeed that is causing him some frustration. They are setting us up with an in-home assessment to determine if he's still on track, if there is more we can do at home for him, or if he needs some sort of intervention.
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Anyway, he's grumpy a lot, but that's not all he is. He's also so sweet and he loves to cuddle. He gives hugs and kisses (open mouth kisses!) and he likes to be held. He is very tidy. He never tires of throwing used diapers or other trash away, he likes to put things where they belong, he likes to wipe his face and hands, he likes to sweep and wipe things up. Mo is messy and I don't remember her being so tidy. Up to this point, the two of them have been much the same. A baby is a baby - yeah they were different in some ways, but it wasn't until recently that I've really started to see differences in their personality, to see who Drum really is and how that is and will be different than Mo.
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He still doesn't like books much, but he's been showing a little more interest. Hopefully someday he'll actually enjoy reading. Whenever music comes on, he starts to dance, usually twirling around and bouncing. He loves to play the drum set his grandma got him for Christmas. And he really loves shoes! He's always bringing us shoes to put on him - his, Mo's, ours - he doesn't discriminate. He is a sweet boy even if he does have trouble controling his emotions! 

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