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Drum - 17 months

On April Fool's Day, Drum turned 17 months old. He has made some impressive leaps in his communication since I wrote his 16 month update. At that time we had just done the assessment where they thought he might benefit from some minor intervention (a monthly home visit to give us the tools to help him along). We haven't even had the first home visit yet, but I've seen some improvements that have helped calm the overall atmosphere of our house and family.

First of all, he started signing again. He only uses signs for milk, more, and occasionally all done. Then he started using some actual words! With meaning! During his initial assessment he had zero words. Well one - he had started saying mama just a few days earlier. Now he can say mama, no (or the more emphatic NO NO accompanied by hand gestures), baby, da (for yes), and Mo. He can also repeat several words, though he doesn't use them independently yet: dada, ya (when we ask him to repeat yes), hi, doggie, and meow. He'll also imitate the "ooh ooh ah ah" sound of a monkey.

Bro eating

So basically I think he's starting to figure out how to produce specific sounds, he's learning to connect some of those sounds to meaning, and he's realizing that signing really does work. None of this means he can tell us exactly what he wants all the time - there is still much screaming - but he's making progress and it has shifted the energy for all of us.

I think the other big difference is that I've intentionally changed my approach. I'm working hard at controlling my own frustration. I try to remember that he is frustrated because he doesn't understand the world and the rules, he can't do many things for himself, and he can't tell us what he wants or needs. So when he screams and flails, I try my hardest to stay calm, to stay with him, and to help him tell me what he needs. It's challenging me in ways I was never challenged with Mo at this age, but it seems to be making a difference.

Drum daycare ?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1491354493458" alt=""/> 

Not only is he communicating more and screaming (a little) less, but our relationship has change a bit too. We've always been tight and I've always been his favorite person and his safe space, but lately we've really bonded. My heart has softened to him even more than before, and I think he knows I'm there for him even when he's screaming in my face.

Anyway! Enough about that, he's so much more than his tantrums and his talking. Drum is really fun. He loves to play with his sister (who doesn't always love it as much as him), he loves to hang out with us even if we're just chillin', and he loves to check out anything that's going on. He's curious about whatever project Mo has going on (usually art-related), he likes to help with chores like the dishwasher, sweeping, and vaccuming, and he loves to go wherever we're going. If I say "Bro, want to go upstairs?" he'll hustle off to the stairs without question. 

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Mo and Drum 2017 instagram ?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1491354620962" alt=""/>

He's gained a couple more teeth recently, he's really good at blowing his nose, he likes his stacking game, the wooden blocks, and the jumbo legos, he likes to play dressup with Mo, and he loves to dance. To him, dancing is usually turning in circles, but he really jams. He can point to a few body parts - hair, nose, belly, hands, feet. And he just keeps growing! I recently pulled out the 24 month and 2T clothes. Some are still too big (and some 18 month stuff still fits), but I feel like I just put all that stuff away from Mo! She wore some 2T stuff until after she turned 3, which was only a year ago!

At his recent doctor appointment, he was 33.5 inches tall (94th percentile) and 24 lbs 13 oz (68th percentile). He fell asleep on the way to that appointment, which he rarely does, and even though he normally wakes up as soon as the car stops, he didn't this time. I thought he would be a super grump the whole time, but he did pretty well. However, he was sooooo clingy to me! When I tried to lay him on the baby scale, he desperately held onto me, climbing my torso like a tree. Then he frantically tried to eject himself from the scale. He wouldn't even stand on the upright scale, so I ended up weighing myself on that with and without him to get his weight.

Mom and Drum 2017 doctor appointment ?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1491354576835" alt=""/>

I knew there was no way he'd lay on the table for his shots, so I sat on the table and held him in my lap while he at a snack. The nurse gave him two pokes and he didn't make a peep. He kind of looked at his leg in boredom and shoved some more cheerios in his mouth. I was amazed.

A couple nights ago, he stayed up past his bed time and when I carried him up, I cradled him in my arms. I stood in his room, holding him, and we just looked at each other while I whispered how much I love him. He played with his hair and sucked his bottom lip, listening to me. Then I said, "Are you ready for nigh-night?" and he subtly nodded his head. I know someday he'll be too big to hold like that, so I locked that moment into my memory to keep forever.

Drum sleeping ?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1491354407816" alt=""/>

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