Raffi’s 16 month update
I never know how to start these posts. Do I start with my brags about Raffi, random stories, thoughts on development, or share all the sappy thoughts that run through my mind?
We only have 2 more monthly updates before I’ll have a newborn. Isn’t that crazy? It feels crazy to me.
Raffi seems to know something is up. When I lift up my shirt he immediately runs over to give my belly a hug. It makes it look like he’s already in love even though he has no idea what’s in store for him (and I don’t either). His little sister, in utero, seems to love him already too. Every time he sits quietly on my lap she kicks him like crazy. It’s really the only time of the day that she’s very active.
Here are 16 things about 16 months:
1. Over the last month Raffi’s language has exploded. “No” is still his favorite word. He runs over to things he shouldn’t touch and wags his finger as he says NO, NO, NO accompanied by either a huge smile or a wide-eyed look as he tries to understand if that item is still off limits that day. He now knows all the animal sounds I can think of except horse and lion, which we will work on next. He uses “more” to mean more, yes, and again, which I find to be very resourceful. Other words that make an appearance often are this (dis?), banana (nana?), nonna (nonna), cracker (cakcakkkk?), ball (bah), cookie (kook-cak), breakfast (tast-tat), what (what), wow (wow), tree (dis), trash (det), yellow (lello), diaper (bupbup), wipes (bup), cheese (tees), baby (dadoh), baba (baba), and mama (mama).
He’s been trying really hard to communicate, but I haven’t figured out what a lot of his words are. Sometimes he will bring me a book and very passionately and urgently ask me a question, but I have no clue how to answer. In general it takes me several days before I understand a new word. He kept saying BAH? but I had no clue what it was until one day he said it and then ran to the bin that has all the balls in it.
2. We have a new nightly game that we play as a family of 3. Trig and I chase Raffi and he runs down the hall to hide. He runs so fast that he can hardly catch his breath, and he screams and giggles the whole time. I love moments like that where none of us can stop laughing for long enough to catch our breath. It’s also really fun when it’s our turn to hide. Raffi comes flying around the corner and bursts into a fit of giggles when we scare him.
3. Potty training has very very slowly begun. Like other developments, I’m simply offering him the opportunity to go knowing that it probably won’t click for a long time. We’ve had 3 successful on purpose visits to the potty which I think is amazing. When we have a really gross diaper we now also bring it to the toilet together to dump it out and flush it. It’s starting to click for him that the toilet is where those things happen. This month I hope to make further progress, but there’s no rush.
4. Raffi is still obsessed with music. He has a few new dance moves that I love. He shakes his head back and forth. He bounces his knees. He runs in place really fast. He swings his arms back and forth. And sometimes he does all of his moves at once. He is really into the Jersey Boys soundtrack and likes to hear the same song over and over again. He also loves the hot dog song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, a song he’s loved for several months.
5. Trig and Raffi have their own ways of bonding, and one way is through opera. Ever since our last trip to RI where my aunt played The Anvil Chorus one night, Raffi is in love with opera music. He and Trig will listen to opera music or watch a live chorus and Raffi will sit completely still to listen. He then claps vigorously at the end of a song before asking for more. It is incredible.
6. I love seeing how kids make their preferences known at such an early age. One night I really wanted to skip bathtime. Raffi wasn’t very dirty and his skin was a little dry so I intended to just put him to bed. However when he got to his room he spotted one of his bath toys, ran over to the bathroom and basically dove into the tub fully clothed. I had no choice but to run the bath for him.
7. All of a sudden Raffi is great at restaurants. He will sit on one of our laps or in his highchair and eat his food, play with a toy, and generally be good. We went out for brunch with 3 other couples last week and Raffi was great for the entire three hours. That is a really long time for a kid! I was so proud, especially when other patrons commended us on his behavior.
8. In public Raffi has to run over to another kid and wave when he sees one. He is very predictable in this department – he will see another child, look at me wide-eyed and very seriously, and then run over to the other child and wave frantically before either pointing to one of his toys to show the other kid or hand one right over. It is so adorable and it makes me smile so much. Daycare said that when they have tours for prospective children Raffi runs up to the door and waves at all of them. I love that he’s so social.
9. Daycare dropoff has become much easier this month. I was told not to just sneak out, but it seems he does best that way. I spend the morning excitedly telling him that he will be spending the day at daycare while I work, and right before we enter the center I mention that I am going to drop him off and leave. Then when we go to his room I take off his jacket, check in, and then leave if he is playing already. Most days he runs right over to the sink or to another kid to play.
10. Speaking of the daycare sink… Raffi is obsessed. His teachers laugh as they share stories with me about Raffi’s obsession with the sink. One day I walked in and Raffi had one shoe on. I asked where his other shoe was and they said that he took it off and threw it in the wet sink. He cracks me up.
11. Sleep is really good right now, so maybe I shouldn’t talk about it. Just to share quickly- he naps for 1.25-1.5 hours every day and sleeps overnight from 7:30 PM to 7:30 AM or so. He whines for a few minutes sometimes, but other days he just plays for a few minutes and lays right down.
12. Some days Raffi eats a lot more than others. I don’t worry about it and just keep offering healthy meals at normal times. When he doesn’t eat his dinner I haven’t been offering anything else unless he specifically asks for it or his dinner didn’t include an item he is familiar with and usually enjoys. After lots and lots of exposure to broccoli Raffi finally loves it! It proves that we can’t assume they don’t like a food just because they won’t try it the first several dozen times. Now Raffi will down broccoli by the bunch – but he only eats the tops. I don’t mind! Other new favorites this month are green beans, dried cranberries, potatoes, and fresh mozzarella. I’ve been working on exposure to kiwi, clementines, oranges, sweet potatoes, and avocado. He used to eat some of them the first few times I offered but he won’t anymore. I am still offering.
13. Raffi does not like to get his hands dirty. Apparently this is normal? When he gets a little bit of food or dirt on his hands he says “Ohh” with this super sad scrunched up face and holds his hand out for me to wipe it. In the same regard, he is obsessed with trash. If he finds dust or a crumb or anything dirty on the floor he will pick it up and run over to me while saying “trash” over and over again.
14. We are having trouble with utensils. He has mastered eating yogurt with a spoon because the yogurt doesn’t slip off easily, but everything else is difficult. If I preload a fork he often takes the food off with his hand to eat it – unless it’s an adult sized fork. When I give him his fork or spoon with anything aside from yogurt the food ultimately slides off. He can’t figure out how to bring it to his mouth without flipping it upside down. Any thoughts? He gets so frustrated with it.
15. I wish we had never purchased or received a single electronic toy except for the instruments. I want to throw or donate half of them away, but I feel guilty. The wooden and non-electronic toys last so much longer and keep Raffi entertained much longer. I had intended to not buy electronic toys, but I caved.
16. Raffi is still obsessed with playing doctor. He loves the pediatrician and wasn’t afraid at all when he came to my OB appointment with me. At home, he will take the stethoscope out at least once a day to check my heart or have me check his heart. He stands very still and says “bumbum, bumbum” in the tiniest whisper. He also likes to give himself shots with his syringe, check his blood pressure, and check his beeper for any emergencies. He also carries the kit around just for fun. The doctor’s kit is one of the best toys we own.
BONUS: Raffi still loves carrying purses and bags on his arm.
Weight: about 22 lbs!
Wears: size 4 diapers, 12-18 month clothing, size 4 shoes
Teeth: 8 front teeth plus 1 molar and working on another
Loves: playing with other kids, stacking blocks (finally!), knocking down blocks, climbing, eating breakfast, hiding important items of ours, pressing the panic button on our car keys, playing on our iPhone, listening to music, running, going to the mailbox, taking baths
Hates: Soap in his eyes, not being allowed to climb something
Foods he loves: crackers, cookies, cereal, pasta, rice, bread, American cheese, mozzarella cheese, peas, raisins, craisins, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, cucumbers, pancakes, oatmeal, green beans, broccoli, shredded cheese, chick peas, french toast, french fries, croissants, english muffins, cranberry walnut bread, smoothies, bananas, shredded carrots,
Foods he hates: all types of meat, sweet potatoes, mango
Favorite toys: his Chuggington ride on train, his B. Parum Parum Pum Drum set, any form of magnet, B. hellophone, water bottles of any form
Previous updates can be found here.