Baby’s growth, month 30

Before the Christmas of 2010, I collected all the photos I took for DD and arranged them into a 12 month calendar, as I did in 2009 (see Baby calendar).

When I looked at these photos, I was amazed to see how tall and hearty she has grown into. Her hair is much longer. Her hands and feet are much bigger. And she is much heavier.

I have been watching her growing up every hour in the last 30 months. But I was still surprised to see the changes happening to her. Two and half years have gone by since her birth? That sounds almost incredible since I didn’t feel the fleeting of the time. But with DD’s growth, I actually witnessed the flowing and passing of the time.

At the threshold of the New Year, I am looking forward to seeing a healthy and happy DD continuing to grow and thrive.

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Baby’s growth, month 29

DD showed her strong will and desire for independence when she was only few months old. Now, at month 29, she definitely tried — again and again — to do things herself.

Before taking a bath, she could take off her own shoes, socks, pants, and diapers. She still had problem to take off her shirt, but she was working to find another way to get if off. During the bath, she wanted to wash face and hair, rub the soap over her body by herself. After the bath, she wanted to dry herself with a bath towel and comb herself with a brush.

During the dinner time, she wanted to use the spoon or fork to eat without any help. If I put the food onto the spoon and placed the spoon on the plate, she would damp the food back to the plate and tried it all over herself.

She already knew how to turn on TV, use the remote control to change channels, and put CDs into the CD player. Now she tried to press the keyboard, move the mouse, open or close an Internet explorer window on the computer, and take the print off the printer.

She even showed strong interests in driving! She loves to stand on the driver seat, turn the wheels, and push buttons (of course the engine was off).

Overall, she wanted to try everything we could do. Since she was a quick learner, sometimes we had to deliberately do things behind her, for her safety and the peace of our mind.

But, ironically, there was one thing she didn’t want to try— going potty. At month 29, DD still wore diapers, and showed little interests in potty training. Therefore, when she got her diapers wet or dirty, she had to come to me for help.

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Baby’s growth, month 28

At month 28, DD definitely had more control of her movements. She could walk upstairs and downstairs holing two balls in arm. She could twist the knobs and open or close doors with no problem. She could even balance on one foot with support for few seconds.

Her attention span was still short for her age. She always found a way to make the house messier. And it was not just toys and books strewn everywhere. Now she could move the stool close to shelves and drawers and climb up to get things that used to be beyond her reach.

She drew on walls and coaches, banged wooden spoons against refrigerator, spilled juice and milk, tore papers (she finally stop tearing books and magazines after repeated lectures and warnings), and took off her socks and left them everywhere.

Although I understood that part of her upheaval was just her live-in-the-moment mode and part was caused by curiosity, it still took time and practices for me to get used to this ever-messier house. I had to keep my expectations for tidiness low when she was climbing this learning curve.

The only time, except bedtime, when she was till was TV time and story time. When she watched Dora The Explorer, Go Diego Go! and other favorite Nick Junior shows, she was so absorbed in the TV that she would resent my interruption. So I made transitions easier by warning her in advance, as in, “You can watch TV for five more minutes, but then it is dinnertime.”

The same, I told her how many books I was going to read to her before the bedtime.

Other than bedtime, I normally catered to her needs and read as many books as she wanted, sometimes half an hour, sometimes 45 minutes, and sometimes one hour or even longer.

This month, DD’s vocabulary was improved significantly. She could say mine (clearly and loudly), eye, nose, mouth, up, down, rope, now, go-go, I know and guys in English. She broke the barrier to pronounce the letter B and finally could say some “b-words”—like bye-bye and baba (daddy in Chinese).

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Baby’s growth, month 27

At month 27, DD was getting better with forks and spoons. She could actually use a fork or spoon to get food and put it into her mouth. Of course, her favorite eating tools were still her fingers, when she was eager to finish the food on her plate.

She loved to run. When we went to the supermarket, she loved to run between those wide-spaced shelves. M had to chase her to keep her in sight. Soon M got tired of chasing a two-year old in the store. He came up a game.

Instead of following her closely, M asked her to run back and give him a hug whenever she was about out of the sight. This way, M could still keep an eye on her without physically running after her and appearing to be led by a toddler.

She loved to yell, especially when she was happy. When M called her name in the supermarket, she would run back to M and exclaimed “daddy!”. Her voice was so loud that I knew she was coming without actually seeing her.

We told her to use the in-door voice. We also showed her the “be quiet” sign by putting the index finger near the lips and hushing at the same time. Whenever we went to the store, we showed her the “be quiet” sign. This strategy worked for a while.

Then, it lost its effect. When she rushed back to M with a happy hailing, M showed her the “be quiet” sign and told her to lower her voice. She smiled at M, put her index finger near her lips and blew at it, and then acclaimed “daddy!”.

She also loved to laugh. By nature, she was such a happy girl. Nothing prevented her from enjoying the fun. Even when she crumbled and fell, she cried. Before tears dried up, she was already up and went back to running and laughing.

She was never a typical parallel-playing toddler. She always wanted to make friends with other kids, interact with them and become part of the group. When she got rejected, she just moved on. She didn’t hold grudge. Whenever the kid came back to play with her, she would be more than happy to accept him/her as her pal.

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Baby’s growth, month 26

By 26 months, DD mastered some skills in advance. For example, she could open doors and close door competently by herself, brush (looks more like “brushing” than “chewing” now) teeth with help, put up an article of clothing, and balance on one foot with support.

In language development, her vocabulary was still lagging behind. This month, she could pronounce “home” and “eat” in English clearly and really got their meanings right. Sometimes, she could utter “ear”, “heat”, “eyes” and kind of “blue” (she spoke “b-u”). Occasionally, she could make a sentence, like “daddy no nap”, when she wanted to take over M’s space and only nap with me.

One night, I said “I love you” in Chinese (wo ai ni), and she replied “ai ni”. Another time, I pointed to a blue ball and said “lan se”, meaning blue. She imitated me and kind of got it right.

This month, by accident, she successfully went potty one time. Although it was a one-time wonder, I still cheered for her. Hopefully, it was a good start.

Like most toddlers at her age, DD has an abundance of energy. After dinner, she volunteered to run loops around the house. I also took her outside to walk and run each day. Moving helps her build strength and increases her coordination.

One change I noticed was her napping time became shorter. Instead of taking a two-hour or three-hour nap, she napped one and half hour each day. At the same time, her bedtime was moved further and further late. In the beginning it was 9 pm. Then it became 9:30pm, 10 pm later, and 11 pm one time. It was not easy to put her to sleep any longer.

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Baby’s growth, month 25

Sometimes, I looked at DD, I was wondering: is she really a two-year old? She has been growing so big and tall.

At month 25, she was already near half of my height and more than a quarter of my weight. A 3T or 4T shirt wasn’t large enough for her. The perfect size was 5T. Shoes with the size of 5.5W seemed to get tight overnight. She needed an upgrade to 7W.

She could point to an object that I named, recognize the names of many objects, major body parts and some familiar members in English and Chinese, follow simple instructions, repeat some words she overhears, wash and dry hands, hop like a bunny, brush teeth (well, kind of) and play make-believe.

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Baby’s growth, month 24

Since her one-year birthday when she made her first independent stride, the last one year has been a banner year for DD’s physical development. Now she can run in loops, walk on her tiptoes, avoid obstacles that block her path, sit and stand quickly, and walk upstairs, downstairs, backward and sideways with no problem. And on her two-year birthday, she got the idea of jumping and hopped like an energizer bunny since then.

At month 24, she finally began to accept the training toilet again. This time, I learned the lesson and didn’t push too hard. Instead I asked her whether she wanted or not. If she wanted to try her potty seat, she would take off her diaper and sat on the potty seat for a few seconds.

Whenever she stopped for a few minutes during play to have a bowel movement, I would ask her the same question. It was up to her to say “yes” or “no”. Even she turned it down most of time, it was ok. The goal at this stage was to help her feel comfortable with sitting on the potty seat

Still, unlike most 2-year-olds who want to play side-by-side, DD wanted to play with other kids. She was still bit of aggressive when playing with her peers, mostly boys. She still wanted to hug or kiss other toddlers at her age, which always scared them away. She still chased big sisters and insisted to be accepted, which often happened as she wished. Overall, she initiated a social action rather than watching and waiting.

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Baby’s growth, month 23

As she approaches her second birthday, DD developed interest in playing the emperor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. She loves to strip herself into nothing but a piece of diaper, wrap herself up in blanket and walk proudly around the house. When she tried to go out, I would say “but you have no clothes on!”

She had no problem in bending over from the waist to pick something up from the floor. She didn’t have jumping in place yet, but she kept practicing and could manage one foot off the ground at a time.

She began to have less patience in sitting still and waiting for the end of stories. She was running, climbing, jumping, twirling, spinning, shouting and laughing. Put into one word, she was always in motion, full of energy.

To help run off her steam, we took her to local parks. As always, she loves to play with other kids, especially older ones. One day, she chased two big sisters in the playground and did as they did. Finally, the two sisters accepted her into the group and played with her. The other day, she easily won the hearts of two older girls and they competed with each other to play with her. And she cried when we had to leave.

This month, the most word DD said was “no”. She said “no” to anything. She pronounced “no” in such a clear and professional way that she earned the title “Miss No-no”.

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Baby’s growth, month 22

DD was doing great during her twenty two months. She could easily kick a big ball forward without falling. She didn’t have problems in turning corners when running around the living room.

She was delight in using her ever-more-dexterous fingers to build a tower of eight cubes, and opened my zipped purse with no problem. She could wash and dry her hands, after a messy playing with the water.

Unlike a typical 22-month-old whose vocabulary consists of about 20 words, DD could say a few Chinese words and a couple of English words. This month she added daddy in English and grandpa in Chinese into her vocabulary. But she understood many more words than she could pronounce—she could identify a number of pictures by pointing. And she understood and followed a two-step oral command, unwillingly sometimes.

She continued to show affection to her teddy bear, little dolly, and toys. She also freely kissed and hugged us, though sometimes rejected to give M hugs and kisses when she didn’t get her way. Overall, she was a kind, loving and sweet little one.

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Baby’s growth, month 21

At month 21, DD’s desire to be more independent was not only displayed by her physical abilities to do things, but by being comfortable to be left alone.

As to her language development, she began to say few words, some in English and some in Chinese, depending on whichever was simpler to pronounce.

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