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Nineteen

All of a sudden, our little boy seems to be nineteen going on twenty-four. Months, that is. Some people told me that the ‘Terrible Twos’ or ‘Terrific Twos’, depending on your perspective, start right after the first birthday, or when the child hits eighteen months old, and it looks like even though he’s been behind schedule in reaching all his developmental milestones so far, he’s right on cue for the tantrum-throwing one. (What’s that, you say? There isn’t such a milestone? I’m sure many parents would beg to differ on that!) 

These days, Noah is very clear about what he wants and doesn’t want. And just in case you aren’t on the same page as him, he makes sure you are, by screaming, crying, stomping his little feet, throwing himself on the floor, and arching his back when we try to pick him up. It doesn’t happen all the time, but these tantrums have gotten increasingly frequent, and he usually has about one of these meltdowns a day. Feeding him has become even more of a challenge than before, and most of the time, I just give up, because it’s absolutely impossible to get him to eat, and I figured that he’ll eat when he’s hungry. After my post on our meal-time battles, I’ve had many people suggesting that I try giving him some soup. Even though I’ve tried offering him soup previously, I thought there’s no harm in trying again, and so I did. Unfortunately, he rejected it yet again, and after a week of him going on a partial food strike, in which he refused everything, including his pasta, and only nibbled on biscuits, yogurt, and grapes, we are now back on pasta again, albeit in a smaller quantity than before. Some days, however, he only has a packet of yogurt and perhaps a slice of cucumber for dinner. He’s been a bit more open to trying chicken meat, and nibbled on a piece I offered him during lunch one day, and at dinner on another night. The next most popular suggestion was to starve him, in a battle of wills, until he ‘submits’ to me, and eats whatever I give him, without any cajoling or distractions, but I have yet to try that, and pray that we won’t have to go down that road.

Nibbling on a piece of chicken meat 


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Noah is still obsessed with the ‘Wheels on the Bus’ song, and can do a few of the actions that go along with the song. He moves his index finger in a somewhat circular manner, which is our cue to either sing the song or show him the YouTube videos. He swings his hand from side to side for the wipers and forward for the bell, bounces up and down when the people in the bus go up and down, puts his finger to his lips and goes ‘shh shh shh’ when the mummy says it, and pulls my arm to hug it when the daddy/mummy says ‘I love you’.

Oooohhh… wheels…  


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His love for vehicles is still as strong as before, and loves the excavator the most. I recently borrowed My Big Book of Trucks and Diggers (Caterpillar)

 for him, and he always flips to the page with the excavator first. He can identify the bucket, blade, and track by pointing at them when asked, and also loves looking for the steering wheel on the other vehicles.

With his favourite excavator


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He can be left to play quietly on his own if the toy has wheels, and sometimes, he uses us as obstacles or tracks for his vehicles, running them up, down, and across us. He also pulls out the books featuring his favourite vehicles, to flip through the pages and look at the pictures. Sometimes, he’ll bring the books to me for me to read to him, but on good days, he is content to look at them on his own.

Playing quietly on his own at our cell group leaders’ home 


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Noah went on his first ever kiddy ride this month, and it’s a good thing the kiddy ride costs only 40 cents, because he went on it quite a few times. The kiddy ride was also the cause of his first public tantrum, and I struggled to stuff him back into the stroller, because he was screaming, arching his back, and kicking. He cried for a good ten minutes or so as we walked back to our apartment, but thankfully, stopped on his own.

Busy steering 


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This month, Noah has picked up quite a few words, and his current favourite word, is ‘park’. Actually, that’s his second favourite word, because his absolute favourite is ‘MUMMY’. To think I used to be upset that he preferred saying ‘papa’ or ‘daddy’. These days, when he wakes up, he looks around for C, then asks, “Papa? Daddy? Park!” If I’m not in the room when he wakes up, he’ll call, “Mummy! Mummy!” from the bed. Sometimes, he will climb down from the bed on his own, then stumble out of the room to look for me, and sign for ‘milk’ at me. On particularly whiny days, he stays on the bed, alternating between whining and saying, “Mummy. Mummy.” After I nurse him, he looks at me hopefully and says, “Park!” The weather has been generally good, so we’ve been bringing him to the park almost daily, except when it’s below 20 degrees, and too cold to be outdoors for long periods of time. He loves looking at the ducks, crested pigeons, and waterfalls, and is quite happy to walk on grass now.

At the park 


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One thing we noticed about Noah, is that when he has to walk from one surface to another, such as from pavement to grass, or vice versa, he will stop at the edge, and go, “E E E E E E E!” Sometimes, he will take the step on his own with a bit of encouragement from us, but on other occasions, he will wait for one of us to hold his hand, and lead him across. The same thing happens when he comes to a step. He still doesn’t dare to go down stairs on his own, even if we are holding his hands, so we usually have to ‘fly’ him down by lifting him over the stairs, or carry him down, if it’s a long flight of stairs.

Waiting for help


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E-E-E-E-E! 


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Noah also had his first ever haircut this month, and still loves trying to comb his own hair. In the mornings, while I’m brushing my teeth, he pulls open the drawer to look for the comb, pulls it out, and runs to the other room, so that he can look at himself in the mirror while he ‘combs’ his hair. He is very curious about things, and loves touching everything. We’ve been trying to teach him not to touch the toilet bowl, dustbin, and drain, in the toilet, and each time he does it, we bring him out of the toilet immediately. When we scold him for touching the items despite our reminders, he starts crying, but if we ask him again if he can touch them, he will nod. Sigh. He also likes to pull things down from the dining table, and just the other night, C placed the plastic bag of food too near the edge of the table, and Noah promptly pulled it down, spilling the whole container of curry onto the carpet. We tried to clean it on our own, but after two days of enduring the stench, I got the staff to help us clean it more thoroughly.

Noah does all kinds of funny things, and one day, when I was looking for him, I found him under the dining table, doing his version of baby yoga. He’s been doing this pose for some time, but that was the first time he decided to do it under the table. He also loves crawling backwards, scooting around on his belly, and lying flat facedown on the floor.

Random baby yoga spot


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He loves playing catching with us, and runs away giggling hysterically even when we’re not playing with him. It’s a struggle getting him into the room to get his diaper changed, because he thinks it’s very funny to run away from me whenever I tell him to go to the room. He crawls under the table to hide, or goes behind the doors and bed to avoid being caught by us. He picked up the hiding behind doors bit from me actually, because I always hide there when he’s looking for me, which C thinks will make Noah become insecure. However, Noah has become pretty good at finding me when I hide, mostly because there are so few places to hide in this apartment. He laughs as he approaches my hiding spots, and hugs me when he finds me, so I think he likes playing hide-and-seek.

We’ve gotten into a routine of praying together every night before he sleeps, and recently, he’s been clasping his hands together whenever we tell him to pray, and he also ends the prayer with ‘Amen!’. However, if C’s prayer is too long (in his opinion), he actually says, ‘Amen!’ in the middle of it, and I have to struggle not to laugh at him. Sometimes, however, he thinks that he has to pray each time I nurse him, and will put his hands together and look expectantly at me when I am going to nurse him. He’s such a funny little boy!

I love this cheerful and playful child so very much, and pray that he’ll always be happy and good-natured. Hopefully, this tantrum-throwing phase will pass quickly!

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