For me at least, it is time to put the storm behind me and move on. While many are still reeling from the aftermath, I must digress from disaster talk because quite frankly, I would simply be complaining about all those who are complaining about their insignificant loss of power when there are those who have no homes at all. (In essence I would be complaining about myself a little bit. Mind you, a little bit). In any case, there have been many new developments with my son that I am thoroughly amazed and excited about. With this being my first child, every new advancement excites me and drives me to record it and share it with others. To re-iterate a point I have made a few times in the past, the whole purpose of my writing about my son is to share his development with others. It amazes me only in that I have no basis for comparison. I am not around enough other children his age to say that he is better or worse than any other child (I would never say that anyway). He is his own unique individual, as he is showing us more and more every day, and the only thing I wish to do is to share that with others. In any case, I don't know why I seem to be digressing down so many different paths in my attempt to start writing about my son, but it is what it is. Now I begin. It seems the past few weeks have brought with them a slew of increased neural connections within my son's brain. I would like to think it all started with him walking on his own despite my innate sense that his walking had nothing to do with the connections he is drawing now. Perhaps the biggest difference my wife and I have noticed over the past week or so is his ability to draw connections between words and objects. We can now ask him if he wants a banana and he will look at, and reach for, the bananas hanging in a basket over our kitchen counter. Similarly, if we are playing in his room and we want to go downstairs, we can now ask him if he wants to go downstairs and he will go to his bedroom door and try to open it. We can even ask him if he wants to go outside and he will go to our back door and start banging on it. Its amazing to watch him start to figure things out, put the theoretical 2 + 2 together, and learn more about his surroundings. Yet that is only the tip of the iceberg compared to what he has figured out over the past few days.
On Halloween we went over a family friend's house for dinner as we do every year. We arrived a little early so that we could spend time with them as we knew we would probably have to leave early to get our son to bed. When we arrived, it was time for him to eat his dinner. We used the available high chair, gave him some fruit and vegetables which he was slow to eat because of all the distractions, and quickly decided that he was done eating as he lost interest. We took him out and he was off, walking around and around and around. He was quite talkative, played with our friend's cat, and took part of a box with him that he could carry around their house. After a little while, he went over to the high chair and tried climbing in. At first we were unsure of what he was doing as he had never done that before. We guided him away towards the family room where people were gathered but as soon as we got there, he turned around and made his way back to the high chair and tried climbing in again. It didn't take long for the neurons to fire in our brains and realize that he was still hungry and wanted to get back in the chair so he could get more food. And boy was he hungry. The twenty minutes or so of running around obviously created more room in his stomach for food and he went where he knew he would get some. And guess what, the next day he started going to his own high chair in our house when he was hungry. I guess the association between the high chair and food finally clicked and now we don't have to wonder if he is hungry or not, he will simply go to his high chair when he wants food. As we believe that it is better to have multiple small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones, we will probably give in to his need to eat when he wants to. To me it is amazing to see our son start making all these connections and start to truly become his own individual. Granted he still has many years of learning and growing to do, but these early times are packed full of what we would consider to be simple associations but in his mind are incredible achievements. To think that he is putting all this together because some neurons in his brain are finally connecting is amazing. The human mind is truly a unique tool that takes years and years to develop, is quite capable of solving humanities woes, and yet it all starts with small "baby steps" in terms of brain connections.
Perhaps the biggest step for him and what will turn out to be a great struggle for us, is his understanding of the word "no" and his complete hatred of the word. Yesterday was the first time when he actually showed an understanding of the word no, which my wife was actually saying as "no no". While I have not had first hand experience with his reaction, she has. According to her, his reaction is truly adorable right now although I am sure it will get frustrating in the future. Whenever he goes up to an object he is not supposed to touch or when he wants to get into a room he is not supposed to, my wife will say "no no". He stops, turns, and responds with a "do do". His response elicits another "no no" from my wife which does not make him happy. Again he will say "do do", the second time being more forceful than the first with a serious look on his face. The third time he hears "no no", his face scrunches up and he starts to whimper and cry until she distracts him. I can see we will have a strong willed young boy to contend with as he grows older which should make it all the more interesting for us. We shall see where this all takes us. Yet despite his hatred, or at least distaste of the word "no", he is an amazing little boy. One last thing that I must mention before I finish up for today is his zeroing in on certain toys and objects over others. He doesn't have too many toys compared to other children his age. Of the toys he does have, he has taken to certain ones over others. From what we have read, children usually don't start focusing like that until about 18 months old. I am not saying he is advanced for his age because I truly don't know and don't want to make comparisons, but it is really cool to watch. One of his favorite toys that he loves to spend most of his time with is his puzzle. It is a very simply one with six, solid color pieces that correspond to a thin plastic rectangle that they fit into. He will put pieces in, take them out and carry them across the room only to come back and put the pieces back into the puzzle. While he has not figured out exactly where they go according to the colors, he does know that they go within the rectangle and he just recently figured out that the raised numbers on the puzzle pieces must be facing up. If any face down when he puts them in, he will correct them. I just love watching him grow. Now is truly an exciting time in his life, I am sure both for him and for us. While his first year was cute and filled with growth, this second year of his life is shaping up to be jam packed full of development. I can't wait to see what he figures out next and where that will take him. Seeing a baby grow and learn is almost like watching a blank slate get filled with information. In any case, I ramble when I need to be getting ready for my day. Till next week, stay safe and be well.