Calvin hit the 15-month mark on the 2nd of April, and there have been lots of little developments over the past few weeks.

He’s got four molars coming in at once – one in each quadrant (poor little dude!). He’s eating all kinds of foods, and even likes mildly spicy stuff like chili and chicken curry.

He’s still not saying many words but is finding other ways to communicate. He shakes his head “no” a lot, which is infinitely preferable to speaking that particular word, as far as I’m concerned! He uses it to say no to us, e.g. “no, I don’t want another bite of yogurt.” He also uses it when we’re telling him not to do something (like pull mom’s hair, or climb into the warming drawer to get to the knobs on the oven). He keeps trying, but around the second or third time we stop him he’ll start to do the forbidden act again, stop, and then shake his head “no,” like, “I’m not supposed to do this, am I?” It’s pretty cute. Of course, sometimes he goes ahead and does it anyway, but at least he’s getting the concept.

He’s becoming more social and affectionate – when he plays with other kids now, he frequently gives them hugs. At the park one day he and one of his girlfriends were trying to give each other kissed through the bars – they never managed to connect, largely because Calvin thought it was so funny every time she poked her face through the bars.

Pretty often now he makes the “mwah” sound when he gives me a kiss (actually, it’s more of a “muh” sound), which cracks me up. So cute!

He’s still climbing on everything he can reach, and he loves to follow bigger kids around and do what they do. I’ve been learning a lot by watching Eric’s approach to this.  I tend to assume that Calvin needs help and will hold his hand to walk him through stuff. Eric is more inclined to let him try new things on his own but be ready to catch him if needed. As a result, Calvin’s doing a bunch of stuff that I wouldn’t have thought he’d be ready for. I love watching him develop so much independence! At the park near our house, he climbs up to the top level of the jungle gym and goes down the big slide all by himself.

What’s really interesting to me is that he doesn’t seem like a daredevil. I’ve seen plenty of kids who just fling themselves around without a thought and assume that everything will be fine. Maybe I’m reading too much into his behavior, but Calvin appears to take calculated risks. At the top of the slide he’ll usually stop and evaulate the situation – sometimes he sits down and hangs out there for a minute or two before he decides he’s ready and goes down. He’s not fussy or scared, he just likes to go at his own pace. He’s pretty smart about it, too. If there are big kids running around he’ll back away from the slide until they clear out.

He has three different methods for going down stairs, and he’ll size up the staircase and decide which is best. If the stairs are fairly shallow, he’ll walk down them without holding on to anything (although if there’s a railing there, he usually uses it). If they’re a little steeper, he sits down and scoots down them on his butt. If they’re really steep, he turns around and goes down backwards. At first it stressed me out to watch him walking down stairs without holding on to anything, but his motor skills are really good and he has good balance and I’ve learned to trust him. 

His attention span has really grown in the past couple of months. He can focus on things for longer periods of time. We have to be more careful about TV now, because it’s not just background noise anymore – he sits and watches for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. He watches Sesame Street, and some SpongeBob. He also likes sports, Mythbusters and Jeopardy. That’s my boy!

One of the areas that I’ve struggled with a bit is reading books. When he was a baby I’d read to him every morning and night, and sometimes in between. But ever since he got mobile he’s been unwilling to sit through a book. I want him to enjoy reading so it’s hard for me to let that go, but for the same reason, I don’t want to force him – I don’t want him to develop a negative association. We keep plenty of board books around for him to play with. When I see him playing with a book I’ll sit down with him and just read whatever page he opens to, and not try to force him to go through from beginning to end. I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to do that. Mom has a tiny little control issue in this particular area! But the good news is, as his attention span develops he’s starting to let me read to him a bit more, and will occasionally sit through a whole book or two. Hurray!

He still loves to be outside – backyard, beach, park, you name it.

Hmmm…which of these poppies should I destroy first?

He still loves animals, and is getting a tiny bit better about petting them gently instead of grabbing them with both fists. My mom’s cats are generally very patient with him, but they have their limits.

He was cracking up the other day using a cat toy (feathers on a string) to play with the kitties – we only caught a tiny bit on video, but you get the idea:

And here’s one more silly video just for fun:

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