18 Month Update

I don’t really know how we got here.  I feel like just yesterday we were celebrating his first birthday.  I think every age gets more exciting for me because he is able to understand and experience so much more.  Although, now he refuses to stop and smile for the camera so goodbye cute pictures.

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Because Dean has Cerebral Palsy it is much harder for him to do certain things that come so easy to others his age.  I have already started to see improvements in his walking and he is trying to run.  He absolutely loves his cousin Brooklyn and tries to chase her around.  While he is getting better he still falls a lot while trying.  Dancing and jumping were things I wasn’t sure if and when he would grasp, they take so much muscle control.  He has started trying to do both.  If you didn’t know him well I don’t think you could even tell her was attempting these things.  I will put a video of him “dancing” on Instagram.  He kind of just shakes his body for a brief second but he loves music and will dance every time it comes on.  We took another trip to a farm last week and he absolutely loved the jump pad. He stayed sitting most of the time and just let me bounce him but he attempted to stand up and try it himself.  I’m pretty sure we’re not going to know what to do with ourselves when fall ends.  Below is a picture of Dean and his best buddies; Enzo is on the left and he was born in March, Mason is on the right and he was born in February.  So Dean is right in the middle born in April and it has been so fun having boys the same age.

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He has been so loving lately.  He loves to “kiss” which is mostly just leaning his head on yours but randomly he will come at you, mouth open, tongue and all.  He also loves to hug and even pats you on the back while doing it.  At story time he is a social butterfly and hugs everyone, even tries to pat other kids on the head which can be a bit awkward.

His speech is getting better.  He says a few words including mama, dada, more, and owl.  The speech part of his brain was not damaged from the stroke but the part of the brain that takes in information was.  He goes to speech once a week and I think this is helping.  He babbles a lot, often in full sentences.  When he’s mad he yells at you in gibberish, it’s hard not to laugh.  He can comprehend a lot of things and knows where his toes/feet are as well as his nose, we are working on head now.

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Sleep has always been pretty consistent with this kid.  I am so thankful for this!  He goes to bed at 8 and wakes up between 7:30 and 8 every morning.  He takes one nap around 11 that lasts for around 2 hours.  But he only sleeps in a dark quiet room with a crib, no car or stroller naps for him.  Eating is a different story and he is very challenging.  I feel like I’ve hit the lottery when he sits down and eats a big meal.

I still feel like he is not drinking enough.  We switched his cups to ones that are for older kids so he can get more with each drink.  He still doesn’t do cups that you have to tip your head back for.  The coordination just isn’t there.  We also have to find cups that he can hold one handed, which can be challenging.  I tried giving him chocolate coconut milk but he wasn’t really a fan.  He just kept staring at the cup like “why is it brown?”

The dreaded temper tantrums have begun.  This helped me realize very quickly that I have no idea what I’m doing as a parent.  The littlest thing sets him off like full body thrown on the ground and screaming.  The head banging can’t be good for a child who has already had damage to his brain.  Now that he can walk he doesn’t want to sit in the stroller but if he’s out of the stroller he has to be doing what he wants to do.  This made a very difficult trip to the mall over the weekend.  After acting like a little (you choose the adjective) in the stores, we took him to the play area.  Which didn’t end well when it was time to leave, I’m pretty sure everyone was staring at us.  I keep telling myself tantrums are normal and not due to lack of discipline.  He still doesn’t even understand discipline yet.  I try to just do nothing and let his anger subside but that can be so hard.  Any and all advice on what works for you when it comes to tantrums is welcome in the comment area!

The next challenge will be getting rid of his binky.  He’s always been a binky boy but we went to the dentist and she said it should be gone by age 2.  While in Columbus for CIMT I was giving it to him constantly and when we came home I thought it would be a nightmare to break but it really wasn’t.  The binky’s now only stay in the crib which also hasn’t been that bad.  But he knows at nap and bed time they are there waiting for him.  I have no idea how we will get rid of them completely.

2 thoughts on “18 Month Update

  1. Just be consistent on your corrections and you are right to let his unruliness come to an end. Imagine twins doing the same thing. One day at home I just let the two of them fight it out at about 18 months and things became more calm. and afterward they then behaved. Dean is a very determined soul but boundries must be set and kept. I know he is experiencing two year old syndrome sooner than later but it will get better. I know that you and Ryan love him dearly but part of love is setting boundries. He is trying you at every corner and if you always give in he will push further. He is smart beyond his age and I see a very capable young man. You both know that he is experiencing new things and he is very bold in his approach. Eventually you will find a calm fellow and I see he is willing to learn. Growth will help him. keep up the good work for your valuable young man. He is destined for great things.

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