Archives for posts with tag: Sign language

I need to document these times in Worm’s life now, so that (in a few years) when my memory fades, I can look back at my blog and refresh the brain cells on the things he was doing at each year of his growth.  I can entertain him years from now with the truth commingled with a little bit of fiction while he’s wiping drool off my face and changing my diapers at the ‘home’.

The first year of development has a list of milestones that should be achieved.  Of course, each chart varies on what milestones should be completed at each age category.  But, I choose the chart that stresses me out the most and makes me worry that the Worm is below average.

Please take into account that we asked the stork to deliver us an athlete that would support us financially into our golden years.  We also made it clear that we would give up brains for athletic prowess, since career-wise, it pays more.

Here goes:

Milestones completed up to 1-year-old  —

  • Drinks from sippy cup
  • Feeds himself
  • Poops himself  (I wish he would start changing his own diapers…)
  • Recognizes and responds to his names (Love, Lovie, Worm, Wormie, Dude, Babe, Bug, Bubba, Honey Bun, and occasionally Gavin)
  • Uses utensils to eat (Uses fork, spoon, and the ever handy spork.)
  • Uses short straws to drink (and to make music)
  • Claps hands (He’s ready for the circus.)
  • Crawls insanely fast (Christmas day was the first day he crawled.)
  • Stands up from sitting position without holding on to anything
  • Climbs (He can climb onto the coffee table, couch, and roof.  Ok, I help him climb onto the roof.)
  • Supports body weight on two hands (Remember doing ‘wheelbarrow’ with your friends as a kid?  Worm does this all the time!)
  • Visually tracks objects moving at moderate speeds
  • Searches for things where they were last seen (Some object permanence as well.)
  • Recognizes household objects by name (He can point out about 15 or so things in the house when I say the word.)
  • Recognizes body parts by name (Ocular Orbit, Nasal cartilage, Auricle, Oral cavity…you know.  Easy stuff.)
  • Mimics actions of mom and dad (such as lifting weights, clapping, pointing, some sign language)
  • Performs sign language (about 10 or so signs.  Thanks Alex and Leah!)
  • Turns book pages (80% of the time he reads books from left to right.)
  • Fears some strangers (the stranger, the more fearful)
  • Can pincher grasp a straw from one end and locate the other end into correct opening (wickedly good hand-eye coordination with either hand. Hallelujah!)
  • Places objects into container (We’ve got to nurture this milestone…)
  • Can locate source of sounds and find us when we call him from another room (He’s almost as good as the dogs at this!)
  • Stretches arms and legs out to get dressed (Keeps me from having to use the tazer during changing time.)
  • Gets frustrated when he can’t: do something, get something, or lift something.  (That’s a milestone?)
  • Plays ‘Give’ and ‘Take’ with objects
  • Mimics talking on the cell phone (I wonder where he picked that skill up from??)
  • Bobs up and down to music (He’s got that rhythm!)
  • Opens and closes cabinet doors (and conveniently tosses stuff out of them)
  • Flips off lights (has a hard time flipping the switch on, though)
  • Pokes everything with his index finger (sometimes even his nose)

Milestones NOT completed at 1-year-old —

  • Doesn’t say any real words (like angioplasty, perpendicular, ostensibly…)
  • Doesn’t shake head no (but then we really don’t say no to him a lot.  We try to redirect his attention to something more parent-happy.)
  • Doesn’t roll a ball back to me (It’s hard to play together when one of us doesn’t comply…and I’m not naming names.)
  • Doesn’t wave hi or bye (but he gives a good ‘Where the hell are you going?’ look)
  • Doesn’t imitate words we say to him (He only babbles in his own language that only the dogs understand.)
  • Doesn’t play pat-a-cake (Isn’t that a girl’s game anyhow?)

Worm, you’re doing great!  Your mother and I are very proud of you!

I think I’m somewhere under the bell curve of fatherhood, don’t you think?  And as an extra little pat on my own back, I’ll just sneak in a point for me!

Gavin – 11; Daddy – 6

Gimme a Hi Five Dad!

When people describe other people’s inadequacies, they may say to you…”So and so has a great personality!”  which translates into “So and so is ugly as sin.”  Or…”So and so is an incredible athlete”  which means “So and so can’t think his way out of a paper bag.”  Well, we think Gavin may be the athletic type.  (Which is disappointing for now, unless we can later exploit his athletic prowess for millions of dollars.)

Pediatricians have developed a way to measure mental growth in children.  There are milestones for you (and them) to observe and chart your child’s progress.  It is based upon the average age at which babies learn to do things such as giggle, wave, make eye contact, turn when called, etc.  This milestone checklist is partly so doctors can catch abnormalities early in baby brain development.  More importantly though, milestones are used for parents to quietly rank their own child against their friends’ kids.

In the beginning, Gavin was smarter than average.  Smiling, laughing, rolling over, fetching  (or was that Duncan?).  Gavin was passing the milestones early by weeks, if not an entire month.  We would visit with the pediatrician and made sure she knew how advanced our prodigy was.  She would check off the milestone boxes on the Worm’s medical chart and we would make sure she documented the additional parlor tricks of our young Einstein.  Oh, how we enjoyed weekends at the park, jeering and throwing yogurt drops at all of the ‘normal’ kids falling off swings and tripping over themselves in the grass.  Our child was so much smarter than THAT!

Durp.

Well that’s changed, and not for the better.  Gavin’s almost 10 months old and has missed a few milestones already.  He doesn’t mimic any sounds we make (except for burping and farting).  He doesn’t say mama or dada.  He uses his forehead as an extra limb.  There’s no baby sign language coming off his hands even though I’ve been teaching him how to sign “eat” for 6 months now.  (At least, I’m learning sign language…)

Let’s just say that if licking the sliding glass door, dragging your face over the carpet, and chewing power cords comprised the milestone checklist, the Worm is in the 99th percentile.  But alas, he is doomed to be either an athlete, or worse, a reality TV actor.

 

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