toddler kick-off

Today we had Cate’s 12-month well-baby checkup. Her stats are as follows:
Height: 30 and 1/2 inches; 90th percentile
Weight: 24 pounds, 5 ounces; 95th percentile
Head circumference: still off the charts huge (hey, at least she’s consistent).

It was a good appointment, I got to ask the pediatrician lots of questions, and she had plenty of time to talk to us because there was a mini-snowstorm last night so a lot of her patients didn’t show up today. Nice.

As for my girl’s milestones this month:
* Humor! She knows that if she puts a (clean, dry) diaper on her head, it makes Dave and me laugh. And she’s getting more and more into peekaboo, it makes her giggle a lot. When you consider what a peekaboo slacker I am, it’s pretty remarkable that she’s picked up the game at all.

* She’s standing on her own for longer and longer periods of time. And it’s so funny when she does it, she gets this big grin on her face like she’s so pleased with herself. No walking yet, but I think that’s because she can crawl/cruise/climb to pretty much wherever she wants to go. Which reminds me…

* Girlfriend has got a serious stubborn streak. If you try to get her to do anything and it isn’t her idea, she gets really, really mad. Which is why we’ve all but given up on trying to get her to walk holding onto our hands. She’ll do it for maybe one or two steps, then she turns her legs to spaghetti and screams. Same thing goes for trying new foods. A few times, I have literally held her head still with one hand and shoved a spoon in her mouth with the other so she could get a taste of the food I’m offering and realize that hey! That actually tastes pretty good! Once I can get the first bite in her mouth, she’ll open up for all subsequent bites. But that first one is like some bizarre version of whack-a-mole, only you’re trying to get a spoon in the mouth of a baby who’s thrashing her head back and forth to try to avoid said spoon. I guess she’s gotta keep us on our toes, right?

* And oh, the food issues. Dave has some problems with food textures, and Cate seems to have inherited the same trait. She likes crunchy things, and she’s ok with pureed things, but nothing that’s squishy or gooey. I can break them into bite-size pieces and put them in her mouth, but she won’t touch them. This applies to cheese, bananas, pasta, and any number of other yummy foods. Even cupcakes!

scowling at her birthday cupcake
(Check out that scowl, she is so her father’s daughter.)

She got her first chance at a cupcake this past weekend. She poked at the frosting, realized it was gooey, and started to cry. Eventually, I managed to break off a tiny piece of a cupcake and put it in her mouth, and she decided that was ok. But she still wouldn’t touch it when I offered it to her.

* Today (at one year & one day old!), we got our First Official Word. She said, “Kitty!” She said it twice, and both times it was directed at the cats. Sure, it sounded more like “gitty,” but I think it’s close enough. Yay, language!

That’s actually one of the things we talked to the doctor about today, because (except for “gitty”) Cate hasn’t really shown any interest in either talking or signing. I try to be the laid-back type of parent who says oh whatever, she’ll hit those milestones when she’s good and ready. But the part that concerns me is that she doesn’t respond to us that much either. If we call her name, sometimes she’ll look up, and sometimes she won’t. It could be because she’s really intently concentrating on something else (we do have a family history of ADD, after all). But I wonder if there’s more to it than that.

Our pediatrician said that it’s certainly a possibility. Cate’s already had three ear infections, so it seems like she could be on her way to having a lot problems with fluid build-up in her ears. So in a few weeks, we’re going to take her to a pediatric audiologist to have her hearing checked. I think the pediatrician suggested it more to reassure me than anything else. But both my brother and I needed ear tubes when we were little, and it certainly isn’t the end of the world if Cate needs them too.

And besides, even without verbal communication, she usually manages to get her point across just fine.

happy dance
And she can at least hear music well enough to dance to it, so things can’t possibly be that dire.

7 thoughts on “toddler kick-off

  1. Kitty!!! and I like her joke! She might not be interested in talking yet because she just doesn’t have much to say. SNG’s sister Diana didn’t start to talk until SNG started to talk– when Diana was over 2 years old! By then she could say everything, but she just never had any reason to say anything until the little brother started to show her up.

    The food thing– I’ve read that some new foods have to be presented 10-12 times before toddlers will eat them, so you might not need to force the issue at all. If you keep putting the new food on her plate and let her decide when to try it, eventually she’ll give it a try. Or not. She might never like squishy foods. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll be curious to hear (no pun intended) how the audiologist visit goes.

  2. That’s funny, I think our cousin Kevin was the same way. Once Renee showed up, he started talking. Or maybe I’m confused – I know for a while there, he was really shy so she spoke for him.

    One of my friends from Memphis had a little boy who didn’t talk until he was almost 3. One day they were driving and he said, “Look, Mommy, a pumpkin!” Those were his first words. (And yes, there really was a pumpkin that he saw. It was October.) It’s not so much the talking, it’s more that she doesn’t necessarily react to us when we call her name.

    I’m obliging her with feeding the squishy foods to her for now, since she really does like them. I also put some of it on her high chair tray, and I figure at some point she’ll make the connection and decide to feed it to herself.

  3. Uh oh! Be careful with the forced tastes of foods. I remember that until I was about 5 or so, I used to eat eggs prepared all sorts of ways. But I just quit eating them and I didn’t know why. After I grew up and learned to tolerate [some] styles of eggs, my mother confessed to me that sometime around that young age, she attempted to force me to eat some. She said I stopped completely at that point.

    But I guess that advice might really only be worth considering if you were raising a baby me, which is obviously not the case.

  4. Lots of stuff to keep in mind for my Catie. I am sure you are excited that Cate gets to sit facing forward in the car seat now, or at least she is probably pretty excited about it.
    Catie here seems to prefer to try stuff herself rather than have us give it to her. Some way of asserting her independence.
    Funny us, we decided at about week 2 to let her “be the boss.” By that I mean, we take her lead with a lot of things in her life. We don’t have scheduled nap times, just when she seems tired. We do, however, look for the signs (on Catie its rubbing her eys and getting a little grumpy) and get her settled into a nap.
    All that aside, you’re right, Cate might have some ear blockage that prevents her from hearing you so she doesn’t respond quickly. It could also be that she is testing you. In any case, good luck with the audiologist. We wish you the best!

  5. First off, Happy (belated) Birthday, Miss Cate!

    I totally understand your concern about her hearing, but I’m sure it’ll work out fine. In our family, both me and my sister said a word or two until about 14 months, and then *blammo* we became chatterboxes. My mom also said I used to be very intent on looking at my books at that point, wasn’t talking, and ignored folks. Once I started talking, I wouldn’t shut up and was a super-early reader. So maybe that’s what Missy Catie is storing up to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The main reason for the trip to the audiologist is that kids who have more than five ear infections before they turn 2 years old are considered high-risk for chronic ear fluid problems. Since Cate has already had 3 ear infections before age 1, it seems like she’s well on her way.

    Carl: if she doesn’t want the food after I get the first spoonful in her mouth, I drop it and move on to something else. I just want her to taste it before she completely rejects it, y’know?

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