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Tonji-kun continues to exhaust and amaze us. Here are some new developments:

  • Mobility – The older boys (and girls) at Japanese playgroup seem to have inspired him. He can spin around now, and walks with confidence and speed along a narrow bench, humouring his anxious father by letting him hold his hand. Another increase in height has brought the edges of countertops into his range.
  • Speech – not a whole lot new here:
    • Non-no” – Dorami-chan thinks this came from her asking him about riding his rocking horse: “Noru no (Are you going to ride)?” To him it means: “I want to play”, “I want that to play with”, or “Make this thing play”.
    • Baa” – his book of “Inai-inai-baa” (Japanese for Peek-a-boo).
    • Nen-ne” – sleep or bedtime (“Neru” = “to sleep” in Japanese)
    • Ma” – horse (“uma” in Japanese)
    • Shrieking – has diminished considerably in frequency, but not volume!
  • Signs – progress here is limited by his parents’ ignorance:
    • “Apple”, “water”, “milk”, “book”
  • Comprehension – non-random actions are evidence of processing going on in his head:
    • When he comes across the picture of an animal in his book, he will point to his stuffed toy version (if he has one).
    • When asked to turn the lights on or off, he will ask to be picked up, then will flick the lightswitch.
    • When asked to sit in his “high” (actually low) chair to eat, he will clamber in.
    • When we say, “Banzai!” he raises his arms, making it easier to pull off his shirt.
    • When asked to sleep, he will gather the covers around himself and put his head on the pillow.
  • Diet
    • He has quite an appetite — he has his own dinner at 5pm, then joins his parents for some of theirs at 6-7pm. Sounds like somebody …
    • He can use a regular cup or bowl, a skill he demonstrates regularly at bathtime, much to the consternation of his father. Luckily it is usually at the start of his bath, when the bathwater is relatively clean. He punctuates each gulp with a satisfied “Ahhhhh”.
  • Social
    • Bows to say “Konnichiwa (hello)” and “Arigato (thank you)”. A real Japanese!
    • Claps and says “Ahhhh-ah” at eerily appropriate times during hockey games.
    • Affectionate, but his clumsy hugs are more like football tackles.
    • Easily impressed — Says “Oooh” and “Woah” a lot.
    • Has developed a “diabolical mad scientist laugh” – hearty, head thrown back, mouth wide open.
  • Play
    • He loves the outdoors, the wind on his face.
    • Swimming – always comfortable in the water, and able to blow bubbles now.
    • Dancing – will bop along to any kind of music
    • Brave – goes down the playground slide head first.
    • Itai no itai no tondeike“- Dorami-chan has made getting an “owie” into a game where she gathers up the hurt by rubbing the injured area, then throws it into the air, or more recently at me. Great. But this works — soon he is laughing. Tell the pain management folks.
    • Always has eyes for the TV remote control. What a guy.
  • Memory – when watching an NHK video of Japanese children’s songs, he recognized the drawing style of the artist who did the animation, who also illustrated one of his storybooks
  • Sleep – the biggest change — for all of us! He is sleeping on his own in his crib now, and falls asleep without bedtime breastfeeding. He is then generally good until morning, although he half awakes a couple of times a night. Everybody is a bit better rested — all the more energy to expend during the day!
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