As we near a year and a half, Remy continues his evolution from infant to big boy. As is said by anyone who knows anything about babies and children, every child has their own schedule and order of preference when it comes to skill development. Sure, there are typical patterns of maturation that are common across human infants, but each child focuses on different domains in a way that gives you a preview into their adult personalities.
If I could pick two words to describe Remy’s patterns it would be impetus and contemplation. When reviewing his skill development prioritization, these seem to be the driving themes. Best I can tell. It will be fun to look back at this post a few years down the road and see how these themes have played out.
Impetus is a moving force. I think I remember spying a glint in little infant R’s eye when he realized that the ability to put weight on his feet while being held up by his hands was a step closer to walking and running. Physical skill development, especially of the gross motor variety, has always been super high priority. Crawling was ‘sloppy seconds’ to the real deal of walking and running, and his efforts reflected this.
Although he’s been walking for about 7 months already, he’s still all about figuring out more ways to move. Speed and agility are his things, so as soon as he feels comfortable with a particular move, he works on executing it with more and more speed and not with a lot of patience. These days, he climbs all over and into everything. Once it stops raining, snowing and being generally stupid cold around here, Daddy Gary is taking the little guy outside for some skateboard lessons on the off-road board he got from Santa.
Contemplation is the act of considering with attention. Obviously, I can’t get inside the little guy’s head, but he’s been giving the impression that he’s frequently puzzling over problems from very early on. Grandma Crumpler has described him as thoughtful, so it’s not just my clearly biased observation. Books have been a big draw since early on and he seems to consider things before he tries them the first time. Even physical skills, although once he thinks he’s got it figured out the thoughtfulness goes out the window.
Contemplation has been a big influence on language skills. He’s a little slow on the uptake with his spoken vocabulary, but that’s not for lack of understanding nearly everything we say. It’s as if he just didn’t care to try speaking words before he understood more. He managed to communicate with a variety of sounds and gestures (including several self-developed baby signs), so he just focused his energy on making as many connections as possible between spoken words and objects. There’s lots of pointing and the expectation that Gary and/or I say the name of what he’s pointing at. If we aren’t paying close attention and say the wrong word, he’ll keep pointing at the same object until we get it right. When we find a picture of say, a turtle, in a book, it’s imperative that he point out the turtles painted on the wall and any other turtles that can be found in the vicinity. With much enthusiasm.
Just lately, though, he’s been making efforts to actually say words in addition to his standard repertoire of yeah, uh-oh, wow, mama and dada. Cat is kah, dog is doh, etc. There’s also a lot of elaborate baby talk that seems to be intended as actual words that we can’t yet understand. I figure that now that he’s on task, the talking thing will fall into place fairly quickly. He’s also learning colors and will go to great lengths to find a blue object to match another blue object at hand. This, I understand, is why one of his stackable cups migrated from upstairs in his bedroom to the downstairs bathroom.
So, yeah, our little guy is perfectly normal and on track with his development, which is fine and dandy. The part I most love is the display of individual characteristics that make him Remy Z. Crumpler, thoughtful and active little guy that he is.