Today Malakai is 15 months old. He had his check up this morning and got 3 shots. He was not happy about that until he saw the cool bandaids on his legs. Then he stopped crying and became more interested in removing the bandaids. But then I made him mad by putting his pants back on and covering the bandaids.
Before I get too far into this post here are his stats:
Weight - 21 pounds (29th percentile)
Height - 30.12 inches (14th percentile)
Head circumference - 18.7 inches (70th percentile)
I discussed many things with the pediatrician. Once again he is behind on his communication and personal social skills. His problem solving skills fell in the gray area meaning it's something to watch but not as concerning as the communication and personal social skills which he barely scored anything on. His gross motor and fine motor on the other hand scored very high and he is doing quite well in those areas. At his 9 month check up we left that visit with a referral to ECI because he was lagging behind in communication, personal social skills, and problem solving skills. So I feel like we're having a repeat. The pediatrician isn't going to refer him to ECI at this time. However, she said that at any point between now and his 18 month check up if I have any concerns I can call ECI and refer him myself. If, he is still scoring really low in communication, personal social, and problem solving at his 18 month check up then we'll need to have him evaluated with ECI.
Malakai is currently not saying any words. He does experiment with sounds and sometimes it sounds like he says words but he doesn't use words (or sounds) consistently and in the same manner. He'll often use the same sound/word to indicate he wants several different things. He also does not say mama or dada on a regular basis. He's started saying mamama when he's upset but that's about it.
We're also dealing with a lot of tantrums and hitting from him. The pediatrician gave me a good idea on how to deal with the hitting. She suggested that if he hits (or starts to) to gently say "no hitting" and then have everyone leave the room for 30 seconds. If he does hit one of his sisters and they start crying she suggested to pick up whoever he hit, comfort them, and walk out of the room. This way he's not getting any attention (good or bad) when he hits. He's hitting partly due to frustration and sometimes just to get attention. So I plan to talk with Sanaa and Layla and we'll probably start trying this.
The tantrums are much harder to deal with and a lot more exhausting. I have video of him just laying on the floor screaming and crying. I think his longest tantrum so far has lasted about 15 minutes (even though it felt like an hour). How such a little child can cry and scream for that long is beyond me. Usually I ignore him and step around him, but most days from the time he gets up from his afternoon nap until dinner he is fussy, clingy, and throwing a fit over something. The afternoons are very long and making dinner with a screaming toddler under your feet is frustrating and exhausting.
Malakai's gross motor skills are great. He is climbing on everything. I find him on top of something new nearly each day. He finally managed to climb up on the counter after using a stool to get up on a table and then climbing up on the counter.
He really enjoys putting items into containers or tubes. So one afternoon I was able to keep him occupied with fuzzy balls and an empty paper towel roll.
The girls have a peg train counting game and one morning Malakai sat for a good 20 minutes putting pegs into the holes on the train cars and removing them. It was the longest period I have ever seen him sit still. And yes, I did tip toe around because I did not want to disturb him!
Most of the time Malakai is just getting into mischief or "helping" me get chores done. I know that clean laundry has been sitting in a basket too long once Malakai begins tossing each item out of the basket. That is usually my cue I need to start folding it.
He loves to empty the cabinets and bang on the pots and pans.
When I found out that Malakai was only 21 pounds I was really surprised. At his 12 month check up he was 19 pounds so he only gained 2 pounds over the last 3 months. I am constantly feeding him. If the pantry is open, he'll pull out crackers or other snacks to carry over to me. I guess he's burning off everything he eats.
Last week Malakai discovered how much fun it was to pull the petals off the roses and throw them on the ground.
On Monday we had some rain. Sanaa and Layla were so excited about the rain they immediately put on their rain boots and grabbed their rain jackets. Malakai was not about to be left out, so he got to play in the rain for the first time. It was fun watching him. He stood in the drive way and just looked up into the rain as it fell on him.
He then walked down to the end of the driveway and thought the water flowing down the gutter was pretty cool. It was even more fun to drink the gutter water! After taking the picture, I tried to stop him from drinking the gutter water but he wouldn't. So we ended up going back inside and he was so mad at me!
Today Malakai discovered how much fun it is to remove books from the book shelf. He would take books off, look at them briefly, and then toss them aside. Sanaa walked into the room and saw what Malakai had done and exclaimed, "Oh my word! What a mess!" But then she discovered some books she had forgotten about and sat down to look at them.
And finally, Malakai enjoys cleaning. He likes to use the broom and he likes to wipe up messes, which is good. He spent a few minutes emptying the last bits of water from a sippy cup onto our coffee table, but then he was nice enough to wipe up all the water.
So Malakai definitely keeps me busy. Most days I'm completely burned out by the end of the day. But once I go back and look at the pictures I've taken I just smile. The kids can be a handful and I could have had the most frustrating day with them, but looking at the pictures I'm reminded about how much they are discovering about their world and how much fun they are having.