State of the Bug: March 2011

I have NO IDEA how often I’ll be posting once my job starts on Monday. I have no idea how we will manage much of anything, to be honest. So I figured I should probably start a monthly State of the Bug for my own sake.

This won’t be a newsletter, like those on many other parent blogs. But I want to make sure we’re paying attention to just how much he’s progressing. It’s easy for me to keep track of everything when I’m with him all day, but that’s about to change. So here’s where we are right now.

Expressive Language

Still no real words. We’ve got an almost-word in “uh-oh.” It’s usually more like “uh” but he seems to get the context. Mostly. He will say it when something falls on the floor, but not in other appropriate situations. We say it a lot when he falls down, he still doesn’t.

In the last month he’s added a couple more almost-words. There’s “gwa” or “qua” which appears to approximate “quack” and which he says when he sees any kind of bird whether or not it’s a duck. It’s not clear yet that this is bird-specific, but I don’t think I’m hearing him say it about dogs or cats.

We also got very close to “choo choo” like I showed in a video a few weeks ago. Sadly, we had it for a day or so and then it was gone. It has showed up again less than a handful of times.

I’ve noticed he doesn’t seem to ever put a consonant on the end of his words. Thus Quack becomes Quah. Wondering if he may need speech pathology eventually. He tends to stick to pretty much the same sounds, though I have heard the occasional F, which I think is new.

The vast majority of his communication, as always, is to whine or cry when he wants something and not stop until he’s received whatever particular thing it is.

Receptive Language

This is one of the hardest things to gauge. Most of our communication is bound up in rituals, so it’s easy to assume he understands more than he does. He seems to understand more words. But he only gets them in their specific contexts.

For example, he responds to the exact phrase “shoes and socks” by going to his room to get some. That’s where they usually are. But if they’re not there, that’s it. The end. Even if his shoes and socks are sitting right in front of him on the coffee table, he won’t get them.

He seems to understand more, but I’m still not certain he really does. I think it has more to do with the situation being rather clearly laid out for him.

He still doesn’t respond to his name or nickname 95% of the time.

Non-Verbal Communication

We’ve seen more improvement here than anywhere else. Not only does he point at actual things he wants to draw your attention to, but he’s started to look at whatever we point to.

He pushes or pulls my legs to send me to certain parts of the house. He pulls on my arm when he wants my attention. He pats my legs to sit on my lap.

He hands me a bowl he wants refilled.

Perhaps the biggest improvement is that he waves. He waves when told to wave. (Totally shocking!) He also waves when he isn’t told to wave, but when he sees someone putting on their coat. Huge deal. Really pleased.


The Bug LOVES it when you imitate him, usually with facial expressions. There’s the famous nose scrunch. He sticks out his tongue. He makes funny faces. He covers his ears with his hands. You are expected to do the same.

What’s great about this is that now he’ll let someone else start the game and then imitate them. It’s always been hard to get him to imitate anything, so this is a big step.

Social Interactions

In the last couple months, the Bug has made leaps and bounds forward with other kids. He no longer cries if they get in his personal space. Instead he watches them curiously, if suspiciously.

Like most kids, he gets upset if someone else takes his toy. Usually this only happens where there are lots of other alternatives and it’s been pretty easy to redirect him.

He had his first Early Intervention playgroup this week and he had no problems with the other kids. It was amazing. Of course, he stuck to himself for the most part, but he still didn’t get upset they were there.

He is comfortable with adults he knows and warms up quickly to new ones.

Motor Skills

Stairs remain a challenge. He will only crawl up them. He won’t try to go down except for rare occasions when I take both his hands to help him down a single step. Today he walked down about 10 stairs at the library with me holding both his hands, a massive breakthrough.

His fine motor skills are frustrating to him, as usual. There is so much he wants to do just so but can’t. I’m trying to keep him exposed to bigger, bulkier toys so he has less difficulty but toys aren’t really in the budget right now.


Still picky. But I’m glad the nanny’s coming on regularly because he seems to be more willing to eat with her. She can nearly always get him to down a peanut butter sandwich, something he never does anymore with me.

He has new addictions to dry cereal (almost any kind) and goldfish crackers. He’s a fan of the yogurt in a tube. He is eating his veggie & fruit pouches like a madman and usually doesn’t make a mess.

He’s almost completely abandoned raisins in the last two weeks. Weird.

Overall Manner

The last week seems to be worse than usual. Not really sure why. His morning mellowness appears to be disappearing earlier, if it even shows up. Hoping warmer weather helps.

The TV

This deserves its own category, I think. The TV is something I plan to write a post or two about on its own. It is one of the Bug’s major calm-down tools. He relies on it heavily at home but doesn’t mind when it’s missing anywhere else. This is one of the things I’d like to wean him from, especially since he often doesn’t even watch, but just checks in on it from time to time.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the Bug remains adorable. These are pictures from our trip to the Museum of Science today (taken on Laura’s phone–Thanks, Laura!!) where he thoroughly enjoyed everything, but nothing quite so much as this little sensory area with a river of water.

We will have to go back… although we may never be able to get him to leave again. You know the kids in From the Mixed Up Files… who move into the Met? Bug would like to move in here.


  1. Laura says

    Hi Jess!

    What a great post! I’m definitely inspired to create a little site for news about our little one too, to share with grandparents and perhaps a handful of other folks 🙂 Your site is awesome, and sooo well-written. Love it. I too have noticed, in my limited interactions, great progress in monsieur Bug, and I can only imagine how fun it will be to watch him grow. I’m also going to bring my better camera with my fastest lens the next time we get together so I can attempt to capture more of his cuteness. As if that’s possible 😉

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