At Liam's well-child check several weeks ago, we addressed (again) our concerns about Liam's development: that, at nineteen months, he was cruising but not walking, that he wasn't really talking. We also noted that he was a very noisy breather and that he would sometimes wake up at night coughing and gagging. "We've been wondering if it's maybe allergies," I told the doctor. The doc looked at his tonsils and up his nose. There was definitely some congestion and some possible swelling in his nasal passages. Then he checked Liam's ears and found an ear infection. "Has he shown any signs of an ear infection?" the doctor asked. He hadn't: no fever, no ear-pulling, no more crying than usual. "That happens sometimes," he told us. "Sometimes kids have ear infections for weeks or months and no one knows. Or have ear infections that come and go on their own without anyone being aware. Either scenario could be contributing to fluid build-up in the middle ear, which would impact both his hearing and his balance. That would explain his developmental delays." And it turns out that these frequent ear infections might be caused by the chronic congestion....ie, allergies. At last! A possible explanation! A problem with a solution! Hooray!
So the doctor put Liam on an antibiotic for the infection, an over-the-counter allergy medication for the breathing, referred us to an ear-nose-throat specialist, and sent us on our merry way. And you know what? The allergy med seems to be helping....at the very least, it has improved his breathing. This means he's not congested, which we're hoping will decrease ear infections and ear fluid buildup, which would enable him to balance and hear well, and thereby free him to move forward with his development. So the plan we made with our family doc is that that we're going to keep an eye on his development, take him in to have his ears checked once a month for a possible stealth infection, and move forward with his physical therapy. So cross your fingers, yo. We might be on the way to figuring this kiddo's issues out. (The ENT doc was kind of worthless, if you were wondering, but whatevs....we've got Zyrtec.)
And, I don't know if it's related or coincidental, but during the past month Liam decided to start talking a little. He's now using the phrases "Thank you" and "Here you go" like they are going out of style. "Thank you" sounds like"Gankgoo," and "Here you go" is more of a "Keeyoogo," and sometimes they sound like the same phrase, something of a "Geenkyoogo," but it's adorable, dangit, and contextually appropriate, and...frequent. Very, very frequent. In fact, all the day long it's Liam either reaching for, taking, or sharing various objects and saying, "Gankgoo, Keeyoogo, Gankgoo, Keeyoogo." Other kids start with "mama" or "dada"-- but our kid? He heads straight for the etiquette words.
But, development aside, Liam continues to be just plain adorable. That's even the word his Auntie Briar uses. And those who know Briar know that "adorable" isn't a word she throws around like market seafood, so it must be true. He's just ridiculously chubby and sweet ("sweet" is the word that all the smiley grandma ladies in the grocery store use), has a heart-melting smile, and is the squishely misheliest schmuggly muggly buggly little cuddle bug in the whole world. When he laughs, he laughs from his belly, and he'll often fall over in mirth, lying on the floor, flailing around, laughing, laughing, laughing.
Briar tells me she's even seen him laugh in his sleep.
And he loves books. He'll spend an hour or more leafing through pages of books on his own, he'll sit on my lap and use very expressive gibberish to "read" the story out loud to me, and he lights up whenever anyone pulls a book out to read to him.
He also loves songs, particularly "Pat-a-cake" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." He'll do the finger gestures for Itsy Bitsy and, if he thinks no one is looking, will sing the song too (again, in very expressive gibberish).
Liam's favorite bathtime activity is drinking the bathwater. He'll use one of his stacking cups or just drink straight from the tub, but he always finishes each swallow with an appreciative "ehhhhhhhhhh" sound. (Swallow, "ehhhhhhhhhhh," swallow, "ehhhhhhhhhhh," swallow, "ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh.")
He's also starting to get a little spunky. When he doesn't like something, he'll make a horrible screeching sound, arch his back, give the offender a disapproving glower, or otherwise throw a fit. He's also taken to ransacking...crawling quietly off to the bathroom where he'll splash in the toilet or unravel the toilet paper, sneaking into our bedroom to pull all of his clothes out of the dresser drawers, throwing all the shoes out of the shoe basket in the hall closet. And truthfully, it's nice to have him making mischief. It seems right and good.
We sure love our little Yum Yum.