Marcus is the only child in the family, he has been in infant care since he is 3 months old. Marcus joined his current childcare in December 2018. He is in the Play Group class with four other children, 2 girls and 2 boys. Marcus’ mother describes him as an easy-going baby and he is well-liked in infant care and childcare by teachers.
Marcus’ parents are main caregivers and hold full time jobs.
Every morning, either parent will send him to school. Other caregivers for Marcus include his grandparents who usually pick him up from school and from there on, parents will fetch him back home and spend time together before bedtime.
Mother: We(parents) developed a habit of reading to him, we read at least one book everyday.
We sing with him and let him watch cartoons sometimes.
Mother: He will ask for the phone, he can type whatsapp messages and do random calls.
Mother: Since three months old, he has been in infant care and is exposed to different people. He(child) is a friendly, sociable baby and everyone in school would call out his name.He is quite a attention grabbing boy.
He is okay, does not make a fuss when parents(main caregivers) leave.
Mother: Indoor, he will sing to himself (happy birthday, baby shark) and amuse himself.
Mother: He will imitate my dance moves e.g. baby shark dance.
Father: He can complete the song.
Mother: He will run around the garden at grandparents place. To my knowledge, he will jump but doesn’t really lift off the ground.
Father: When he(child) wants something, he will say want this.
Father: Child says Marcus when we ask him his name.
Mother: He is able to speak 2-3 words sentences.
Mother: I think at least 100 words.
Mother: Requested Marcus to share keropok with grandma, Marcus went to take the keropok and gave it to grandma himself.
Mother: Marcus fell down outside bathroom and was crying about it and told everybody he met and said fall down, pain pain.
Father: When we sing songs to him, he will complete the song. Able to remember for some books too, those that he is more familiar with. He is also able to point to nose when we ask where is your nose’ Recently started to say Please’ when he wants something (e.g. Banana), but we have to force it out of him.
Mother: He is able to refer to himself by name when others calls out to him at infant care (e.g. Marcus Marcus) Mother: He likes music a lot, picks up songs quickly and tries to join in also. He amazes us with new words, I think most of the words are learnt in school.
Mother: Yes he does imitate what we say to him. For e.g. Sit down sit down’
Father: He might be colour blind, as his grandfather is colour blind. Sometimes, he is quite accurate when we ask about colours.
Mother: He plays well with other children, he will want to go over and play with them.
Mother: The other day, he hit me when I don’t let him play with my phone. We do tell him not to do it when it happens, it happens less frequently now.
From about 18 months to 36 months, children show growing interest in what other children do and increases understanding of how to deal with them. (Eckerman, Davis & Didow,1989; Eckerman and Stein 1982). When he was three months old, he started spending time with other children, enabling him to be sociable earlier compared to those who spend lesser time with other children.
Research also shown that children who are read to daily like Marcus, has better cognitive and language skills at age 3. The frequency with which books are read to children will influence how well children can speak and how soon they develop literacy (Raikes et al., 2006). At 21 months, Marcus is able to combine two words in telegraphic speech to express himself such as saying want this and is growing his vocabulary of words in school and at home suggesting that he is hitting his language milestones. (Laura E. Berk, 2013)
Marcus has little separate anxiety from caregivers when he goes to school. He takes initiative to play and interact with other children. A typical child at 19 to 24 months old will exhibit more independence whereby they begin to tolerate caregiver’s absence more easily (Laura E. Berk, 2013). Marcus is ahead in this aspect as he entered infant care much earlier compared to others when he was only 3 months old.Marcus portrays defiant behavior by lightly hitting his mother’s face when she did not give him the smartphone he desired. This shows Marcus needs better self-regulation as well as monitoring and guidance from his caregivers as self control should be evident at his age (Laura E. Berk, 2013).
Marcus is able to say pain, pain when he fell down outside the bathroom and was telling his caregivers about the incident by saying pain pain repeatedly. Children at this age are expanding their vocabulary and beginning to use language to assist with their emotional self-regulation. (Laura E. Berk, 2013).
For fine motor skills, Marcus is able to type random messages and make random calls. He also brings keropok to his grandmother. These showcase good palmar grip and pincer grasp. For gross motor development, Marcus is able to walk, run and imitate dance moves to Baby Shark’ song. Marcus is unable to jump as he only bounces and doesn’t lift himself entirely off the ground. He encounters difficulty while making attempts to cross over small obstacles.Toddlers need their freedom to move and experience a variety of ways of using the skills they possess. (Janet Gonzalez-Mena, Dianne Widmeyer Eyer, 2015) Large-muscle activity must be both allowed and encouraged indoors.
A soft environment such as pillows, mattresses, foam blocks and thick rugs indoor and grass, sand, pads, and mats outdoors helps toddlers roll, tumble and bounce around. Various kinds of scaled-down climbing and sliding equipment allow the toddlers to experience a variety of skills (Eyer, 2015).By implementing the above, Marcus can enhance and strengthen his large muscles which will soon allow him to jump and cross over small obstacles with ease.
Marcus possesses great competency in cognitive areas. He is proficient in singing nursery rhymes and songs that were taught to him upon hearing similar tunes. He has a good sense of self as he is aware that his mates are referring to him when they call out Marcus Marcus’. In relation to social-cognitive development, infants and children show that they develop to become co-aware” of the world, including themselves. They develop awareness with others, not independently of others. (Rochat, 2001; in press)
Marcus has good ability in recognizing facial features and points respectively when prompted nose’ by his father and imitates the action of sitting down after hearing sit down’. While suspected to have inherited his grandfather’s color blindness, Marcus is accurate in identifying colors when his father tests him. He amazes his mother by being able to regurgitate new words learnt in school.
Therefore, we deduce that Marcus has achieved his cognitive milestones for 21 months old and is developing well towards his next milestone.
We conclude that Marcus is an easy child as his mood ranges from mild to moderate intensity but usually positive (A.Thomas & Chess 1984). At 21 months old, Marcus is achieving most of his developmental milestones of a typical child at this age and will continue to develop with the support of his caregivers under a warm and nurturing environment.