This month’s big news is, of course, that I have gone back to work and Adrian is at home with Eric instead. After a rocky start (in part because he was ill the first few days) they settled into a routine and now it’s all going swimmingly. I express milk at work, and he gets it in his sippy cup. (Blue cup for breast milk, yellow cup for water.)
He is happy to see me and wants to nurse first thing when I get home – I usually run upstairs to change out of work clothes and into a nursing top, and then settle down with him in the sofa. He nurses frequently in the evenings but no longer stuffs himself until he throws up.
During the day he usually eats happily and well. Bread and cereal remain his favourites. Broccoli is no longer interesting at all; instead he eats black pudding and apricots and grapes.
Adrian is very very close to crawling but not quite there yet. First he learned to rotate in place and move backwards on his tummy by pushing off with his hands. He still does that at night – I wall him in with pillows and rolled-up blankets to keep him from falling off the bed. When I go to the bedroom I never find him sleeping where I left him. I’ve started teaching him how to get down from the sofa feet first – on his own he heads for the edge head first.
A few weeks ago he learned to keep his knees fixed while pushing, so he got up on all fours instead of moving backwards. Then he learned to get up on all fours by pulling in his knees under him rather than by pushing back with his hands, so he stays in place rather than inexorably moving away from where he wants to go. But he once he was up on all fours he couldn’t move, he just rocked back and forth.
Now he’s learned to reach and lunge forward from there, but as he does that he flops back onto his tummy so he can only do it once. But it is enough to get him marginally closer to the thing he wants. Sometimes, if the thing is close enough, he can do a few lunges and actually get there in the end.
He’s got a love/hate thing with crawling. When I put him down sitting he often turns and gets on his tummy immediately, but a second later he starts complaining loudly because he can’t get further.
Standing is much more fun. Give Adrian two fingers to hold on to, and he will pull himself up to standing straight away. A pair of hands is the best support for getting up, but if that isn’t available, he sometimes manages with a chair or a step stool. That way is harder because he needs to untangle his legs (whereas when he holds on to my fingers he can go straight forward from sitting so the legs aren’t in the way). He can reliably get onto his knees that way, but in the last few days he’s gone all the way to standing a few times.
He is confident and stable enough on his feet that he can let go of his support with one hand (or even two, and just lean his upper arms on the sofa table) and grab a toy. He’s also stable enough that I now leave him standing there without sitting right behind him to catch him. When he tires, he can sit down rather than fall.
Sometimes he slowly shuffles sideways along the edge of the table, with very small and slow steps. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing – he wills himself towards something and his feet naturally but unconsciously move in that direction.
I’ve found him hard to “read” in the past. Now he’s communicating much more clearly. He reaches towards the person he wants to be with; he reaches for the sippy cup when he wants to drink. He lets go of my hands and leans towards me when he’s tired of standing and wants to be picked up. He waves his arms in a certain way when he’s done eating, or start slapping the tray on his highchair. At night he turns on his side, facing towards me, when he wants to nurse.
He uses his crying more to communicate and less to simply express frustration. One day when he was crying I picked him up and walked around with him. I went to the hall, and he stopped crying. I went back into the living room, and he started again. He was very clearly telling me he wanted to go out. He’s done the same with the bedroom to tell me he wants to sleep. If he wants to go from me to Eric he makes happy noises when he sees Eric, and switches to crying when Eric walks past us.
We’ve started using a few signs with him but not as consistently as I’d like. We sign for “all done” (after mealtimes), and I sign “nurse”. Sometimes we remember to sign “food”, too, but often not. He definitely understands “all done” and we think his arm-waving might be efforts to sign back. When we sign “all done” he knows that he will be lifted out of his highchair so he prepares by holding his arms out. He also helps when it’s time to put his fleece jacket on for going out.
He is attentive and observant. He follows us and our doings with a very focused gaze. Especially at mealtimes, when we all sit together, close to each other and at roughly the same height. He stares when Eric opens a can of beer for dinner, or when we make particularly happy noises about eating strawberries.
Random small stuff: we tried bathing him in the kitchen sink instead of the small bathtub, and it was a great success. Previously his baths have lasted a minute or two, just enough to get him sort of clean. Now he was so happy there that afterwards Ingrid insisted on trying, too – if Adrian enjoys it so much then it obviously must be great.
As before: he very much insists on company and won’t be left alone. Sometimes it’s enough to be in the same room with him, but more often he likes to be within a metre or two.