In just one month Adrian has gone from almost-crawling-but-not-quite-there-yet to very competent, pretty effortless crawling. He’s not quite racing across the floor but he has no trouble going from the hall through the old living room to the new living room. He can even crawl from the wooden deck into the living room, which requires crossing three steps and a threshold. That took some effort to learn; he was practicing hard for several days.
Because of all the thresholds and steps around the house, he’s modified his crawling style. Instead of the usual hands-and-knees, he usually goes around on his hands and feet, or perhaps hands and one foot and the other knee. I think he started doing it this way when he first learned to crawl in & up from the wooden deck. We have sliding doors there, and those slide along a rail on the floor, a sharpish strip of plastic. Going over that on your knees is not comfortable at all, I’m sure.
He has not yet shown any real interest in the stairs going up to the first floor – mostly because he has no reason to. We’re all always down here. Eric installed a gate at the top of the stairs; we’ll see whether we need one at the bottom as well.
He’s also very good at standing. He can pull himself to standing holding on with just one hand, to just about anything, even something as wobbly as my trousers. Occasionally he grabs onto something really unsuitable (such as a blanket lying on the sofa) and falls on his bottom but otherwise he rarely has accidents. Once he is up and standing he can look around, shift his feet, grab stuff, and shuffle along his support (sofa, step stool, myself etc.). This afternoon he actually let go with both hands to hold on to some toy. And he can carefully bend his knees and sit down again in a controlled manner, rather than fall.
And all of a sudden he is OK with being left on his own. He no longer needs to be within a few metres of someone. I wonder if it’s because he now knows that he can follow us when he needs to? Or has he simply understood that we do not disapper when we leave the room (object permanence)? On a few mornings when he’s woken me particularly early I have gone downstairs with him, changed his nappy and then put him down among his toys on the living room carpet, and then dozed on the sofa. He’s crawled around, explored the toys, then crawled into the hall or the adjacent room and looked through the stuff there, and only after 10 minutes or so does he call for my attention.
Adrian has now also reached the stage where every item is interesting and works as a toy – as long as it is new to him. Kitchen utensils, Ingrid’s toys (ranging from princess tiaras to toy stethoscopes), bike helmets, pencils, keys, you name it. This combined with crawling means that we need to be careful about what we leave on the floor or otherwise within his reach. Books in particular are very attractive. He sees me and Ingrid play around with them all the time and he really wants to try them, too. Right now there are still safe places in the living room, and he is not so fast a crawler that we can rescue the things he’s heading for. But I foresee a period of some destruction ahead.
We’ve introduced the concept of No, for pulling at people’s hair or Eric’s glasses, or chewing power cords, or trying to crawl from the bed to the bedside table (with its water glass, clock, lamp and other off-limits items).
He eats happily and a lot. He still likes starchy stuff like bread and pasta and cereal, but also meatballs, broccoli, and butternut squash. Most fruit is good, too: recently he’s eaten a lot of apricots and grapes, and some cherries. He now happily eats banana which he used to spit out in disgust. He’s just getting the pincer grip to work and can pick up sweetcorn kernels. Rice grains are still too fiddly for him.
Adrian watches with great interest when we eat, and seems to be very aware that sometimes we eat different stuff than he. Food from my plate is better than food from his plate.
He is lazy when it comes to fruit peel and often spits out the peel with lots of edible bits still stuck to it. We actually peel his grapes for him, because if we do, he eats them, but otherwise he spits out most of each grape. But this also means that I am not afraid to give him a whole cherry: he will bite on it, spit it out, I pick out the stone, and he puts the rest back in his mouth. Quite a lot of the fruit he eats goes in and out a few times. It took him a few tries to figure out cherries. First I had to cut them in half because he didn’t understand they were worth biting into. Then he learned that they were good, and now he’ll crawl across the lawn to get one.
He has a weird relationship with the sippy cup. When we hand it to him, he never uses it for drinking. He turns it in his hands, bangs it against his tray, or turns it upside down and chews on its bottom. Which leads to water everywhere and a gooey mess on the tray, so we usually don’t give him the cup. When he drinks, we hold it for him. And he knows not to pull at it then.
Adrian has become much more varied and clear in communicating with us. It’s not just happy sounds and faces vs. unhappy sounds and faces. He can reach for the sippy cup to tell us he wants a drink. He can “tell” us that he is not happy with the food he is getting and wants something else – and that signal is different from when he is done eating. He understands very well when we sign and say “all done” and readies himself for being lifted out of the highchair. He can look questioning, interested, irritated, bored, joyful, mischievous… A sort of “mma” sound for “emme” might be emerging. And the other day I think he may have signed “nurse” to me.
He totally hates nappy changes and putting on clothes, and screams as if we were torturing him. I’ve tried to change him standing up, and tried finishing putting on his clothes while he’s sitting, thinking that he just doesn’t want to be flat on his back, but it makes no difference. And he fights me so much that I often end up putting him flat on his back anyway.
He likes his swing, but usually for short periods only.
He likes to fiddle with my bra strap while he’s nursing.
He likes playing with cardboard books, opening and closing and turning them in his hands. No interest in looking at pictures yet.