The stairs that were of so little interest to Adrian last month are now very interesting. One day he discovered that he could go up the stairs and he immediately proceeded to climb all the way up (with me just behind him). No practice needed.
Now we have barred the bottom of the stairs, using a stylish solution consisting of one chinup bar and one shower curtain bar. I don’t really worry about him losing his balance or not being able to climb – but he hasn’t yet learned that the floor is not always there behind him, so he could decide halfway up that it’s time to sit down, and sit down on thin air.
He’s also already found the ladder up to Ingrid’s play house and tried climbing that. I wish the surroundings were safer and softer for any falls – I don’t mind him climbing, but I do mind him climbing in a place where a fall could lead to a concussion or a cracked skull.
Other fun stuff includes kitchen drawers and cabinets. He knows very well how they open, but has some trouble making it actually happen on his own: the drawers glide too easily for him, while the cabinet doors require a bit more balance than he has. So I usually help him a little bit. It’s a good way to keep him occupied while I’m busy in the kitchen. The best cabinet is the one with all our (empty) food containers and picknick bottles; the one with pots and pans is the least interesting one.
The kitchen is also good for baths. The sink works so well for bathing him that we haven’t even tried the tub again. He’s at a convenient height for us, the sink is easy to fill and empty, the worktop is great for bath toys etc, and Ingrid can sit in the other sink right next to him.
As for actually eating in the kitchen, well, he’s been so skilled at feeding himself for a while now that there’s not much new to say. He has now also mastered his sippy cup; water mostly ends up in his mouth and not on his tray. We haven’t tried introducing plates or bowls or cutlery yet, but I’m starting to think that perhaps we could/should try soon.
We still complement food with breastfeeding. He nursed a lot during our vacation. Then during my first week back at work his nursing was a bit erratic, while he got used to me being away during the day. Now we’re settling into a more predictable pattern again. Nurse in the morning as he wakes; get some expressed milk during the day; nurse frequently during the afternoon and evening; nurse a few times during the night.
He’s pretty distractible during the day and is completely unable or unwilling to staying still while nursing. He climbs around on the sofa and on myself, pulls at my clothes, looks around whenever someone passes. It’s like a gym session. For the last evening feed we go up to the bedroom: it is much easier for him to focus when we’re in a quiet, dark room.
At night he sleeps pretty much as he’s always done. He wakes for nursing once around 10 or 11 in the evening; nurses thirstily and efficiently for five minutes, and then immediately goes back to sleep. Usually he does the same once or twice more during the night. Then at some point between 6 and 7 he wakes for the day.
During the day he now takes two naps. A long one at around 9 or 9.30 in the morning, often lasting an hour and a half, and then a shorter one in the afternoon, around 2pm, maybe 40 minutes or so.
If he’s really tired, he sometimes rests in a sling for half an hour between 5 and 6pm. He likes that a lot; when I bring out a sling or baby carrier he gets all excited and makes happy noises at me.
He’s not averse to sitting in a stroller when we’re out, but when we’re someplace new or crowded, he often wants to be carried instead, so I always pack a baby carrier of some sort when we leave home for more than a quick trip to the supermarket. He likes front carries best, especially for sleeping, but back carries work OK as long as I move around with him. The ring sling he doesn’t like much at all.
When he’s tired, he often shows it by pulling at his hair and sort of slapping his head, or rubbing his eyes and face. As he is often tired towards the end of dinner, it’s not uncommon for dinner to end with him smearing food all over his face and hair. Another sign of tiredness is that he does not want to be on the floor at all and demands to be picked up immediately.
He hates having his hands and face wiped after eating, almost as badly as he hates nappy changes. And he’s not very fond of me brushing his teeth, either. Basically he dislikes most things that involves us doing stuff to his body.
The thing that best distracts him during these activities is making funny noises or funny faces at him. He likes looking at our mouths, and – given the chance – to put his fingers in them, pull at our tongues or lips, or poke at our teeth. He also likes making sounds with his own mouth and hands. (What do you call it when you make your lips flutter with your finger, like this? That’s not Adrian in the video, by the way.)
He continues to make varied speech-like sounds, but nothing that I would call word-like. He obviously understands both words and the few signs we use, but doesn’t respond in kind. Or if he does, it is so indistinct that we miss it.
He likes books even better than last month, especially a touchy-feely one with textured patches. I’ve tried reading some very short baby books for him but he will not look at the pictures. He grabs the book from me and turns the pages instead.
He also likes handling DVD cases (grabbing them from the shelf, turning them around, dropping them on the floor) and pens and pencils. Mobile phones are also fun.
There are now palpable 9 teeth: four incisors at the top, four at the bottom (the two new ones barely visible) and the eye tooth that appeared early on but hasn’t progressed much since then.
Favourite foods: meatballs, puffed rice cakes, nectarines, gooseberries.