Adrian’s current favourite game is increasing entropy. Nature abhors a vacuum; Adrian apparently abhors excessive order. When I stack three blocks on top of each other, he picks them down, one by one. He doesn’t just hit the stack to make it fall, no, he carefully picks it apart. When I put his 8 stacking cups inside each other, he picks them out, one by one. I line them up in two rows; he knocks each one over so it doesn’t stand straight any more.
He has also learned to bang things against each other. Sometimes he does this with toys, but it is even more fun to do this with cutlery. We have heavy cutlery with solid handles, and they make a lot of noise when banged against the table.
Until very recently he only used cutlery for banging, but now he suddenly developed an interest for using them for eating, too. This morning at breakfast he took the spoon I had handed to him and started poking at my food with it. When I loaded the spoon for him, he got it in his mouth and managed to lick off some food. (Oat porridge with blackcurrants. Yum.)
We’ve tried introducing a bowl and a spoon before, but they’re both tricky: he wants to investigate them from all angles, so the food falls out and little gets into the mouth. But perhaps this was the wrong end to begin from: spoons and bowls are for spoon-fed babies. For a BLW baby, forks may be easier to get started with. So for lunch today we gave him a fork for his food. He can’t yet spear any food on it, so we do that part for him, but he had no trouble putting the fork in his mouth or getting the food off – laughing all the way as if this was the best thing ever.
He still likes climbing. Most of the time, when I want to take him upstairs, I lift him over our jury-rigged “gate” and then he dives for the stairs, away from my arms, so he can climb up himself. In a new place with no toys or other objects to play with, he will immediately explore all climbing and standing opportunities. He will climb up on the step stool in our kitchen, and on our bed. In trains and buses he will fight with his whole being to be let out of the stroller or baby carrier so he can instead stand up on a seat. He will climb up into shop windows in shops, if given free rein, and stand up on park benches.
Up, up, and away!
With most of these, I let him climb, with various amounts of supervision. He is not overconfident (yet?) and won’t forget, for example, that he is on a stool and step sideways. And none of these places are so high that a fall would lead to serious damage ’ perhaps a banged head but no broken bones. The stairs is the only place where I am always right behind him and don’t let him climb on his own.
I’m less happy about his new ability to climb out of his highchair and onto the kitchen table, not so much because he will fall but because everything else would fall or be sat upon. So we can no longer leave him unattended there, and have to take him out of the chair as soon as he makes it clear he is done.
Climbing up is easier but he is also slowly learning to climb down from things. He can’t yet get down from step stools, but he can get down backwards from our bed and from the sofa.
He also climbs around when nursing. He sits, then kneels, then sits with one leg underneath him and one somewhere else, then stands up… The weirdest nursing position he has used was standing up and then bending forward from the waist – not quite 90 degrees but maybe 60, i.e. pretty far forward – staying upright by planting his face on my chest, and letting his arms dangle and wave around.
He wanders around in his sleep. When I go to the bedroom at night, he is never where I left him. Almost always I find him lying across the bed, with his head towards Eric’s side and his feet towards mine. Usually he sleeps on his tummy, either flat or with his bottom up in the air. Sometimes he then lists to one side and leans his bum onto a pillow or a warm body. When he’s napping with Eric he likes to burrow his head into Eric’s armpit. With me, especially when he wakes at night and has trouble going back to sleep, he likes to lie on his right side across the bed, with his bum and his feet against me, and his head away from me, sort of as if he was sitting on my chest.
He still likes being carried in a sling or baby carrier. When he is out with Eric, he is content to stay in the stroller, or so I’m told. With me, he sometimes accepts the stroller but more often he wants to sit in a baby carrier. I suppose he knows that with Eric, he doesn’t really have any choice, and he’s OK with that.
I carry Adrian for many reasons. Sometimes for the closeness: when I’ve been away from him all day, and then take him out for a quick trip to the supermarket I’d rather hold him close than at arm’s length. Sometimes for convenience, especially when there are stairs, hills, or narrow spaces to be navigated. Sometimes for the safety of things around him: on my back he is further away from stuff he shouldn’t touch (especially in small cramped shops) than when he’s in the stroller. Sometimes to keep him calm: when he wants out of the stroller, he often wriggles if I hold him in my arms, but is somewhat quieter on my back.
He hates lying down on his back for nappy changes. He screams as if he was tortured, and fights us and flees as soon as he can. I try to get as much as possible done without putting him down on his back: unsnapping the poppers on his clothes, taking off his trousers, even taking off the wet nappy. Sometimes I can entice him to stand still in one place long enough so I can actually put on a dry nappy with him standing up. But with dirty nappies there is no option; if I let him go he will sit down on the floor and there will be poop everywhere, so I have to put him down and listen to him scream. Toys, singing, silly faces, no distraction works.
To counterbalance this torture, I often let him loose without a nappy when I’ve cleaned him up. He loves that part. The moment I let him go, he usually laughs and crawls away from me. Then he makes a game out of crawling away when I call him back or follow him, looks over his shoulder and giggles at me and races away. We call it his chasing game. Unfortunately he often pees small puddles on the floor, so I can’t let him go free without constantly watching him.
He likes waving and smiling and babbling at people. He’s learned that this usually gets a pleasant response.
He likes my mouth. He pokes at my lips and my tongue, and hooks his fingers around my teeth. Sometimes he puts stuff in my mouth.
For a week or two he really liked playing with and chewing on Ingrid’s paint brushes, and my old toothbrush. That seems to have ended as suddenly as it came.
He likes pointing with his finger but I’m not sure if he actually points at any particular object, or just points. He likes holding out objects towards me and triumphantly announcing “täääh!”, but not giving them to me. He just likes to show them off I think.
Adrian’s favourite foods are puffed rice cakes and wafers. You can’t go wrong with these. Prunes and meatballs are also safe bets. With fruit his taste is unpredictable: some days he has no interest in bananas, other days he eats a whole banana in a single sitting.