Happy bank holiday weekend, one and all! Twickers has all sorts of fun and games planned over the next few days. Billions of street parties everywhere and fayres and riverside spectacles. I am just rather sad that the weather is threatening to pee all over people’s efforts, tomorrow and Tuesday. Tsk.
In Jim-Jam news, I almost posted last week to wail about what an utter GREMLIN he was being. The poor wee microbe had gone into teething overdrive and was apparently made of temperatures and grizzle. (He now has 9 or 10 teeth in various stages of pop-through, but he won’t let me have a proper look).
But… the universe does at least offer balance and, for every day of gremlin, there is a day of adorable stored up. Yesterday I think he just got out of the right side of bed, because he was an absolute angel. It’s a good job too because it was his first full day at nursery. Ten whole hours – and apparently he loved it. When I went to pick him up he was pretty exhausted and sitting contentedly with a pile of books, then he saw me and gave me the biggest grin and the most cuddly cuddle ever. Rachel, his carer, told me that he had played all day long and took his morning bottle and had two naps and ate his food. (She can have my job!) He came home wearing this Jubilee crown that the nursery kids had made, with his name on it. Bless!
What else is new?
Despite appearing to be on the brink of walking for ages, he still stands on his tippie-toes and is really quite lazy when it comes to being finger-walked about. I think the problem is that he’s so lightening fast as a crawler that he gets very frustrated by the slowness and difficulty of walking and prefers to drop down to all fours as soon as he can. By combining crawling and climbing, he can pretty much get everywhere that he wants to go…. especially places that he shouldn’t be allowed, such as up on top of sofas and coffee tables – and from there onto higher places.
He is particularly obsessed with climbing stairs. I just can’t keep him away from them. This caused some issues on holiday in Antibes, as our beautiful crumbly cottage had 3 flights of treacherous, windy, stone stairs. On the day we arrived, I left him playing on the floor with me while I pottered about in the kitchen… until I noticed that it had gone quiet. It took us several minutes of racing about to realise that he had silently climbed all the way to the top floor by himself. A couple of days later he made it halfway up and lost his footing, resulting in a truly horrible bruised lump of John Merrick proportions on his forehead. With that and a streaming cold that rendered him red-eyed and pathetic, I am amazed that the French social services didn’t arrest us in the street. In the end we had to create a barricade of dining chairs to stop him getting to the stairs when nobody was looking.
Actually that first day in the cottage was double-guilt-inducing for me when I realised that he had cried in vain in the night. I felt TERRIBLE! Our bedroom was separated from Jim-Jam’s by 3 thick stone walls… and I had failed to plug in the baby monitor so it ran out of battery before he woke and cried. When I awoke in the morning I had the niggling worry that I must have slept through him crying and this was confirmed by Sara-Lou who had heard him screaming blue murder around 2am and assumed that I was with him and having endless trouble settling him. Argh! Still he seemed to forgive me and was remarkably cheerful the next day.
After that we had a really fabulous holiday. Old Antibes is so beautiful and the people are warm and friendly, and lovely around babies. Jim-Jam seemed to enjoy being wheeled about everywhere and he had his first visit to a sandy beach…
We also took him on the Antibes Ninky-Nonk, which he LOVED! Here he is annoying a fellow child with his ‘enthusiasm’…
He still has a pretty small appetite compared with other babies, and went on complete food strike during his cold and teething attacks. However I discovered in France that he and I share a weakness for madeleines and comte cheese – and also we both developed a liking for those Perles de Lait yogurty-dessert things that you can get back here (hooray!) The coconut one especially gets ‘baby bird face’, as Sara puts it. Oh, and here’s a new cute thing… when I give him some food that he likes, he takes the first mouthful and goes “mmmmmm!” in a really high-pitched voice.
Meanwhile G is appalled to note that James appears to have inherited his deeply sad mother’s love of disco choons – bless! (He was lured out of a grizzle by a bit of Boney-M this morning). As for C-Beebies, we have noticed that it is mainly the theme tunes and music that get his attention. (‘Alphablocks‘ rocks, apparently) You can pretty much date the C-Beebies team by the stream of incidental music that they keep churning out. Last season it was all 80s tunes like Baltimora’s Tarzan boy. This season seems to have gone into 70s overdrive with stuff nicked from Boney M and the Jacksons, while ‘NumTums‘ blatantly emulates the sound of Earth, Wind and Fire.
This week I bought him two pairs of ‘big boy’ PJs which make him look older than he really is (they’re for age 12-18 mths so he has to have them rolled over several times) but they’re so cute I could not resist putting them on last night…
In language-related news, things are becoming exciting as he is just beginning to say a few sounds and words in the right context. It helps that he really loves to be read to – he practically explodes with glee when one of us picks up a book and beckons him over. Especially if it is one of his fav books, such as Say Goodnight to the Sleepy Animals (or hello to the farm animals or similar). He’s also developing a fondness for 5 Little Ducks. The other day he crawled up onto my lap, bringing that book with him and presenting it to me for service.
Anyway, the result of these books is that animal noises are winning. He now says “Baaa!” when he sees a picture of a sheep. He also tries to do an “oink” noise for pigs and will occasionally “neigh”, if the mood takes him.
As for human words… we have “baba” and “mummy” – hooray! He won’t do them on demand though – just when he deems it necessary. We’ve had many instances of things that sound like “mummy” before, but I think that he has only just started to do it properly in context. He started copying me and managing a very high pitched “moo-mi” type noise before evolving to “mummy”. (It still sometimes comes out as “mumummy” but it’s getting there.)
And finally… I cannot believe that he is going to turn 1 this month! Where did the year go? He’s going to have a little party of sorts with three of his baby friends, who we’re taking to a live showing of In The Night Garden at Richmond (oh, the gigs I go to… envy me, people). If the day is nice, they might have a cake and picnic too.
Tonight he’s going to his granny’s 70th birthday dinner in a restaurant in Ruislip, which should be great fun. Hopefully he’ll have a ball staying up late and seeing everyone and not be a tired, grumpy grizzle-chops. *crosses fingers*