This poor little bablet. I can hear him coughing away in his cot. Suffice to say it’s not been a good month for him, health-wise. We’ve had the sort of days that start with a cuddle and end with a full-body vomit-soaking. And I don’t mean the inoffensive milky offerings of yore but the chunky sort that has a 2 metre radius, where only emergency shampoo, Dettox and several loads in the washing machine can make things right again. Eugh.
Twice recently he’s gone to bed with a mild temperature, only to awake 2 hours later and bring back everything he ate that day. I’m rather hoping that it’s bug-related because the alternative will mean sifting through everything I’ve been feeding him until I work out what it is that he can’t keep down. (This is a fairly lengthy list of ingredients since he tends to share our pulped-down leftovers for most of his evening meals). I think if it happens again I may have to resort to the doctor.
Between vomit sessions he’s had a seemingly endless chesty cough and remains a snot TARDIS. And he suffered 3 new stabbings last week (MMR and 2 boosters) so it’s all been pretty relentless for the poor boy. On the plus side, bless him – he seems resolutely perky and full of good cheer, albeit a little on the needy side. Also he had a few days off from extreme lurgy and enjoyed a break visiting his Grandma in Devon and playing with pebbles on the beach..
Unfortunately, however, all of these ailments have had a very negative effect on his newfound appetite. It feels like many moons since I was full of the joys of getting ‘baby bird face’ at every meal. Now we are right back in the doldrums of trying to coax food into a dieting gnat. Bah!
I realised a long time ago that James will never be a chubby baby. I think it’s just not in his genes. He’s never had the sort of podge-rolls and dimples that adorn most babies’ arms and legs and he has remained steadfastly on the 25th percentile for weight since birth. But Glen took him for a weigh-in last week and he seems to have suddenly shot up to the 75th for length and dropped to the 9th for weight. I have to confess I’m slightly concerned by this, though the clinic nurses appear not to be. The first one suggested that he is simply burning off all of his calories by gadding about non-stop (he hardly ever sits still) and the second reckoned he was probably burning them off by putting on height, rather than weight. But I do wish he would go back to eating more. I’ve no idea what I can do about it… other than to keep offering him food and hope that his appetite comes back soon. Sigh
In jollier news, I think we have an almost-walkie! He started to take occasional steps a week or so ago but, until this evening, the most I’d ever seen him do was 5 steps in a row, brought on by much coaxing. Today the nursery informed Glen that he had been walking about in the garden, on and off. Then this evening he walked halfway across the room to me, probably only 7 or 8 steps, but still. He’s very wobbly on his feet and doesn’t seem keen to do it often. Left to his own devices he’d still rather crawl about at insane speeds (especially if you chase him while going “Raaaa!” with scary hands, which makes him squeal with delight and waggle along the floor hilariously as if his life depended upon it.)
As for being a talkie… the animal noises are starting to drive me bonkers. He is such a chatterbox and I fear there is only so much “Baa! Moo! Quack! Cluck! Oink! Cheep! Meow! Woof! Neigh!” that I can take within a 24 hour period. There is seemingly no end to the menagerie. We now have “Grrr!” (tiger), “Aa! Aa! Aa! Ooh! Ooh!” (monkey), “Huff Huff!” (caribou), “Honk!” (seal) and “NNNNNGGEEEERRRRGGHH!” (elephant) and a gazillion others.
Admittedly we’re probably not helping matters by taking him to places like this…
Anyway G and I have begun to wonder what the other babies at nursery must make of him bellowing “Baaa! Moo! Neigh!” in their faces all day long. It’s not much of a conversation starter. So we’ve started to try and introduce him to a few more useful words. Some of these he picks up fairly quickly, such as “teddy”, “car”, “drink”, “hello” and “bye bye”. Others are harder to grasp, such as the concept of “thank you”. By far the sweetest thing ever ever ever has been teaching him the word “cuddle”. I almost dropped dead this evening when he came up to me and put his arms around my neck and asked for a “cuggle”. If it wasn’t so thoroughly artless I can see that this might sound a bit sickening, but he’s so innocent with it, I intend to abuse that one for a long time. On a less sentimental note, he also responds to the word “sick” by sticking his tongue out and going “bleurgh!”.
One thing that has really surprised me of late is the capacity that young babies have to memorise quite long or convoluted strings of words and phrases. I reckon it must all come down to rhyme and rhythm. It gives the impression of being far more ‘learned’ than he really is (e.g. appearing to be able to count to four, but only in the context of a specific book that he has memorised – or being able to say specific letters of the alphabet in the right place, simply by memorising it from Dr Seuss). I have a suspicion that we could all pass exams in rocket science if the textbooks were written in rhyming couplets. Bypass Gravity? Escape Velocity! Yo!
So what else is new? Well, work is going pretty well for me so far, though some days it is hard to say goodbye in the mornings. Also I’m feeling more tired than I expected in the evenings. James tends to want extra feeding and cuddling through the night on days when I’ve been at work – but I suppose that’s only to be expected. From August onwards I will be up to 3 days a week, which will be a level up for both of us. James will be home with daddy for two days initially, but from September he’ll be at nursery for 2 ½ days a week. It’ll be interesting to see how he takes to that. God knows how things are going to work out with his weaning… it all seems rather chaotic and regressive right now. Hopefully when he feels well we can get things back on track.