Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apologies for my absence (2)

Quite simply - I've had a bereavement this week which I won't elaborate on as it's far too personal and complicated. I'm going to try and jump straight back into the swing of things with a bit of a catch-up.

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The introduction of a magna-doodle (and by magna-doodle, I mean a Tesco's own version which was considerably cheaper) into our lives courtesy of Auntie Rachel has unleashed J-cub's inner artist (I couldn't remember my son's name while I was typing that sentence. What does that say about me?!). Once he worked out which way round to hold the pen, there was no stopping him. Last weekend, we popped down to our big YMCA superstore, and there was this lovely wooden easel just inside the door (the fact that it was In The Night Garden was just icing on the cake). We immediately grabbed it and asked how much it was. The poor boy who'd just spent ages assembling it informed us it was £4.99, and begged us to take it home whole. We happily complied (and were also given 4 cups for paint and a bag full of chalk and crayons) and squeezed it onto the back seat next to J-cub, where he cooed happily at it until we got home. He's now mastered crayon (on paper) and chalk (on everything). There's a dry-wipe board on the other side, but he's not getting pens until he's about twelve.

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I've been gardening during the bright spells we've had this week (the sun which apparently is beating down on the rest of the country has mostly been avoiding us), and J-cub has loved 'helping'. You can tell from his long-sleeved top and heavy dungarees that despite the sun, it was fricking cold. He was a fab helper though, he dug over all the patches I'd just weeded (without eating any soil!), he picked strawberries, tasted them, and spat them out again (I swear he's the only child in the world not to like strawberries), and mostly practised his walking-on-grass skills (which, he informs me, will be useful for future gardening times when speed is a necessity).

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We've been for walks. Walks which don't involve a sling and don't involve a buggy. This is a whole new world for me; a world where it takes an hour to walk round the block and every ant, stone, cat, leaf, earwig, bin and garden must be examined carefully and exclaimed over. It's wonderful.

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J-cub can reach and operate the door handle. Oh dear. He hasn't yet managed to do so whilst pulling the door towards him, but I fear it can't be long.

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J-cub's signing has come on in leaps and bounds. I don't think I've said much about baby signing, but we went to a few Tiny Talk classes when he was about 9 months old, but they were on a Saturday and cut into our family weekends, so I bought some books (My First Signs, My First Animal Signs and Sign About Meal Time) and we've taught him ourselves. The CBeebies programme Something Special, aimed at children aged 4-7 with learning difficulties, has quickly become J-cub's favourite and he's slowly picking up the more regularly used signs from the show (and can do a passable monkey impression after the vastly annoying "oo-oo-ah-ah-ooh" monkey song).

So to have a quick recap of his current signs, J-cub currently uses the following: hello, bye-bye, baby, clean/wash, tired, bed, biscuit, apple, food, drink, gentle, cuddles, more, yes, no .... that's all I can remember at the moment.

I love it when he strings signs into sentences. Over the past couple of weeks while he's been poorly, we've been letting him have digestive biscuits as a) he'll eat them and b) they cheer him up when he's feeling wretched. After a few days of us asking "Do you want a 'gestive biscuit?", he started signing "gentle, biscuit". Whether it's because gentle sounds like 'gestive', or because it's gentle on his tummy, or just coincidence, it's lovely, it works, and it's now his most commonly used sign. In the photo above he's half-way between gentle and biscuit.

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J-cub has barely eaten since his ear infection of a couple of weeks ago (and that's on top of all the barely-eating he's been doing since his birthday). Baby-led weaning is all about letting them set the pace, and not forcing them when they don't want to eat. But when your baby eats nothing but yoghurt and digestive biscuits and peanut butter sandwiches and ricecakes for weeks on end, it's hard not to be concerned.

This evening though, he ate. I made him Swedish meatballs with a tomatoey sauce and peas. After some initial reluctance and suspicion, he wolfed it down. Then he ate a ricecake (we weren't really prepared for him finished what was first offered), and then a massive bowl of yoghurt. And he ate the meatballs with a fork, and the yoghurt with a spoon (well, mostly). I was such a proud mummy. That'll probably fill him up for the next couple of months anyway.

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How beautiful is my boy? We've been having a bit of a stand-off about baths recently, he's screamed as soon as his feet hit the water, and cried throughout enforced hair washing which makes me feel terrible. We haven't been swimming at all since our last term of Water Babies finished, and I think he's just got a Thing about water. This evening though, having sweated heavily through last night's sleep and today's two naps, then eaten meatballs in tomato sauce and copious amounts of yoghurt for tea, we had no option.

With a little help from a small green cup, J-cub and water rekindled their previous affection. He found it hilarious when he accidentally spilt water from the cup onto his face (which made hair washing much easier), decided that bubbles were yummy (he picked them up individually and ate them!), and drank water from the cup and directly from the bath whilst lying on his front. We stayed in until his lips turned purple. It was lovely.

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So that's all for now. I might do a Saved post later, then again I might not. I had a good one for today y'see. I'm off now to drink my cares away with a very rare alcoholic drink (rare as in I don't often have alcohol, not rare as in a thousand-year-old bottle of whiskey or something) or six. Night night.

1 comment:

isadori said...

Hi Beth. Sorry to hear you've had sad news xxx Your little boy is gorgeous, absolutely adorable. Really impressed with his enthusiasm for art - crayons are for eating in this house! ;-) Feel free to send any strawberries our way - Thomas can't get enough "baabooooos" - actually, now I think of it he also calls crayons "baaboos" so maybe that's why he thinks he has to eat them!

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