You were very cute this week. Cheeky too. You have managed to pick up a number of facial expressions from your father and I and you like to trot these out with regularity. From your father it seems you have the grin with the scrunched up nose. A face he makes at you frequently. We had seen this before but now it appears that you do it on purpose as if to say aren’t I just the cutest thing ever? From me, you have apparently learnt the single eyebrow raise. Which let me tell you, can get you in a whole lot more trouble when you are older. Your dad took you to the library the other day and as you were leaving, the librarian looked at you and said it was lovely to see you and your response, so I hear, was to raise one eyebrow and stare her down as if to say yes…I know.
I can see we are going to have to be careful what we do in front of you as you are now at the age where you can turn into a little parrot that repeats everything. You don’t quite have words yet but you do like actions. Your father will stand in front of you and tip his head from side to side in an exaggerated fashion and laugh as you put on a coy smile and start to follow suit. We also make funny sounds at you such as those produced by brushing the tongue in and out across the top lip. You do your best to imitate although you can only manage to wag your tongue from side to side to get a similar sound. As I said, cute.
Also cute this week was the fact that you seem to have just realised there’s a giant canine that lives in our house as well. You have known he was here previously of course. Hard not to really because he comes and noses around your butt frequently and gives you big sloppy kisses every now and again but until this week, you have appeared to be completely uninterested. Now, your eyes seek him out and you follow him around the room or the yard, twisting your body so you don’t lose sight of him. You reach out to touch him when he is close and when I pretend to chase him with you, face out in my arms, you giggle and laugh like its the best game ever. God help Reuben when you can try to catch him on your own. Which is, in the grand scheme of things, probably not that far off.
As far as milestones go, you are getting much closer to sitting. You haven’t quite mastered it yet though and tend to lean right forward towards your toes. You do manage to stay upright for a while however before you start to lean and topple over when unassisted. Crawling seems closer now than it did before with your upper body strength increasing and your ability to bring your knees up commando style. I’m not sure whether I want you to be a quick learner and presently mobile or not. Most other mothers seem to suggest that the longer it takes you to get around by yourself, the better. Many agree though that you should go at your own pace.
I read a parenting book this week that I actually really enjoyed. It was called French Children Don’t Throw Food and was full of parenting secrets from Paris. It wasn’t so much a how-to as a journalist’s exploration into a topic near to her heart – rearing her kids. It highlighted major differences between Francophone and Anglophone parents and a lot of it really made sense to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t read this before you were born as I seem to have missed the boat for you “doing your nights” the French way. The rest of the book though is a philosophy that aids in raising a generation of self-aware, independent and socially conscious children. Characteristics that I hope we can engender in you. I’m not sure I could totally commit to the idea of raising you à la française because I completely don’t see the problem in following you down the slippery dip at a playground, but there were certain ideas that I really liked.
Of course, this parenting gig will always be a work in progress. At the moment, we’re working on a routine that will mesh with daycare. We have finally managed some kind of consistency with your bed time routine in regards to food, shower and music etc. It’s been a while since we have had 20 minutes of screaming before you succumb to slumber. Nap times during the day on the other hand are still a bit all over the place. That hardly seems unusual though when we keep screwing around with your routine. Last week you had The Fall to deal with and this week, I took you to get immunised. Then on Sunday, your dad took you out for a late breakfast and then we had the audacity to go out. Without you.
Bepi came over to babysit today so that your father and I could go out to lunch and see a movie. We managed the lunch part but only got to see half the movie before we picked up a phone message to say that you were at the end of your rope after prolonged screaming. Bepi had tried food, drink, toys, games and books but nothing was putting you off from voicing your disapproval at our absence. So we came home…at which point you seemed to have calmed down and were perfectly fine. I even took you next door and plonked you down on the floor by yourself before moving several meters away from you (only barely in sight) to have a conversation with Neighbourette. You were quiet and amused yourself the whole time. Toad. We love you anyway though.