Day 480

Dear Elliot,

I know it has been far too long since I wrote to you. I have been slack and that is lame and you could well argue that you are coming off a little second best in the letter writing department (or maybe that was third best…?) but that totally doesn’t mean that I love you any less. You know that, right? Your sister would argue that you are actually getting the lion’s share of attention but then you are somewhat demanding. Like when you want food.

ElliotMar-May-2

You are very food oriented my child. This is an incessant desire with you. First thing in the morning, all through the day and anytime you are awake really, we will get the sign for food. When you are thirsty, we get the sign for bottle and the word as close as you can utter it but for whenever you want to eat, we just get the sign. Or, you know, you climb into your high chair and yell at us as if to say how can you people be so slow? Hello, your child is hungry here. Practically wasting away to nothingness. Rapidly falling into a decline that is entirely to do with a lack of sustenance! So you eat regularly. And whenever anyone else eats, that is fair game and undoubtedly meant for you too. Your dad sat down to have a snack the other day and as he did so, said three, two, one…baby. And over you went with your mouth open like a little bird expecting to be fed. You are such a mooch! But you are a cute mooch.

You have reached the age of being able to hug back. It’s not just the tired drape and snuggle as you mold yourself to my upper torso as though you intend to meld into me and have no intention of ever being parted from your mother again. It’s also not the brace of an arm around my neck that ensures you would be able to account for any sudden movement of mine whilst carrying you. No, you now will fully wrap your little arms right around my neck, smoosh your cheek up next to mine and squeeze. It’s one of the best feelings ever. Which is almost directly in contrast to your reaction when you are suddenly distressed.

ElliotMar-May-7

I am getting to the point where this reaction of yours doesn’t totally freak me out but neither is it at all pleasant. Whenever you feel totally abandoned, like when I have the audacity to go to the toilet and shut the door with you on the outside as happened the other day, you get yourself so worked up that you stop breathing. You start crying and as you sob, you keep expelling breaths until you run out of air and just sit there going blue in the face for a number of seconds. Even if the source of your distress is removed, it still takes you time to remember how to start breathing again. You have not yet gotten to the point that you have actually passed out and rendered yourself unconscious and neither is it an extremely regular occurrence but it has happened a handful of times and it would kind of be nice if you stopped.

It would be nice if you stopped headbutting the floor in frustration too as I am occasionally concerned that you will give yourself a concussion one of these days. Whilst your sense of self-preservation seems to be evident in your considered climbing and the way you generally do not hurl yourself out of my arms as I have seen some children do to their parents on a regular basis, you do not seem all that concerned with the discomfort that results from thumping your head into the floor because you are unhappy. I am still not sure whether it is best to intervene with this type of behaviour and make a big deal out of it or laugh it off and hope you grow out of it or finally knock some sense into yourself…please grow out of it.

ElliotMar-May-5

You are growing into so many other things at the moment. Including more clothes. For once I have stated to transition you into the next size and range of wardrobe options rather than hanging on to favourites just in case I don’t get to see them again. We also need to transition to new entertainment though. Gone are the baby toys that are designed to be hung or attached. They actually lost all appeal a while ago. Now you are far more excited by toys that have “bits”. The Little People garage with its people and cars, the shape sorter bucket and stacking ring and also Noah’s Ark. You are also a bit of a fan of Barbie, Ken and the Barbie Cadillac but usually only when your sister is also playing with them as you don’t seem to specifically seek them out.

ElliotMar-May-6

What is great to see though is that you also love books. You have taken ownership of the board books in the house and regularly bring one up and dump it on my lap to say read to me, Mummy. You can say “book” and you can also say parts of your favourite book, “Moo, Baa, La La La”. Its very charming. Occasionally as I sit with you on my lap and read this book, you will read along with me. You know that a “Cow” says “Moo” and that the three singing pigs say “La La La”. You are so pleased with yourself when you get to say that. You know that the big dogs go “Bow Wow Wow” which comes out a little more “Ba Ba Ba” and you tell me that the duck says “quack”. You actually had that one before though as we have a real duck.

I seem to recall that your sister’s first word was “No” which she said with both regularity and alacrity. You on the other hand, don’t seem to comprehend this word. It’s not in your vocabulary. Your first word was “chicken”. You love chickens. And animals. You love our chickens in the backyard. So much so that you will wander off towards the run every chance you get and when we take you away from visiting with them (or the alpaca, sheep and goat), you often burst into tears. You love eating chicken too. With you father’s crazy diet, one of the easy things for him to consume is the roast chickens from the shops and every time we strip one of these for the flesh, there you are on your kitchen stool demanding more and more and more.

I’m sure there are other things I could tell you but whilst there are things that I notice here and there, you have not passed any particular milestones of late. Although you did cut all of your baby teeth. Apparently you were not content to just sit and acclimatise to your new molars for a while. At 14 months you had to get started on your canines too. The ones that generally don’t make an appearance until 18 months! Are you just impatient? I swear, between you and your sister at the moment…you are getting all your baby teeth in and at four years old, she is beginning to lose hers!

ElliotMar-May-3

As for the rest of the physical developments, you are walking with more and more ability and purpose but still stepping rather than striding. The opposite arm and leg movement is not quite there yet. You can be quick when you want to be but you have not yet figured out how to belt across the room at a dead run. You have your nights of sleeping well, waking only once or twice but more often than not, wake multiple times. You have also been sick a couple of times.

Most recently, we have had a suspected case of hand, foot and mouth, the sum total of which’s symptoms seems to have been a single blister on your hand. In retrospect, you also had what we suppose could have been a blister on your head, your neck and your cheek but there was no fever, you weren’t really out of sorts and there was nothing evident on your feet or in your mouth at all. So if you did get off that lightly, you are lucky. You have also had a persistent and ongoing cough for weeks. One that has been quite severe at night and occasionally present in the day. I hasn’t responded to Ventolin specifically so we don’t think it’s asthma but you just can’t seem to fully shake it. When your sister first went into child care though, she had a cough for a good six months so you could always be getting exposed through her now. We are very thankful that you don’t have her gag reflex whilst coughing though or I would be changing your sheets WAY more often. Then there was also the time that you want to hospital.

You had been coughing and were obviously sick. You were also breathing faster and shallower than normal. I didn’t think you were struggling to breathe though and you seemed to sleep reasonably peacefully when you did go down. When the doctor saw you though, they recommended that you get checked out at the hospital. As it was, they checked you out and you did not end up requiring any intervention per se but you did end up going to the hospital.

ElliotMar-May-4

Apart from that, you are still my beautiful little boy with the smile that can light up a room.

Adore you to bits and much love,
Mama

Day 407

Dear Elliot,

You are officially a toddler. You have been walking for a couple of weeks now and you are getting better and stronger every day. You have been very near for so long, surfing the furniture as you move your little body from A to B but now you can do it on your own. You are a careful walker though. You are not pelting from one side of the room to the other, helter skelter and tripping over your own feet at every opportunity. You are stepping one foot at a time, placing each down before you take the next step. Occasionally falling back on your bottom but moving further and further each time you venture forwards. You have the core strength that stops you looking like an orangutan with its chest puffed out and its arms seemingly flailing at the sides but really there to keep balance. You march more than you waddle and I am aware that this stage of your life will pass so quickly turning you into my little cheetah that is so fast…and hides everywhere.

EJ_8Mar-2

So it becomes ever apparent that you not only like to climb places still but you like to hide as well. Or perhaps not hide exactly as you are not yet fussed whether we know you are there or not but you like to secret yourself in small spaces. Frequently. I am used to you playing with the plastic bowls and cups that sit at the bottom of one of our cupboards in the kitchen. I came into the room the other day though to find you actually inside the cupboard with most of the plasticware on the outside. That is not the way it’s supposed to be, buddy. And every Sunday in crèche, there is usually some point at which you will be found inside the toy kitchen. I have been told it is where you seem happiest in the midst of the cacophony of sound and movement that double digits of children generate. The toy kitchen is unfortunately missing most of its shelves but this makes it perfect for your little body. As are the shoe lockers by our front door your father tells me. I would have thought you’d be a little too big for these but he assures me no. You can disappear inside one of these completely. So there is a new place that we can lose you until you get too big. At least we can keep you indoors at the moment. We will be in for some real trouble when you can open the front door by yourself.

EJ_8Mar-3

You have taken a real liking to being outside. If one of us deigns to go outside without you, you will stand at the screen door and bang and shout as loudly as possible. You want out. And you’ll throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way. Like you always do now. If we put you down and you want to be held, you scream. If Genevieve tries to take something off you that you are still playing with, you scream. If we pick you up but you want to be on the floor, you throw your body away from whatever it is you don’t like and if we ignore your demands and tell you no, you headbang whatever suitable surface is available. I am hoping that last one is a phase that is going to dissipate more than it is going to develop. Screaming as a response to displeasure is not preferable either but it’s also not something we’re going to get rid of anytime soon as that is precisely how your sister deals with it and we haven’t cracked that one yet either. Although at least you sometimes scream because you’re happy.

EJ_8Mar-4

For some reason, when you see me after being apart for a while, you have taken to screaming in excitement. It’s not really a conventional way to greet people, just so as you know, but it is always nice to know that you’re happy to see me. It’s nice to get your cuddles and giggles and it still brightens my day to see you smile. I still not sure if we’re actually getting purposeful words yet but you seem on the verge of speech as well. If prompted, you have Mama, ta and car and we think you try and say bottle and chicken but unbidden, what comes out of your mouth is more like babble so I’m not sure. But neither am I paranoid. You are a boy, you are a second child and you are exposed to far too much tv so you get more leeway before we start to question your development.

EJ_8Mar

One thing we certainly do not have to question developmentwise is your teeth. You have cut all four of your molars! No wonder you have reverted to waking 3 or 4 times a night. Your teeth are probably giving you grief. Those molars that most kids see between 15 and 16 months? Yep, you decided you needed them at 13 months. Got to be able to rip into those steaks, huh? On the down side though, they probably don’t feel so great when you’re trying to go to sleep. I get it. I’d be unsettled too if I had that many new teeth. Actually, I’d probably be worried because I’m not supposed to get any more teeth at all but you know what I mean. You are handling it brilliantly. But it’s still be nice if you slept in longer stretches at night.

Much love,
Mama

Day 384

Dear Elliot,

You are my big one year old boy now. You have not been a baby for a while but now we can start counting your life in years, not months as you launch yourself into your life with gusto. Your birthday came and went with a minimum of fuss as you were really none the wiser. You did of course have an awesome elephant birthday cake which you showed no particular interest in whatsoever but then there are far more interesting things to do as an energetic little boy. For instance, you are a climber!

EJ_14Feb

You are not a kamikaze daredevil but definitely a climber. If you can find any way of elevating yourself above the floor you will be right there. In like Flynn. Chairs, couches, steps…you name it. You particularly like the kitchen helper that your Dad made for Genevieve to allow her to reach the bench. More than once I have heard a plaintive wail or a distressed cry when you have reached the top and realised that you do not yet know how to get down.

EJ_14Feb-5

I am aware that you are now mobile and as such can manoeuvre yourself out of my sight. So most of the time, if you move off in the direction of not too many things that are likely to hurt you, I just let you explore. Which is fun for you until you get stuck. Then you have to wail until someone takes notice and occasionally, that is not immediately. Ok, so most of the time it’s not immediately. I can tell the difference between I’m hurt and I need help and I’m not getting my way and I want it fixed so on more than one occasion I have waited to see if you will get over whatever is bothering you. Then, when the complaint doesn’t stop and I have thought what is it now, I have usually investigated to find you hanging on for dear life at the top of the kitchen helper. Sorry about that. It’s not the easiest thing to get off either.

Most of the climbable platforms around our home are ones you can navigate all by yourself. Not ones you necessarily do navigate on your own but ones that you can. Even the ladders in the back yard. We were down in the playground area the other day and you decided you were going to go up the ladder. All the way up. So we’re figuring you don’t have a fear of heights. We did know you were going up the ladder by the way. We saw you when you started at the bottom and then your Dad shadowed you all the way to the top to make sure you didn’t fall. We’re not totally irresponsible parents. Then, when you had reached the top, your Dad made you climb all the way back down again by yourself so that you’d know you could. Life skills, yes? We’re all about teachable moments. Even if they’re ones that would scare the pants off other parents. Now we just have to teach you to climb down backwards off the kitchen helper. And perhaps to hang on more, especially when you’re tired. Good thing you have a hard head! Go hard or go home, right? Seems to be your philosophy on food.

EJ_14Feb-3

You still eat like a horse. You pack it away like a junk yard crushing its intake into compacted bricks. I’m not sure where it all goes on the inside but it definitely looks interesting on the outside. With the summer months, grapes and berries have been in season. Bags of grapes and both blueberries and raspberries by the punnet seem to be the favourite snacks in this house. Especially raspberries. You inhale those given the opportunity. When you have assuaged the first wave of hunger, you are sometimes happy to play at feeding us food from your tray. Your Dad might hold his mouth open for you and you think it’s really hilarious to put in a grape or a blueberry inside and have him gobble it up. If he holds his mouth open when you have a raspberry in your hand though? Not a chance. That little sucker goes right in your mouth and you are never going to part with it. Then you look so pleased with yourself. It’s very funny to watch.

EJ_14Feb-2

Much love,
Mama

Day 357

Dear Elliot,

My darling boy, I have neglected you a little in the letter department of late. I have been lazy. I apologise. And to catch up on where you are now…

You are still crawling. You have yet to identify the fact that when you finish crawling and reverse into a sitting position, you actually pull your body away from whatever it is that you were pursuing. You will see something you want, crawl towards it until you are within easy arm’s reach then push yourself back onto your bum only to find that you can no longer pick up what you want without leaning right over to get it. It still makes me smile. What I smile less over is that you have opted for the ninja crawling approach to getting around and if we put you down, you can be off like a shot. You like to lull us into a false sense of security here and there though. Sometimes, we will put you down and you will find something nearby to amuse yourself with briefly and then as soon as we have been distracted and are not looking, you disappear.

ej_jan18-2

You may be gone for a couple of minutes and then all of a sudden, your father or I will freeze in that manner parents have of stopping everything to allow their other senses the maximum ability to identify the location of their children. If your sister is around, we will ask where is Elliot!?! If not, we go about the house quickly calling your name which is a somewhat futile exercise because you never answer. 1. You can’t talk. 2. You do not generally babble back with a response each time we speak to you and 3. I’m pretty sure that if you thought about it, it would seem like way more fun to make us find you instead of letting us know where you were and you would actively decide not to respond. But thankfully that doesn’t happen all that often.

More often, you have started to get yourself places that you can’t get out of. As well as crawling, you can also climb. You can climb on couches, you can climb on one of the high chairs and you can climb on your sister’s kitchen helper. So I might be putting some clothes away and I will hear increasingly distressed crying (as opposed to continuously whiney overtired crying) and I will come to the source of the noise to find you have climbed up somewhere and you are stuck. You are holding on for dear life because you can’t get down. You haven’t figured out how to go backwards yet. So fortunately I guess, you have not climbed that high yet either but there are heaps of ladders in the front yard so give it time.

ej_jan18

We actually had thought you might walk over the Christmas break but you have decided that its not really necessary yet. You are getting closer inch by inch though. I notice the progression as I have my arms around your torso and it becomes more a brace than a hold. I see you brace yourself against objects for support and you drop from two hands to one. Your core muscles are getting stronger as you can spend more time weight bearing on your feet and if we hold your hands, you are starting to move your feet forwards. In the last week or so, you have been practicing just letting go. You can manage about 5 seconds so far. And you usually look quite pleased with yourself.

Actually, you quite often look very pleased with yourself. You are still such a happy little camper. You are not my baby any more though. Not at all. You might not officially be a toddler yet but you are not a baby. I saw you against a three month old over Christmas who was in fact very close in size to you but worlds apart in ability. You just looked like a big bruiser in comparison. A cheeky, lovely bruiser who taught himself to open sliding doors so we had to be on constant watch that you were not about to head towards a rather large set of stairs you could fall down!

ej_jan18-3

So what else can I tell you? Well, you eat like a horse. I have grave concerns for our grocery bills in the future. You are a grazer like your father and your sister and you just keep on packing it away. You can eat as much if not more for the main meal as Genevieve and this is after you have possibly had some fruit or a biscuit for an entrée. You can then follow that up with a punnet of blueberries for desert with no trouble whatsoever. You eventually slow down but we are still amazed by just how much you can eat. And by how loud you are.

You are not yet talking. You can make “mama” and “dada” sounds at the appropriate times on occasion but then at other seemingly random times so I don’t believe it is purposeful communication. Other than you are purposefully making a lot of noise to draw attention. Man you can yell though. Especially when I am right beside you. Are you copying your sister? She gets louder every time she gets excited and one of the constant refrains in this household is a little quieter please – I am not deaf! Well yet anyway.

Other than that, we go day to day, occasionally finding new things that you enjoy. We think we are nearly at the liking baths stage. Initially you would scream blue bloody murder if we put you in one. Now though, if you can watch Genevieve for a while and then we ease you in, you are happy enough to play. We read to you every now and then and you seem to like books but I have to confess, its not something you have seemed to love or something we have made a concerted effort to make time for. Perhaps we should…you do love crazy time with your dad and your sister though. In keeping with tradition, right before bed in our house is a time for dance parties, wrestling, hysterical laughter, tickling and mania. I keep hoping that this will completely tire you out but it still doesn’t work as well as I’d like.

ej_jan18-5

I wouldn’t say that you sleep though yet. You can. You have done it on occasion. Sometimes 2 or 3 nights in a row. Most of the time you wake at least once though and you still have periods where you can wake more than once before midnight and then do a long stretch afterwards. I still feed you, not that you really need it, and it is what it is. It is rare that I cannot get you back to sleep within 10-15 minutes and since most of that is not spent voicing your displeasure at me (if I am feeding you), I am ok with that. Don’t get me wrong though, if you would like to start having some uninterrupted nights of sleep in your own cot, you be my guest. Maybe you would like to start doing that when you are 1.

This last year has seemed remarkably slow at times and like a whirlwind at others. So now we find ourselves 10 days away from your first birthday. I know exactly how that happened but wow. That is a big milestone and it is right upon us. And your dad hasn’t even started planning the cake. You will get to know about your father and cakes as you get older. I know you don’t really care right now, as long as it’s food, right? But its not a real kids birthday without a cake à la Karlos and we will need to find something suitable for you.

So until next time when I am pretty sure you will be 1, love you big time little buddy.

Much love,
Mama

Day 298

Dear Elliot,

You are going to be trouble, kid. Trouble with a capital “T”. In the last week alone you have discovered the joys of pulling both DVDs and books out of the shelves upon which they reside. All over my floor. With very little care and much abandon as you seem to be having a rip roaring time. When Genevieve was little, everyone warned us that we would have to put locks on all the doors, everything breakable up high and, well, pretty much everything up high where it could not be reached by little hands. And then she never seemed interested in touching anything.

Ok, so that’s not quite true. She was particularly attached (and still is) to riffling through my handbag and dislodging all the contents across the floor but she never went for my bookshelves. They weren’t that interesting to her. To you, they are awesome opportunities for mischief. And other items of my furniture, such as chairs and coffee tables, are structures under which you can reverse and hide. Or get stuck which prompts a distress call from you so we know where you are but you will very soon figure out how to extricate yourself from situations that you don’t want to be in and from that point, I think we are just going to start losing you.

ej_22nov3

You can certainly get yourself around now. You have been somewhat mobile recently but today you figured out the whole opposing arm and leg thing that is required for the crawl. You haven’t mastered the art. You alternate between weight bearing on the knee in order to push forward and just bringing the whole leg underneath you as if you were going to push yourself up onto your feet. So crawling looks a little like a drunken, limping crab. Moving forwards (thus the drunken part) and dragging a limb as though part of it had atrophied and wasn’t bending in the proper form.

This of course hampers your speed a little but you are a smart cookie. You will either figure out that you are just going to have to get both your feet underneath you and start walking if you hope to be able to catch up to your sister or you will become a ninja crawler and disappear silently. A lot. We’re not really looking forward to that. I have contemplated setting up a port-a-cot permanently in the living area to put you in if I can’t watch you like a hawk. To the best of my knowledge, you don’t know how to climb out of those yet and your sister isn’t big enough or strong enough to easily lift you out of them (note I only said easily lift) so I am reasonably confident that you would stay where I had put you. You just might be a little ticked off. Which is another thing that does not bode especially well for your father’s and my stress levels in the future.

ej_22nov2

You are going to want to move and to explore. You will want to touch and to try and to test. Experiencing things is going to be high on your hit list. And anyone who dares to say nay is going to get a big cheeky grin as you go ahead and do it anyway. I am hoping that your penchant is going to be a little more scientific than careless. Inquisitive rather than destructive. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome would always be different but at least if you can learn that it matters why you do something (not to mention have the best of intentions), I am hoping that this will help to put in you in a good place. And help us to keep you engaged. Cause I gotta tell you that I don’t have a lot of prior experience with energetic boys and you are going to be a handful. A delightful, hilarious handful.

You are already quite adept at charming the pants off people. You copy most of your sister’s crazy facial expressions and your face is pure joy when you smile. That never gets old. You are totally in the moment and you are just…happy. Others remark on it too. You certainly have your moments when you let us now that everything is Not Cricket but most of the time you are my happy-go-lucky little joy. I love this stage. You are still a baby and not yet a toddler. You are learning to do things by yourself, gaining some independence, millimetre by millimetre. You are discovering the world around you and slowly growing into your own personhood but you are still my snuggly Boo. Until you fling your arm across my windpipe for leverage to turn yourself outwards in my arms because wherever I am looking is bound to be far more entertaining than looking at me, right? That is what I really dislike about this stage. I’m just saying.

ej_22nov1

But I love you to bits, Boo and I am looking forward to whatever comes next.

Much love,
Mama

Day 276

Dear Elliot,

I am so bad at keeping up with everything new for you. I think of things as they happen but invariably don’t write them down. You change all the time but then there are some things that for whatever reason, I find more remarkable than others. Most recently;

You have learned how to clap. Or rather we can recognise that you know how to clap on purpose. We see you repeat the motion to have fun and we see you recognise and copy the action from us. Its such a small thing to me when I say it but it feels lovely to build part of that language between us that doesn’t consist of words. We love you and we want to share ourselves with you. You adore us in return and want to show us how you are learning to be like us. It connects us. It is not merely something we observe in you but something that we have been part of and continue to share. You are very cute when you do it too.

ej_29oct

You have also learned to suck a bottle. Not something specifically cute but totally useful. You are very much on solids now and getting enough water into you has been more of a challenge until now. We have tried to give you sippy cups that tip and others that don’t but the act of extracting water from them has so far been beyond you. We have never given you milk in a bottle so you have never particularly had to learn to stay nourished but it seems that after exposure and perhaps a little sibling example, you will now drink water from a bottle. You haven’t mastered the art of letting air back into the bottle. You would rather just keep on sucking till all of the inside comes outside which unfortunately for you will never happen. You can’t actually suck a golf ball through a garden hose my son. Just so as you know. You are now able to get water and stay hydrated though. This is a big plus.

You have shown us that you can use your smarts too. Particularly when in involves getting something to eat. Your dexterity and fine motor skills are improving all the time but your father noticed the other day that you have already created workarounds to compensate for what you are still unable to accomplish. When watching you eat, one could be forgiven for thinking that you just wanted to make a mess but there is method in your madness. When you can’t get a little bit of something, you will spread a lot of something across the tray of your highchair. You will spread it out finely enough that you can manage to pick up individual pieces of whatever is in front of you. And if they are too slippery or small or just inconvenient to pinch your fingers around, then you will use that spread to isolate a piece of what you want and swipe it towards the edge of the tray so that you can just close your whole hand around it to pick it up and jam it in your mouth. There is such concentration and ingenuity there. It is impressive to watch.

ej_29oct-2

Your core strength is impressive too. Hardly surprising though as you have liked bearing weight on your feet for quite a while. Now though, you are starting to pull yourself up on things. You are desperate to walk. I can see the frustration in your eyes. Why can’t I do this?!? You will get there little buddy, I promise. You are definitely putting in a valiant effort at the moment and managing to stand for much longer than a couple of seconds as long as you can lean against something. Part of me wants you to get there because I can see that you passionately want to move. The other part of me thinks please stay my baby and don’t become my toddler. At least not yet. Stay in the jolly jumper a bit longer. That’s like a compromise, isn’t it?

We have brought this out for you recently and you seem to thinks its fantastic. You are not one of those kids who will happily stay in there for an hour but you are usually good for 15-20 minutes with some music. You jump madly and laugh to yourself, usually as you are watching your sister do some crazy dancing. We usually have to make her let you do it for yourself at some point and you go for broke. We can have your toes just touching the floor and you will push to the point that you get slack on the spring. We have to keep moving the wire up.

ej_29oct-3

And there are doubtless other things that I have forgotten to mention as they are rolled into the day to day process of us moving forwards with our lives. We do notice little things though and celebrate with you as we see them. Even if they don’t all make it in here.

Much love,
Mama

Day 237

Dear Elliot,

You have the cutest little pout. Your chin juts forward and your bottom lip comes out and its almost as if you are expressing your intention to become stubborn on purpose. As if to say Mummy, you are not doing exactly what I want you to do so if you don’t have a serious think about that and start behaving appropriately, I am going to have to take matters into my own hands. Or perhaps, ha ha, I’m a baby and you can’t make me do anything.

Occasionally, it seems just like that. I’m pretty sure what it actually is, is that you have an overbite and some new teeth and you have just figured out that if you push your bottom jaw forwards, you can touch your teeth together. It took me a little while to figure it out but there is a subtle clicking sound when you pout so I figure it all feels pretty cool and new.

ej_20sep

So yeah, teeth. You now have five of them. After weeks and weeks of nothing, we finally got the top two teeth in and then in short order, we got one of the side ones on the bottom. Which means you are now a little lopsided. Still very cute though. And less cranky. Although, much like your sister, you are not too distressed by the advent of new teeth. At least when you have something in your mouth. As now that I think about it, one of your play things has a fabric arc on the side and I will often look over to see you just sitting there with it in your mouth.

And speaking of things in your mouth, you love food. You still favour what we eat though, instead of baby food pouches which are unfortunately way more convenient at times. You get a bit cranky when you are hungry – hangry perhaps? But you are funny when you eat. Unlike your sister who had a baby highchair, you get the bumbo with a tray which I think is awesome because we can sit you on top of the bench when we are all seated and you are the same height as us. Without a large chair structure behind you though, you stick your arms and legs straight out and have the wrists and ankles going overtime when you eat as you twirl your extremities about. This goes along with a bit of huffing and puffing between mouthfuls as though you are trying to fill in time because we are going slower than shovelling food into your mouth at a race pace.

It is clear that at present, you also favour your father in terms of palate and appetite but you would prefer to attack your food as though it might disappear at a moment’s notice which is apparently how your father thinks that I eat. You just keep putting it away until it seems as if you have just consumed your weight in food and then you simply stop opening your mouth. You don’t turn your head away so I usually give it a couple of tries to see if you’re not hungry or you are just finishing a mouthful. That is if you are not starting to hide behind your bib which is usually the other sign that you’re done. Well, that and the mmm…mmm…mmm sound.

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It seems that you are starting to try and talk to us as opposed to just crying at us. When you are otherwise not showing any sort of distress as an I’m bored or I’m hungry or I’m tired, you have started to vocalise repeatedly with eh…eh…eh. You can be very loud and insistent if we don’t suitably respond to your overtures. I’m not quite sure if there is a standard sort of response that is required or if you are having completely different conversations with me over time that is all just Greek to me, but we are getting by. I’d say your sister could potentially pick up on some things faster than we do but then you don’t chat so much with her yet. It’s a little more hero worship on your part at the moment.

You clearly adore your sister. You look at her all the time and you think that she is pretty hilarious. Personally I think she makes some pretty loud, annoying and aggressive sounds towards you but clearly you both know that there is no intent there other than to make you laugh which you frequently do. You will not have a bar of her if you were in the middle of being cuddled thank you very much and I have had the audacity to put you down and walk away but when you are otherwise just chillin’ then your sister’s crazy antics amuse you no end.

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Another thing that has just started to amuse you is the ability for some toys to make music. We have recently introduced you to some noisy toys that talk and play tunes. Whilst you are still a little unsure of how to make them go on purpose, you will stare at them and pick them up to examine them and when they start to make a sound, you will bop up and down with a big smile on your face like you’re having a little party for one. You have long been able to hit the music buttons on your exersaucer thing but it is only now that you actually seem to be dancing in response to the music. If you like movement and dance as much as your sister then you will be in for some great dance parties when you are a little older. I promise.

Much love,
Mama