16 August 2012


And then he was one!

The Grands, Nana and Uncle R congregated for a weekend of birthday festivities. The present-opening went on for days. Admittedly, I bought way too much. (Oh, how far I have strayed from my intention to be a minimalist parent ;)) His birthday loot included a djembe and assorted percussive instruments, an amigurumi rabbit, a bus scroll birth announcement poster (better late than never), blocks, a large wooden crane, a ride-on trike with trailer (possibly the same model as K had at a similar age), a Keptin Junior boy doll (adore the way he talks to it), a wooden pull-along Very Hungry Caterpillar, a wooden pull-along shimmying alligator, a bevvy of books (including a signed book from one of his publisher aunts), Duplo, a bucket and spade set, bath toys, clothes, a hand-me-down block trolley from my toddlerhood... a lighthouse (of course). I'm probably forgetting something important.

Ellery got to wear his safari suit, though K forgot to haul one of his own out of storage for the occasion.

There were funny hats. There was cake. We won't talk about the deliberation over appropriate cake choices for an actually-only-10-month-old. In the end I made a sugar-free, egg-free, still-amazingly-delicious banana cake with whipped cream. It was mostly just smashed on the highchair tray after some bemusement about what it all meant :)

We've had a run of brilliant weather and spent lots of time beachside. He even had a little paddle at Champagne Pools (how appropriate). In winter!

It seems like almost overnight he has morphed from baby into toddler. In the past six weeks, he has acquired a whole new set of skills and language. Maybe it was the wonder week that went on for months, but he has seemingly added loads more to his repertoire than ever before.

He is all about walking... or practising, with his hands held. He has the cutest little walk run gallop. Cue visions of me running everywhere in the not-too-distant future. He even tries to walk up things: walls, pot-plants, eskies. His favourite place to walk to is the laundry. He is enthralled by worships the front loader. Seriously, if I let him, he would spend all day with his nose in its orbit, pointing at its porthole door and looking from me to it with the most sincere look of amazement whilst uttering his universal word ('na-na') at intervals. (Oh and he must watch the vacuum cleaner when it's on. Now our au pair is here - another post - he's at last seen it function!) And he is known to cut repeated (repeated, repeated) laps of the metre-long lambswool rug on our circuits of the house.

It's like all the big motor stuff is coming together for him, as he's all of a sudden a pro at rolling (and will do so on request, over and over and over) and does a not-too-shabby job of backwards crawling, which ends in tears when he butts up against a wall.

He recently learnt to clap his hands, and will even stop walking to do so, if you tell him he's clever. He only needs half a bar of 'If you're happy and you know it' to get going. He has also just learnt to wave goodbye - though it looks more like a flurry of chicken wings. And point.

He is imitating words like the clappers... he has said 'dadda' for ages and can now 'say' pandanus ('nan-nanna'), banana ('banana'), star ('are'), car (was 'are' but is now just 'brrrm'), guitar ('g-ta')... can meow, woof, baa, brrrrmm for car/tractor/vacuum cleaner, 'aa-ah' for monkey, laugh like a kookaburra and caw like a crow. Still not great on mama. He understands more words too: up, apple, tummy, lighthouse (of course), grass, roll, monkey, Jade (our au pair) and probably more I can't remember right now. We did start teaching him baby signs ages ago but unfortunately let it slide.

It's only fairly recently that I realised, through reading up on a forum, that premmies can often have big developmental delays and other significant problems, beyond those that were screened for before he left hospital. Though no issues were noted at any of his follow-up appointments at hospital, he was observed to be 'a bit passive' (their words - we prefer chilled!) in his play. I think he is making up for it now.

He also has a total of at least six teeth, at last check, and more on the way.

So yeah, a lot happening in his little world. Sleep for us has been intermittently OK, with large patches of OMFG. But it's a footnote really. He just completely rocks our world every day.

Eh, there is so much more I want to capture. The way he puts his head right up close into a book to inspect a detail... his love of books
... the obsession with eating grass/sand/cardboard/flowers...  the way he gauges distances with an outstretched arm... faceplants the highchair tray... dances... knows very definitely what he wants and where he wants to go... and this face...

I can't possibly imagine what he'll be like in another year. The mind boggles. I just know it will involve a lot of running around ;)