Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Banana is NOT a hair product.

So - for the first time in the Monkey's life, we've actually washed him down with a soap-based product (normally a washcloth and enough warm water produce the desired results).   You can probably guess the reason.

I suppose it was my fault.  I'd given the Monkey some banana to nosh on after his lunch, and at some point he got a tiny little piece stuck on his 'free' hand.  At one point he wiped this hand in his hair, and I said - stupidly, in retrospect - "Are you wiping banana in your hair?".  Well, he took that as a cue to apply the half-banana segment in his other hand to his head - as if it were an eraser, and his hair was a stubborn pencil-drawn thatch.  My reaction was somewhere between horror and amusement.  Yeah, I know, novice mother - because it was all that he was hoping for and more.  After that, every time he managed to catch my eye, the banana-head-rubbing was repeated with a huge grin.  Eventually I confiscated the fruit, as it became clear that it wasn't going to morph back into an edible product as far as he was concerned - and to be honest, as far as I was concerned either.

Banana is damn sticky, that's all I can say!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Hair Apparent

I've mentioned before that I'm not a fan of going to the hairdresser's. And I can quite happily ignore the state of my own hair for a fair while.  When it comes to the Monkey, however, I need to be a little more attentive.  After his brief spate of near baldness, he's developed a lovely thick mop - with some interesting characteristics all of its own.  He's inherited my tendency to have cowlicks - both front and back.  And added to that is his cool double-crown: one at the back in the normal place, and one at the front, a sort of mirror image of his cowlick.

Anyway, his hair grows reasonably fast, so in no time at all I'm faced with the neccesity of trimming it

I'm afraid I balk at taking him to a hairdresser for a couple of reasons.

1.  I'm too cheap.  I don't see the point in lashing out $20 (or whatever it costs) to have a stylist chop the Monkey's locks.  It's not like he'll get teased by 2 yr old bullies at playgroup or anything.

2. I don't think it's fair to inflict the Monkey's attitude to haircuts on an unsuspecting hairdresser (or any other salon patrons).  I think he may have inherited some of my dislike of the haircut experience, as he HOWLS during any haircuts I've been brave enough to give him.  I really think he's carrying on a bit unnecessarily - after all, it's not like I cut his ear OFF that last time.

So, I just do it myself.  The first time I tried was abysmal - I chased him around the room, trying to pin him between my knees while randomly snipping at his (dry) hair with - lets face it - probably rather blunt scissors.  The result was ...  interesting.  Avante garde, perhaps.  I decided that perhaps help was to be found online - as indeed it was.   Isn't the internet a wonderful resource?  It seems that noone was willing to show how to cut  the hair of a screaming and flailing unco-operative toddler, but I did pick up a few tips.

Pin them down in some way: high chair, person with baby on the lap, velcro suit and a patch of suitably fuzzy sofa.  It doesn't really matter, as long as you can access their head from all angles (unless you like mullets, in which case, feel free to pin them with their back against the wall, and also be prepared to pay for years of psychotherapy).

Distraction, distraction, distraction!  I use the television shamelessly - and morsels of honey toast, but whatever works for you - if they're paying more attention to the novel stimuli and less to the fact that there are interesting and sharp (hopefully) scissors within grabbing range, then you're doing well.

If your immobilisation plus distraction method winds up something like this:
then I'd suggest that you might perhaps want to tone it down a notch or two.  Just sayin'.

After this I guess it comes down to the cooperativeness of your victim, and your stylistic tendencies.   Even with maximal distraction, the Monkey is quite resistant to hair grooming.
There's a lot of vigorous head-waving - which, as you may appreciate, makes me a little loathe to approach closely with a sharp implement.

My strategy thus far has just been to grab a small hank of hair between my first two fingers, and apply the scissors to the bits of hair that stick out.  So generally, he gets the one-finger width haircut, though it's in no way consistent or even or any of the other things that you might expect if you were paying for a service.

But it IS shorter.

When he starts coming home from playgroup with nappy wedgies, I might reconsider my current MO.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

First words?!

I know I've implied that the Monkey has already spoken his first word (and doesn't he make "dah!" do a lot of work??), but really, for truly really this time, I think we might have a genuine, actual first word.  

It is ..  (drumroll please!)  ...   "dzzzzzzzz"  or sometimes "thzzzzzzzz"  /├░zzzzz/ for you linguini types.

The Google translate page for Monkey > English was down, but Hubs was on the ball.  Houston, we have "juice".  I repeat, we have "juice"!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Lately, it seems that the Monkey has been a bit keener to imitate us.   We can now get him to make a greater range of sounds than his favourite "dah!" simply by making the noises at him.  We say "beebee!" and he does his best.  We say "maamaa" and so does he.  It's interesting at this point to see that while he can confidently point to a whole bunch of pictures, and while he can imitate a limited set of sounds, he doesn't yet have the idea of bringing these two concepts together and actually using the different sounds to identify different objects.

I think this is probably almost as frustrating for him as it is for me, as he stands pointing up at the bookcase.  "Dah!", he says.  I look up.  "You want a book?"  I pull one out and hand it to him. "Nanana!" he says, waving his hand impatiently, then points again. "Dah!", a little more insistently.  "The ribbons?".  Again, I'm rejected with "Na"s and more hand waving.  Several "Dah"s later, and he's almost on the verge of tears, before I finally realise (through a process of elimination) that it was the crayons he was after all long.  I suspect he thinks I'm being purposefully obtuse - and as much as I'd rather not have crayon decorations all over the walls, I promise that this doesn't factor into my lack of Monkey language understanding.

Anyway - we have put his new found penchant for mimicry to a good purpose at meal times.  He's not too fussy an eater, for which I'm thankful, but he's much keener to eat food he sees us putting away.  The other night, Hubs was picking up broccoli florets, and biting the heads off the trees, so to speak.  The Monkey watched this procedure for a little while before reaching out to our plates and whining to have his own broccoli tree to play with.  So we obliged.

Well, I think in the end there were little bits of broccoli all through everything, but he did seem very pleased with his destruction of the foliage, and that's all that matters, right?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A day in the life at the zoo

It's been a while between posts, and much has happened.  So much, that I shan't really bother to recount more than just the highlights ..  Soooooo ..

The monkey is now officially a bipedal creature.  It started around the end of July (at about 13 months), was consolidated in the first week of August, and after a short period of preferring to crawl rather than walk, he now walks everywhere - provided "everywhere" is "some place outside" where he can get his hands on leaves, earthmould, twigs, and random bits of dog poo.  He's also a very keen hand-holder.  At first, I thought this was due to a lack of confidence in his new style of perambulation,  but I now figure that he just wants to ensure that an attentive parent is on hand at all times to "ooh" and "aah" at his latest accomplishment.  The hand-holding also means we don't need to resort to the leash. Not that I mind using one, but he's not particularly cooperative - particularly when I don't want to go in a direction he does (middle of road, muddy ditch, into neighbourhood houses).  At these points, he shows all the cooperativeness of a tethered cat.

He has 6 teeth now - top 4 incisors, and bottom 2.  As yet, he uses these almost exclusively for food.  He has only - so far as I can tell - accidentally bitten into living flesh, but it doesn't make it any less painful, I can tell you!

He can understand quite a few words now.  Really useful ones, I might add, like "rhinoceros" (which I had to spell-check), "giraffe", and "tortoise" (notice a theme?).  But he still doesn't produce anything recognisable.  Whether it's due to an immature vocal tract or sheer bloody-mindedness, I couldn't say.  Either way, we are finding new and exciting ways to interpret "dah!" (cat, star, door, daddy, ipad, phone, lights, mandarin... the list goes on!).

What else do you talk about regarding babies?  Oh yeah, sleep.  Well, in that department we have been lucky.  Exceedingly lucky.  SUPREMELY lucky.  So far, at least.  He's been a great sleeper - and in the last couple of months, we've been putting him in his cot wide awake for naps and bed, and he goes down like a lamb.  Did I mention luckiness?? I'm certainly not putting it down to any rigorous sleep-training habits on our part - we went totally against all the literature, and he still worked it out.  Hooooo-boy.  Lucky, lucky, lucky.

There are days when I feel like a champion mother: I'm inspired to entertain him with walks or playing in the garden, or going for a swim, or splashing in the kitchen sink, or - I feel I've really made it as a SAHM here - squashing about some home-made playdough.  Those are also the times when I've managed to feed him to my satisfaction - a breakfast of weetbix and fruit of various kinds, a lunch of home-made broccoli soup and fish patties, snacks of fruit & yoghurt and rice-cakes, and enough of whatever we happen to have for dinner.  Those are the days I feel like supermum, and sadly, they seem to eventuate maybe once a month.  Perhaps once a fortnight if I'm really lucky.

The more standard days go like this:  It rains, so we're trapped inside. The Monkey is feeling frisky and chases the cats, trying to pull out their fur (sometimes getting a clobber for his trouble), or throwing things at them, producing supersonic ear-drum-rattling shrieks all the while. I follow the Monkey alternating between bellowing at him to leave the cats alone, and trying to distract him with some other activity.  He brings me several books - I read about the first 2 pages of each before he runs off to fetch the next.  I check my watch every 10 minutes wishing that it was his naptime.  When it's time to eat, he systematically rejects any food which he's previously yummed down, either by throwing it on the floor, or by extruding it from his mouth so it lands with a nice sclop! in his lap.  Occasionally if he's self-feeding, I'll think he's doing really well as the food disappears from the tray, only to find that he's been burying it under his bottom or between his legs.  When you're buying a high-chair, I implore you to think just how easy it will be to clean after meals like this.  The little sod will also choose these days to wake up early from his naps, ensuring that we have an extra long afternoon of the both of us going stir-crazy bored till dinner-time (forget about actually MAKING dinner - if I leave his side to go into the kitchen on one of these days, he'll stand at the gate red-faced and howling, and producing great resentful fat tears as if to show me just what a terrible mother I am).  Man.  Those are the days when I am exceedingly happy when his bedtime finally rolls around!

Did I mention how lucky we are that he sleeps so well?  It surely is his saving grace on days like these.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Don't Feed the Monkey!

The advantage of being a stay-at-home mum (which, to all intents and purposes I am, at the moment) is that you - theoretically - have time.  Gallons of time.  Oodles of time.  A plethora of seconds, and indeed, sometimes minutes!

Anyway, like a good mum, I have decided to put some of this precious extra time into food.  You know, nutritous, home-cooked, so full of whole-meal flour it's indistinguishable from horse chaff.  Each thing I make, I present to the Monkey with a small fanfare, and await his reaction. They are something like as follows:

lasagna (special low-salt variety, with formula bechamel): frantic arm-waving to fend off incoming spoon.  Upon distraction (a sudden loud shriek from mother tends to result in freezing and open-mouthed gormless expression), spoonful of food was watered down with large amount of drool, and extruded.  Baby 1, Mum 0

fruity muffins (no sugar, LOTS of fruit):  I actually thought these were quite tasty, plenty of grated apple and currants meant they were really sweet enough.  But apparently far too moist.  Poked about with finger for 10 minutes, then tossed overbard. Baby 2, Mum 0

apple-oat biscuits:  I can't blame him with these. They turned out soft, rather than crunchy (as I'd hoped), and tasted far too mealy and oaty to me. And they bounced nicely.  Baby 3, Mum 0

banana bread: First part of my attempt to make rusks - thought I'd leave some of the original loaf un-rusked to see if he'd take to it.  He took it, and experimented with its aerodynamic properties.  Baby 4, Mum 0

banana bread rusks: Second part of the rusk experiment. Slices of banana bread dried till hard and crisp.  Again, pretty tasty as far as I'm concerned, but probably a reasonably full set of teeth required for proper consumption.  To his credit, he did actually attempt to gnaw the edge of a piece before deciding I was playing a practical joke with him, and ... yup, you  guessed it.  Baby 5, Mum 0

pumpkin & cheese scones:  Given up on sweet snacks, thought maybe his tastes ran to the savoury.  He likes cheese.  He eats pumpkin without too much of a fight.  He loves bread... so, I thought I might be in with a chance, here.  They turned out a luminous orange - like something scraped off the bottom of one of the Chernobyl reactors.  He spent a large amount of time dissecting a scone into its component crumbs, sending each crumb sailing into carpet oblivion - although, given the colour of the carpet, and the colour of the crumbs, not nearly oblivion enough for his mother.  Baby 6, Mum 0

Tomorrow, we're feeding him McDonald's!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

W-w-w- .. almost one!

Crikey. There were times I never thought we'd make it this far.  But tomorrow, the Monkey turns a whole one, and his parents will celebrate their one-year anniversary of parenthood with copious amounts of champagne and cake .  AFTER he's in bed, of course!

I have been keeping notes on Monkey development, but somehow never found time to publish.  Part of this was due to the fact that I wanted to draw daft MS-paint pics for the blog entries, but the all-new-baby-safe computer position means no mouse any more (PLUS I have to stand to use the computer!).  YOU try drawing recognisable pictures with a computer nipple - go on, I dare ya!

So to recap most of May:

We all came down with the hideous stomach virus. Some of us lost 4kg (fortunately not the Monkey!).   If you're looking for a sure-fire way to shed the last of your pregnancy kilos, I can't recommend a more brutally effective solution.

As to milestones of various kinds:

Physical:  the Monkey is still very much a crawler and a cruiser, but in the last couple of weeks, he has started his first fumbling steps.  We're members of a toy library here, so I checked out a walker, to see if he'd be into it.  Turns out he is!  He can get to his feet using the walker, and then push off in a straight line until he runs up against an obstacle.  Unfortunately, he still hasn't reached the level of sophistication you get in those toy cars which can reverse and power off in another direction.  He just keeps shoving forward until he face-plants into both the walker and the obstruction.  I'm assuming there's a learning process at work here.

Verbal: No real recognisable first words as yet.  Plenty of "da-da-de-di" type noises, which Hubs is certain means "Daddy".  Fine.  But then they also mean "Mummy", and "Cat", and "Ceiling", and "Light switch".  What he DOES do, is make his attempt at a "miaow" noise when he sees either of the cats, or when he recognises a cat in a book.  He also roars for anything vaguely resembling a lion. And I *do* mean vague.  Apparently he roared at a plate with a doily on it the other day.  You can see his point. Kinda.   He also seems to use "ma-ma-maa" to mean "I want".  If there's something he desperately yearns for that he can't get, it's all "mamamamaaaaa" in a suitably waily tone.  If he's just being chatty and conversing, or labelling random things in a good-natured way, then we hear "de-di-da-da", plus untranscribable nasal snufflings, snortings, and wet splurtings.

Cognitive:  Books are no longer just for eating!!  Yay!  Not that there's any pressure on him or anything ....
Anyway, now it's hard to tear him away from them, and our dressing routing in the evening goes: "Nappy first .. no darling - nappy before book. Yes, just hold still, and THEN we can read it ..  Ok .. (insert book 1 here).  Pyjama bottoms now.  Look, don't flip about like that, it makes it all go much slower .. just sit STILL please .. (insert book 2 here) .. Ok, yes, we can have another book, but your top first, ok? BOTH arms in, thank you.  No, we have to button it first - yes, ALL the buttons ... etc etc .. "  Yes, I could be much harder, but hey.  I kinda like reading to him.

Anyway, there's plenty more in my notes, but those are all the essentials.  With any luck I'll get back on track with posts. Hmmm.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sick and Tired!

We've had another milestone from the Monkey today.  His first stomach virus. Oh. Yay.

The results so far (and at the time of writing, it's not even past 11am!): The bed sheets must be burned.  My pyjamas must be burned.  Large patches of carpet in the living room must be burned (or at least thoroughly disinfected).

I am continually amazed that something so small can (repeatedly!) regurgitate so much!  The biggest challenge of the morning has been to provide the necessary comfort without soaking up too much of the Monkey's output.  He would make a beeline for me when - I suppose - he started to feel a little uncomfortable.  The first couple of times, I wasn't quick enough to work out the pattern of events, with the inevitable result being  .. well .. inevitable.  By the third ejection, I had a basin at the ready, and while it wasn't entirely splash-free (YOU try holding a 9 month old over a basin when all he wants is a cuddle!), at least the vast majority was contained.


Anyway, the support system here is pretty good, and a nurse has given me a list of things I need to do to keep him hydrated, etc, so I'm rather hoping that a) this is an extremely short-lived stomach virus, and b) I don't get it before he's kicked it.  Or even better: c) I don't get it AT ALL!

Apart from this, things haven't changed remarkably from the last post.  He crawls, he cruises.  Very occasionally, he lets go and stands for a second unsupported before he has an SSM (Sudden Sitdown Malfunction).  The notable changes have been more on the cognitive side.  For the last week or so, he's worked out a couple of things.
1. He can put things in boxes
2. He can take things out of boxes
3. He can make mummy sing along with his silly musical snail toy

I've also seen him directly mimic someone - clapping, mostly - but this is still pretty rare.  If we make 'ba-ba' noises at him, he just watches us quizzically, but certainly doesn't see the need to make the sounds himself.  In fact, he doesn't really make much in the way of speech noise - most of his noises are sort of nasal grunts, sort of a "gloonggloong" noise, interspersed with the occasional "a-da!" or "rararawa"

He seems to be a lot more interactive - holding out his saliva-coated blocks as if to say "Go on, YOU have a chew, too!".  He seems to understand "no!" and "uh-uh!" (yes, sadly we use these words far too frequently), though whether he obeys them or not is another matter.  He also appears extremely intrigued by my layers of clothing.  He'll stand by my chair, lifting up my jacket and top until he gets to some bare flesh, at which point he squeals with joy, and digs his fingers into folds.  Nothing to make you more conscious of your muffin-tops than an inquisitive 9 month old!

I suppose the biggest milestone this month is actually mine.  Until now, I don't think I'd quite grasped just how hard the transition from selfish to selfless was going to be.  And nothing makes you realise the extent of your selfishness like a demanding dependant 24/7.  Normally after a stressful day at work, I'd charge home, prostrate myself on a sofa, and decant the best part of a bottle of merlot into my gullet, pausing at brief intervals to insert a chocolate biscuit.  Nowadays - if I'm lucky enough to have a work to escape to - I come home and take over Monkey-minding duties from a frazzled Hubs.  If work is stressful, tough! If bills pile up, tough! If there's not enough time to make a nutritious meal for myself, tough!  I now can appreciate just how much parents have to suck it up - particularly if they want to shield their beloved offspring from life's harsh realities.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mobility Madness!

Yes, it's been a long time since I last posted, not because nothing has been happening in the Planet of the Monkey, but a lot of work suddenly landed on my plate and every time I sat down at my computer it was to be productive OR ELSE!

And while that was quite nice, it also means that I am very far behind with Monkey updates, because such a lot has been happening!

This will give you a fairly good idea of where we're at right now:

Yup, the Monkey has achieved verticality! And yup, he is extraordinarily happy in this state.  He is also crawling about, traditional style - hands and knees.  I can't remember exactly the moment it began - but the progression was funny to watch: he started off rocking on all fours in place.  Then lifting up a leg for long periods of time, like a dog with a bladder problem.  Then managing to move his arms and legs with the result that he travelled slowly backwards. Finally, after a few tantalising steps, the process clicked and he was off.  The whole thing probably took him about 5 days to work out, at the end of which he was able to crawl while obviously focusing very hard on each limb as he moved it, and was still inclined to drop into his commando creep if he wanted to get anywhere fast.  Over the last few days though, he's started to find his rhythm and occasionally even moves two limbs at once!

About a week and a half ago, he performed his first unassisted pull-to-stand on a chair, and now can happily pull himself on virtually anything.  This makes him ecstatic and the cats nervous, as they're no longer safe on their sofa perches.  We've also had to take our baby-proofing to the next level.  He's just able to get his fingers over the top of the dining table, which means that anything sticking over the edge is fair game as far as he's concerned.

'Cruising' is the sport du jour - and it's been very interesting watching him getting his sense of balance.  He can now make it between the sofa and his play pen, which involves switching his grip, stepping, and transferring his weight.  Easy for us, but quite a concept for the Monkey!  Unfortunately, this manoeuver brings him right up close to the stereo controls.  Hello Volume Knob!!  He's also worked out how to get down from his standing position, which is probably the latest development.  Initially the only way down was by imitating a felled tree (if felled trees screeched and wailed for a good 15 minutes).  But now he has a couple of methods. One I call the 'bottom bump', and the other is a very careful method of leaning forward and bending at the knees and ending up in a crawl position.  This second method takes about half an hour, though, as he keeps changing his mind.

Last note before I sign off to tend the little guy (who is burbling in his cot).  He's getting not one, but two(!) lower front teeth.  He is about to learn that biting is NOT GOOD.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A day of firsts

Looks like the Monkey is commemorating the start of February (and his 7 month and 12 day anniversary) by finally attaining forward movement.  Not for him the classic crawl, but rather the sniper wriggling through the underbrush on his belly - if your average sniper carried a neon orange plastic cup clenched between his teeth, rather than a high-powered rifle slung on his back, the comparison would be exact.  Needless to say, much of my time today has been devoted to frantically baby-proofing the living area.

This morning, he stealthily crept up on one of our cats, although by 'stealthily', I actually mean 'accompanied by squawks which grew in pitch and volume as he neared his target'.  I considered heading him off at the pass, then decided that now was as good a time as any for them both to learn.  He grabbed the fluffy pelt he'd been admiring for so long. She screeched, turned about, and smacked him on the face.  To my surprise, there was nary a cry from his end, so I thought she's just given him a pat.  Turns out, she'd caught him with a shallow scratch - but I think he was so stoked having attained a good handful of cat hair that he just didn't register the blow.  Anyway, he has a lovely piratical scar down his cheek to show for it.

One more first was at yesterday's playgroup meeting. The Monkey had his eye on the Divine Miss J, and spent a good deal of time staring soulfully at her as she lay next to him.  At some point, he worked up the courage, rolled over, and saluted the young lady with all the respect her station - flat on her back, legs akimbo - demanded.  I'm not sure whether his advances were returned enthusiastically or not, but when they broke apart, both parties seemed well-satisfied.  It would have been quite romantic, had he not been caught licking the head of the young gentleman on his other side scant minutes earlier.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A la carte

I know it's off topic - but I'll start with a quick locomotion update.  Firstly, the Frog is SO mobile now, rolling and squirming everywhere, that I've decided that he's allowed a new nickname.  Something that reflects his new evolutionary status as a grabby, tool-usey, climby entity.  So I think from now on, it'll be the Monkey.

And the Monkey is VERY close to crawling.  It's funny to watch him rise up on all fours, rock a little in place, straighten his legs, bend them and transfer his weight from one leg to another, even - on a couple of occasions - pull both his knees forward.  But the concept of the crawl as a method of forward movement still eludes him.  Both his parents watch his calisthenics routine with bated breath: Will this be the moment?! What about now?!  As far as the Monkey is concerned, he's just stretching his hamstrings a bit, exercising his legs, doing some push-ups, and has no idea about what's in store once he figures it out. Or DOES he?

After the gabbling he did at Christmas, he basically clammed up - except for some uvular trilling which he would do for half hour stretches.  He'd lie on his back and gargle cheerfully, trying out variations in pitch and volume.  Oh and clicking.  He LOVED to click - mostly the "tsk tsk" type of noise, but occasionally the 'tock tock' one as well (for the linguists, I'm talking about alveolar and retroflex clicks ;) ).  However, in the last 2 days, he's re-discovered his babbling - lots of 'mama', 'wawa', 'baba' noises, and every variant in-between.

But, I digress.  On to today's topic.  All about food.  The Monkey now eats breakfast and dinner regularly (we still give him formula throughout the day, though I'm thinking that moving on to some kind of lunch might not be a bad idea). After my first brief foray into baby-lead weaning, I had a freak-out when he bit off a huge chunk of carrot (cooked, I hasten to add), and I sat there watching him anxiously to see what he'd do with it.  In the end, the suspense of 'will he/won't he' was far too much for me, so I've gone back to spoon-feeding him various mushes.  It's a lot cleaner this way as well, once I taught the Monkey to keep his grabby hands out of the way.   I read the literature, bought the various non-allergenic veggies, pureed them, stuck them in ice-cube trays and froze them, with the idea that I could throw together a quick meal with a cube of this, and a cube of that.

If you've had a child any time in the last 5 years or so, no doubt you'll have been inundated with information on which foods should be avoided, and which are ok with respect to allergic reactions.  Well, we had all that, and then we read this article - which states (if you can't be bothered to read it), that delaying weaning your child until 6 months (well, exclusively breast-feeding them, in fact), might increase incidences of iron deficiency, allergic responses to things like nuts, and coeliac disease in later life.  Really, you can't win!

So, we decided to feed the Monkey peanut butter, and interestedly watched the reaction ...

Given that this is the reaction we get after introducing any new food, we weren't particularly concerned.  And indeed the Monkey was fine after being dosed with peanuts on successive nights.  We've also fed him scrambled eggs (whites and all!), and no adverse reactions.  Some might feel we're being a little cavalier towards the health of our first-born, but I contend that if you slavishly follow ANY literature, you'll no doubt find that you were wrong all along anyway, so you may as well take what information you can (peanuts CAN cause allergic reactions), and then go about your business as you feel comfortable.

Anyway, I was just going to finish up with some of the more eclectic food mixes the Monkey has had, due to parental inventiveness (Hubs) or laziness (me).

  • banana, cinnamon and vanilla
  • spinach, tomato, pumpkin, avocado and garam masala
  • sweet potato, banana, nutmeg
  • avocado and banana
  • bolognese (inc lamb, onion, garlic, carrot, tomato), and applesauce

All I have to say is: don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do the Locomotion ...

Not a lot has been happening in the Frog world - or if it has, it's just far too subtle a change for his mother to notice.  I thought I would document his locomotory progress though, as he's starting to get about a little bit.

The Frog is a happy little roller now, voluntarily flipping front to back or back to front as the mood takes him.  Today he was playing with a small red wooden ball, and once he'd slobbered all over said ball, he found it quite a challenge to hold onto.  The slippery little sucker would shoot out of his hands like a bar of well-lathered soap, and roll ...ooh...  maybe 50cms across the floor.  Then there would be a marathon of squirming where the Frog would stretch, lean, and grunt, and stretch a little bit more, before working out that he would actually have to move to collect his prize toy.  The Frog's take on moving isn't a model of efficiency.  As far as I can see, he uses one of two strategies.  Both involve being tummy-down.

Strategy one is where he pushes his chest off the floor with both hands.  This appears to inch him slightly away from the target zone.

In strategy two, he gets his legs under him, and pushes.  This seems closer to the mark, except that while he's doing this, his arms are just flopping on the floor like limp herrings - so all this seems to accomplish is ploughing his face into the floor.

Astonishingly, however, using both these methods, and a bit more flip-flopping, the Frog is usually able to attain his target (unless it's rolled under the sofa).  Just demonstrates where a bit of tenacity and/or bloody-mindedness will get you.  That's m'boy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Attachment parenting

I'm not sure whether it's better to read too much or read too little about pregnancy/birth/parenting.  On the one hand, I suppose you can be forewarned as to what's in store for you.  On the other, you can read so many conflicting opinions that you just wind up tying yourself into knots.

Hubs is definitely a reader.  It doesn't help very much when he researches a topic exhaustively, then solemnly tells me "Don't look it up, it'll just make you feel worse".  Jeeeeez.  There's the one way I'm guaranteed to go and read something.  Hmmmm.  Now I'm wondering if he's a master of reverse psychology...

So we read up on attachment parenting.  The basic gist is that you don't leave your baby to cry, and you keep them reasonably close.  And the reasoning behind it all is that if your baby is secure in the knowledge that mum and dad are always there to deal with hunger/dirty nappy/general ennui, then they will become Securely Attached, and hence less likely to become anxious when you're not around.

Well, since returning from our overseas sojourn (the Frog's first plane trip, in which he behaved himself admirably!), we have worked out that the Frog hasn't been following up on his part of the bargain.

Every time we put him down and walk just two paces away, he immediately starts up a distressed bellowing that rattles the window panes.   Don't get me wrong, I like to think that the little guy likes my company, but it is exhausting when he does nothing but cry and grizzle when you want to make a cup of tea, go to the loo, do some basic house tidy, etc, etc.  And the problem with the ongoing crying, is that I get very wound up about it.  Not to the point of snapping and drop-kicking the little blighter along the hall, but I to tend to grizzle loudly along with him "Waaa! Waaa!! Yes, let's all ROAR together, SHALL WE?!"  Yesterday I got completely fed up, and just socked him in his pack with the idea of going out for a walk - which would hopefully have the double whammy of me burning off some of my frustration with exercise, and him getting some sleep.  Of course, as soon as I'd buckled him in, he dropped off into a deep sleep. I managed to winkle him out of the pack and into his cot without him waking up, and actually got some work done.  Bing! Score 1 for mum!

BUT - it's not all dire news.  Other Frog updates since last post:

Babbling. Definitely happening now - probably started in earnest a couple of days after Christmas.  He makes 'b' sounds and 'd' sounds mostly: "bababa" and "dadada".  I've also heard 'w', and 'g', plus he still makes his crazy uvular trill (or gargles) - though that's mostly when lying on his back, so I reckon it's partially due to the tongue dropping back in his mouth a little.

LURVES to stand. Try to stick him down on the floor to sit, and he locks his legs at the knees and thrusts his hips forward like Elvis.  No way is he gonna sit!  He can also bend and straighten his knees while being held in a standing position, which is reasonably new, and shows that he can actually take the weight on his legs, rather than just locking out all his joints.  Still absolutely no ability to get himself to sit/stand on his own steam, though he's now happily rolling front to back, and back to front at will.

Once on his front, he can now push himself up fairly strongly so his arms are straight.  This tends to have the effect of inching him backwards, and this maneuver, along with his rolling means that he's getting more mobile, even if he's not really locomoting in any meaningful way.  I DO need to keep an eye on him though - at one point he managed to wedge himself between the sofa, and one of the arches of his jungle gym, so that his neck was pressing against the arch.  I don't think it was very serious - but he was making little grunting noises, and when I looked down, his face was a rather disturbing darkish colour, so I hauled him upright quick-smart, and moved things around so it couldn't happen again.

The Frog's personality is also gradually emerging.  I think I'm going to peg him as a bit of a thrill seeker.  He likes being startled, and laughs uproariously at any and all 'boo' games - the louder and more sudden, the better as far as he's concerned.  Time to start looking for one of those spring-loaded snakes in a can, I suppose...