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...