That wind is a-howling, its pretty nasty outside, and although its starting to get a bit late and the wife is complaining that I should be putting the laptop down and going to bed, I at least want to make a start on my mid-week blog. I have even made a small change tonight, in that I am actually sat at the table, instead of cross legged on the sofa, and the tv is off, so hopefully I will get a bit of a better flow on my typing and won’t need to stay up for quite as long. Although, depending on how this goes, I may not finish it all tonight, but I do at the very least want to make a start on it.
So if the title of todays post isn’t quite obvious enough, my story is that this week Olivia has taken a huge leap forward with her walking, finally. We were never really concerned about it as such, it was always going to happen, we were just a little disappointed she hadn’t started it a bit sooner. Her development is fine, she’s 16 months old and that’s a perfectly normal age for a baby to start walking at, some babies start sooner, some start later… but I can’t lie and pretend that we weren’t feeling a little competitive with other parents! Its not the other antenatal babies we were concerned about, Olivia was the last born out of that group, they were always going to be walking before her! No, more recently she has had a new cousin, a few months younger, and the race is quite literally on! On top of which, our little god son is also a few months behind, but catching up fast (sorry Andy!) and we can’t have our little lady being shamed while she sits blissfully unaware in front of the tv, watching Peppa Pig and shrugging her shoulders at us with her thumb in her mouth, oblivious to the fact that this is a race we just HAVE to win!! We’ve never really had a competitive streak in us before, and we’ve always been fairly relaxed… stuff just happens when it happens, we can’t change it, so why worry about it? But this walking thing has just got us gripping the edge of our seats in anticipation, and she’s been teasing us with it since mid December when she first took those first independent steps. There have been numerous occasions since that first episode where she has taken a few steps here and a few steps there, but this week she has seemed to gain a whole lot of confidence, and has even taken to a few wobbly steps out of choice, instead of being promoted by us, in favour of the much faster option of crawling. So although the slower method of getting around initially, it looks like she has seen the potential and long term benefits of persisting with being on two feet! For us, it has been fantastic, and as much as it saddens us to see our little baby disappear, the excitement of new developments and all these changes as our little girl grows up, fills our hearts with joy!
We have also began to detect new words now! For a long time there has been lots of “mama” and “gaga/dada”, although we weren’t convinced these were actual words, more just sounds she was making. For a little while now we have definitely had a very clear and distinct first word, Olivia has totally got to grips with the word “up” in terms of being picked up. She will throw her arms up and shout “up” at us, and will even understand when we tell her “up” if we want to pick her up and take her somewhere. More recently we seem to have started using the word “ta” to say thank you for something. I did have to explain this one to someone at work though, when I said the word “ta” they just looked blankly at me, having clearly never heard this before. I wondered if maybe it was just a Birmingham thing, or do other parents use this in the early stages, as its easy for the babies to say? Either way, we are now working on the word “again” as we think we have heard the early sound of it when she wants more of something. Its much like the early stages of “up” and “ta” where we weren’t quite sure at first, but they seem to have developed into much clearer words now, so we’re hoping that we will soon have more words on the way.
It really has been a lovely day for our little lady today, she is sleeping so much better and has been eating much better lately (we think only recently off her food because of teething) and has been in a fantastic mood.
and as soon as I took her upstairs to get something, she headed straight for the bathroom and demanded a bath! I have encouraged her communication by reacting to pointing, so that she knows how to request things even before the words have come, and she made it quite clear by heading to the bathroom that she wanted to bring tomorrows bath night forward, as soon as I took her away from the bathroom and downstairs we had floods of tears! She’d already had her tea, ours wasn’t ready yet, we had plenty of time before she had to go to bed, so why not… lets go run that bath!!
For 16 months now, we have bathed and bathed her and have managed to avoid the inevitable poo-in-the-bath moment that no parent looks forward to… 16 months!!… until this week where we’ve had it, not just for the first time, but for the second time too!! Consequently that brought this evenings bath time to an abrupt end, and although she wasn’t happy about it, and often moans when she is getting dressed, tonight we had virtually no fuss, and our little energy bomb was showing no signs of tiredness, even as bedtime was knocking on the door! Still, from experience we knew better, this little lady is like an battery, and she’ll keep going until she’s empty, and then she falls off the proverbial cliff. You need to be ready for this time, too much fussing, changing her, putting pyjamas on, trying to brush teeth… oh, she’s not happy about it! So we were ready, we let her play and walk, and walk and play, then we decided that although she didn’t look tired, it was milk time, swiftly followed by bed as soon as that thumb went in her mouth! We had no fuss, no tears and the little lady was asleep just a few minutes after we put her down. It was perfection, to the point we almost high-fived each other! It hasn’t always been this easy, December was a rough month, teething, combined with a temperature, and numerous, almost ongoing cough and colds, meant many nights of being woken up for anything from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. This thankfully seems to have swung itself back around now, where being woken up in the night is actually becoming fairly infrequent again. I’m fairly certain we will have more nights ahead of us where we will have to roll out of bed at 4am, but those smiles and hugs make it so less painful, and almost a pleasure in some strange sense! We really have got the best baby ever!!
Note to self: must stop calling her “baby” at some point… especially before she gets to 18 years old!!