Wednesday 24 April 2013



We spent a lovely long weekend in Barcelona for our seventh anniversary. Junior was (mostly) a great traveller - he ate, played, chased every pigeon, befriended several dogs ('woof woof!'), and ate and played some more. We managed to see the major tourist sites while running behind him and returning all the toys he took off other children.


strawberries in the market



la rambla del mar

funicular de montjuïc

museu nacional d'art de catalunya

park güell



planning the day's itinerary

"what do you mean, 'share'?"

casa battló

la sagrada família




The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and it was remarkably easy to get around - even with a baby buggy. We were swept to the front of queues and given accés preferential. Junior made friends everywhere and I got to practice my (very rusty) Spanish. ¡Muy bien!

Friday 12 April 2013

16 months

New Year's Day walk

So much has happened in the last four months. Junior started walking properly between his birthday and New Year's, and I have been struggling to keep up with him!

After the excitement of birthday parties and cakes, we spent Christmas in Ossett. Unfortunately, Junior caught the norovirus and was ill for ten days. In the spirit of sharing, he gave it to his Granddad on Christmas Eve. Not quite the family holiday we had all been planning, but we still managed to enjoy each other's company.

Smiles with Mummy

Sadly, norovirus was just the first of a series of maladies: we have all suffered from an interminable cold. Junior and I developed conjunctivitis and throat infections. Junior had several rashes, one of which was diagnosed as Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (one week off nursery), one was an allergic reaction to amoxicillin (just like Mummy), and the most recent one has been chicken pox (another week off). Junior is generally a good patient, but he hates medicine. We have been adding it to water, milk or juice, but he seems to know when his drinks are laced and instinctively avoids them.

Self-feeding with fork

On the days when he is feeling well and has a good appetite, he has been self-feeding with fierce determination. His grip and aim are improving, and most of the food makes it to his mouth. So far we have been lucky that he is not a picky eater. He has surprised us on more than one occasion with the things he will gobble: porridge, steak, corn on the cob, tiramisu, spicy kidney beans, caramelised onions, tuna with mayo. In fact, there are not many things he won't eat, but he is not keen on yogurt for some reason.

First babyccino

First artwork

He is discovering his artistic side and also displaying quite good manual dexterity. He seems to have good understanding of The Way Things Work: he only needs to see someone do something once before figuring out how to do it himself.

Reading books

He has been reading books (although I still don't trust him with normal pages, so he's relegated to the land of board books until he can stop tearing every piece of paper within reach). He remembers the stories and has been able to make associations between characters/animals and similar toys (e.g. his rabbit puppet is now Nicholas the Bunny). He sings Row Row Row Your Boat, complete with crocodile puppet (ahhh!)

Junior's vocabulary is also increasing. His words include

  • Duck/quack
  • Chick (used for all chickens and birds)
  • Woof woof
  • Moooo!
  • Bob (our goldfish)
  • Shoe
  • Banana ('nana')
  • Buh-bye (with wave)
  • Choo-choo (for train, but also 'choo' for Cheerio, and once 'ca-choo' when I sneezed)
  • Bubble
  • Thank you - this one changes each time but often sounds like 'duck do'

iPad games

Of course, he has much more to say than this, but most of it is still unintelligible - more's the pity. He has intense phone conversations with himself and anyone kind enough to play along. He plays games on my iPad and stares at the TV whenever it is on. He fell in love with the driving game at Eddie Catz, and I wonder if (when) we will need to start limiting his screen time. So far he has been good about enforcing his own limits, and his interest in pens and other objects relieves my worries that he will never appreciate simpler/older technology.

Scooter practice

A few months ago, I used these words to describe Junior, and they still apply: keen, independent, energetic, rambunctious, adventuresome, nonstop. He is still borderline aggressive with other children (when will the bully become the bullied?) and he didn't wait long to start throwing toddler tantrums, but he is also surprisingly good at following directions and understanding limits. Of course, just because he understands that he shouldn't climb on the coffee table doesn't mean that he agrees not to do it - I vacillate between being a Helicopter Parent, following him everywhere to keep him out of trouble, and being a Permissive Parent, letting him get away with things when it's easier not to argue. He tends to be charming enough that most people forgive his transgressions (taking things that don't belong to him, talking loudly, running wild). I'm glad that he is not self-conscious yet; secretly I admire him for being so unapologetically true to himself. I hope he can develop these qualities without becoming self-centered or mean.

Serious nap time

His last big milestone has been sleeping. He is getting more consistent about napping, and he is good at going to sleep at night - most nights he falls straight asleep with little protest. We just need to get him to sleep through the night more often. He still tends to wake up at least once per night. He has not given up breastfeeding yet, although he is taking less and less. Tracking his/my sleep cycles on my Fitbit has yet to reveal a pattern, but he is improving over time. Like all things, he'll get there in his own time, in his own way.