Now that you’re one year old, I am switching to monthly instead of weekly updates. This is my first Babel Monthly now that you’ve just turned 13 months old. You’ve had one exciting month since your first birthday. The most important bit of news is that you are walking!
About a week after your birthday, you started by standing on all fours and sticking your bum in the air and then suddenly standing up, by yourself in the middle of the room. That was really exciting and it made us and you very proud. You usually accompanied those stand-ups with a victorious roar, it was hilarious and exciting.
Three days later you started realizing you could make steps, but you kept doing them only on one foot. You kept practicing over and over, with loads of falling in between, and only five days after you first stood up you walked for the very first time. This happened on Mother’s Day and it was the most thoughtful gift ever! Daddy and I saw you do it and we both screamed in excitement and celebrated loudly. We had our cameras at the ready the rest of the day to try and capture you walking on video. Later while facetiming with your grandparents in both Japan and the Netherlands, you did it again! About five steps towards daddy and we were all so proud of you.
It was really interesting to witness your development from crawler to walker. I feel like you chose a harder way to do it than what I’ve seen other babies do. You’ve been able to pull yourself up on furniture and cruise for months and I expected you would learn how to walk by letting go of furniture during one of your many cruising sessions. Instead, you chose to first stand up in the middle of the room without holding on to anything to support the action, then find your balance while standing, before making steps and walking. It doesn’t matter how you taught yourself to walk, you’ve made us all very proud.
Two weeks later and you’re walking like a pro. You often clap excitedly while walking, I think because you’re used to us clapping and cheering you on while you are walking. It is really quite cute, when you are clapping and walking all around the living room.
You love climbing. Onto the tables from the couch, you even tried to climb the rope spider in the park, but that was way too ambitious, it is much too wobbly for you to actually get on. We discovered that you know how to climb the stairs quite a while ago, now you’re an absolute pro at that as well. You do it so controlled and stabile, you’re even able to go back down a step without losing balance. But you prefer to go up and up. I’ve also seen you try to get off the couch or the bed with your leg or legs first a few times. You haven’t mastered this skill yet and you still seem to prefer to go head first. I hope you learn how to get off the bed the right way soon, because every morning when Papa leaves for work and we’re still snoozing away, I’m worried you’ll wake up without me noticing and dive off the bed head first.
We did not get to weigh or measure this month, we were supposed to but the health visitor canceled her home visit last minute. I don’t feel like you’ve gained much weight if at all, but it is possible you’ve grown a bit because the new shoes I bought you this month already seem to be getting too small.
You did receive a new set of immunizations this month, a day after your birthday. Oma and uncle Gyano were still here, and we all went to our new Derby doctor’s office together. At first you were really enjoying yourself and exploring the new environment. The nurse was blonde and friendly (just your type) and you had no problem with us baring your legs and holding you in a funny position. Until that first needle went in…
You were crying loudly and by needle two and three you were screaming your little head of. Probably trying to communicate “what fresh hell is this?!” Even though we all knew it really was for the best, we felt really bad for you. It kind of felt like a betrayal of your trust, hopefully you’ll forget about this soon. Thankfully, like previous times, you didn’t really suffer any side effects, the shots just make you more sleepy than normal.
Talking about sleeping, gosh you sleep wildly. You keep on kicking Papa in the face and pushing your head into my head. I guess I am on the lucky side of the bed. You sleep best when touching at least one of us, or on your belly. Recently, your head sweats buckets while you’re asleep. You leave huge wet spots on your breastfeeding pillow and on our bed. After a nap your head always looks like you just stepped out of the shower! Google tells me it’s quite normal for babies, as you sleep much deeper than adults. You still laugh and giggle in your sleep from time to time, and it always makes me smile and wonder what’s happening on the inside of your eyelids.
You are one fussy puppy these days. It has me a bit worried because you never used to be like that. You cry cranky cries frequently, and even the end-of-the-world cry sometimes appears for seemingly no reason at all. Two days ago, when I tried to take your 13 month picture, was especially bad. You drove me quite desperate and the whole situation frustrated me to no end. You even made me carry you on one arm all around town, because you refused to sit in your stroller, next time your Ergo is coming along just in case.
You did hurt your head really hard last week on the side of the TV unit, the bruise is still there. You also fell of the couch, head first, yesterday. I hope it has nothing to do with that. A couple a weeks ago, you were especially fussy at night, waking up a lot and crying/whining. Most of the time it was fixed by offering you the breast, but I remember one night nothing worked and you cried long and hard and woke up Papa. This was all before you hurt your head, so there’s probably nothing really wrong with you, perhaps it’s a phase? Hope you change back into your happy, social, contented self soon, it makes daily life much easier.
Something that seems to be changing for the better just this past week is your willingness to have us brush your teeth. You had been fighting us wildly, twice a day, because you really did not want us to put anything in your mouth. I even bought you a little electric toothbrush for babies, since you seemed so interested in our electric toothbrush and you hated your regular brush. You do enjoy playing with the new brush, especially since it lights up, but it didn’t improve our daily toothbrushing experience at all. A few days ago you finally let us brush your teeth for short bursts of time without much of a fight and sometimes you even say “aah”. I hope this means the beginning of a nice clean journey for your teeth.
You’re still a nursing champ and I’m really happy you haven’t given up yet. Thinking back to when we were in the hospital and how hard it was to breastfeed when you were in the neonatal unit, I never thought we would be able to keep doing it for so long. The nurses there kept wanting me to feed you formula, but there was no way I was going to allow that. I hand-expressed colostrum and I sat by your incubator all night to wait for you to wake up hungry. One of the night nurses was especially pushy and disrespectful. She wanted me to go back to my room on the maternity ward and let her feed you formula if you woke up. I shouldn’t make such a big deal of breastfeeding. Everything I had wanted for your birth had gone wrong and this was the last thing on my list that still had a chance of succeeding and I was going to try my best to breastfeed you.
I still can’t believe I managed to verbally fight her off as hormonal and tired as I was. Boy, am I glad I stood my ground. Two days later when we were both on the maternity ward, the lady that came to check your hearing saw us struggling to breastfeed on her way out. She quickly came back and took some time to teach me how to help you latch on. Since then breastfeeding has been the best and most special thing I have been able to do for you and with you. It has been amazing seeing you grow and thrive on milk that my body makes just for you. It is also always a nice moment to relax together and enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, you’re also eating regular food. You know how to communicate what you don’t and do want regarding food (or anything) with gestures. If you want it you’ll look at it and stretch out your hand. When you don’t want something you’ll ignore it, slap it away, throw it on the floor, or shake your head no and make a little grunt. You still love cheese, potatoes, and Organix rice crackers in all tastes. You were slightly addicted to blue berries for a long while, but you don’t want them anymore. Now, you really like frozen grapes, we often snack on them together in the evenings. You also love having your own bowl to take food out of or put food back in. When I don’t give you your bowl, you’ll keep pointing your utensil to one of our plates because you want to shove food around.
You are talking a lot these days. We hear all kinds of sounds and excited babble coming out of your mouth. You don’t really say “mama” anymore, but we do hear a lot of “dada” and still the occasional “uh-oh”. We’re not really worried, as we’re raising you trilingually and we know it will take you longer to start talking in any of these languages. When you and I are alone, I speak Dutch to you, Papa speaks to you in Japanese, when we’re all together we use English. You also watch a lot of Japanese kiddy shows, you especially love Inai Inai Baa with the huge white and green dog. I think that could help your Japanese as well, it sure is improving my Japanese, it is just the right level for me.
You still love destroying the towers I build with cups or Duplo, but you’re also starting to build things yourself. You still haven’t figured out how to click the Duplo together, you’re good at pulling them apart though, but you are able to put cups on top of each other quite successfully. Especially, now you’re able to stand up so easily it’s easier for you to put the top cup on the tower.
I don’t write about you weekly anymore, but I still take a weekly photo. It is just too much fun to see the changes. I don’t put you on the rug anymore because it’s just too hard to take photos like that with you just wanting to go anywhere but there. I have started taking close-ups of your face instead, and I’m going to end this blog post with the four close-ups from this month: