You had a very busy month! You saw lots of family members, from Japan, the Netherlands and England. We rented a car and visited a zoo, an aquarium, a castle, and a farm. We stayed in a caravan park at the beach in Wales for a weekend, and on Mama’s birthday we went all the way to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. Besides that there were regular and extra playgroups at the Children’s Centre, visits to the park, the playgrounds, and lots of dips in the park’s paddle pool. Oh, and you’ve had ice cream!
You got weighed again and you now weigh 12.64 kg and you’re 80.5 cm tall. We went back a week later just to measure your head circumference which is 51 cm. The health visitor that visited us in June called me to remind me that your head measured quite large back then and that she wanted to monitor its size. Apparently, your head is still large but it’s nothing to worry about. We never did worry, we knew you have inherited your dad’s large head.
You’re constantly changing. You’ve picked up a few new habits and reignited a few old ones. You have discovered your fingers are the ideal size for your nostrils. You enjoy sticking your fingertips in there. Even better are Papa and Mama’s nostrils because your entire finger fits up our nose. You often test this out while you’re nursing. Thanks.
When you feel a sneeze coming on, you open your mouth wide, crumple up your little nose, and then full out sneeze. Yup, with your mouth wide open so sneeze sprinkles go everywhere. Pretty cute now, but I will have to teach you how to sneeze in a more civilized way someday.
You already liked blowing raspberries back when you were a little baby, but now you are the master. They get really loud and they can last forever. Pretty amazing.
I think more teeth are on their way of cutting through and they seem to be bothering you tremendously. You are often chewing your hand. Sometimes you try to fit the whole thing into your mouth and it makes you gag. You like to chew anything fabric, my hair is a favorite too, and you try to bite our arms, legs, and feet. A side effect of all this biting and chewing is an enormous amount of drool. I hope your new teeth make an appearance soon, I don’t like seeing you so uncomfortable.
You are the master of copying! Ever since you first started experimenting with food at 6 months, we’ve also let you play with cutlery and chopsticks. Regular Western cutlery is easy enough to figure out and you’ve been using them for quite a while. You do like to turn your spoon upside down on the way towards your mouth, though. So not all food actually makes it in there. This month, you really surprised us when you started using chopsticks correctly, without ever being taught how. You’ve just observed us and started copying us.
You know the chopsticks go in one hand (you always use your right hand), you know that they need to line up, and that they’re used to transport food to your mouth. You’ve spent a lot of time focusing and concentrating on picking up food with your chopsticks. You don’t know how to squeeze something between your chopsticks yet, but you can stab your food, and simply lift up food with the ends of your chopsticks. Among other things, you’ve successfully eaten chips (English chunky fries) and ramen noodles off your chopsticks. It’s really impressive.
Papa and I tried to teach you how to fist bump. So we demonstrated it with our own fists. You observed closely. Then you looked at our outstretched fists and instead of bumping one of us with your own fist, you took our fists and bumped them together. Over and over, and lastly you bumped our fists to your head.
When your Japanese Oma was here she played a lot of “touch touch” with you. You quickly figured out what was expected of you and whenever someone sticks out their hands and says “touch touch” you will do just that with your hands. When your Dutch Oma was here you did a lot of high-fiving with her.
When we were in the swimming pool in Wales, I got the hiccups. I tried really hard to get rid of them by holding my breath for 30 seconds. To this end, I used my fingers to squeeze my nose closed. Halfway through my 30 seconds, you copied me and closed your own nose. Of course, this had me laughing out loud and I had to start over. Then you copied me again by squeezing your nose and Papa’s nose! Ever since then you have a new move: the nose pinch and fly away. You pinch your nose, make a phew sound, and with the help of your hand your pretend your nose flies away.
You seem to understand what you look like more. You like looking in the mirror and interacting with the little boy you see there (you!). You shouldn’t be able to really recognize yourself quite yet, but you’re getting there I think. At playgroup there was a baby doll. You held the doll and gently caressed its face. After touching something on the baby’s face you touched the same thing on your face. You ended up doing the nose pinch and fly away move on the baby doll as well.
We bought you a baby phone for Christmas and for months you’ve played with it in your baby-jail or during diaper changes. I guess we’ve been showing you how to use a phone, by holding it to our ears and talking in it, because you’ve suddenly been doing this the last couple of weeks! You hold the baby phone, or one of our actual iPhones, to your ear and start babbling excitedly.
You’re still babbling loads and we’ve heard you say “mama” clearly on several occasions, but it still doesn’t seem like you mean by that. Not sure. Before you latch on to nurse or when you pop a frozen grape into your mouth you make the “aaahmm” sound. You say “bapaah” a lot while pointing up or to the stairs, we’re still trying to figure out what that really means. We love your babbling and your voice is so adorable.
As mentioned last month, Papa has been trying to teach you the word “chin chin” [penis in Japanese]. And you definitely understand this word. When we say it you point at it or touch it, and when you’re touching it you try to say the word. You will also say it without prompting during a diaper change and you get a hold of yours, albeit with a funny pronunciation. It used to sound like “djuh djuh”, now it sounds more like “djet djet”. Wonder when you’ll be able to say it correctly.
I wanted to teach you how to kiss, so I demonstrated it with one of your plush doggies. I made a loud “mmmmmwah” sound and kissed the dog on its mouth. You observed and then when I held the dog in front of your face and made the kissy sound you leaned in and pushed your face against the dog’s face. Since then Papa and I have received a few of these “kisses”. You don’t make kissy lips or smacking sounds but you lean in to push your mouth area against ours. These days only the little animals on your mobile receive all the unprompted kisses, which makes me happy because I made those for you.
In the evenings, we play together in the living room. After a day of nursery rhymes and Japanese kids shows, at night I often play The Big Bag Theory in the background. This show plays their theme song at the beginning and the end of an episode. There were a few nights last month when this song seemed to trigger something for you. Every time it played, you would suddenly stop whatever you were doing and rush towards me for a cuddle while keeping a suspicious eye on the TV. Once time you were already standing when the song played and you literally ran into my arms when the music started. It was really cute, but also a bit puzzling, since you’re no stranger to that song. You don’t do it anymore, but those scaredy cat cuddles sure were cute.