Since he took his first independent steps two months ago, Reindeer’s walking has really come on.
We haven’t had him measured for shoes yet, instead using socks, Mocc Ons and Stonz while he’s been learning.
Recently we’ve been given starter shoes used by his older cousins. Whilst his walking was great indoors he wasn’t as steady outdoors – the pre-shoes were beginning to hold him back – so we tried him with a pair of starter shoes.
The difference was amazing and he was happy to go off exploring confidently in the shoes. He’s really picked up his pace too – almost running. The problem now is getting him to come back indoors. So keen is he on his shoes that he’ll try to put them on himself – his efforts are pretty good! He’ll also play with other people’s shoes – including hiding them. This can be funny or frustrating depending on how long it takes to find a matched pair again!
This week we’re going to take him for his first proper show fitting – he’ll need shoes that fit well now he’s truly on the move. The next trick will be getting him to hold my hand whilst we’re out and about.
Over the last few weeks, Reindeer’s communication has developed rapidly. There’s been a huge increase in the range of sounds he expects us to copy, and now there are actions too.
At dinner he will sit in his chair, catch my eye and stretch his body as tall as he can. He maintains eye contact whilst I copy, then relaxes and laughs happily. This is repeated several times.
We’ve been singing songs together since he was born, but it’s only the last couple of weeks that he’s taken to joining in with the actions independently. Popular at the moment is clapping and waving his hands in ‘the little green frog’, clapping and stamping his feet in ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’ and bouncing up and down for ‘up and down to London town’ (hard work with a 2+ stone baby who wants to be bounced high repeatedly for ages – thanks for teaching him that one Oma!). He’s also pretty good with the rocking in ‘row your boat’ and is keen for me to lead on the arms in ‘big red bus’.
Reindeer has developed a short boppy dance which he’ll perform to certain music or when he’s happy. It largely involves moving his shoulders and head from side to side and is very cute to watch – it never fails to make me smile and he loves people to join in!
Last week we spent time with family. Reindeer is fascinated with cousin #2. He’s 3-years old and the feeling is mutual. Whilst they played together last week I noticed two interactions in particular. The first was jumping – cousin #2 would spend ages jumping up and down in front of Reindeer who would try to copy. He’d watch closely, concentrating really hard, and bend and straighten his knees (sometimes until he was crouching) in an effort to do the same. He couldn’t quite figure out the bit where you take both feet off the floor at the same but he’s been practicing in his cot so it probably won’t be long. The second thing was an inside joke they developed one mealtime. Reindeer would offer cousin #2 some food. Cousin #2 would respond ‘no thank you, Reindeer’ and they’d both laugh like it was the best joke ever. This carried on for almost 10 minutes the first time and for shorter periods at subsequent meals.
The most recent new action was on Saturday evening. Reindeer rummaged in his toy box and unearthed a sun hat. He brought it over to me, tapped it on the side of his head and handed it over. I guessed he wanted to wear it so I put it on his head. He was thrilled – laughed and walked around with it on then removed it and repeated the whole thing.
There has been so much development with his communication in the last two weeks – in large part (I believe) due to spending a whole week with his eldest cousins. There was lots of interaction and lots to copy. I need to get us to more groups in the hope this will help Reindeer continue to develop these skills.
Reindeer adores reading books. We spend a significant amount of each day reading together. This time is always initiated by Reindeer and we can go through four or five books four or five times each in one sitting.
We have books with textures, flaps and pictures covering stories, words, shapes, numbers, feelings, opposites, colours and animal noises (among other topics).
I was really surprised a couple of days ago when Reindeer began responding to the shape book by picking out the circle when asked. I’ve yet to try this outside the book, but it seems repeatable within the book. I’m going to see if we can get he same success with other shapes this week.
Reindeer still loves bathtime. One of the clearest signs he was poorly last week was that he hated being in the water.
This week we’re back to normal, trying to stay in as long as possible. He has developed a new activity though – lying on his tummy in the water and kicking his legs as though he’s swimming.
We haven’t been swimming for almost a month thanks to illness and other commitments, this may be a sign that we need to head back to the pool very soon!
Reindeer had a tough week last week. He’d been fighting off a cough for about a month when he woke up on Monday morning with a high temperature and quite distressed.
Deciding to err on the side of caution we went straight to see our GP. As the cough was viral there was no point in giving antibiotics. Just before we left the GP had a quick look in a screaming Reindeer’s ears. There was clearly an infection and antibiotics were prescribed. I wasn’t thrilled as antibiotics should be used sparingly, but I didn’t want the infection to worsen.
From Monday morning to Thursday lunchtime, Reindeer spent most of his waking hours – and many of his sleeping ones – lying in my arms, feeling rotten and not knowing what to do about it. He developed a really sad cry and would alternate between pushing me away and snuggling in. It was horrible to see him poorly and I desperately wished I could wave a magic wand to make him well again.
Medicine unfortunately became a thing during the week – he hated taking any of it. After many battles and subterfuges (think mixing medicine with fruit pot, yoghurt, ice cream, anything he might eat!) my husband figured out that using the laser thermometer to distract him would give me a few moments when he’d take get medicine without getting upset. It’s tricky but necessary. Of course, there are also the amoxicillin nappies to contend with, but I can’t bear to think about those just now.
On Thursday afternoon Reindeer started to get a little better – this was great timing as it was his dad’s birthday and so we were able to go out for tea.
Although he recovered over the weekend, I’m still a bit worried about him. He seems pale, has dark circles under his eyes, is often tired and has a variable appetite. He also just isn’t quite himself. I don’t know if that’s because he’s still getting over being poorly or if I’m just being over-anxious.
He slept for 13.5 hours last night which suggests he’s still healing. I’ve requested a call back from the health visitors in case there’s something developmental going on that I’m not aware of. Hopefully he’ll have another good sleep tonight and wake up feeling much better tomorrow.
I love watching Reindeer develop a new skill – partly because he gets so happy and partly because it reminds me how many skills we take for granted as adults.
Today, Reindeer has been perfecting walking backwards. He’s walked backwards before, but always accidentally, for example when losing or attempting to regain his balance.
This morning he started walking backwards through the kitchen and suddenly laughed. I watched more closely and, sure enough, he was sreadily and deliberately reversing around the room whilst looking very proud of himself .
During the day I’ve seen him do this quite a few times, so I’m certain he’s practicing/experimenting with this. It’s fun to watch and I’m curious about what might come next.
In an effort to keep Reindeer entertained, we headed out to the local nature park this morning.
It’s quite cool here now, especially with the wind, and since Reindeer still hasn’t cleared his cold I was in two minds about going out. In the end I decided that fresh air and a change of scene would do us both some good.
I’m glad we went. He loved the swings and the sand play area. He also spent ages walking along a small part of the path, focussing first on some interesting stones, then some plants, then another park users bicycle, etc.
When he became tired it was up into the sling for a walk around the small lake. We picked some blackberries, as well as other interesting leaves, and will try some autumn art, sticking and colouring, tomorrow.
When we returned home he went straight to bed and slept for four hours. He really needed that and I’m hoping he’ll feel a lot better tomorrow as a result.