Christopher Updates
Archive of June 2002-July 2002

1 June 2002
Christopher's week has been full of activity. He's learned to pull himself to a stand at will, and will stand holding onto something for extended periods. He likes to stand up holding a chair for the full 30 minutes it takes to watch Blue's Clues. He's developed a soft roll to the ground for when he loses his balance, and never cries over falling anymore. He just gets right back up. In the last few days, he's even been observed letting go and standing unaided for up to four seconds before tipping over or grabbing for support. A friend gave him some of her son's old toys this week, one of which was a walker. He took right to it, and has been covering as much territory as he can without turning any corners. He thinks it's very funny to roll it into the dog then laugh laugh laugh. The dog is not impressed, but will generally hold his ground. Chrono likes to lick Kit's ears, which also makes him laugh. He's big enough now to push the dog away when he's not enjoying being licked, but rarely does.

Christopher had his last Baby Yoga class this week. He's far more interested in crawling and walking now than he is in anything they have to offer him. He still likes the massage, but they don't do that very often. We'll miss being with the other mothers and babies, but I collected some phone numbers, and will be trying to arrange to see some of them in other settings this summer. We'll find him some other classes to get into in a few weeks, or maybe in September.

Swimming class was interesting this week. He embraced some activities that he's been less than thrilled with in the past. He was excited about jumping into the pool from the side. We had to do some floating, me on my back and him on his back on my front, then on his front on my front. He didn't want to be on his back much, so he turned over and started crawling up my body. It seemed like he was going to go over the edge into the water, and the instructor advised that I let him find out what happens. Off the edge he went, not terribly upset, but quite pleased to be rescued after. He didn't venture off the floating mummy after that. We'll see what happens in weeks to come.

He's getting ever more verbal, this week working on his B sounds some more. He said what sounded very much like "bubble butt" one day, then the next day he honored his British half by saying "a bum!" He's often found bouncing on his feet or knees singing "bleh-ba-bleh-ba-bleh-ba." He flirts with strangers in the grocery store. He's getting a really big smile, and he knows when to use it.

This morning Christopher joined us in the big bed for a little sleeping late because he wasn't enjoying being on his own in his room. I'd been up feeding him not long before, so Dave kept him over on his side while I bagged a few Zs. I became aware of a rather sudden shuffling of Hough men as Dave told me that the bed was covered in blood. It turns out that Christopher had inserted his finger up the right nostril of his sleeping father, formed a firm hook, and raked it back out again. OUCH!

Kit in Grass He's getting to the age where a lot of babies start freaking out when someone who isn't their parent tries to do things with them. He's a little bit clingier, but doesn't seem upset if someone else picks him up, and is down right pleased if someone else offers to feed him. We had some evacuees from Madagascar visiting, and he was quite impressed with Christine's baby feeding skills. Marty and Denise ought to be coming back for their things in the next week or so, and they'll be offered a chance to practice their skills too. Mysteriously, no one has yet taken Dave up on any of his many offers of a chance to change Christopher's nappy.

He's currently a fan of "Peachy Porridge" for breakfast, and anything with cheese for dinner. He's not very interested in spoon feeding himself because that slows down the food going in. He still likes to have finger food between meals.

Dave put up the gazebo today, which is just a big tent without sides. Christopher had a good time sitting on the grass, protected from the sun. He did manage to sample a little of the grass, then did what dogs do when they sample grass. It's getting to be summery hot here, so it's nice to have some outdoor options for him.

Dave tells me that he just pulled himself up on his (Dave's) leg, looked him in the eye, and said "DA DA." Cute or what?

3 June 2002
Today Christopher said what MIGHT be his first official word. He's said plenty of things that sound like words, but we haven't counted them because he probably didn't know what they meant when he said them. Anyway, he wanted Dave to pick him up, so he said "UP!" He's known what up is for a while now because it's what we always say when we pick him up. When he hears "up" he lifts his arms to make our job easier. Dave wants to hear it again before he considers it to be an official word.

He's also been practicing his free standing. He pushes off or lets go of his support and stands without support for a second or two before going over. He'll do that a dozen times in a row, so he really is trying to figure it all out. He's doing a good job, but it frustrates him. We do what we can to encourage him, and comfort him when it all gets to be too much.

Oh yeah, even though the sun doesn't set until nearly 10pm here these days, he can tell when it's his bed time. If we try to put him down early, he cries for a short while before giving up, but if it's bed time or later, he goes into his bed with no argument and either goes right to sleep or plays quietly with his toys there until he gets tired enough to sleep. We had him at a 9pm bed time for several months to get him into the bedtime routine, but now it's 8pm. He's accepted this.

9 June 2002
Kit got quantified this week. He had his eight month check-up, which happens to little Brit babies anywhere between eight and ten months. He is 69 cm tall, his head is 45cm around, and he weighs 9.17kg. For those of you who want that in English, he's 2'3" tall, has a 17.75" head, and weighs 20.3 pounds. His weight was right on the 50th percentile, but his head circumference and body length are more like 15th. I looked it up later, and his head is 0.25 inches smaller than the 50th percentile and his height is about an inch below. Such small differences at this age! I think his being slightly smaller has made it easier for him to learn to walk and crawl and do a whole lot of other physical things. The doctor went down the baby checklist, and he has all the skills she checked for, and was charming to boot. There was a guest doctor observing, and he kept commenting on what a calm, happy baby Christopher is.

Still a bit challenged in the hair department, but there are more important things to do just now than grow hair.

No classes this week, but we got to have Dave home on Monday and Tuesday because the country was closed for jubilee. Christopher (and the rest of us) got to enjoy time with Marty and Denise who were passing through on their way back to the US. We got to go to a lot of builders' merchants and hardware stores looking for various kiln and home improvement bits, which he loved. He'll sit calmly in his stroller and take the world in for most of a day if we have that many errands, and only gets upset when we stop for too long. This kid likes a lot of input.

On Saturday we gave him a super-duper stimulating outing by taking him to the Strawberry Fayre, a Cambridge event featuring music, merchants of interesting clothing, instruments, etc., food, and lots of people lots of wearing costumes and doing different amusing things. He got knocked out in just a few hours, and we scored half a dozen totally cool baby outfits. It was at the Strawberry Fayre last year that we discovered the company that sells the star and moon shirts, as seen on his cousins Connor and Griffin.

Today he got to mostly hang out with Daddy in his footy sleeper watching telly and eating Weetabix, while Mummy tested out some raku theories in the rain. Seems to me he made the smarter choice.

10 June 2002
I made french toast out of little ovals of baguette for Kit today. He got to feed them to himself one at a time from the comfort of his playpen. I gave him the first one when he was semi-reclined, and a moment later noticed he has settled into sucking the bread while lying on his stomach. I put him into a sitting position for safety. A little while later when he'd finished, he stood up in his playpen. I gave him his second toast, which he took from me by letting go of the edge with one hand. I turned my back for a moment to put the plate in a dog-proof location, and when I looked back, he was standing up using both hands to hold his toast, completely forgetting to fall over. I'm not sure how long he stayed like that, but it seemed like ages. He managed to eat four and a half disks in total, but sat on his heels for the rest.

In other news, he has the worst nappy rash of his life. Certainly not as bad as nappy rash can get, but it's a new low for him. Can any old wives out there confirm that this foretells the coming of new teeth?

12 June 2002
A combination of baby powder, Sudocrem, and swimming/bath time seem to have converted Christopher's great balls of fire to something less ouchy more human colored. You were just dying to know that, I'm sure.

At swimming class yesterday he was selected to be a demo baby, a role he has always been happy to fill. No more. At least not that time. He struggled to get away from the instructor and back to me. I don't think he can wait to learn to swim for real so he can go where ever he wants. The exercises yesterday included one where the babies are swung onto the parent's back, and the parent swims away. Most parents had to hold the kid's hands, which I tried desperately to do with Kit, but he had other ideas. He pulled his hands free and held onto mummy all by himself. The instructor was really excited, because this turns out to be the goal of the exercise, to get them to where they are comfortable enough to hold themselves on. The nappy rash, impending tooth, and having to be woken up to get in the pool made him crabby, but he got to demonstrate one of his favorite things to the class and have them try to copy it, which is to hold himself onto the side rail. He'll be graduating to a more advanced class next week.

Still no sign of the new tooth, but he spends as much time gumming things on the right side as he can. Sippy cups, fingers, teething rings, you name it. Last time (and the only time so far) he got teeth it was very sudden, so the new one(s) could explode through any minute.

13 June 2002
Nine months old today. Woo hoo!

We had french toast again today, and he fed himself 5.5 pieces before quitting. These are 2 inch by 3 inch ovals, about half an inch thick. He really enjoys feeding himself. He's even fairly neat about it, at least for a 9 month old. He rarely tries to take the spoon away and feed himself with that because he seems to know that it will slow things down. When he's hungry he just wants the food in by the fastest means possible. If he doesn't like the food he won't eat it, but if it's acceptable he's a total Hoover about it.

A friend gave Christopher her son's old Leapfrog train engine. It coaches him to press a number or an animal. Apparently not willing to limit himself to the animals provided by the train, he had hands-on encounters with Lacey, Spider, and Chrono today. For Lacey he crawled over to her and gently petted her, starting at her head and going down her spine. She moved away a few inches, and he crawled in pursuit and did it again. He was being so gentle I was surprised she walked out of the room after a few more strokes. When it was Spider's turn, Christopher was strapped into his recliner so he could only reach his torso below the ribs. Again, the petting was gentle, and Spider stayed for a while to enjoy it before giving him a velvet-pawed slap and storming off. A few quick tears over the rejection, and Chrono arrived to soothe him. Christopher grasped the opportunity to fondle those soft doggy ears. Okay, so it was more like a motorcycle throttle treatment, but the dog is good about that stuff.

Christopher has always had issues with fresh bananas. He was very unhappy when they were first introduced, has eaten mushed ones with no enthusiasm, and acted like I'd put a toad on his tongue when I gave him a small piece in his mouth about a month ago. He'll eat banana, but only if it's nicely processed and served from a jar with another fruit mixed in. Today he overcame his fresh banana aversion and ate two and a half of the (approx.) inch long segments I handed him. He fed himself and took the refills gladly. He might have eaten more, but I had just given him a big jar of fruit (banana and mango). The world gets a little bigger every day.

This evening he seems to be proving one of the rules of babyhood -- he is playing with a big plastic box rather than any of his official toys. He's also had a good time crinkling an unopened packet of potato chips/crisps. The other day I got him a baby drum that can either make drum sounds, musical notes, count, or say the alphabet with each beat. He mastered that in a few minutes and then went on to claim his real prize -- the carboard box it came in.

Bath time gives him the chance to try all sorts of maneuvers not practical on land or possible in the deep (3-4 feet) swimming pool. He gets to stand up in knee-deep water, and he gets to slide naked on his belly (feet first -- at least so far) down the slopey end of the tub when he tries to climb out to investigate the extra toys and shampoo bottles waiting there. He never cries or complains when he slides down, and he doesn't even seem to be more that slightly frustrated. He just gathers himself up and tries it again. It's all good for him as long as he's done it to himself. He's usually sad when a bath ends, but it gets him nice and relaxed so he goes to bed with little or no fuss. It's strange because he seems so stimulated when he's in there, but once out, he's ready to call it a day.

18 June 2002
We had a fairly good day at swimming today. The new class has fewer people in it, and most of them are bigger than Christopher is (although there was a smiley eight month old called Annie who couldn't take her eyes off us, most of the babies are walkers already). As soon as he got into the water, he started kicking and splashing and generally having a good time.

There is an exercise called Humpty Dumpty, in which the babies are sat upon the side of the pool, then pulled in with some splashing. Christopher led the way by JUMPING back into the water well before the song was over. His instructor was pleased, and told everyone to watch the baby, not the song, as Christopher has demonstrated. He had a few ventures under water and decided it was not that kind of a day. A few good wails and I took him to the side of the pool to calm down and play with the rail rivets again. He snuggled up close to me and ran his mouth all over my face until he settled it on my right cheek. He blew at least a dozen juicy raspberries. The instructor was well pleased with our mother-son water bonding.

After class we went to the store to pick out a new swim suit for him. He seems to have outgrown his second one already. He was rather insistent that he get the neon patterned one rather than a plain red or blue one. A few weeks back he selected a rainbow stripe hat for himself. It's the only one he will consent to wear to keep the sun off. Our boy has a taste for the wild side of clothing.

Christopher and Dave celebrated Father's Day weekend mostly without me. I was off doing my own clay things, and they had concentrated guy time. On Sunday Kit had his first date with Jane Malins with Dave as chaperone. They spent some time getting to know each other on the grass, then went to see a flower show. I wasn't there, but I hear the date ended without a kiss. He hopes to see her again.

In other news, his head fuzz is getting slightly longer, suggesting hair. The color appears to be "translucent" so he'll still be needing that hat for some time to come.

24 June 2002
Today Kit decided that didn't want his dinner, he wanted MUMMY's dinner. Mummy happened to be eating stuffed peppers, which have a bit of spicy bite to them, but he stood there with his hand on my foot for support and ate forkfull after forkfull of the stuffing, only crying when it didn't come to him fast enough. When he was done he wanted a lot of water though.

He continues with his studies of the fine art of standing up, going through all sorts of contortions to test and improve his balance and recovery skills. The other day he was seated on his rocking horse doing the twist and doing some boxing moves. At the same time, he's moved to a new level of babbling. The sounds are a lot more complex, and he's much more intent on making them. He continues to press his mouth to any exposed parental knee or shoulder and blow big loud raspberries. I can't tell if he thinks of them ask kisses, or likes that we laugh when he does them, or just what.

He is very determined to do things for himself. Today I gave him a grownup cracker, which was fairly hard. He gummed it for a while, and when he started getting a little frustrated, I asked him if he wanted me to help him get into it. He pulled back and bit it HARD, and was then quite smug about eating the whole thing.

27 June 2002
Christopher is coming down with a serious case of "YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!" which applies to everyone but me and Dave. We'll be in Bristol this weekend, so we'll see just how advanced it is. His swimming instructor says it's a condition that only lasts 2-3 months, so I'm not too worried. I'll just enjoy the snuggles for the time being and the rest of you can get yours in September.

This week sees the toes going into his mouth. Some babies want their toes in their mouths at a much earlier age, but until now, he's never shown much interest. He's got a scrape on his nose which mystified me because I'd trimmed his fingernails, but now it occurs to me that it could be from toenails.

Crawling adventures have led him to tip the dog's water and starting his own video several times. If he wants something on the other side of the room, he drops to his knees, power-crawls over to it, and pulls up again.

He's developed a very strong sense of what he doesn't want and how to communicate that he doesn't want it. When he's had enough, he just pushes the food away. He's also starting to take a more active interest in spoon wielding. He's figured out how to put the spoon of food into his mouth fairly neatly (if he wants to), but can't get the food onto the spoon yet. All in good time.

28 June 2002
We stopped in at the pharmacy, where he greatly impressed the staff by standing on the counter and pounding on a display case while smiling, laughing, and grunting ("Wuh! Wuh!") at the other customers. The chemist was amazed with how big he is now, but I think that has more to do with the chemist's lack of sense of time than Kit's size. But I could be wrong.

2 July 2002
We went to the west country this weekend, where we discovered that Christopher does NOT have a case of "you're not my mommy" except where his swimming class is concerned. He was perfectly happy to be held by his Grandad, Auntie Lin, Uncle Mike, strange radio amateurs at Longleat (aka "The Bad Influence Committee"), and by 8 and 12 year old cousins. He also let a cousin feed him two big jars of food before Auntie Lin gave him a bath. Both Friday and Saturday nights he fell asleep on Grandad's lap. He showed off his crawling prowess by crawling from the lounge, down the hall, and into the kitchen at least half a dozen times in pursuit of his grandfather when he went to make tea. The boy is not anti-social. He had a great time with everyone he met in Bristol and Bath. He was happy to collect several new toys from his Bristol relatives that will keep him amused for months to come. His grandfather explained to him about the different types of birds that can be seen near his house, and about a few that live further away.

We had another round of "if mummy is eating it, it must be MINE," this time with an egg salad sandwich. He liked it! He needed a bath after, but he liked it, pepper, paprika, mustard, and all! The concept of eating a sandwich is an elusive one, so the bread and filling usually get eaten separately. The dog vacuums afterward.

The scrape on his nose is healing up nicely. He had a big scab on his nose when I got him out of bed one morning, which couldn't have been from a fingernail scrape because I'd just cut his fingernails very short the day before. His toenails were looking like talons of death though, and he'd been playing "foot in mouth, the home version" the days before. He's a very bendy boy.

He's definitely getting taller than he was just a few weeks ago. I can tell because in early June he could stand up in his playpen, but had to bend down to see Blue's Clues because the top support bar obscured his view. Now he can quite easily see over it instead.

This morning he was nursing, and I told him that someday he would be a big tall man and not want to get his breakfast milk right out of mummy's breast any more. He pulled off and gave me a look that could only have meant "Silly mummy, you tell such funny jokes. As if that could ever happen in real life!"

He remains very clingy in the swimming pool. Today's lesson involved a lot of holding the babies out at arms length, but he always managed to wiggle his way back to my shoulder. He was having a great time playing with a rubber duck, splashing in the water, and didn't mind that I was swishing him around. He just wanted to be sure he could save himself by grabbing HMS Mummy. There were a lot more smiles in the water than I've seen in recent weeks. It's nice when that happens.

9 July 2002
It's been a busy week for the wee lad. We both picked up the tummy bug going around the baby population of Cambridge. It was his first such illness, previously having limited himself to a few mild colds. Of course I got it much worse than he did, but Dave was a star at taking over the Kit care while I slept it off.

Later in the week he got to attend a baby garden party. It was on Saturday, so the kids were all accompanied by both mother and father, along with older siblings. It was nice to finally meet the complete families of some of his swim and yoga buddies. With more than a dozen babies under one and a few dozen kids ranging from one to twelve, there were amazingly few tears. Christopher caught a lot of attention for his standing and for his concentrated two and a half hours of play without nap or fuss. Parents of younger babies all wanted to know how old he was so they could try to be prepared for the mobility and activity.

On Sunday he met his cousin Sarah for the first time. I think they're bonded for life. When we dropped Sarah off at the hotel for a little nap, she gave him a hug. He dove back in for a great big baby hug on her right side, and when that was over he gave her another big hug on the left. He wanted to be sure she was well and completely hugged. While she rested, he toured Cambridge city center by foot (wheel) with (Aunt) Kaye.

Back at our house for dinner, he demonstrated for Sarah and Dave that he can now stand up in the middle of a room, pushing off of the floor rather than pulling up on a chair, wall, or someone's leg. I'd seen it earlier in the day, but Dave missed it. He said "DAYE!" right before bed, which I take to mean "Kaye," but I suppose he could have been just calling it a day.

Sarah, like so many before her, declined the opportunity to do a nappy change, but she did observe Dave's style a few times for future reference.

Sarah did seem to enjoy feeding him mushy food with a spoon, as did Kaye. I think they all got a lot of cuddles (and drool). Christopher demonstrated his newly returned tongue-thrust, which he uses when he's sick of whatever he's eating. He's big on sticking his tongue out for effect these days, and fortunately is pretty cute when he does it.

Christopher had his first punting trip yesterday and slept through almost all of it. It's so wonderful to hold him in my arms on the rocking boat and know that he considers me to be one of the safest spots in the world. He also looked pretty cute in his baby life vest.

Kaye says she is willing to write a guest update when she gets home, but she is still in England (probably almost at Heathrow at this writing). Look for it in the days to come.

His swimming class was wonderful today. He started the session by jumping into the pool himself (from being seated near the side), then overcame his long-standing dislike of flotation devices. He had a floaty-tube under his chest with his arms out in front, and instead of crying and fussing he smiled and laughed. He also kicked with his legs and paddled with his arms. He clung to me pretty securely for the most of the rest of the session, but a few times ventured out into the big open pool of water to get a floating toy. He even consented to be demo-baby again for an exercise where we have the baby stand on one of our hands, get his legs rigid, then lift him out of the water standing up. He was a star.

12 July 2002
While Kaye and Sarah were visiting, we ventured into a grocery store that we don't usually go to. I was thrilled to discover that they had very authentic looking "everything" bagels. We got some, and they were certainly the best ones we've ever found in England. I went to a bigger version of the same store today to get more, and while I was at it got a blueberry bagel for Kit. I gave it to him as soon as it was paid for, and the cashier was amazed how he took it and started chewing right away. With only two teeth, he managed to get over half of it eaten by the time we got home. Dave believes this is evidence that Christopher has American ancestry somewhere in his family tree. They're marketed as Canadian style bagels, but why let that get in the way of a good theory?

Oh, I forgot to mention that about a week ago, he was standing in his playpen crying to be picked up. I did, and he was out cold in a deep sleep before his head hit my shoulder. He slept there for about half an hour. Sweet!

16 July 2002
It's suddenly very hot here, and I almost didn't take him swimming because he'd had a bad night. I decided to go at the last minute, so we were a little late and I arrived to discover I had left his swim suit at home. Oops. Someone gave us a paper swim nappy in neon pink, which we gratefully accepted. Today's major exercise was for parent and baby to go under water together with the baby facing out, then have the parent push off the wall and glide across the pool with baby (still under water) held arm's length out in front. The instructor caught the babies at the other end. She also showed me a trick for encouraging his kicking, which is to swish him through the water quichly with a hand under his chest, then stop, then swish again, then stop again. The stop start makes water currents that really encourage him to kick. His Virgo side is starting to show. If the person spoon feeding him (usually me) makes a bit of a mess and gets some food on his face, he'll push the stray bits into his mouth with his hand. I dunno, is that tidiness or greediness for more food?

He's learned to really dislike his high chair for reasons unknown to me. I'm glad we got a deal on it, so we're not out tons of money. He'll probably use it again when he's bigger, but for now he cries when put in it, even if he's very hungry. I don't want him so stressed around food, so I let him sit on my lap, or his new favorite, which is to stand holding onto my knees while I pop the food into his mouth. When he gets ready to do the sit-down meal with the grownups thing, he'll probably use his chair without the tray, just pushed up to the table.

His latest interest seems to be climbing. He does a pretty good job of taking small steps on up things as long as there is something to hold onto. He doesn't actually walk yet, so his climbing is going to be somewhat limited.

Just today he started wrinkling his nose when the food offered is not wanted. I thought his previous forms of food rejection were perfectly clear, and I am not sure why he felt the need to develop a new one, but here it is.

He still likes to do the twist or bounce up and down singing "yay-ye-yay-ye-yay-ye" at the top of his lungs. He knows we think it's funny, and does it to amuse us, but also does it when he isn't aware anyone is watching. Must get around to trying it myself sometime soon to see what the thrill is.

He's been working a lot of D sounds into his babbles, usually "Ah-DAYE-DAYE" or similar sounds. Just after Dave got home from work tonight, he babbled something that sounded very much like "Why did daddy do that?" but it was really "wa-da-daye-daye-do-da." Dave was indeed doing something odd at the time, so I answered his question, just in case that's what it was.

At one of his baby groups, the leader compliments him on his good sitting position and the way he watches everything, takes things in, figures things out. She was trying to play peekaboo with him, but he found where she was hiding (behind a blackboard) and outed her.

Christopher has been having a good time playing the drum I bought when Kaye and Sarah were here. I might have to fight him for it at some point, but for now we're all taking turns. Christopher seems very happy and inspired when he's having his turn.

He is still pursuing his main hobby of inspecting the screws and bolts that hold everything together. So far he has not informed me of any problems, but he always checks. It's nice to have him on the job.

18 July 2002
Oh yes, I forgot to mention... I bought Christopher a set of interlocking blocks, somewhat like Duplos, but some other brand. We build things so he can have the fun of watching us, then the fun of knocking it all down again (usually tasting each piece during demolition). The other day he removed a stack with a person on top, did the obligatory tasting, then put it back together! I didn't think he would be building for a really long time. He actually did it twice, so it might not have been a fluke. Stay tuned for further developments.

22 July 2002
Okay, he is definitely musical. Not only does he drum on anything that will make a noise, he's now into wind instruments. Dave got a six foot long tube of PVC that is intended for eventual use as a drain pipe in the studio, and blew noises into one end and watched Christopher's fascination as a different sound came out the other end. He made the sounds in the air a few times, then down the tube, then in the air, then down the tube, then he handed the tube to the baby, who did the exact same thing. He made some really good sounds too!

30 July 2002
Alas, from Friday night until Wednesday I was sick sick sick, and we did not leave the house. We missed swimming, which was the last class of the season. We missed Under Ones. We missed life in general. For a baby who likes to go out as much as Christopher does, he did very well with the confinement.

On Thursday we went out to meet the Older Babies group, who were in a park rather than at someone's home this week. After a few months of religiously keeping his hat on, he decided that it MUST COME OFF. Bummer. At least we have some baby suncream in his pack for such occasions. He crawled around a lot, but didn't interact with the other babies very much that day.

On Friday I had to go to the Ely Cathedral for the day to invigilate at the EAPA exhibition. I had initially been scheduled for Saturday when Dave would have been home to mind the boy, but because of the people planned to come over for the weekend, I had to switch with someone and take him along. When I arrived, the supervisor invigilator looked at me with the pushchair and said in a testing manner, "back to see the show again?" No, here to work. Oh, you switched with someone. Yes. She looked at the baby. She looked at me. She looked at the baby. She looked at me. "Oh." And went about her business. I am pleased to report that he 100% shocked her by being a total angel all day long. He fed himself cheese baps and rusks, he ate neatly and quietly when fed from a spoon, and pretty much just watched what was going on. He took two naps, and did very little to interrupt anyone. In the afternoon once the accounting was all done, I let him crawl around on the floor for a while. He pulled up on peoples chairs and smiled at them. He cried a few whimpers when he first woke up, but he tends to do that at the best of times. He was comforted and quiet again in under 30 seconds each time. At the end of the day the woman who'd had doubts said she was impressed, and that she never could have done it with either of her two. She and her husband also decided he is the sort of grandchild they'd like to have, and got in some good cuddles.

On Saturday Christopher went punting with 14 other people. Among them was an 11 year old girl, Amber, with whom he became fast friends. He accepted her pretty much instantly, and trusted her to carry him around, play with him, etc. First they met here at the house, then we spent an hour waiting for punts to be available, which they used to bond further. When we got to the far end of the river in our punts, they went off to roll around in the meadow together. He showed no signs of any separation anxiety from us, or really any feeling other than fascination for her. Back at the house, she taught him to play catch with a big football, fed him, and helped bathe him before bedtime. She and her father camped over in the garden, so she was there to play with him again in the morning, along with 5.5 year old Morgan who arrived the night before after he had gone to bed.

He seems to think that beards are really funny now. He had access to many over the weekend, and I know he had a giggle fit over at least one of them.

He's totally into the Shy Guy thing now, but he's not really shy, so I'm not sure what it's all about. If someone greets him while he's being held, he'll bury his head into the available shoulder. I initially thought this was a "you're not my mummy" thing, but he'll use the shoulder of whomever holds him, as he demonstrated many times over the weekend with people he had just met. On Monday at his Under Ones playgroup, he was crawling around on the floor attacking pram wheels when the group leader called his name. He looked at her, then put his face down on the floor. He did it three more times. Very cute, really.

It's been swelteringly hot, and everyone has melted into little puddles. He's still doing a good job of sleeping (I can't, so this impresses me) and eating and crawling around. Today (Tuesday) we had thunderstorms to rival the ones I grew up with in the Midwest as two giant storms met and fought over our area. I tried to explain to him about thunder and lightning, and even rain. He can't tell me if he understands though. We kept losing power, so he couldn't watch his favorite TV shows. He did get to see a few videos, but the cable box was out. It's much cooler now, all the heat having been washed down the storm drains. I'm glad it didn't rain like this while we were punting, or even when people were camping in the garden. I think the smell of wet punters is too much to ask even of a good baby like Kit.
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since 30 September 2002