Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Archive for November, 2006

Me And My Mat

Posted by Caroline on November 30, 2006

Is this banana real……?Emily has a new playmat. After weeks of kicking about on the cute pink mat she was given a few months back, she now has a brightly-coloured mat featuring cartoon jungle animals, and all sorts of different textures and bits to feel and chew.

The idea behind the new mat was to have one for my mother-in-law’s place – she is going to look after her for two days a week when I return to work next week – and we figured it would be nice for her to have something interesting to play on other than the rug. However, she loves the new playmat so much – as do we – that we’re now thinking of leaving it here and taking the old one instead.

We were pretty lucky to find it, though, since it seems to have become remarkably difficult to buy a playmat all of a sudden. We loved the pink one that she was bought as a present (at her welcome party back in August) and would happily have bought another one – if we could have found it. A shopping trip yesterday saw us tramping through the children’s departments of John Lewis and Fenwick – as well as Early Learning Centre and Mothercare – only to draw a complete blank.

Eventually we found the mat – which was made by Chicco – in Babies R Us, which at least had a choice of more than one, and where a playmat didn’t require us to part with a sum of cash that would necessitate a second mortgage. But am a little confused as to why it’s such a difficult thing to find. Do people not make them any more? Or are they just not that popular?

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts, Shopping | 8 Comments »

Roll With It

Posted by Caroline on November 28, 2006

Yay! Rolling is fun, Mummy……As I’ve reported on the blog in the past, Emily has discovered how to roll – but it’s only in the past few days that she’s started doing it on a regular basis. The first few times she rolled slowly and tentatively, staying on her side for a while before taking the plunge, but now she goes from back to front in seconds – which might be very exciting for her, but has of course left me mildly terrified.

I first realised she was determined to practise her new-found skill as much as possible when I put her on her playmat, on her back, while we were having our lunch the other day. During the course of lunch she rolled on to her front. Five times, to be precise. Eventually she decided she didn’t really want to be on her front and started whimpering, so I rolled her back, only for her to roll over once again. The fifth time, she did it so quickly that I took my eyes off her for all of thirty seconds only for her to roll once more.

All of which has made me realise that leaving her to her own devices on the playmat may no longer be an option. I’m slowly getting used to the fact that when I put her on her back under her baby gym, there’s no guarantee she’ll still be on her back half a minute later.

She’s also taken to trying out her rolling in other parts of the flat – on the bed, for example (where she managed to roll from back to front and on to her back again the other day), and on the changing table – which of course is great fun when I’m trying to actually change her nappy.

The one place she has yet to practise – and probably because we put her in a sleeping bag at night, thus leaving little room for manoeuvre – is in her cot. And given the fact that she’d probably wake herself up doing it, that’s probably a good thing.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 6 Comments »

The Most Photographed Baby

Posted by Caroline on November 27, 2006

More photos? Oh all right then, but I’m not smiling……!From the moment she was born, Emily has had time to get used to the glare of the camera. We started photographing her when she was just a few minutes old and since then we have gone on to take over two thousand photos between us.

Of course, part of this is made possible by the fact that we both have cameras on our mobile phones, making it easy to take pictures any time, anywhere. But it’s also down to the fact that we have such an incredibly photogenic baby – and one who, it seems, has gotten the hang of posing for shots.

She’s been known to pull faces, offer up a cute little baby pout and stick her tongue out at the camera, while occasionally she’ll try and grab it off me, creating a kind of ‘no photos please!’ effect with her arm partly obscuring her face.

The one thing we do have problems with, though, is getting her to smile for snaps. She’ll happily respond to Mummy and Daddy’s attempts to produce a grin, only for it to disappear as soon as the camera is produced.

Usually, it means one of us has to stand out of shot and do something silly to make her laugh, then take the picture really quickly before she changes her mind. On the picture above, for example, she was smiling and squealing beforehand, only to clam up once again the second the shutter went off.

Still, the smiley photos are great when they happen. But of course there is just one question in my mind: if we’ve taken over two thousand photos of her already, how many will we have taken by the time she’s 18? Enough to wallpaper our house, probably.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 15 Comments »

Independent Woman?

Posted by Caroline on November 25, 2006

I can do it myself, Mummy….Although Emily is not even six months old yet, it seems she is already beginning to show signs of her independence. When she was smaller, she would stay on her playmat or in her bouncy chair for all of ten minutes before wanting to be picked up – but these days, I practically have to drag her away from her toys if something as trifling as dinnertime is looming.

In fact she is so fixated with her playthings that half the time she doesn’t even notice what my husband and myself are up to. Our washing machine, which has been acting up all week, leaked and flooded the kitchen today and we spent the best part of an hour draining it and mopping up the floor – yet Emily spent the entire time chewing on Laugh n’Learn Puppy, hitting her baby gym and generally remaining oblivious to the unfolding domestic crisis.

There have even been times, recently, when I’ve tried to join in with her play – only to (at best) be ignored or (at worst) fixed with a look that says, “Kindly leave me alone. I’m very busy at the moment.” It’s great of course that my little girl is learning to amuse herself – and it’s very handy in terms of my being able to get stuff done – but every so often I find myself thinking back to the days when she just wanted to be cuddled and held the whole time.

Meanwhile, she makes a huge effort every mealtime to grab the spoon off me and feed herself (she has now realised that in order for the food to be eaten she has to actually open her mouth and put it inside, rather than just smear it on her face and my sleeve), and the other day she held a bottle of water and drank from it very neatly.

At this rate, she will be looking after herself completely before we know it. Whatever next, a job and her own apartment?

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 7 Comments »

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things….

Posted by Caroline on November 24, 2006

I love my playmat…..Hello, this is Emily. Mummy fancied the night off, so she said I could write tonight’s blog entry because I am so very clever. I’m not sure how to use the keyboard, but I’ve sat on Mummy’s lap and watched her using it, so I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it very quickly.

I thought I’d tell you about some of the things I like best. They are as follows:

Rolling. Last week I worked out how to roll from my back on to my front. I enjoy it very much, although I only do it sometimes, however much Mummy tries to encourage me to practise. Sometimes she looks at me and makes a gesture with her fingers which is supposed to mean ‘roll over’ but I ignore her. What am I, a puppy?

Banana. Sometimes Mummy mashes one of these and gives it to me for dinner. I wasn’t sure what it was the first time but now I like it very much. I like carrots too, although I don’t think they’d go very well with banana. Perhaps I could persuade Mummy to try it.

Knees. I recently discovered that I have two of these. I’m not sure what they’re for but they’re very interesting and I think they’ll come in very handy.

Playmat. Mummy puts me down on this every morning and leaves me there with my toys, and I play for a long time. Sometimes Mummy tries to join in with me and I have to set her straight. Normally I just look at her as if to say, “Mother, what are you doing? Can’t you see I’m busy?” and that’s enough to send her packing.

Laugh n’Learn Puppy. When he first came to live with us I wasn’t sure what he was for, but now I like him very much. I particularly like leaning on his paw as it plays songs – in fact, if I lean on it all the time it plays each song for five seconds and then moves on to the next one. Mummy doesn’t find this in the least bit distracting.

The Supermarket. I like sitting in the trolley and looking at all the things on the shelves. The baby food aisle is my favourite, and the other week I reached out and tried to grab something off one of the shelves. Mummy says I am very advanced for my age as most babies don’t try that until they’re a lot older.

Mummy and Daddy. Well, that goes without saying.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 9 Comments »

Emily FM

Posted by Caroline on November 23, 2006

Having reported yesterday how Emily’s skills were increasing by the day, we now have a new one to add to the list. I keep a small radio beside her changing table which is tuned in to my regular station, and I tend to have it playing quietly in the mornings when I’m dressing her.

This morning, however, she discovered that if she turned the round switch on the front of the radio, the volume turned right up to maximum. And then she realised that if she turned the switch in the other direction, it turned off completely. Cue several seconds of ear-splitting music while I tried to work out what the problem was, followed by several seconds of complete silence.

I have now come to the conclusion that my little girl is either frighteningly clever or she was just demonstrating her taste in music.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 7 Comments »

What Emily Did Next

Posted by Caroline on November 23, 2006

And I can hold my head up too……!At the moment I am currently startled by Emily’s rate of progress and development – it seems that every day brings a fresh surprise in terms of her new skills and abilities.

For starters, she has now learned to roll from her back to her front (although like front to back rolling, she can’t be bothered most of the time and only does it when she feels like it, which isn’t very often), and reaches out for toys when she is lying on her playmat (whether by her side or above her head).

Her social skills, meanwhile, are coming on a treat – she is very fond of giggling and shrieking, and has taken to holding out a hand to anybody who might take a passing interest in her. She also appears to think that scratching Mummy is a really fun way of making her presence known (and I have the cut on my chin as proof – it really is time we cut her nails).

It’s her mobility that is currently impressing me the most, however. On Sunday, having given her her breakfast I popped her on her playmat and went into her room to sort out her laundry and bag up another load of clothes that are now too small for her (cue more misty-eyed nostalgia etc.). She is now at the age where she can entertain herself on her playmat with her toys (and woe betide anybody who tries to join in) and besides, my husband was in the room sitting on the sofa, and I was certain he would keep half an eye on her while he was doing his work.

About half an hour later I went in to check on her and discovered that she had somehow managed to move herself round 90 degrees on the mat, so instead of lying with her head facing the window she was now lying with her head facing the sofa where my husband was sitting. I asked him how she had achieved this, but he said he hadn’t even noticed she had moved.

I duly returned to my clothes pile, and he picked her up and popped her on the sofa next to him. When I was finished, I returned to the room once again. This time I found her sitting up unaided, with only one arm propped against the back of the sofa for support. When I asked my husband how she had managed this, he said he hadn’t even noticed what she was doing….

So now it appears that little girl is on the move, after a fashion. Although I appear to be the only member of the household who has actually witnessed it.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 4 Comments »

Hiccupy Baby

Posted by Caroline on November 21, 2006

Hic…..!Since having Emily, I’ve discovered that there are plenty of things they don’t tell you about babies, but perhaps the most surprising one was the fact that they get hiccups. A lot. In Emily’s case, she got her first bout of them when she was just a day old and I was still in hospital recovering from my Caesarean. Little girl had just had a feed when she broke into a bout of uncontrollable hiccuping – and naturally, being a new and rather bewildered mum, I panicked.

When a midwife eventually came to my aid, following much frantic pressing of the call button, I pointed out to her that my baby was hiccuping and I didn’t know what to do. She reassured me that it’s quite common for babies and was nothing to worry about, but the fact it was normal baby behaviour came as news to me.

Since then, Emily has had a bout of the hiccups on an almost daily basis – true, they’ve tailed off a bit recently (ever since she learned the art of self-burping – these days, instead of my having to pat her on the back after she’s had a feed, she simply sits on my lap looking a bit lost and puzzled until the wind comes up). But she still has days when she gets one, or two, or four bouts of them.

What’s even more surprising is how little it seems to bother her. My own experience of hiccups is that they can be quite uncomfortable at times, yet Emily appears totally unphased by the whole experience, either looking a little bit surprised as she hiccups away, or just dismissing them as a minor inconvenience that isn’t going to get in the way of playtime.

They didn’t even seem to concern her the other week when she broke into a fit of giggles in the supermarket, while tackling a bout of hiccups at the same time. The resulting hiccupy giggly noise was rather peculiar, but somewhat adorable nonetheless.

Posted in Day to day, General thoughts | 6 Comments »

Great Taste

Posted by Caroline on November 19, 2006

So far I haven’t felt too inclined to sample much of the food I’ve been making for Emily. Apart from having a very brief taste of the pear and apple puree, and the carrot and potato I made for her last week (simply to check it was edible and of the correct consistency for her), I’ve largely steered clear of picking at her dinner. As for breakfast, well her porridge just doesn’t look that appetising – she might like it, but to me it just looks ever so slightly like cement.

It seems, however, that my daughter has other ideas. This evening I gave her mashed avocado and banana – both of which I love, albeit separately.

She, on the other hand, absolutely loved this odd mix – in fact she loved it so much that midway through the feed, she showed her appreciation by pushing her avocado and banana covered hand into my mouth.

What did I think? Well….let’s just say that babies probably love it, but that there are some combinations that adults were just never meant to try.  And that was most definitely one of them.

Posted in Day to day | 6 Comments »

Toupee Or Not Toupee?

Posted by Caroline on November 18, 2006

Please amuse me with more random words, mother…..Having previously discussed several ways in which we attempt to make Emily laugh, an unexpected one presented itself the other night. We were driving home from dinner at my mother-in-law’s, with one tired little girl in her car seat, and for some reason the conversation turned to toupees.

Quite what Emily found so amusing about the word I have no idea, but as soon as I said it she burst into giggles – and reacted in the exact same way every time I said it to her again. My husband joined in, shouting the word ‘toothpaste’ instead of ‘toupee’, which she thought was even funnier – and within seconds she had been transformed from a grumpy, exhausted little girl into a very happy one who just couldn’t stop laughing.

Then, as quickly as she had been amused by the whole thing, she stopped finding it funny, and no matter how many times I said the word ‘toupee’ to her today, she fixed me with a look that said, “Oh for heaven’s sake mother, that joke is so 24 hours ago.”

So it’s back to the drawing board in our efforts to make her laugh. Maybe I could start talking about wigs instead?

Posted in Day to day | 6 Comments »