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Speech development

Henry’s speech has come a very long way in such a short space of time. He was talking very early, and we didn’t have the cute babbling for long, but recently his sentences and new words have astounded me. Each day he says something new that, most of the time, I don’t know where he’s learnt it.

He used to call his uncle “Day-chib”, but it was only a few weeks before he got the hang of David properly. He also used to say phrases such as “look mummy, a naughty car” when he actually meant “noisy”. That disappeared suddenly too.

My baby still struggles with the pronunciation of “another” though, with it always sounding more like “Aaron”. I smile to myself every time I hear these little things, in his lovely little voice. He’s so funny.

There’s also the funny phrases and hand gestures, for example when he says “where daddy, where?” and throws his hands out, fingers splayed. Also the “I don’t know” response to simple questions and whenever you ask him why, he responds with “because…. umm…” and then says the first thing he thinks of, which is usually something like car, train, tractor etc.

I want to remember these things – they are beautiful and they make me so proud. Henry makes me proud!

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It feels like another life

Looking back on early photos is a very strange experience. Henry has changed so much in the last year that it feels like a lifetime ago. I remember back then, when he used to cry or laugh but no words would come out. I remember when we got really excited because he smiled for the first time. I remember these things as if they are fuzzy, like a memory that has been blurred with time. Although it has only been 17 months, things have changed so quickly that I have barely noticed the days whizzing by.

It is very strange to have a life so well documented, through photographs and blogging. Never before has a generation had such easy access to computers and cameras and other methods of capturing moments. Go back a few years and you’re lucky if you got one posed portrait. Go back a few more years and it was only the ridiculously wealthy that could afford a sitting with a portrait artist. But now, every moment is stolen, and edited, and posted…

My little baby isn’t a little baby anymore. He’s a little boy. He’s grown and grown and taught himself so much and he impresses me every single day with a new word or new skill.

I feel sad that it has gone so quickly, and I feel sad that I have missed so much of it, but being at work is important and more to the point, necessary. I wish I had the funds to be a SAHM at least until Henry goes to school, but alas, it is not to be. But at the same time, I am so proud of Henry and all he has acheived so far. When people moan about wanting their babies to stay babies forever, half of me understands. The other half, though, wants to tell them how annoying and ridiculous they are being – the alternative to growing up is not growing up and that is every parents’ worst nightmare. Nobody wants that.

So, my baby, my big boy, I will watch him grow with a smile on my face. I feel a twinge of sadness when I read the past posts of this blog, but then I remember, I was there with him, enjoying it at the time.

Henry's Mother the early days

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Poorly chap

I thought he was just a little cranky. Babies go in phases of moods, just like adults, and we are extremely lucky to have a very happy munchkin. Lately, he’s been a little more challenging. A few times, I have had to call for backup as there was just no calming him down. We took him to the doctors on more than one occasion with a slight temperature, a chesty cough, a blocked nose, unsettled and after the day that I spent 8 hours cuddling him because he didn’t want to move except to drink his milk. A mother knows when something is wrong, but we kept getting sent home, told it was a virus and to give him calpol. Thankfully, after a couple of tough, sleepless weeks, he seems to be better apart from the cough.

But now I know how bad it was for him. And it was horrible. I came down with this same virus, and it felt like my head was being ripped apart. I couldn’t even move for a couple of days because  of the pain. It lasted at least two weeks. I have no idea how Henry put up with it. He had every right to fuss as much as he did, and he’s only a little baby. I have to remember in the future to be more understanding. He is a little trooper.

At least it didn’t last and it could be a lot worse. Illness is part of having children and while they are so little it seems as if they are always poorly.

But we are very lucky. In the scheme of things, feeling poorly for a while is nothing. There are people who are coping and dealing with far more. These things stick in my head when I hear about them, and I feel so honored to even have my healthy baby boy by my side. The news is too littered with stories of tragedy and wrongdoing.

If the last two weeks have taught me anything, it is that I worry too much, and I need to start appreciating what I have now, while I have it. He won’t be this young for long.

I’m going to take him for a walk today. He likes walking, and he needs his practice. It’s looking sunny-ish so we might put our coats on and head for town. Coffee shops and soft play definitely are a mother’s saviour.

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Sleepy times and big boy beds

Henry is asleep on the sofa next to me. I’m on my new kindle fire, and loving it. It’s a lot easier to whip out when the babe is napping, and doesn’t take as long to load as my ancient laptop.

We’ve recently moved Henry out of his cot and into his big boy bed, so now he’s started napping on the sofa to make his new bed just for night times. It’s a fire engine, and its only about the height of his little cotbed mattress. For the last three nights he’s been in it, he’s been really good. He goes to sleep about half seven and doesn’t wake up until around six in the morning. The first morning he didn’t realise he could climb out of it so just sat in bed waiting for us to come and get him.

He looks so little but so grown up, and things are changing fast. He now insists that he walks along the pavement instead  of being carried anywhere. It just means that we have to be extra organised and leave a good twenty minutes earlier to factor in time for little steps. He does so well though, and I’m so proud of him. He wants to learn and he wants to be able to do these things. I can see him getting very frustrated when he sees us or other children doing things he can’t yet. But that’s good, because I see ambition in him and he’s going to be a clever boy.

It helps when he’s being stubborn or defiant to get him to feel like a big boy. Hence the fire engine bed. We’re seeing a lot of difference in him of late. It all goes so fast, and we’re not pushing to grow up, and were not stopping him from progressing either. It all happens in a blink of an eye.

I must remember to record these little things. His baby book is looking very healthy, but I’ve still got a lot of photos to organise. He doesn’t even look like the little boy I gave birth to. He’s comfortably in 12-18 months clothes now, which is strange when I come across newborn clothes that used to swamp him.

My boy, he’s a little wonder.

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My baby is a toddler

Henry took his first steps yesterday, on Saturday 10th November, one week before his first birthday. I am so proud and so happy to witness it. More so because only myself and his daddy were present for the once-only event, and chances were stacked against us. We both work more than we spend with Henry. It’s not ideal – in a perfect world we could clone ourselves and get to experience everything – but it’s not an option at this time.

It does break my heart when I have to hand him over in the morning, but he’s in good hands and I know he is well looked after.

As for his first steps, I couldn’t stop smiling, looking at him toddling along, with a huge smile of satisfaction on his face. It was as if he’d all-of-a-sudden figured out the solution to the problem. He took at least 5 or 6 shaky steps before sinking to his knees and turning to us for approval.

We’re off to buy him some shoes today…

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The Birthday Plan

It’s coming up to Henry’s first birthday in less than two weeks. I can’t believe how quick this year has gone! I’ve heard it plenty of times, but you can never quite understand until it happens to your baby. He’s becoming a little boy rather than a baby, right before my eyes. In fact, it’s quicker than my eyes can keep up with!

I’m going to (attempt) to make him a cake, and we are throwing him a small party in a local coffee shop. There is going to be a jungle theme, and the adults are going to far outweigh the children. I think that is normal until they start school and begin to make friends of their own.

I have ordered various green, jungle-themed decorations, but it is definitely more for me as his mum than Henry himself. Everyone tells me ‘why are you bothering? He won’t remember’. But I want to be able to show him the photos and tell him about the celebration on the first anniversary of the day he made our lives whole. I can’t even put into words how much love I have inside me for that little man. So much that it threatens to burst out of me when he smiles at me or makes me laugh by pulling a funny face.

And he’s recently started growling and saying ‘tiger’, hence the jungle theme, and me trying to add tigers into all the decorations and the cake and cheekily making sure that Henry’s party bag is the only one that contains a tiger soft-toy…

Things we do for our kids.

Check back for an update of the day!

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At His Grandparents

It’s the first time we’ve had a lay in technically in a very long time. The first since our 10 month old was born, and for me a long time before that since pregnancy heartburn proved impossible to sleep through.

I woke up at half past seven this morning, wanting to get up. The other half is still asleep an hour later, and I’m bored out of my brain wanting to get up and do things. A lay in isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So I’m going to get up and go clothes shopping – a task made infinitely easier without little man in tow.

I miss him though. I heard him on the phone and it felt like my heart was melting. I can’t wait for a lovely big cuddle and to hear his little giggle.

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Being Away From Him

It seems like the running theme of my blog, and certainly of my life at the moment. It is the struggle to balance quality time with my son and the time I put in trying to develop a quality career.

I wish I could clone myself, multiple times, to fit in all the things I want to do. Not only do, but do now. That’s the problem with being young. There’s a sense of urgency about everything. I can’t shake the feeling that wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I’m missing out on something somewhere else.

The grass is always greener, because all I can see is my own shadow.

I think about my son’s laugh, his squishy thighs and his arms that reach out for me. I think about him whenever I’m away from him, and I hope he knows that he comes first. That I am doing all this other stuff because I need to and I want him to be proud of me, but he is always top of my priorities.

And I can’t imagine the parallel universe in which I don’t race home to see him and give him a cuddle and laugh with him. It simply doesn’t bare thinking about.

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Breaking News: New Development

Henry stood up yesterday, without holding on to anything. I couldn’t believe it. He’s only just turned nine months last week, and he’s already capable of so much. The concentration on his little face was incredible. I could see his muscles tense in his whole body, wobbling slightly, trying to balance. He realised he was doing it without falling, and gave me the cheekiest grin as I stood there, mouth open wide in awe.

He’s just so clever. He waves really well now, and claps all the time. He said ‘grandada’ for the first time a few days ago too, adding to his list of words he says out of context but impressing us nonetheless.

It’s amazing how he’s growing so fast into this little boy I can’t help but be insanely proud of. It’s just shocking how much emotion one little thing can make you feel. It’s crazy how much love and pride can explode inside you, and I understand now when you get grandparents telling you stories about their beloved grandchildren. I can completely relate to all those parents whose first words to you after ‘Hello’ are ‘I have two of my own, you know,’ before launching head-first into a story about how they once did this and once did that.

And I can appreciate why you would feel the need to write about every little thing your pride and joy has achieved in an online blog.

Thanks for listening. What did your son or daughter do that made you smile with pride and love today?