Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My boy

On my last post, I said that I can't put into words how much I love my little boy. And I can't. I really wish I could write an eloquent, profound post about how amazing he is, and how wonderful and rewarding it is to be his mum. But as much as I love to write, I just don't think I'm capable of capturing all those feelings and emotions and being able to explain them in a blog post.

A few days ago though, I took a moment to just make a list of some of the things that I love about him. It took about 30 seconds to fill the page (albeit in my Filofax), and that was by no means everything. Just the first things that sprang to mind. This was the list:

- His smile / laugh. All babies are cute, I know. But we've been blessed with the cutest little boy, whose smile just wins you over immediately, and who has the most infectious little giggle. And he laughs so much. I mean, all the time, he's just sooo happy.

- Funny facial expressions. He likes to pout a lot, which is funny. And he's started doing this thing where he'll just suddenly stand in front of you, pout, grunt and kind of tense his arms - sometimes it's a bit like that pose that bodybuilders do when they hold their arms in a kind of circular shape whilst flexing all their muscles, and sometimes he holds his arms out straight, with his palms facing upwards, whilst doing the pouting and grunting. We haven't taught him this, he just started doing it. If you do it back to him, he giggles like mad.

- Carrying things. He likes to carry things around the living room. We have a fabric doorstop, which is a kind of padded block with a weight at the bottom (like a beanbag, not a hard weight). Despite it being reasonably heavy, he'll pick it up and just wander around with it. He also picks up his changing mat and carries that around, looking very purposeful and industrious. I joke that I might tie it to his waist so that when he falls over he'll always have a soft landing. 

- Farting. Sorry to lower the tone. I know it's very juvenile of me, but his 'botty-burps' are quite funny, especially when he gets the comic timing just right, and does one as he bends over. I'm sure I won't find them funny when he's 15.

- Waving. It's taken a little while, but he's just about got the hang of waving bye-bye to people now, or just generally waving back at you if you do the same to him.

- Peekaboo. I genuinely don't know what I'll do when he stops finding peekaboo funny, because we play it all the time. He'll be round one side of the sofa, I'll be round the other. Sometimes I'll creep up on him and shout peekaboo, or sometimes I'll call his name and he'll make his way around to me. Either way, he laughs himself silly. If I sit there looking down at the floor, he'll tiptoe round till he's standing right in front of me, and he'll start to squat down to look at my face. The moment I look up and make eye contact with him, he squeals with laughter and runs back to the other side of the sofa to do it all again. It's hilarious and I could play peekaboo for hours with him (apart from the fact that being on the floor all the time kills my knees!)

 - Watching him learn and play. Obviously, this is just an endless source of fascination. Just one example of this is that his grandma bought him a cone on which are different coloured rings of different sizes. At first, all he'd do with it was pick up the cone from the base and turn it upside down so that all the rings fell off. If you put the rings back on, he'd just take them off again. The other day, I watched him putting the point of the cone into the middle of a ring on the floor, and then lifting the ring up and letting it slide down the cone into place. It doesn't sound like much, but the fact that he's now starting to want to put the rings back on is just amazing to me, and I just love watching him figure things like that out.

 - Tick-tock. He's obsessed with clocks. We don't know why, but it started the first time he came in our house. He couldn't take his eyes off the clock in the living room, even though it's perfectly normal and unremarkable. So we kept showing him the clock, and calling it the 'tick-tock'. This progressed to all other clocks, and even watches are 'small tick-tocks'. He now points at clocks and says something which sounds like "ti-ta", so tick-tock may well be his first words (I've not been working on 'cat' so much just lately, although I'm trying 'mummy' and 'daddy')

- Bedroom clock. Further to the above, he has a clock in his bedroom, which he can see from his cot. He didn't seem too bothered about that one for a while, and then one morning I went in to get him up, and he stood up in his cot and pointed at the clock, and said "ti-ta". It was as though he'd just noticed it and couldn't wait to tell me that he had his very own tick-tock! So sweet!

- Marching. Now that he's walking, I think he sometimes finds it hard to stop! He'll walk into the kitchen and then stand in one place, but his little legs will keep going. I call it 'marching on the spot'. If I copy him, he thinks it's hilarious.

- Dancing. He really loves music, whether it's the little songs and jingles on his toys, or music on the tv or radio. As soon as he hears it, he'll stand or sit still and then start rocking backwards and forwards in time.

- Curiosity. This is a bit like the peekaboo game. I've taken to lying still on the floor, and covering my face with my hands. I know he's approaching me, because I can hear it in his breathing, it's like he's a bit excited and trying not to giggle. Then I'll feel his fingers close around mine, and he'll lift my hand away from my face and then start laughing. We can do this many many times. It's quite strange laying on the floor, looking up at him, but it's funny too. It seems to puzzle him, which just makes him laugh, but sometimes he gets a bit over-excited and almost falls on me. I fear having a tooth knocked out!

- Determination. I don't think it will be very long before he's learned how to open the baby gates. They've got two buttons which need to be pressed together to open them. He's discovered the top button, and the look of concentration on his face while he tries his best to get the gate open is slightly disconcerting. He hasn't quite figured out that they need to be pressed together, and he probably hasn't quite got the strength or coordination in his hand to do it, but he's nothing if not determined, so I have a feeling the gates might be redundant before long. I love that he's so bright though.

Mischief and Millie - Junior is very curious about Mischief, and just wants to be friends. Mischief is tolerating his presence at the moment. He insists on still being in the living room, despite all the noise and activity, but occasionally Junior gets a bit close, and Mischief decides to go upstairs for a bit of peace and quiet. Thankfully he's learned to jump over the baby gates so he can make a quick exit when he needs to. Millie, on the other hand, only comes downstairs after Junior has gone to bed. They have been face to face about seven times so far - Junior doesn't quite know what to make of Millie, and she just stares wide-eyed and then runs off to hide in the wardrobe. She's always been very timid, and won't come downstairs when there is anyone different in the house, so I'm not sure if they'll ever officially meet. I'm glad that Junior is growing up around cats though, and getting used to them, and I look forwards to the day when I can explain to him that he needs to be gentle when he pets them!

So that was just the first few things that popped into my head. I know if you've got children you will have experienced the awe and fascination of watching them learn, and I'm sure they will have had their own funny expressions and quirky habits (and still do), so I'm not talking about anything new and groundbreaking. Except it is new to me of course. And I just felt like I wanted to make a note of it here.

I find the whole 'anonymity' issue quite hard, although I completely understand why I need to maintain a level of privacy for my son, given his circumstances. I would love to be able to post a photo of his gorgeous smile, but it goes without saying that his safety is my ultimate concern, and far more important than worrying about the lack of photos on this blog.

So, you'll just have to take my word for it about the smile ;-)

Monday, 3 November 2014


A special little man has had a very special birthday.

We still haven't finished opening presents - we're pacing it, so that he has time to play with each new toy.

There was a steady stream of visitors throughout the day, and Junior loved all the attention.

I made a chocolate fudge cake.

I piped his name on to it afterwards
I ate too much chocolate fudge cake.

It was shared with family, honest...

I can't believe that he's one already, but it doesn't feel strange. He was nine months (almost ten) when he came to us, and it just feels as though that's when his life 'began'. I never really think about those nine months when he wasn't with us. It doesn't bother me that I didn't see his first smile, or his first tooth appear, or that he'd already started walking holding onto furniture. I can still picture in my mind the smile that he gave us on the day that we met him - that was our 'first smile'. He already had six teeth, so that just seemed normal, and his seventh - yes, 7th! - tooth has just cut through, on his birthday of all days, and that's just as exciting to me as if it was his first one! A couple of weeks after he came to live with us, he was walking along behind the sofa, holding on, and then he just let go and took a few steps across the floor, unsupported. So we got to see his first 'proper' walk, and he hasn't stopped walking since! 

I can't put into words how much I love this little boy. He's changed our lives beyond all recognition. Every thought, every action, revolves around him now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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