I really want to write a couple coherent posts, but things are too hectic for those ones right now. So I’ll have to settle for soundbites.
- We are home again, and have been home for a week. The flight home was remarkably good, especially when compared with the flight down under. I think it helped enormously that we took off during E’s day, rather than after his bedtime, so he was in good spirits for much of the big, long flight, and slept enough to be able to survive the final leg (which I did solo as Q. was on a slightly earlier flight). It also helped that we had a spare seat between us (which we had on the way over as well), and we didn’t make the mistake of letting E. play anywhere near the aisle. He was happy to sit on the seat and play with his toys and read his books, and I don’t think he realized there was the option for crawling and exploring.
- What has not been good has been the jet-lag. My word, the jet-lag. On the way over, we had two nights where E. woke up for the day at 3:30 a.m., but then he pushed it out to 5:30 or later. Coming home we have had a solid week of E. being up in the middle of the night for hours. He wakes up, and you can tell when you’re in his room that he knows he should be asleep, and he’s trying to resettle himself, but then he just wakes up too much and starts signing and waving and chatting to us. So he’s been downstairs with one or both of us for part of the night, crawling around and playing with his toys, until he starts to look tired again. I know some babies are prone to hosting all-night dance parties, but E. was never like this- he would always go back to sleep if you fed him. This has been a bit of a shock. We’re trying to follow his cues while also still encouraging him to change over to the new time zone, in that we’ll let him sleep in in the morning, but not past 10, and we’ll put him down for a nap, but we won’t let him sleep longer than 2.5 hours. We may be making progress. It is a bit hard to tell right now.
- Q. is doing much better with E. at night right now than I am. If I’m there, E. pushes away my hands in the crib, and tries to stand up and pull my hair in the rocking chair, but he cries if I leave the room or don’t touch him. With Q. he seems to try harder to put himself back to sleep. This has meant that Q. has shouldered the brunt of the night wakings, so I’m probably back on track on the jet-lag front. I suppose this is only fair, given I got up with E. for thirteen months, but it’s been rough on him to be up so much between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., trying to get E. back to sleep.
- E. isn’t walking yet, but his free standing is much more confident, and he’s very keen on pushing things around our main floor either on his knees or on his feet. I don’t think it will be too much longer. I really think now he’s waiting until he feels absolutely confident. He has mastered stair climbing and wants to climb up our flight (tall and steep) several times a day.
- E. has adopted his bunny as a lovey. It’s a bunny head with a blanket body. I bought it for E. when he was really little, but Q. felt the blanket part was a suffocation risk and wouldn’t let me put it in the crib until E. was a year old. Now when he is sleepy he reaches for her and drapes it over his face and cuddles up to it. It is so adorable.
- E. is still happy signing rather than speaking, despite his Granny’s best efforts (I think she was positive she could get him talking, and she kept pulling out the baby books to show me how much Q. and his siblings were saying at E’s age or younger. Annoying? Oh yes.). He picked up ‘water’ this week really without any prompting. I think we showed it to him a few times before we went away, and then not at all while we were gone, but it clearly sunk in. He’s also consistently signing ‘diaper change’ before dirtying a diaper, and he’s showing a lot of awareness of when the diaper is wet as well- if he throws a huge fit when I go to change him (like before a walk), it turns out the diaper isn’t wet.
- He is obsessed with planes and points them out every time he sees/hears one in the sky (there are a lot of planes overhead where we live).
- He is getting better at patting the cats, in that he is no longer trying to just grab and pull their fur. Now he knows he should be patting, but, to be honest, it’s more of a smack than a pat, so the cats still aren’t sticking around. I think they were disappointed to see us come home, given E. came with us.
- He is definitely a choosier eater now than he was four or five months ago. Vegetables in particular are becoming a bit of a challenge, except for broccoli which he still loves. He was in a booster seat while we were away and did really well with that, so we’re going to break that out here too, and experiment with giving him a plate at the table rather than using a separate tray. He does still throw a lot of food when he doesn’t like something or he is ‘all done’, so he might not be ready for a plate yet. We’ll see.
- During bath time he will carefully line up all of his rubber ducks (he has four- three were brought home from our trip) on the edge of the bath, and will make sure that all the ducks are facing him. When he’s finished he gives himself a round of applause and then knocks them into the bath to start again.
- He loves building towers with his stacking boxes, and can sometimes get a tower five or six boxes high before it topples. He is also showing interest in trying to fit the pieces into his giant farm puzzle.
- He’s made a big jump in his interest in reading and is now choosing much more complicated books for us to read (His current favourites are Owl Babies and Mortimer). He loves pointing out cats and dogs on the page, as well as the moon. He has a barking noise that means dog and/or bird, and he’ll growl for bears and lions, and hiss at snakes.
- I think he has really shot up in height in the last month, so it will be very interesting to see what his stats are when we’re in to see his paediatrician next month.
- While we were away we had a tendency to bring E. into bed with us if he woke up and couldn’t resettle around 5 a.m. to make sure he didn’t wake up the rest of the house. When he would wake up, he would flop around for a while, sucking his thumb, and then once he was awake enough, he’d sit up, sign ‘more’ and ‘milk’ and then lean in to give Q. and I big, open-mouthed morning kisses. Melted my heart every time.
- He has the most amazing temperament. I lost count of the number of times while we were away I said to Q., “Do you realize that some babies would have just lost the plot by now?” He is so happy, so cheerful, so adaptable and easy going.
- Even so, I am very glad to be home again.