twenty one month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
I can kind of understand why his brother gets mistaken for a girl – he does have a very pretty face and soft curls, and is often seen sporting leggings or a dress or armed with a Princess Aurora doll. This one though? He is mainly dressed in joggers, Crocs, a striped tshirt and carries a toy shark. There is really nothing to suggest ‘girl’ apart from that fabulous hair, (which by the way is still determinedly growing vertically over his face, despite my efforts to train it into a side parting) and yet. He gets mistaken for a girl all. the. time. I never let it bother me and it certainly doesn’t bother him, but come on people! This is Brighton in 2015, do we really still make assumptions about children based solely on hair length!?

On the Move:
The fact that the Mancub was a late jumper (like, 3 and a half, still couldn’t jump with two feet), meant that it was a bit of a shock when #2 started jumping last month. I had to remind myself that he’s not some kind of physical prodigy and just… normal. Hah! He does love bouncing around though and is now determined to walk down all steps on his own and heaven help you if you try to hurry him along.

Food and Drink:
He continues to eat lots of new foods the older he gets. He has (finally!) discovered a love of eggs, which makes getting protein (other than peanut butter) into him a lot easier. He’s started having porridge for his breakfast (a huge bowl with plenty of cinnamon and raisins), and enjoys snacking on breadsticks, houmous, most fruits, marmite crackers and smoothies. I’d like him to eat a bit more fish than just fish fingers, and a wider variety of veg (although at least he eats peas now, hallelujah), but on the whole I think he gets a balanced diet and despite him being a second child he still doesn’t get much sugar, so that’s something.

Sleep:
His night time sleep remains solid if a little early (6.45pm – 5.30am) and he loves getting into his cot and snuggling down with one of his La Las (a telly tubby doll). His nap has moved later in the day, so he now goes down after lunch and sleeps from 12.30 – 2.30pm. Since this happened he has been waking up happier again, so clearly something in that change means he is getting better rest.

Playing:
Him and his brother have so much fun at the moment. They both love toy animals and #2 still has a real love of putting things into other things, taking them out again and repeating this for hours (the miniature cannon and ball from a pirate ship is his favourite). Mainly though they are just playing silly imaginary games with lots of hiding and chasing and racing and tickling. They are super cute together and I’m grateful that they rarely squabble.

Language:
Okay, here we go! Suddenly his language has rocketed and he has gone from words that I was still just about managing to keep a count of to saying 3 or 4 words at a time. This morning he dropped his book as he walking to the car and exclaimed, ‘Oh no! Animal book!’. He’s starting to use verbs to describe things that are happening and he likes saying, ‘Got it’ and ‘I did it!’ when he’s proud of something and ‘Read it’ when he wants a book. He likes answering questions about himself and if I ask him what he is he usually tells me ‘yellow animal’ or ‘baby’, although yesterday he told me ‘Moon… on a boat’ and then ran around the room shouting ‘Moon Boat!’, which just about sums him up really. He knows a lot of his colours now and if there are two of something he will point them out and say, ‘doo’.

Personality:
This month he has been so, so affectionate, asking for lots of cuddles, doling out big, sloppy kisses and snuggling on our laps. If he gets too rough and I say, ‘Show me how you’re gentle’, he will ever so carefully stroke my face while he looks at me earnestly. He is always on the move, running around and fetching things and singing and spinning in circles and still has that glint in his eye of one who knows how to be cheeky and one who a few nights ago climbed on top of the table while I was out of the room and stole his brother’s spaghetti from under his nose. He has a whine that can drive you mad and I am very grateful that he is learning more words, so that this is happening less. But he’s pretty easy going, doesn’t tend to get bothered by other kids even when they’re rough or snatch from him, and will get stuck in at singing groups (calling More! More! after every song) and goes off on his own a lot of playgrounds. He has his clingy days for sure (especially if there are people he doesn’t know well around, and especially if they dare to look at him or try to talk to him), but at the same time he’s kind of a breeze and makes us all so happy.

nineteen month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
If I had to guess I would say that this guy is bang on average for his age. He’s got some chubby thighs and a toddler tummy, but otherwise is fairly lean and I am lucky that I can still carry him with relative ease on my back.

On the Move:
Last week we went to the park and all three of us piled onto the big slide together and went down. The Mancub is still kind of nervous when it comes to slides (except for water slides, that’s a whole other story), but his little brother totally showed him up by going down all by himself.

Food and Drink:
I feel like, I don’t know, but I feel like he’s getting a little less picky these days. I mean he licked some brocolli last night and ate a few peas the night before that. Typically though, at dinner he is all about the carbs, be it pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous. Lucky he’s a fruit bat, so he gets some vitamins from somewhere.

Sleep:
The other day he fell asleep on the way home, so I carried him upstairs and put him in his cot. I don’t know if the change disrupted him, but he woke up after only 45 minutes and in a real grump. It made me realised that he no longer wakes up sad from his nap. Most days, he is happy to come straight down to lunch and then is raring to go again. I have also been thinking about how he used to be such a crappy sleeper as a baby, waking up every 2 to 3 hours every night for at least the first six months. But now he’s been sleeping through reliably for such a long time, and we’ve carted him around a fair bit and he will go down easily in new places. I know we still have early mornings to contend with, but honestly, he’s a great sleeper and I know I’m really lucky in the respect with both of my boys.

Playing:
This month he has been all about his baby doll. He carries him around, lies him on the floor and says, ‘shhhh’, pretends to feed him or gives him some milk and takes off his nappy multiple times a day and announces, ‘poo!’. It is very cute. He’s still a big fan of things with wheels and his absolute favourite is to be allowed to stand on the driver’s seat of our car and pretend to drive. Oh, and heaven help anyone else at toddler group that tries to get in that massive yellow and red plastic ride on car (you know the ubiquitous Little Tykes one I mean?), because my guy has the monopoly on that and will scream at you from 100 paces if you so much as look at it, k? This month he is also getting the hang of counting. He can’t say his numbers yet, but if you ask him how many there are of something on a page, he will point to each one in turn while you count.

Language:
I have kind of been waiting impatiently for the month where I could say, ‘We’ve had a language break through!’, and by golly, this is finally the month! Not because I think it’s particularly important for them to talk early, but man, it is so exciting when they do. I had actually forgotten that this is one of my favourite ages, just because they start acquiring words so quickly. He is saying all sorts of words now. His firm favourite is ‘uh-oh’, to be used at every opportunity, even if he has to contrive a situation by dropping something on the floor. My favourite is ‘goggles’, just because it’s so random, and he says it so clearly. He says bye bye and hello really clearly too and is also starting to join in with songs and action rhymes by shouting out the last word. Oh, and he also surprised me by saying two colours, yellow and blue, so if you ask him what colour something is, he will almost certainly give you one of those for an answer.

Personality:
I swear there are weeks when I am about ready to give up being at home, because my littlest boy can be so clingy and whingey, but then every time I come to write an update we seem to be smack in the middle of a really lovely phase. He is so gentle and affectionate, not just with me, but with his brother, friends and his toys too. He’s a real sensitive little soul and gets very embarrassed if he falls over or thinks he’s being told off and drops his head and won’t look at anyone. He’s feisty too though. We had a long phase of him getting upset about getting in and out of his car seat and especially coming into the house after an outing, but I went back to Joyful Toddlers and reread some of their strategies and they seem to have worked a treat. He’s a pretty adventurous spirit and loves to be with the big kids, especially being thrown around on a trampoline or bouncy castle or copying his brother’s every move.

eighteen month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
His hair has finally grown in at the front, so it looks (a little) less crazy, but remains perfectly vertical at all times. His appetite has really increased lately, so he’s getting some good toddler chub on him. All the better for cuddling him with.

On the move:
This month he has become much more confident with climbing and with going down the slide if I’m holding his hands. He follows in his brother’s lead, which has given them both extra confidence, and they like to go off exploring in the park and woods together.

Food and drink:
Finally, FINALLY he has started to show that he is done with his food by pushing his plate away from him, rather than throwing his left overs onto the floor / up the walls. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a done deal, but we are on our way to civilised meal times people! His appetite has been much bigger than normal this month and I think he’s eating a wider range of foods too, although peanut butter sandwiches, Pom Bears and fruit still trump everything else of course.

Playing:
This morning I took him to a toddler group for the first time, after swearing off them more than a year ago. He really loved it, especially getting paint everywhere and riding in the big push along cars. He is due to start a few short mornings at preschool after his second birthday *sob* so I think it will be good to get him used a slightly more chaotic environment, not that it seemed to bother him today. He’s started to enjoy playing with cars and vehicles recently, pushing them along and saying ‘Mmm, mmm’.

Sleep:
Wake up times continue to be on the respectable side of 6am and we even had a few 6.45am lie ins. Possibly as a result of me pushing his nap a little later, possibly because he decided we are all just done with starting our day at 5am. Amen to that.

Language:
Here are the words that #2 can say: Mama, Dada and Bobo (usually used to address the correct person now), ball, bear, bat, whale, dinosaur (dadador), more and his all time favourite… No. No, the answer to every question that isn’t, ‘Would you like some Pom Bears?’. We hear it a lot, with a very certain shake of his head. He also has his own words for most farm animals and pets and can sign flower and thank you. He understands so many instructions now and will go and get things from other rooms, put things away and into the bin. He is starting to get the idea of counting and if I ask him how many there are of something he will point to each one in turn while I count.

Personality:
We have had a lot of smiles and giggles recently. It is nice to have a good few weeks, because heaven knows that from this age forth there will be plenty of days where nothing goes right, plenty of clinginess, plenty of lying down on the floor due to some injustice or another, (I wasn’t allowed to drink the pond water! I wasn’t allowed to run into oncoming traffic!). There have been those moments for sure, but also a lot of contented playing, especially after dinner/ before bed, when he seems to be on his best form of the day. He’s super sociable too. I think the Mancub has always done best in one to one situations, or when he is able to talk to grown ups, but #2 loves being part of a crowd and is happy to bowl about with a group of kids, trying to keep up as best he can.

seventeen month update.

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What is going on? Time seems to have become elastic at the moment, and sitting down and writing the shortest of updates seems to be impossible. But here we go.

Appearance and Growth:
A random fact: this week I put away all of his little baby sleep suits and switched him fully to pyjama sets. I haven’t as yet been all that emotional about the end of the baby phase, but something about that simple act felt very poignant. No more baby clothes, no more baby.

On the move:
The boy runs! Nearly everywhere, usually whilst looking in the opposite direction, so we have had a month of bumped heads and bruises. Following his brother’s lead he is trying with earnest to jump, which as yet amounts to bending his knees then springing up and throwing his arms in the air. He’s very proud of his efforts.

Food and drink:
This boy could merrily live on: black olives, puppadums, crisps, raisins and satsumas. He rarely touches: cheese (cheese! Who is this child?), bread, rice, any carb except for pasta and dry crackers. He has mastered using a fork to pick up foods and eat (more than can be said for his rather more feral older brother), but still asserts that he has finished his meal by throwing the whole lot across the room and signing ‘all done’ with panache.

Playing:
We have been spending a lot of time in the garden this month, which presents all sorts of opportunities for a curious toddler, including but not limited to: picking recently planted flowers, putting pebbles in the pond, putting anything else he can find into the pond, trying to climb into the pond, pouring water from the watering can onto his feet, throwing leaves, tasting the soil, tasting snail shells, tasting everything. Indoors he has begun to enjoy scribbling with felt tips.

Sleep:
Since the start of British Summer Time he has been waking up at a slightly more respectable hour (close to 6am, or afterwards most days). Hallelujah!

Language:
He has a few words now (my favourite new one is bear), but still only really uses words if he is asked to, rather than spontaneously. The rest of the time he has a very distinctive babble (‘la la la, ta ta ta’), that we all seem to talk in now. He has learned an approximation of the sign for thank you (he flings his arm out to the side rather than bringing it to his chin), and also signs sleep (he sticks his finger up his nose and says ‘Shhhh’ if he sees a picture of someone sleeping). He has totally inherited his brother’s love of dinosaurs though and despite only saying a few words, he can identify a whole raft of different dinosaurs in the books that we have and loves to point them out and have you say their names, then quiz him on where they all are.

Personality:
I suddenly had one of those moments this month where I looked at him, almost with fresh eyes and thought, ‘Oh, you’re a little boy now’. He loves to give big kisses and to cuddle up while he drinks his milk in the morning and he runs around the house looking very busy and important. The onset of tantrums is definitely here. If he can’t have something or go somewhere that he wants to go (off down the street EVERY time we get out of the car at the moment), he cries and bangs his head and throws whatever object is to hand in absolute horror at his maltreatment. It’s generally short lived, but he certainly has a hot temper. He often wants what his brother has, which is hard because I’m not in the game of making kids give up their toys, even for a persistent little brother. They are so cute together though and the picture above is of him belly laughing at his brother snapping twigs in the woods, which for some reason he found hilarious.

sixteen month update.

A bit late this month and time just seems to keep flying by. Here is a slightly belated update of what #2 is up to at the moment.

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Appearance and Growth:
Not much to report, his growth has reached a steady rate, his hair keeps getting longer at the back yet nowhere else and he is still the cutest when he smiles and his little cheeks pop out.

On the move:
#2 is walking so confidently now and toddles around over different levels and surfaces when we’re out and about. He enjoys playing a game where he deliberately falls, so I say, ‘ooplah’, then he gets up and does it again. He still crawls up and down the stairs, but that’s just about the only time he does.

Food and drink:
He is still eating a lot less than he used to, which I guess is a little surprising, as I thought he would be using that much more energy now he’s walking. He’s a real front loader, and eats a lot in the morning (toast, cereal, fruit, raisins all before 9am), then eats less at each meal, barely touching his dinner most nights. This is frustrating as I’m sure it’s not helping his desire to wake up at the crack of dawn and that’s often when we’ll eat most of our more adventurous meals and a lot of veg, but it’s a tough nut to crack.

Playing:
As I mentioned earlier he likes playing a few physical games such a falling over and getting back up, chasing and spinning to music (and the Hoover), and hiding behind my back. He loves his spinning top and his toy whale and is starting to enjoy building towers, but mainly he still loves boxes of little things (he has a tray of shells, which end up all over the house), and books. His favourite is The Snail and The Whale.

Sleep:
One slightly irksome development is that #2 has started waking up really sad from his nap. I remember the Mancub going through this phase, and actually it lasted until he stopped napping, so that’s not particularly reassuring. He just wakes up so grumpy and will cry on and off, sometimes for up to an hour and usually it takes a change of scenery or getting out in the car to snap him out of it. I have no idea what causes this, but it’s difficult and I can’t think of any ways to make waking up easier for him, so any advice would be welcome.

Language:
This month he has started using the initial sounds for some words, which is exciting. He can say ‘bah’ for bat, and ‘wuh-wuh’, for both walrus and whale. He can sign ‘more’ really well now and says, ‘moh moh moh!’ to ask for more food, another book or another episode of Peter Rabbit on the laptop (ahem). He has morphed a lot of the animal noises he knows into words for animals, so ducks are ‘dack dack’, cats are ‘yah yah’ and owls are ‘wooh’. He can follow so many instructions now such as putting his shoes in the shoe box, or fetching a particular book (I said the opening lines to Peepo the other day, and he toddled off and picked it out), and he can point out tons of stuff in his books, although he doesn’t quite have the same obsession with learning birds that his brother did at this age.

Personality:
This month has been a little tricky. He is so happy for much of the time, but he can go from happy and smiling to crying huge tears in an instant, and it’s not always clear what’s upset him (to us or him I think). He’s also developed a pretty insistent whine to let you know when something’s not to his liking and it’s hard on him because having a big brother means that a lot of the time I’m not necessarily able to focus on him and what he wants at that moment. I try to spend a little time each day giving him my complete attention, so he gets stories or playing or tickling, and it’s so rewarding to see how content he is, but I feel like too often he is just bimbling about trying to keep up with everything else that needs to be done. Not easy being second baby.

fifteen month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
Hurrah! All 16 teeth are through now, leaving only the last 4 molars to go, but they should be about a year away. The change in his temperament has been dramatic and we won’t be giving him up for adoption after all.

On the move:
A week or so ago a game changer occurred: he learned to get up to standing by himself. This means that if he falls over he can get back up again and is now walking the bulk of the time. Officially a toddler *sob*.

Food and drink:
His appetite has diminished a bit of late, as I guess he’s not growing quite so rapidly. As a result he’s becoming a little more… Discerning? I definitely wouldn’t go as far as to say that he’s being fussy, but he doesn’t eat absolutely anything like he used to. Although crumbs (and general dirt) off the floor are still his favourite, so not that discerning.

Playing:
Hs favourite things to play with are essentially toys with lots of small pieces that he can throw all over the place, collect back together, throw again, and then leave for me to tidy up. Pots of pencils are a favourite, as are jigsaw puzzles or anything where you don’t want to lose a bit. He was caught red handed the other day posting the cards from Bird Bingo through the floorboards.

Sleep:
Same. Old. Story. Early to bed, early to rise.

Language:
Despite understanding tons, and being able to identify lots of objects and animals using signs and sounds, #2 doesn’t have many actual words yet aside from ‘look’, ‘deh’, ‘dat’ and a few other things along the same lines. Recently though he’s started saying a few affectations, such as ‘Wow!’ and ‘Yay!’, and he is getting better at copying sounds and words that we make.

Personality:
Honestly, since his final tooth came through it’s like we’ve been gifted a new child. Of course he still has his grumpy moments (when it’s time to get out of the bath – he’s perfected the jelly arms), but he is just so freaking lovely at the moment. So happy and silly and smiley and ticklish. The only time he gets in a really foul mood is when he wakes up too early in the morning (I’m talking pre 5am), which is pretty rare and if he wakes up too early from a nap (before two hours), which is a little less rare, but still only once a week maybe. Other than that he is pretty damn chilled and even nappy changes are a relative breeze these days. I’ll take it while it lasts, because I know full well that the onset of toddler tantrums are only just around the corner.

fourteen month update.

Oops, with Christmas, new year and general laziness this one is a couple of weeks late, which means there’s all the more to report. Anyway, here is little #2, looking cute in his Christmas lion suit.

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Appearance and Growth:
This mullet! Guys, what to do with this mullet? It is beyond control and reason, but I can’t quite bring myself to give either of my babies a haircut. He’s so European.
In teething news, all four first molars are through (Hallelujah!), and his top and bottom right canines as well. Two more to come and then he should get a break until after his second birthday (fingers crossed).

On the move:
Man, after weeks and WEEKS of a few steps here and a few steps there, something has clicked and suddenly this boy is toddling all over the place. The balance is still tipped towards crawling, but he can happily walk the length of the room, turn corners and even carry a small toy or book with him. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been super impatient for this turn of events, so I’m glad he’s finally decided that walking is for him after all.

Food and drink:
This one loves his milk. The mancub was never too fussed about cow’s milk, whereas #2 has a full 200ml cup when he wakes up and a couple of smaller cups through the day. He also eats a small meal every few hours including a big bowl of porridge for his breakfast and then anything else he can get his hands on. His current favourite is baked beans.

Playing:
This month #2 has become a lot more dexterous, which means he’s interested in a much bigger range of toys and will sit and play for longer on his own. He completes the ubiquitous Ikea lighthouse independently and he got some Play Mobil for Christmas, which he loves. He’s starting to show an interest in toy cars and things with wheels, but honestly, his love of books prevails and Maisy Mouse still rules. The other thing he currently loves is action rhymes and he is starting to be able to join in with a few of the actions to songs like Five Currant Buns In A Baker’s Shop. He’s starting to role play a little and will jabber away on the phone and cram brick biscuits into my mouth with fervour.

Sleep:
Still sleeping from around 6.30pm til 5.30am without waking. I keep trying to shift it a little later in the hopes that he will wake up later, but to no avail. Any tips? He is still napping for a couple of hours at around midday at home, which is probably too late, I don’t know. I feel like we’re so close to a perfect schedule, but I don’t know how to make the final few tweaks.

Language:
This past month he has started picking up a few more signs and will sign bird, sun and star when he sees pictures of them. If you ask if wants more of something he will either sign more by clapping his hands together and say, ‘Muh-muh-muh!’, or shake his head emphatically. He is able to point out lots of things around the room including me, his Daddy, his brother and himself and uses all of our names pretty accurately too. He understands so much now and will go and get the toys and books you ask him for and can do a bunch of things on request, my favourite being if you ask him to sing a song – he will do a short ‘la la la’, before giving himself a clap.

Personality:
There are so many aspects to his character right now. He is definitely going through another bout of separation anxiety, so there’s that. It usually hits hardest in the lead up to lunch and dinner (go figure), so making food with a child quite literally clinging to the apron strings is a joy. He is also getting a little sassy in his old age and will push his older brother away if he is having a story read to him or if he is playing with a coveted toy. Luckily the Mancub finds this very funny and says, ‘Baby is telling me to go away’.
He’s in that stage where he finds pleasure in doing the simplest things over and over and over. Putting something in a container, tipping it out, putting it back in, repeat, forever. It keeps him entertained though. And of course he’s always game for a cuddle and more recently a big opened mouthed kiss. Nice.

thirteen month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
This month will forever be known as the month of teething. All four molars are finally with us, but not before almost driving us to the brink of our sanity because 3.15am IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE TIME TO GET UP FOR THE DAY EVEN IF YOUR TEETH HURT AND YOU NEED TO CHEW ON SOMEONE’S LEG TO MAKE IT FEEL BETTER. The low point was when I went to rub some Calpol gel on his gums and noticed that his mouth was full of blood. Fun times!

On the move:
Two words: first. steps. Yaw! It’s still totally as exciting the second time around when you plonk your child onto the floor and watch them stand, then wobble, then kind of fall forward with their feet moving from underneath them until you’re like, ‘Yes! That counted! Those were actual freaking steps!’. He’s a bit steadier now and is letting go of the sofa, taking a couple of steps himself and then grabbing back on, so yeah, exciting.

Food and drink:
Molars = whole new world of chewing. This guy can eat whole tomatoes now. An achievement yes? Also, Rich Tea biscuits. A world of sugary madness.

Playing:
I don’t know, I feel like there’s been a bit of a cognitive shift this month (do I say that every month? Probably), and suddenly we’re playing games like hide and seek (he hides behind the sofa, I find him, he hides behind the sofa again, repeat forever while he laughs like a drain), and he can do cute things like if you ask him to play the drums he will bang both his hand on the nearest surface. Just make sure the nearest surface isn’t your face, because I’ve been there.

Sleep:
I think we’re down to one nap. To non-parents this is probably the least interesting news ever, (let’s face it to parents of children who are not this particular child this is only mildly interesting), but to me, this is awesome stuff. He’s up all morning, then goes down at around 11am and sleeps (usually, touch all the wood) for a couple of hours, then goes to bed any time past 6.30pm. It’s the best and it frees up so much time that we can do stuff without having to worry about tired babies. Now if he would only stop waking up so freaking early it would be pretty much perfect.

Language:
This guy? King of animal noises. He does so many now and also does the signs for elephant and rabbit and a couple of others. Before he would just do them if we asked (incessantly, because it’s always funny), but now if he sees pictures of animals in books he will do the right noises or sign and has also started to point to pictures and ask what they are (dat?). If he picks something up and you ask him, ‘Oh is that your hat?’ he puts it straight on his head. I like to do this when he’s eating spaghetti and my husband is on bath duty.

Personality:
Man, if you had asked me this at the start of the month in the days known as ‘teething hell’ I would have been like, ‘this child is the clingiest one year old in the history of ever’, and had somehow convinced myself that it would never, ever change. I am apparently still to learn that no phase, good or bad, ever lasts that long when it comes to small children. Right now he is super playful and affectionate, very into putting his head on people’s laps to get cuddles and still very into monopolising any reading that takes place with demands for Maisy Mouse.

twelve month update.

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For every parent, of every child, I swear it is the same. How is it possible for twelve months to pass so quickly, when in the early days there were nights that lasted for months, feeding sessions when time passed so slowly that you could see your finger nails growing. And then suddenly they’re one.

Our second baby is one! Of course it’s very bitter sweet. We will never have another baby. I’ll never grow another baby inside me, birth him on the bathroom floor, lie in bed feeding him, staring into his brand new eyes, smelling his sweet new head. It’s sad, but not that sad, because what we have now makes me so, so happy. And he is so, so wonderful.

Appearance and Growth:
When you look at them closely, #2 has a lot of the same features as the Mancub. Same pouty lips, same nubby nose courtesy of their Dad, same faintly Asian eyes. But the sum of the parts is totally different, thanks mainly to the appliest of cheeks and the darkest of Cara Delevingne eyebrows. Plus #2 is a lot smaller than the Mancub was at this age and is just about average for his age. He has 8 teeth and a crazy awesome mullet of fine light, brown hair.

On the move:
This guy is a speed crawler. He can be cruising along at a leisurely pace but if he hears the words ‘nappy change’ he will bolt and is quicker than you would think. He can go up stairs confidently and is beginning to learn to come down them backwards, although if it’s just a few he’ll just throw himself down face first. He cruises quickly along the furniture, so if I had to guess I’d say he’ll be walking in the next couple of months, which I am ridiculously excited for.

Food and drink:
So I have finished breastfeeding. I’ll write a proper post about this soon because EMOTIONS, but he handled it really well and now drinks a beaker of cow’s milk in the mornings and sometimes after his naps, then water the rest of the time. He has a HUGE appetite and is a joy to prepare meals for. He has Weetabix, porridge, banana and toast for breakfast (yes, usually all of them), and his favourite foods are pitta pizzas, anything with pasta (obvs), baked beans, oatcakes with cream cheese and just about all fruit. He does pretty well with his vegetables as well and gets a balanced diet. I’m glad that despite having an older brother we’ve managed to stay strict on not letting him have any sugar aside from the odd plain biscuit.

Playing:
He got a few new toys for this birthday, his favourite being a game where you hammer coloured balls through holes, which he loves (thank you Grandma and Grandad). He does a lot of playing with every day objects like pans and spoons and random bits that have been left about the house, but is also a fan of the Schleich animals and dinosaurs, and basically wants to join in with whatever his brother is doing. His main love though, is books. I do not care to count the amount of times I’ve read Rosie’s Walk of late, so for his birthday we bought him a few new ones, just to give ourselves a break. It’s nice though, he turns the pages and points stuff out and likes lifting up the flaps to find things that are hidden. The Mancub just recently graduated to chapter books, and it looks like we’ve got another bookworm on our hands.

Sleep:
I don’t really know how I made it through those first six months in tact, waking to feed him every two hours, every single night. I remember talking to people about the ‘four month sleep regression’ and being like, ‘Hah! We have nothing to regress from!’. At least the only way to go was up. Then as soon as he started eating solids, things started to fall into place and pretty rapidly he was down to one or two feeds a night. At 8 months I decided to night wean and let my husband have a go at handling the night duties. He woke up one night and has slept through every night since, bar a couple of times when he was poorly. Now he goes down super easily at around 6.45pm and sleeps right through. Yes, we still have some pre 6am wake ups (thanks for nothing day light savings), but more often that not they’re at a more sociable hour and you know, I don’t think I can complain all that much. He’s beginning to drop his afternoon nap and the past few days has just had a long sleep in the middle of the day, which has seen him through until bed time.

Language:
It feels like every day he learns something new at the moment. He knows a bunch of animal noises now (lion, cow, sheep, cat, fish), and will turn through the pages of a book to find the fish so he do his gulp gulp noise. He can point out his ears (actually if you ask him to find any body part he points to his ears) and show you his tongue. He shakes his head emphatically and signs ‘all done’ if he doesn’t want something. He’s used Mama, Dada and Buh Buh in the past, but at the moment he isn’t really saying them, although he still says ‘deh’ (there), ‘dis` (this) and ‘dat’ (that). He definitely understands a bunch though, demonstrated nicely if you shout ‘dinner’s ready’ and wait for him to speed crawl towards the table.

Personality:
It’s amazing just how much personality a kid can have at only a year. By turns affectionate, giggly, industrious and seriously feisty if something is not going his way. He’s gone through a few clingy phases, but I think having his brother to play with really tempers this and he only really demands to be carried when it’s coming up to meal times or if he’s just woken up. He’s obviously into everything and loves nothing more than a good root around in the kitchen cupboards, but is also content to cuddle up on the sofa reading stories. Mainly he’s just happy. Happy to show you stuff or be chucked around or to take himself off upstairs until you hear the familiar sound of him calling to be rescued. To him there is nothing, nothing funnier than his big brother, who he adores. And we all adore him. Happy birthday our gorgeous boy.