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not only but also
Month 12 - "use train with fish" 
7th-Sep-2009 08:38 pm

Being a baby must be like being stuck in the worst infocom game ever. You've got a bunch of different objects and limited verbs to try on each of them to see how it works.

use brocolli
Use brocolli on what?

use brocolli on mum
Nothing happens

eat rusk
You chew on the hard biscuit for 20 minutes. Gain 10% health.

use lightswitch
You don't have the strength to do that

hit clownblock with monkeyblock
It makes a loud clacking sound.

and so on. You can sometimes see that the reason he's freaking out is due to frustration at not being able to do the thing he can clearly conceptualise doing. For example, for his birthday, he got a book of noisy jungle animals - each page has an animal and there's a set of buttons that make the noise when you push them for each animal. Its pretty awesome, but his arms aren't long enough to reach the far edge of the page to lift it. So he sits on the book to reach, and then can't work out why the pages won't lift any more. (Let's not mention that when I sit him in my lap and turn the pages, I have been known to accidentally hit him in the face with them (and by 'have been known', I mean he go it Saturday and I've done it at least 3 times)).

Its been a fun month or so. Hamish appears to be settling down into a routine of sorts across the day rather than working to a 4 or 6 hour baby day of awake and asleep periods. This makes it a bit easier to plan things around him, rather than it becoming chaos as to whether he'll only sleep for 30mins or 3 hours. Settling him down has become a lot easier, although he still won't self settle, and the process often includes 5 or 10 minutes of UNRELENTING STARE where he appears to be asleep, but hasn't actually closed his eyes. Given that he's about 9.25kg, I don't really want to be standing there for another 5 minutes as my spine slowly decays and my
knees compress if I don't have to.

One Saturday, while goldengrove had a well-earned break off being social, I took Hamish down to the beach at Sandringham. It was the best day evah. He was not sure about the water, but given the sun ran off as we got there, I didn't mind that too much. I plonked him down on the picnic blanket and he shot off onto the sand straight away.Sand was fascinating - its lots of tiny bits and can be poured out like water, but you can pile it up too. Despite predictions that he would proceed to stuff his mouth with it, I don't think he ate any sand at all. Seaweed, shells, rocks, random sticks, yes, but not sand.

The week before that, we'd gone splishing about at the Ashburton pool with impish and family. Hamish was a bit unsure about the whole pool idea and was gripping onto me or goldengrove with white-knuckled uncertaintly. However, there came a point where he went "oh... wait... its a giant bath? Cooooooooooooooooooooooool." and suddenly it became all about how much of a splash he can make (answer: lots). Sadly the photos are before he made his attempt to empty the pool by randomly smashing at the water, so he looks more nervous than he ended up being. Definitely something to go back and do some more of, ideally with Chloe and family.

Hamish pretty much babbles and burbles all the time, and as a result, there's been a bit of speculation about words - bjj_moves's continues his campaign to make his first word 'armbar', and there's been a couple of times where he's burbled something similar. I am claiming "woof" as the first word, as he says "oof!" a lot at dogs. He also says "oof!" at birds and other exciting things, so I am perhaps suffering a bit from selection bias. There's been a couple of occasions where we went sure he hadn't said "amis" in reply to his name. Rather oddly, the other night when golden_grove said "madness!" and I said "Spaaarta!" there was a distinct echo from Hamish's direction, but it hasn't been repeated, so a strict scientific study it ain't.

Hamish has been visiting his cousin Calum a fair bit this month - I went along with goldengrove to her tai chi lesson and hung out, and goldengrove went over there a lot while Morgan was upcountry for a week. Its funny watching the two of them together as they are both fascinated by the other, although Calum sometimes doesn't quite get that Hamish isn't old enough to stand up on his own or play quite the same sorts of games. There's only 2 years between them tho - a gap that will probably become more and less significant as they get older. Samuel and Liam are even closer in age, Sam being 9 months ahead and Liam 9 months behind Hamish. Unlike me and my horde of relatives, goldengrove didn't have any close cousins and is hoping that they get on well over the years.

Both goldengrove and me have been a bit shellshocked about the fact that its been a whole year of having Hamish around. Overall, I think we are doing ok, although we're still adjusting to his presence. goldengrove was calling it a win on the grounds that we had neither been to the emergency department nor had to clean poo out of the bath. I have slightly different metric, based on the 307 pieces of advice our friends gave us, based on the very sensible direction "do not boil the baby" from Jeff Vogel. As we have managed to avoid 255 of the 307 prohibitions suggested, I say we earned "A+, excellent job".

Hamish's birthday was a little strange for me, as I had my birthday amputated many years ago after a tragic tricycle accident. I struggle to remember that people place a bit of significance on the day, but goldengrove not-unreasonably wanted to make a bit of an event out of it. Hamish seemed happy with how the day went, so that's a bit of a win, but on the otherhand he's also happy chewing on junk mail and cardboard, so maybe we need another way to measure success. (On a complete tangent, I had a very strange moment a week or two ago when changing Hamish's nappy, and noticing he appeared to have words printed on the top of his palate inside his mouth. There was more than a few seconds of raging Phillip K. Dick style paranoia before I realised he'd been eating junk mail and some of it had stuck to the top of his mouth). Coincidentally mum's group was at our place on his actual birthday, so there was an pseudoparty for Hamish on the day (the mum's group sensibly had one party for all the kids a week or so beforehand at a commercial playcentre).

We threw a small family party for him on the Saturday, at Valley Reserve near our place (not 'Walley Reserve', as google calls it. Presumably they think its near the 'nuclear wessels'). There were hordes of children (5 is a horde, right?) running around (ok, there were only 3 running, but they were horde-esque) and much in the way of bbq'd food (thanks to bjj_moves for cooking meat and notmeat) and goodies goldengrove had made and presents galore, and then sponge cake with cream and chocolate decorations. It seemed like people had fun, but it all disappeared in a whirlwind and then it was time to go home. Hamish slept well that afternoon, and I'm betting his cousins did the same, and possibly some of the adults; so I declare that party a win.

And, of course, photos of everything
7th-Sep-2009 11:29 am (UTC)
I'd be seconding the "going nuts over things I can conceptualise and can't do" observation. I observed The Girl first-hand go through these feelings trying to learn to tie shoelaces on Sunday. She KNOWS she can do it. She WILL do it. Why isn't it working?!?!?!

Birthdays begin to make more sense when the little ones start to work out what they are, by attending other people's parties and retaining enough memories of them to begin to anticipate the arrival of their own (I'd venture to say this would be around their fourth or fifth birthday). Even a completely crappily organised and executed party without any fairy bread (it's possible that we experienced this very very recently in our own house) is the best day ever</> because it's their own birthday party. ^_^
7th-Sep-2009 11:32 am (UTC)
I guess frustration to some degree pushes them forward, but when they are very young it seems to be the source of screaming.

*grin* There was definitely fairy bread - I think it was a new experience to all four kids able to eat it, and eat it they did. Apparently you can buy a sprinkle that's all stars and planets and flowers - very faery-esque - for making fairy bread with, but white bread and hundreds and thousands seemed to work ok :)
7th-Sep-2009 11:44 am (UTC)
I vote for hundreds-and-thousands. Those sprinkles taste a little minty and the bigger they get, the more they taste. All I want is that bread+butter+sugar taste. YMMV ^^
7th-Sep-2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
your photos rock
also, hamish is so much cooler than you
7th-Sep-2009 01:47 pm (UTC) - :)
I'd play that game. Hm, perhaps this explains why I play Eve.
8th-Sep-2009 06:39 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Hamish.
9th-Sep-2009 12:35 am (UTC)
11th-Sep-2009 04:25 am (UTC)
Awesome photos. Congratulations on making it to the 1 year mark without any significant mental, physical or emotional damage on all parties concerned.

Your virus/knee of doom notwithstanding.
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