“Hi…” That’s one of Noah’s latest words, and he loves saying it! He greets our serviced apartment’s receptionists each time we walk past them when we go out, smiling and bouncing up and down in the carrier as he says ‘hi’ to them. He’s really quite sociable, and he now says ‘hi’ to almost anyone, especially when we are at a standstill. He’s said ‘hi’ to the pedestrians waiting to cross the road with us, the customers waiting in line behind us at the supermarket, the hotel guests in the lift, you get the picture.
Strangely enough, when I try to get him to say ‘hi’ on the phone or on Skype/FaceTime, he gets all shy, and his ‘hi’ is extremely soft and sweet.
Saying ‘hi’ and babbling ‘papa’
He’s also been saying ‘hi’ to inanimate objects, like his rubber duckies, which we bought for him in Melbourne, so that he’ll have something to play with in the bathtub there. Our current serviced apartment in Adelaide doesn’t have a bathtub, and we couldn’t find a bathtub in the stores when we arrived on Sunday, so we ended up getting him a large storage container instead. He seems pretty happy in it, don’t you think?
Noah with his rubber duckies in his makeshift bathtub
Noah loves bath-time, and every time he crawls past the bathroom, he will point at it and nod. When I’m in the bathroom, he will sit outside and knock on the door, which was pretty cute initially, but now, all I really want is private toilet/bath time. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I really never realised the value of having time to myself in the toilet before Noah was born, and I’m sure all mums will concur.
For someone who doesn’t really know how to talk, Noah is able to communicate pretty well. He points at whatever he wants, (to think I was concerned about him being unable to point a few months ago), signs ‘please’, nods, and if we still don’t get that he wants us to give him whatever it is that he wants, he actually says, “I want.” or “Want.”, and occasionally, he adds on “Ya.” for extra impact. Sometimes, I pretend not to understand him, just for the fun of it, or I offer him something else instead, to see how he would react. He still doesn’t know that shaking his head is the signal for ‘no’, and he doesn’t know how to say ‘no’ yet, but he swings his hand horizontally, and it’s pretty clear that that means ‘no’. Sometimes, when C and I are having a conversation, and I ask C if he wants something, when suddenly, we hear Noah’s little voice going, “I want.” as though he were part of the conversation too.
Noah saying “I want.”
He also signs for ‘milk’ or points at my boobs if I pretend not to understand him. These days, I’ve been trying not to give in so easily, and since the sign for ‘milk’ is just the opening and closing of his hand, it sort of looks like the hand actions for ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, and I ask if he wants Daddy to sing that for him instead. He seems pretty happy with that option on most occasions, and C ends up having to sing the song a couple of times, while Noah looks all pleased with himself, and claps along. If he’s in a good mood, I can even get him to applaud for C after each round of the song.
One of Noah’s other favourite words now is ‘up’. He says it to himself when he’s pulling himself up to stand, as though he’s telling himself to stand up. Haha. He also repeats it after us, though he hasn’t used it to tell us that he wants to get up from his highchair or that he wants to be carried. He usually just raises his arms and bounces up and down, which is a pretty effective way of telling us to pick him up.
In addition to his very limited vocabulary and babbling, Noah can make a few sounds. He does the trumpeting of an elephant, the barking of a dog (although he seems to think that horses are dogs, because he barks whenever he sees images of horses too), and most recently, what I think is his version of mooing like a cow. He also mimics C’s snoring quite well, but sometimes, once he hears us say, “What sound does…” he starts snoring, before we can even finish our sentence. I think it’s because the snoring gets the most reaction out of us, and he loves the attention.
His favourite toy is the box of colourful pom-poms, though all he does is throw them around and scatter them all over the floor, and his all-time favourite game is still Peekaboo. He thinks that we can’t see him if he can’t see us, so he loves it when he hides behind a piece of paper or anything he can get his hands on, and giggles to himself when we pretend to be unable to find him and go, “Oh no, where’s Noah? Where did Noah go?” He also finds it funny when C places his small beanbags on his head and lets them fall off.
Noah playing Peekaboo with me and thinking that I can’t see him
The button-pressing phase begun recently, and he’s been asking to press the buttons at the pedestrian crossings and lifts. He also enjoys zipping and unzipping things, so my bag has become really attractive to him. Sometimes, when he’s bored and stuck in the Manduca as I walk around, he busies himself unzipping my jacket, and is very proud of himself when he does it. It’s not as fun for me, because the winds here are really chilly!
Noah has a tendency to swipe or hit when he wants our attention, and we didn’t know how to handle it initially. One day, when I was at a ladies’ gathering here, one of the mums witnessed him doing it to one of the little girls there, and showed me how to deal with it. She took his hand, used it to stroke the girl’s back gently, while telling him, “Gentle, be gentle.” She then explained to me that we have to teach him how to be gentle, rather than just say “no” to him each time he does it, as he wouldn’t know what we want him to do. We’ve been trying to teach him that, and nowadays, he is able to stroke our arms gently when we tell him to. His default action is still to swipe at us, so hopefully, that will change soon.
At fifteen months old, Noah is way behind on the ‘being able to walk’ milestone. He is still too chicken to walk on his own, and insists on either crawling, or having his hands held while he toddles around unsteadily. He can sort of push himself up into a standing position from the floor, but is usually not steady enough to remain standing on his own. I’ve been trying to get him to walk with me holding only one, instead of both, of his hands, but he is only willing to walk that way for very short distances. Sigh.
With the recent emergence of his bottom two lateral incisors, Noah now has eight tiny teeth. He uses them to munch on his current favourite fruit, strawberries, though he refuses to use them to eat anything else. His porridge still needs to be really soft and mushy, and all ingredients in it must be mashed up, or he would either spit everything out, or gag on it. He can use a fork to feed himself when I place the strawberry on the fork for him, but generally prefers to use his hands to pick the strawberries up.
Feeding himself with a fork
Meal-times are still a huge struggle, and I have resorted to showing him videos of himself on my iPhone or laptop to get him to eat. I know it’s a horrible, horrible habit, but when he was down with the mysterious high fever, he became even more difficult to feed, and I succumbed. I’m hoping that after he recovers fully, I’ll be able to wean him off the iPhone again. It will be really tough, and he will probably take more than an hour or two to finish his small bowl of porridge, but I have to try, right?
He still doesn’t sleep through the night, and wakes up every three hours for milk. On good nights, he goes right back to sleep after nursing on both sides, but on bad nights, he will sit up in bed after drinking his fill, and be all ready to play. Noah is undeterred by the loud snoring from C, and will bend forward to peer at C’s sleeping face, and say, “Hi!” repeatedly. C, however, is sleep-trained, and will not be awoken by the multiple ‘hi-s’, unless they are accompanied by some smacks to his face, or some kicks to his body. I usually try to stop Noah from waking C up, especially on weeknights, but sometimes, I’m so exhausted that I fall asleep as he does all these to C. He can stay awake, in the middle of the night, for two to three hours, which means I get extremely little rest. Noah also co-sleeps with us on the very tiny queen-sized bed here, and I can’t wait for him to recover fully from this viral fever, so that I can try to get him to sleep in the cot provided again.
Apart from the eating and sleeping issues, Noah is a real sweetheart, and loves bending his head forward to get a kiss on his forehead whenever we say “kiss”. He hugs C and I when we ask him to, by placing his head on our chest, and patting us gently. I love it when he does that, and have been requesting for many hugs! Better treasure these moments before he grows up and it’s you know, ‘not cool’ to be seen hugging your mum.
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