The day after I posted my blogpost of Noah’s 15th month and wrote about how he hadn’t started walking yet, the little boy decided to pluck up the courage to take his first steps.
I was actually in the kitchenette with Noah, while C was seated behind the bar counter, on the sofa, which meant that he missed Noah’s first ever steps. Noah had been more willing to stand on his own, but each time I told him to walk on his own to me, he’d laugh, look as though he was
thinking about trying, then chicken out, and sit down instead. That night, he looked at me, laughed, and took one tiny step. I was sooooo thrilled, and encouraged him to take a few more steps. He took another one or two more, as I squealed in excitement, and told C to come over. Unfortunately, by the
time C got to us, Noah had already sat down, and didn’t want to repeat the stunt despite our pleas.
Later that night, I managed to get him to take a few more steps in the living room, while C captured those precious few seconds on camera. I’m so glad that we were together as a family here in Adelaide when Noah took his first steps, as it’s quite a significant moment in Noah’s growth, I think. Somehow, he just seems a little more grown up now that he can walk.
Noah still prefers to crawl, of course, but he also stands up on his own more now, telling himself ‘Up, up, up, up, up!’ while pushing himself up from a seating position. He does the ‘zombie walk’, with his arms stretched out, and staggers around. He falls down quite a bit, but thankfully, he doesn’t cry when he does. He still doesn’t take that many steps, and the only walking he does so far is in the apartment, because I don’t think he’s ready to walk around outdoors yet.
Noah doing the ‘zombie walk’
C’s friend, D, who is currently based in Adelaide, has a cat, and each time we visit him at his home, Noah is extremely fascinated by her. He tries to follow her around, and says, ‘Mao’, which is Mandarin for cat. He also tries to get her attention by saying hi to her, but the cat usually ignores him, or runs away as quickly as she can. I don’t blame her, because on the few occasions that D carried her to let Noah touch her, he was quite rough with her, swiping at her head and body in his excitement.
This little boy loves saying hi to the numerous pigeons we come across on our walks, as well as to the dogs, and basically any animal he sees. He was extremely excited when we visited the Cleland Wildlife Park (more on that in a later post), because we got to take a photo with a koala, and he was very eager to touch it. I had to hold his hand firmly to prevent him from using too much force on the koala, as they are supposed to be very sensitive creatures.
Our photo with the koala. Check out how I was holding on to his hand!
He’s extremely fond of soft toys too, and as the stores are filled with numerous soft toys for Christmas, Noah gets pretty excited whenever he sees them, and asks to be brought near them, so that he can touch them. These days, when he wakes up from his naps, he can spend quite a bit of time playing with his two beloved soft toys, all by himself. After a while, he would drag Snowy, his toy dog, along with him, as he crawls out of the room, in search of us.
Taking a nap with Snowy and Percy Pig
I’m thankful that he also enjoys reading, and that even though the selection of children’s books in the libraries here isn’t that great, I still managed to
get hold of some that have held his interest for some time. Books with a simply rhyme are still his favourite, and right now, Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, is the one that he brings to me the most often, when he wants me to read to him.
He loves his papa very much, and C is the first person he looks for each morning when he wakes up. Noah currently sleeps in between us, so when he wakes up, he checks C’s side of the bed first. If C isn’t there, Noah will first whisper, ‘Papa’, then look at me quizzically. When I tell him that Papa has gone to work, he points to the door, and these days, he even climbs down the bed by himself, crawls to the main door, knocks on it, and calls, ‘Papa
Papa Papa!’. Occasionally, when C is at home, Noah could be playing happily by himself within metres of C, and suddenly start shouting for him, ‘Papa. Papa. PAPA. PAPAAAAAAAA!’ It’s quite funny actually, and we always ask him why he has to shout so loudly for Papa, and if he thinks Papa is deaf. I think he likes doing it because C will sometimes try to ‘catch’ him after he yells, and Noah loves being chased around by C. Of course, he crawls really slowly away, because he’s too busy laughing, but it’s so cute watching them play together like that.
Nothing new to report on the eating and sleeping front. He still behaves as though he’s a newborn, waking every few hours at night for milk, and crying if I refuse to nurse him. I’ve even bought him a milk bottle, out of sheer desperation, but he hasn’t taken to it yet. I’ve also offered him fresh milk, chocolate milk, and Milo, all of which he has rejected after trying a sip of two. There’s nothing much I can do about it, except keep offering them to him, and praying that he will one day decide to drink something other than mummy’s milk and water.
Noah is also still taking ages to finish each meal. I’ve long since resigned myself to allowing him to watch videos of himself on my iPhone while he eats, and take comfort in the fact that he’s at least eating. Each meal that he completes in less than an hour is considered an achievement, and on bad days, I give up after two hours. I’ve even developed a blister on my finger, where the spoon rests when I feed him. That’s how bad things are, and I’ve been trying various recipes to whet his appetite. I’ve tried a few recipes from Annabel Karmel’s ‘The Healthy Baby Meal Planner’, but I’ve had to puree all of them, as he really dislikes having chunks of any sort in his food. It’s strange because he does eat plain rice off our plates, and has no problems with bread, biscuits, Cheerios, strawberries, and pears. We’ve even been giving him tastes of our food, such as Pad Thai, waffles, ice-cream, french fries, vegetables, and ramen, but he doesn’t take more than two or three bites of them before rejecting them again. I try to make his meals as nutritious as possible, giving him broccoli and salmon in his porridge most of the time, and sprinkle a bit of chia seeds into it as well.
One good thing is that he has absolutely no problems pooping, and poops at least twice a day, usually during his meals. We always complain about how disgusting and smelly his poop is, then remind ourselves that it’s a good thing that he doesn’t have constipation. I guess it also means that he’s eating enough, because he has so much poop! It’s quite a challenge to change his diapers, because he scratches his butt and thighs a lot, and struggles to get off the bed before I’m done. I have to moisturise him frequently, because of his eczema, and there are still nights when he wakes up asking to be moisturised repeatedly, and won’t go back to sleep even after two to three hours, due to the itch.
Noah had a simple medical examination here two weeks ago, as part of our visa application, and the doctor was initially quite concerned about his weight, height, and head circumference, as they were all way below average. Luckily, I had Noah’s health booklet with me, and showed her that he has been small-sized since birth. She examined him and concluded that he was just on the really small side, and was doing okay apart from that.
All three of his grandparents will be coming to visit him for a week in December, and I’m sure they’re going to spoil him to bits, after not seeing him for so long. Hopefully, he’ll be more stable on his feet by then, and be more cooperative at mealtimes, so that they won’t worry about his size and growth.
PS. If you’re looking for a good cookbook for babies, you can try checking out Annabel Karmel’s ‘Top 100 Baby Purees‘ from The Groovy Giraffe. Don’t forget to use the discount code ‘GWTT’ to get an additional 5% off all your purchases, apart from the bargain books.