In the last month I’ve noticed how much Elijah’s communication skills have improved. Long gone are the days when I had to try and decipher his cries. Now it’s very clear what he does or doesn’t want. In the mornings, when he first wakes up, he hands me his blankie. This allows me to put it straight on the radiator to dry out, as it’s been in his mouth the entire night. At this point he wants something to play with and will point in the general direction of his toy box. I then proceed to hold up a selection of toys, one at a time, for his approval. If he doesn’t want it he’ll shake his head and if he does, he’ll smile and clap his hands. What I can’t figure out is why he doesn’t nod his head. If he can shake it, surely he should be able to nod it, right? There’s probably some perfectly normal developmental reason for it, but for now I’m going to nod my head whenever I say ‘yes’ in front of him, to see if he starts to copy me.
A great way he communicates when he knocks something over or does something he thinks he shouldn’t, is he’ll put both hands on his head and say, “uh-oh” whilst looking sheepish. He can get away with pretty much anything doing this because it’s just the cutest thing ever.
I’ve been waiting for a number of weeks to hear Elijah say his first words. Although I’m well aware all children are individual and will develop at different rates, I can’t help but want him to do everything ‘by the book’. At his age (so the book says) he should be starting to say a few words and so I’ve been patiently waiting. I was hoping they wouldn’t be something inappropriate that would leave us feeling awkward when we’re out in public, shopping or walking around the park. Thankfully this wasn’t the case, as his first two words were ‘ball’ and ‘cat’. Phew! It’s no real surprise for us because whenever we change his nappy he sits by the window in his nursery and can often see next door’s cat sitting on our fence. I would tell him it’s a cat and we’d both tap on the window to get it to turn and look at us. He loves doing it and it always makes him laugh, so much so, he’ll tap on the window even if the cat isn’t there. Also, he was bought a set of balls when he was younger and has played with them all the time. It’s been great seeing him progress from not being able to throw a ball, to throwing it backwards (accidentally) and finally bouncing it off walls and trying to catch it. Emphasis on the word ‘trying’! There was an immense feeling of pride that he’d mastered not only playing with a ball, but saying the word ‘ball’ too. Since then however, I’ve noticed he calls quite a lot of things ‘ball’. Not just other round things, but pretty much anything. So I follow him around saying things like, “that’s not a ball, that’s a remote control” and “that’s not a ball, it’s auntie Rachel”.
Clearly he’s at a relatively early stage when it comes to talking, so we still have times where we’ll hear a high pitched scream and he’s standing in the kitchen pointing to the place we keep the biscuits. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what he’s saying and he knows exactly how to get our attention. Sufficed to say, he’s learning a valuable lesson about ‘I want, doesn’t get’ as I draw his attention away with the mini football and he immediately forgets about the snacks.
Another thing I noticed him doing is shrugging and I have no idea where he picked it up from. I’m pretty sure I don’t shrug, nor does Angellica, in fact does anyone actually ever shrug their shoulders? He isn’t just shrugging his shoulders either; he turns both hands palms up as he does it. It’s really funny to watch and I often ask him a question just so I can get him to do it. The one question that guarantees an animated shrug gesture is, “where’s your ball?”
That’s just about it for this month. I’m now going upstairs to help Angellica who is busy ‘nesting’. Yes, there have been a lot of preparations in the Underwood household over the last few weeks, as we get ready for the imminent arrival of baby number two. Depending on when he or she decides to turn up, I’ll be writing about what happens in next month’s blog post. The scariest thing is I’ve only just got to grips having one baby, so I have no idea what’s going to happen with two. One thing’s for sure, Angellica and I are going to be the busiest we’ve ever been in our entire lives. There’ll be more nappy changing, more bottle sterilising and less sleep…again! There’s no turning back now!