January started rather too noisily as far as Matthijs was concerned. He had a marvellous evening with us and Daniel at a neighbour’s New Years party radiating charm and low cunning: he ate everything available and got his money’s worth of attention out of all present. Unfortunatly the fireworks scared him silly and we had to run him home and get him into bed as quickly as possible. Though it seems obvious that a small child would be wary of loud explosions and flames it always surprises us when Matthijs is afraid of anything. He is normally rather too fearless for our comfort!

The next day all was well again and we went for the traditional long walk of the beach with the beasts and came back and ate a big stack of pancakes. Matthijs was fully recovered from his scare but he remains very wary of any kind of fire, which is fine by us.

Daniel has just started sitting up by himself. This took him a long time as he really wanted to skip it all together and stand up right away. He did it very gradually: he was lying down and then he was rolling over and pushing up with his arms and then suddenly he was sitting. I (Tim) had to look twice. Of course he fell over almost immediately but once he gets an idea into his head…

After that things went at a great rate and now Daniel is crawling and standing very well. He can flip onto his front in a matter of seconds and then pulls himself upright on the nearest object. Crawling is only used to find a suitable place for standing. We expect that he will walk early, but then we expected that of Matthijs too…. Daniel is making a wide range of sounds now, supplemented by a series of colds so that crying, coughing and sneezing sometimes get combined.

Matthijs’ imagination has now moved into high gear and he is starting to create games for himself. A great bedtime favourite is having his cuddly frog (and monkey and snake etc.) ask for a biscuit in a funny whispery voice. Of course if the frog/snake/monkey asks politely it always gets an imaginary biscuit from Daddy and generally says “thankyou” too. The cuddly toy population in the bed is still very variable – there are no fixed favourites and he still prefers to cuddle up with a book rather than a bear…


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