This month we finally managed to bludgeon Daniël into drinking his breakfast from a bottle with a hard teat. It took a lot of persistance to achieve this in the face of a screaming, struggling baby who literally spat the stuff back in your face…Of such small triumphs parenthood is made. It does however mean that we can give him a bottle in the morning and then crawl under the shower to recover.
He also started climbing (before he could walk) and a couple of times we discovered that he had climbed from a box to the kiddy table and was attempting to pull the toybox down on his head.
The main news though is that he achieved two major milestones this month: first tooth and first steps. The tooth is of course rather overdue, but he compensated by being a bit early with walking. Though he has the tooth he is still pretty lazy about lumps in his food and quickly spits them out. Strangely enough this does not apply to sandwiches, which he devours crust and all. The walking is going well but he is still mostly skirting round the furniture and he crawls when he wants to get anywhere fast .
Daniël is starting to vocalise more and more, slightly hindered by the fact that Matthijs copies him just as much as he copies Matthijs: instead of our baby learning to talk, our toddler is learning to squeak. There are other side effects. Matthijs is going through a “lion” period (being one, running and hiding from them etc.) and at one point the two of them were sitting in the back of the car roaring (gggrrroooowwwwlll) at each other. We nearly cracked up…
Matthijs is also in fine shape and gives his poor old parents a run for their money. We took him to the childcare clinic for his checkup and discovered that he is entirely average in terms of height, weight etc. but ahead on all other fronts. We were particularly foolishly proud when he spontaneously solved a puzzle on the doctors desk that is difficult even for four-year olds. The doctor also presented us with the sight chart (a sheet of simple pictures) that is used for the sight tests so that he would know words for all the pictures. Children that do not know the right word sometimes keep quiet and therefore fail. Marjolein, ever diligent, showed him the paper while we were gettings him dressed and asked “what is that Matthijs”. He looked at her with a perfect talking-to-morons expression and said “that’s paper Mamma”. Exeunt Parents pursued by a (teddy)bear…
It gets worse. He is getting very inventive and imaginative, leading to him taking two party balloons (Dani ël’s birthday)and holding them to his chest and saying to Marjolein “but it DO have breasts Mamma” (finally winning the argument) and then topping it buy turning the knots outwards and adding “and nipples too”. Aaargh.
I could not say how intelligent he is, but he is powerfully cunning: when Marjolein started singing “Time for Matthis to go to bed” he improvised a reply-song along the lines of “Time for Matthijs to have a chocolate and play with the computer before going to bed”. When we drove past the square in Amsterdam where Marjolein used to live I playfully said “Hello square” and heard it echoed from the back seat, followed closely by “hello rectangle, hello triangle”.
The funfair was back in Haarlem this week and Matthijs was much keener on the rides this year, going quite cheerfully on a pony ride and going on the kiddy-dodgems twice with Daddy riding shotgun. He is still more cautious than his general behaviour would lead you to expect. Marjolein’s mother commented that he is much more careful of things he does not control, which I think may have hit the nail on the head.
He also went on the roundabout on Queen’s Day (though he still does not trust it entirely). He very much enjoyed the crowds of people in Amsterdam and we bought him a xylophone and a toy piano on the free market. This month we finally put up the curtains that Tim’s mother made for Matthijs up in his room and they look wonderful. The lions-and-tigers motif fits in well with the jungle theme and they are much nicer than the venetian blinds that used to hang there.