Alfie took his first steps yesterday!!!!! At 11 months almost exactly. Just casually strolled over to Daddy, taking 3 steady steps without fanfare. Mummy and Daddy (the only witnesses, but the ones that count) got so excited and whooped and cheered and clapped so loudly he burst into tears. Which may not be exactly the right sort of encouragement he needed…. Still, we are VERY proud. He’s been standing confidently for about a week now, often with something in each hand; toothbrushes, toys, bread and cheese for example.
He also has his first curl! I was so emotional I nearly cried. Then I thought about cutting it off. Then I came to my senses. He is pretty much still bald with a faint covering of (strawberry in some lights) blonde but with some extra at the back, where the curl is. His 2 top teeth are ENORMOUS with a huge gap inbetween too. I am sure it will even out as they grow. Though gappy front choppers run on my side of the family; mine were carefully joined up with years of hideous orthodontistry. (I felt a twinge of teenage regret when I saw Madonna’s.) Anyway, as I say I’m sure it will grow out. He likes to grind his top and bottom teeth together which is er, gross and endearing at the same time. His appetite fluctuates and is becoming more like a toddler’s. He LOVES Mini Baby Bel cheeses to the point that I have to ration them daily. They were originally a ruse to get him round the supermarket but I fear I have created a (cheese) monster. Bread is also a winner and pretty much everything else is a bit hit and miss; sometimes sausages are favourite, sometimes yoghurt. He’s also tasted cake, biscuits, chocolate, juice, crisps and popcorn in the last month. I blame the mother and baby group I go to on Monday mornings; the kids are mostly 2 year olds and if I try to keep Alfie distracted from the goodies he simply hoovers the crumbs off the floor, poor mite.
I’m also amazed at his understanding and reasoning. He knows what to do when I talk about brushing our teeth (goes to get the toothbrushes) and going out (goes to get his shoes) and helps to put his car seat belts on. He will also give me his drinking cup so that I can fold the spout out for him and will bring me a toy he wants me to play with – the bubble blower is a winner every time, and it only cost me 50p! We also take things in turn, saying ‘Mummy do it’ and ‘Alfie do it’, with his music toys in particular. He LOVES drumming! We bought him a little wooden drum as well as the plastic one and he likes to have both drums in front of him, banging one with each hand, entirely his own invention. He’s suddenly much bolder, happily going into the bedrooms we don’t use and playing in the showers – that we don’t use. He’ll also look for Pamela and can do a superfast crawl if he thinks she’s in the utility room beyond the kitchen. Conversely, he’s also quite mumsy, not so happy to go to just anyone anymore and keeps his eyes locked on mummy when picked up by others. He will beam at random people depending on how the mood takes him however, and gets very excited when spotting someone familiar, such as our askari (who is brilliant with him, like many men of all ages over here).
He makes the funniest faces now. The other day he was doing this weird blinking thing, like he was trying out new ways to blink, scrunching his eyes up and then looking very reflective as if to say, hmm, that’s what that feels like. His vocab changes all the time, mammamamamam is definitely for mummy, often used if he’s fallen over or feeling tired and cuddly. He will also do a dadadadadad for daddy. Yesterday it was all about the tongue, he seemed to be trying out what sounds he could make with his tongue out and sometimes you would swear he says a proper word like ‘Pamela’ or something. He’ll also attempt to join in singing which is so adorable.
Today we had a busy day; we swam for almost an hour and he was happy as anything, particularly when Daddy threw him high up in the air and splashed down. Going underwater doesn’t faze him in the slightest, still waiting for that protest to kick in as I’m in no doubt it will eventually. We then had a long lunch with a family friend of Pete’s and he was so happy sitting in his highchair at the end of the table, eating ‘bitings’ (appetisers like bread, cheese and ham) and singing away. When he got fed up with sitting he crawled around on the floor keeping himself occupied for ages by climbing up a large plant pot and saying hello to the next table (he’s still champion at staring). And after that we went to see a couple of more friends at a local shopping centre and though he was pretty hanging by this time was still in a super mood, laughing and insisting on drinking out of a glass or a bottle like Daddy, even eating a slice of lime – he loves anything sharp and tart, crazy baby.
Tomorrow we’re off to Lake Naivasha for lunch and a spot of hippo spotting by boat. It is so much fun taking him places as he just loves going on adventures with Mummy and Daddy. We’ve had some sleepless evenings recently, due to another couple of teeth just coming through, but for the last two nights he has slept through to 7am, hurrah!