Fifteen Weeks: Swim Time

We surely had the strangest weather this year. One day we complain how cold and miserable it is, then the next day we pray for a respite from the heat and humidity.

The days however are still getting longer and we have more daylight hours than we know what to do with, especially when baby wakes us at first light at four thirty in the morning. As of this week I am on holiday again until next year. I am dragging out my crochet and books and relaxing when Robert allows it.

Thanks to Ron, Robert is getting a lot of exercise. He now enjoys spending time on his play gym, and is learning to roll over from his tummy onto his back. His favourite position though is upright on his short little legs. He only needs a little support to his arms to carry the rest of his weight and he can remain upright for a minute or so before he slumps down. He can also now sit in his “Bumbo” seat for longer periods. He is always in a good mood, fusses only occasionally and then for a good reason. His routine for sleeping at night is now established, he is normally asleep by eight, provided he doesn’t get himself overtired. There are also the rare occasions when he is too hot and uncomfortable to sleep.

This week Robert got a chance for his first swim outdoors. We put his bathtub outside, filled with lukewarm water, and he enjoyed it immensely. He kicks the water with both legs pedalling so wildly that water splatters all over his face. His shock at the water hitting his face makes him splash even wilder, kicking his legs fiercely. We got the same reaction when the water was a little bit too cool, he started splashing wildly with arms and legs, but did not give a single moan of complaint.

Another important event this week was the arrival of his detailed birth certificate by registered mail. It was delayed in the usual muddle and inefficiency of Home Affairs. Perhaps this time though they had a genuine excuse; their offices in town were flooded due to a leaking pipe. We are actually lucky that the whole paperwork wasn’t lost in the confusion. The next important step will be registering Robert at the Canadian Embassy to get his Canadian passport, but this can wait until after the holidays.

Thirteen Weeks : Are We Teething Already?

Mom and dad have been busy this weekend. I got another long-winded translation projects, and I have been putting in too much time in front of the computer. Ron had a role in an interesting European ad, where he was an 18th century soldier, marching across a sun-burnt field. Robert was busy in his own way, trying to stuff fingers and whole fists in his mouth as we saw. I know that he is not supposed to be teething until around six to seven months but this activity, the slobbering, general crankiness, and a pinpoint of white on his gum makes me think otherwise. It would be a real shame, just as colic is about to end to have aching gums to worry about, it doesn’t seem fair.

Out of all the presents Robert got two weeks ago, the mobile is still the most fascinating. To spare our ears we only wind it up in the morning as we wash up and have breakfast. It keeps him busy and happy for some time, provided of course all his other needs have been taken care of. He is sleeping longer at night, and most of the times I have to wake him up at dawn for his early morning feeds. He slept through the nights a few times already.

Ron also has been trying to put him in his ‘bumbo’ seat for a few minutes at a time. He tires out quickly because his head is not totally steady yet, but he seems to like the sitting position. The developmental play-gym hasn’t been a favourite so far. He starts fussing as soon as he is laid down on it, especially when in the tummy position. When I put him on his back he doesn’t seem too interested in the colourful animals overhead, and he hasn’t reacted much to the ‘baby’ in the mirror either.

We did notice that babies this age have a very short attention span, and focus on one particular object excluding the rest of the world. For example, Robert has not yet acknowledged Petey the black cat. It is not possible to draw his attention to the animal when he is focused elsewhere. Petey for his part gives Robert a very wide berth whenever possible.

Today when we put Robert in the bath we could not help remember how small he was when we first bathed him. Actually it was Ron who bathed him in the first few weeks. I was too intimidated to try it alone, because he seemed so small. Fortunately we have the pictures to prove it : bath; mirror.

I just had to take some current pictures to illustrate our progress. In this bath picture Robert is in the middle of a full stretch. A few months ago he used to flop passively in the warm water, now he wants to kick and splash a little. I suspect the action will become even livelier in a few months’ time.

Eight Weeks: Discovering the World Outside

Last week we had our fair share of outings. On Thursday, and buoyed by a good night’s sleep, we drove to the shopping mall at Canal Walk. The objective was to get a faulty digital thermometre swapped, and buy some more baby and medicinal supplies. As it turned out the thermometre needed only a battery replacement, and we didn’t need to buy too many things, so we thought we had some time to treat ourselves to a quick meal at the food court. Baby was sleeping peacefully in the carrier, and the only problem we thought we had to deal with, was finding a suitable type of takeaway that I can safely eat without dripping crumbs or sauce over Robert’s head. After much deliberation I finally decided on spicy potato wedges, while Ron went for the Shwarma. Our little break ended sooner than anticipated, when Robert woke up hungry, and although this was a predictable outcome, we weren’t prepared for it this time. On our earlier stroll around the mall I haven’t spotted or located suitable spots where I can breastfeed discreetly, and the poor baby had to wait for his meal until we were back home. It was an uneasy drive back home, with little Robert crying bitterly, and for a good reason. I felt very guilty at having food in my stomach while my little one went hungry. Lesson number one: Baby has first priority when it comes to allocating meal times.

On Saturday we went for another outing to the V & A Waterfront. This time we were better prepared and armed with our experience from Thursday’s lesson. We timed our outing right after Robert’s feed and were only slightly inconvenienced when his nappy needed a change right after we drove into the parking lot. Ron stepped forward to this task in the awkward space of the backseat, and it went well with no major disasters. Last week Robert was lulled to sleep as soon as we started walking around, this week he looked around a little, before falling asleep.

Ron and I are beginning to notice baby’s increasing interest in the world outside. He now sits up higher in the carrier and can look up over it at the shops and the people. When we walk down our busy street, he watches the passing traffic with some interest, but is thoroughly fascinated with the huge trees shading the pavement. I always see him gazing up to the green canopy. He is also starting to respond to and recognize familiar items: Canuck the teddy bear, the colourful animals hanging above his cot, the changing table and the bathtub.

A warm bath in the early evening has become one of our successful strategies for combating crying fits. It works wonders during these scary times, when Robert closes his eyes and starts expanding his lungs at the expense of our nerves. He stops as soon as he recognizes the sound of running water, and the crying turns to soft whimpers, to disappear completely once he is dunked into the warm water. And although the crying might resume once the bath is over, there is no denying its relaxing effect; Robert calms down with a little snack, and soon settles to sleep.