Mon Petit Pudding,
You’re now eight months old and have just experienced your very first Christmas. You’ve only recently acquired your new nickname of Petit Pudding since I started dressing you in your Christmas pudding long johns (no, they are not leggings, papa). It just seems so fitting for you and La Choupie agrees, so I’m afraid it’s here to stay.
There are precisely 18 months and one week between you and your big sister and what a whirlwind eight months it has been. You’re my bonus baby, the little glimmer of my much wanted family of four when your papa turned to me that summer’s day and said “let’s try for another”. Yes, that’s the same father who, not so long ago, said he didn’t think he was cut out to be a dad at all!
At eight months, you’re only 2kg lighter than your sister!
You came along a lot sooner than we expected, and what a surprise blessing that’s turned out to be. I may not have said so in those first few months when I felt like I was failing as a mother to not only one, but pretty much two, babies. Such a small age gap was tough going in those early months, especially with no family around to support us. Yet here we are, eight months on, and you’re sitting up and playing next to your big sister. Like true siblings, you’re stealing her toys, pulling her hair and both squabbling over who gets to play with my purse. But equally, your face lights up the moment she enters the room, you laugh and cry when she does and you seem to talk the same language. I can finally see how such a small age gap is actually a good thing and, day I say, it’s even getting easier.
My two babies – the photo that reminds me how small an 18 month age gap is
When I started my blog, I intended to do an update for you every month, but the reality of managing two under two kicked in, so please forgive me for not getting around to it until you’re eight months. And with only four more to go until your first birthday (eek!), I really want to capture this precious time in your life as a baby. Because if you’re anything like your sister, you’ll most certainly be a toddler the moment you turn one.
Desperate to steal your sister’s toy
Here are five facts about you at eight months:
- You’ve got eight teeth already. Eight!
Thankfully they haven’t been too painful for you, although you’re dribbling a lot more at the moment, so I expect more teeth are on their way in. Plenty of babies your age still don’t have any, you know. You’re clearly very advanced *tongue in cheek*
- You can swivel around
You might have a good set of teeth, but you’re not that mobile yet. You seem quite happy to sit playing on the mat and can swivel around when you do tummy time (reluctantly). But you just don’t seem to have figured out that you can move yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It certainly makes my life easier to herd only one cat instead of two right now.
- Food isn’t your strong point (and neither is sleeping through the night)
I started off wanting to do purely baby led weaning to avoid having another fussy eater, but you have such a strong gag reflex, even now. You struggled with it so much, vomiting and going bright red and silent, not to mention freaking out your sister, so I’ve switched to purée and only offer a few tried and tested handheld foods you love (like toast, while I watch you like a hawk). You don’t even like the more textured purée I’ve recently been trying to introduce. On top of this, you’re still waking up one to two times a night for milk. With only four more months to go before I return to work, one of my top five projects in the New Year is to get you eating more during the day in the hope of weaning you off the night feed. Please, please work with me on this. I can’t keep it up for much longer.
- You understand me
I always think people underestimate the amount that babies and toddlers can understand. You’re all a very smart bunch. You smile knowingly when I say I love you and sing the same songs I sing to your sister. You sit in your chair and make yourself bounce by kicking your feet when I say “les pieds, les pieds, les pieds”. You also seem to know that you’re not allowed to pull my hair, as you get a real twinkle in your eye when you go to grab it and even laugh when I tell you off (a sign of things to come?). You also know it’s bath time when we all start singing “on est bien, quand on est dans le bain” (a totally made up song. There’s a LOT of singing in our house).
- You can almost clap your hands
You’re sooooo nearly there. You love it when the whole family stops what they’re doing to clap along with you when you give it a go. This is always one of the highlights of my day when we all join in together. Team PJ all the way, baby!
You’re quite happy to feed yourself toast and crumpets
I wonder what the next few months have in store for you? There are so many changes, all happening so fast now. I wish I could imprint on my brain the image of your chubby thighs and wrists and how your feet move when you get excited. I want to remember your cute little bottom two teeth, the way you smell and the softness of your skin when I snuggle into your neck. Don’t grow up too fast my darling baby.