For the last eight months, I've taken a photo of Bean each time he turns a new month. I love doing this, it's such a great way to see him changing, when as a mother you don't notice those day-to-day physical changes as much as people who flit in and out of their lives.
Since about six months though, these pictures have started to fill me with sadness and a bit of dread too. I don't want to go back to work. I don't want a stranger looking after my precious baby. I don't want to have to divide my time between a job and my child. Eight months suddenly seems too close to a year, when I'll be going back to work. For two days a week, mind- but still a separation from my baby.
Still, of course, every month should be a celebration. He is healthy, and continues to grow and learn new skills, new facial expressions, new noises. He tries new activities, he sees new places. What a wonder it is to see a baby grow up like this.
He is such very good fun these days. He eats absolutely everything (except scrambled egg- I've never seen such an amazing face as the day we tried to feed him scrambled egg...) slices of orange, nectarine and cucumber seem to be his favourites; He laughs at the weirdest things- ping pong balls bouncing; his sister doing pretend 'falls'; people doing day-to-day tasks but exaggerated. He says 'mama' and 'dada', sometimes in recognition of our presence, more often to indicate a mood. ('mama' means 'I'm so sad and so hungry!', 'dada' is said almost in a comedy stage whisper and appears to mean 'I am being very naughty!'); He is starting to crawl, but hasn't quite got it right, so he sometimes crawls backwards, sometimes walks on all fours as if he's Mowgli from the jungle book, and sometimes just continuously rolls across the carpet as if he's some kind of circus-performer. Sometimes he looks like he's about to do it properly though. He's also starting to be able to pull himself up to stand- something I was slightly horrified to learn when I'd sat him down 'safely' in his cot the other day! ; He plays so well now- he can sit on his mat and play with anything you give him for absolutely ages. He's just discovered things with wheels (I got him a plastic car from a charity shop for 99p the other day, and it's gone down a treat!), but his main favourites are still anything shaky- particularly his purple shaky egg. He barely sleeps at night- but I'll forgive him, because I know that these night feeds with him pressed up against me and falling asleep nestled next to me in bed won't last forever.
He's also beginning to be properly cuddly. He sometimes grabs hold of my clothes now if I walk past his high chair. Sometimes when I pick him up, he nuzzles his head into my shoulder, just for a moment, but for long enough that I know that he's being loving. But he's also beginning to be upset if Sam or I leave the room without him. Each new leap brings its own new challenges.
Happy Eight Month Birthday my lovely baby boy, I look forward to you being nine months- but please don't get there too fast.