(I’m cheating, because I’ve taken ages to start on this post owing to two months of gorgeous grannies and grandpa time. But better late than never, as they say. Also, WordPress allows you to date your posts earlier so w00t to that. 18 December it is.)

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Dearest Arddun,

It is official: you are an Active Baby.

While I know that most mothers secretly believe their child to be a mini Einstein or Olympic champion in some kind of baby race only mothers understand and tune into, you ARE on a rather steep learning curve when it comes to mobility. And because you’re still quite inefficient about the whole business, your journey takes a thousand flaps – and then some.

You are now a proficient omni-directional roller. You are also a huge fan of tip-toeing and the brace position. I’ve been told that your core muscles are excellent. Lord knows if I didn’t feed you so much milk, you’d have an impressive six-pack by now. You are, slowly but surely, learning to crawl. Sure it takes you 5 minutes to cover 3 feet of cold, tiled floor – and you breathe new meaning to “two steps forward, one step back” – but by golly, you get there.

We’ve gone and bought you a cage playpen, just so Mommy can have the occasional break to take a bath or something. So far, you’ve not been a huge fan of the playpen – think it has something to do with how you keep whacking into the bars whenever you gather some speed. Usually when you’re going for the bottles.

Oh yes – BOTTLES.

For a few months now, you’ve been fascinated by bottles. They are your favourite things. I’m not just talking about ’em milk bottles. I’m talking 330ml Liptop Mango Tea bottles. 1.5litre Coke bottles. That teeny-tiny juice bottle with the red cap that Grandma Singapore carried in her handbag every time we went out shopping. Basically anything plastic that holds liquid and is capped off by a brightly coloured lid. Big fan. Huge. Will reach out, all hands and feet, straining against straps until bottle is in hands. And then will suck cap merrily for many minutes. Makes you happy. Which makes Mommy happy.

BTW, you have suddenly turned into a gigantic baby. You were a runt when we started, and got Mommy and Daddy all shook up about not feeding you enough and you sleeping too long, and then you started travelling along at the 50th percentile mark for months and months and then suddenly – boom! Big baby. 75th percentile for weight and head circumference. A whopping 90th percentile for height. Again, Mommy ridiculously proud. As if she grew your own legs or something. In truth, we’ve very little to do with it. You just looooove your food. And now that you’re eating semi-solids, it’s like your lunch is your world, and your world is in your lunch. If we were to leave you in your highchair without so much as a slice of pear, you’d look at us most indignantly as if to say, “What the!”

It would be funny, if the look didn’t always follow with huge protestations.

Yes. You are LOUD. You laugh loud. You cry loud. Thankfully, you haven’t figured out how to shriek yet. Mommy cannot abide a shrieky baby which means, of course, that you’ll learn to shriek next week – just so God can have a chuckle. You seem to have a deeper register for a girl baby, so your laughs are delightful chuckles and your yells are fully supported by your diaphragm. Very good technique. You might be a choir girl one day, just like your Mommy.

You have teeth. One big one pushing through in the bottom centre-left, and another one growing slightly slower. For ages, all we could see was a hint of a tooth and that was all that would show and then, SPROING! Teeth. Your smile is changed forever. But it still lights up my insides.

After two months of hardly napping, you’ve decided that you’ll catch some zzz – once in the morning, once in the afternoon. You still sleep through the night. All 12 hours. And wake up bubbly and chatty and hungry. Bless you, my girl. Bless you. xx