Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



Going places

Arddun hasn’t been showing a huge interest in walking. She’s been crawling and standing around for four months, but we’ve never put her in a walker and she has never pushed around her little wooden wagon or her Mega Bloks cart. Every now and then, I’d hold her hand to check if she literally needs a helping hand to go places, but nada. She’d take a couple of steps and then her knees would go soft so she could sink to the ground and crawl at breakneck speed to whatever she reckoned was fascinating. Paper, usually.

“She’s just not interested in walking,” I had explained to Lisa and baby Charlotte this afternoon over coffee. “No interest whatsoever. Want her wagon?”

And then we went home and watched a bit of Grey’s Anatomy because I’m hooked and I’m now a housewife. And then much later in the afternoon, it dawned on me that I’ve never actually asked my daughter if she would like to walk.

So this evening, while she was just standing around under the dining room table as per normal,

Starting position
Arddun, standing around under the dining table as per normal

I sat two feet away, looked levelly at her, stretched out my arms, and casually asked if she’d like to walk over to me.

And so she did.


Did it another time, just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off. It took some work – she still really isn’t interested in walking – but we finally got there once we both realised that the NBN mail flyer makes a nice a-wooka-wooka cardboard sound when you flap it. And Arddun loooooves paper and funny sounds.

So she did her 4-5 step mambo another four times before she decided that crawling is INFINITELY better and why wasn’t Daddy home yet? Let’s sit by the door and wait for him.

And thus endeth Arddun’s maiden first steps. !!!

My little girl is walking! EEEEAAAAAHHHHH!

On a related note, I was wondering why I was feeling off-kilter this morning, until I noticed this:

Wrong shoes
Left shoe has small heel, right shoe is ballet flat. Yuh.

So let’s just confirm that Arddun doesn’t get her poise and sense of balance from her mother, okay? Okay.

Month Eight

Standing tall and calling loud
You do both your parents proud
Crawling here, reaching there
Fearless lunges off the chair
Climbing anything that’s “stable”
Pushing prams and chewing cable
Standing every chance you get
Terrorising Leila’s cat
Doing laps around the pen
Watching Wiggles now and then
Playing independently
Seeking jiggles on my knee
Interacting with your toys
Hugging dad and kissing boys
Eating like it’s all the fashion
Trying new foods with a passion
Growing teeth and chewing more
Rice cakes, mango, meat galore
Laughing, clapping, every day
Always with so much to say
“Mum-mum-mum” and “ba-ba-ba”
“Oh look there, a zoom-zoom car!”
Chasing after vacuum cleaner
Once so scared, but now you’re keener
Finger-play and Peek-a-boo
Not a fan of Gymbaroo
Crawled through tunnels, kept the pace
Hated covering your face
Learning how to throw your voice
Across the room – your favourite choice
Testing bound’ries, making mess
Learning “no” does not mean “yes”
Once so helpless, now so bold
And you’re only eight months old!

Month seven

Clearly, we need an action plan for the months going forward.

Photo 1:

Taken literally a second after I plonk her on the seat.

Photos 2 to 9: monthversary pose phail


Boundless, boundless energy interrupted only by two naps – if we’re quick enough to catch you after the first yawn and third eye-rub, and right before the drop off the cliff into Screaming Feralness (also known as the Point of No Return of sleep.)

You are a baby kisser, did I mention that? Except now, with your new-found crawling and climbing skills, you march over to where other babies congregate and with both your chubby hands, will proceed to grab a bald head and kiss/chomp its eyebrows.

You have learned to embrace me and the world – your arms thrown open in trusting innocence whenever you need a hug or a lift, your mouth stretched wide as soon as you realise there’s pumpkin or fruit to be had. You smile at strangers, always. You watch them in fascination and smile a little and a little, your penetrative baby stare boring the sides of their faces like a tiny beam of warm sun until they finally turn, and behold! Megawatt smile. You grin so hard, your cheeks turn rosy and taut and your eyes almost disappear, such is your focus on delighting your new friends.

You are fearless. You sit, so you must now crawl. You crawl, so you must now stand. You stand, so you must now walk. One flat foot forward, and then another. Wibbly-wobbly, but oh so determined. The tiled floor is hard and unforgiving, and yet you never seem fazed for too long. I have a little lamb, for everywhere I go, Arddun is sure to follow.

You are SO much fun to have around, truly.

Month six

(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

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