Baby, you’ve reached a milestone

Buddy (AKA baby Alex) is 9.5 months now, and has reached a couple of milestones which are significant for us. He’s able to do the baby crawl, from the previous combat crawl, possibly because he has shed a lot of fat and so able to lift his butts. I actually saw it for myself last weekend.

I put Buddy inside his play pen, and left the door open so that he didn’t feel restrained. He doesn’t like being cooped up for long. He initially hesitated to climb over the floor bar that was part of the structure that hinged the door to the play pen, though it is only like 2in high. But once he got over the obstacle, he discovered freedom and started going after objects he is not allowed to touch, like a air-freshener spray. I ran after him and grabbed it before he did.

But Buddy’s most curious about the audio speakers which he keeps getting stopped by us from playing with them. The other day, my husband put him on the floor, and immediately he went for
the speakers. My husband had to grab his legs before he pull them down.

Another milestone is also discovered by chance. Last Saturday we went to Goodwood Park hotel for some Chinese porridge. Buddy was in the stroller, and a waitstaff asked if I wanted a baby high chair for him. We had always said no to the request because even though he looks old enough for it, he didn’t like it when we tried once, at Din Tai Fung. But that day I decided to try at a whim. When I put Buddy into it, he was surprisingly chilled. My husband suggested I played some kiddy songs to him to keep him occupied since we weren’t sure how long Buddy would remain seated. I used my iPhone to play the videos and it worked. Too bad I didn’t download enough songs then, and Buddy got bored after 20 minutes of repeating 8 songs and musical stories. But we consider that an achievement.

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The next day at Wild Honey cafe, we thought we could have Buddy in the baby chair, but he protested after my husband strapped him down. My husband suspects that he doesn’t like the chair at the cafe because it’s not very stable. I must say I was surprised by how heavy the baby chair at Goodwood Park Hotel is; it must have made of solid wood. My husband joked that it might be a relic from the British colonial era. I guess that’s why Buddy is ok with this chair.

Even though Buddy is watching the baby song videos, he doesn’t get wholly absorbed in them. Instead he’s also curious about what’s going on around him. Whenever anybody walked past our table, he would turn to look. Yeah, he’s like a little busybody, but that also makes him rather aware of his surroundings. He’s always checking out what’s around him.

The other day we took Buddy to a family doctor, and it was interesting to observe his behavior. As the doctor was looking at him, he returned the look, then glanced casually at the table next to him, and looked back at the doctor. My husband told me that recently when his parents were here, he thought his mom had got Buddy distracted in the play pen, and so my husband quietly sneaked past him. But too bad, it’s either my husband wasn’t quiet enough or Buddy has bionic ears and eyes. He caught my husband and demanded to be cuddled by him.

Buddy loves standing up, and is trying to walk while assisted. When we put him on our bed, he will stand up by grabbing the headboard and pul himself up. He discovers he can beat the headboard and the wall with his hands to create sounds like a drum. He also realizes he can fall back safely on the bed since it’s soft, and repeatedly falls backward and then pulls himself up.

Buddy is also rather big for his age, and pretty strong too. When my husband offers his forefingers to him, Buddy will hang on tightly such that when my husband lifts him off the ground, he is still holding on. It hasn’t been easy to handle him since he has such strong grip and will struggle hard when he doesn’t want to held down, which happens when we have to apply nose drops on him. Even when we are changing his diapers, he will want to roll over and crawl away.

We think Buddy has got a lot of exercise opportunity at infant care that develops his motor skills. We’re sure he learns to crawl by watching other babies and practicing. Soon, he’ll be able to walk, and that’s when we’ll have a runaway baby in our hands. He’ll want to explore and I can foresee he’ll protest loudly if he’s restrained. He’s also starting to yak in baby talk. Both my husband and I are teaching him to say ‘papa’ and ‘mama’. So far there’s no milestone in the speech area yet.

Buddy still doesn’t enjoy bath time, unlike many babies. My husband said water is Buddy’s kryptonite. I tried to sit him down in the baby bath tub recently which had a little water in it, and he cried. My husband tried later and it also didn’t work. So he suggested we put some bath duckies into the tub, which hopefully will distract Buddy. I’ve also bought a swimming diaper for him and a float, in the hope that he wouldn’t reject the baby pool. Still, I will have to engage a professional instructor to help him to be comfortable in water and learn swimming eventually.

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