On Tuesdays, Wesley and I go to a play group that is in the back room of a cafe. All of the adults usually get a coffee and the kids either get hot chocolate, orange juice or a babycino. What is a babycino? It is frothy, steamed milk with a marshmallow. From what I understand, the babycino is sort of a big deal here in Sydney. I’m guessing because so many people go to cafes for coffee that it gives the kids a chance to be part of the action. I had held off giving Wesley one since you have to drink it from a cup. This week, though, I realized that he could drink it from a straw. Here he is “enjoying” his first babycino:
As you can tell, he’s not all that happy. I think he was a little weary of it which is not uncommon for him. I gave him a couple spoonfuls of the froth but he eventually pushed me away. He didn’t even try the marshmallow!
One funny thing he does at this play group is clean up. Since we are borrowing the space, we do a bit of cleaning at the end of our stay. There is a push vacuum that he absolutely loves rolling around. (He has cried on more than one occasion when I have taken it away from him because we have to leave.) As you can see in this video, all the other kids are still playing and Wesley is pushing his vacuum around:
I don’t know why I find Wesley’s ability to climb so interesting. It is probably because I did not realize there is a world of physical activities that become possible after you can walk. So, here is how he figured it out…
As you can see, we have to lift one leg completely up to scale the couch. I wish the picture wasn’t blurry but he can do it pretty fast. The one good thing about him being able to get on the couch is that he learned how to get down from the couch soon after. Even though we do have to keep an eye on him, he can still get down himself if he wants to do something else.
The couch is obviously interesting since he has a whole new vantage point. Not only can he grab things off the kitchen table, but he can look out the window. Plus, it gives him something new to walk on. That has given us a couple anxious moments, but he does have a pretty good feel on how to get around without tumbling off.
This morning, he treated us to this lying down position. I guess he has seen Mom and Dad lie there after a long day. Or, he might have just been telling us he was ready for a morning nap.
With the new place, we decided to switch up the eating arrangement some. Wesley is now sitting at the table. We just removed the tray from his chair, put a towel in the seat to boost him up, and push him right up to the table. Since we have a new arrangement, he has many new things to learn. We have to teach him to keep the plate and bowl on the table when there is food in it and not to slide the placemat around as a way to play. Plus, he is trying to teach us a few things. When he wants more, he holds up his empty plate or bowl. And, when he is finished, he just pushes everything away from him. One thing we have seemed to be working on for months, though, is holding a cup to get liquid into his mouth. He can hold it and get it to his lips, but he has not yet figured out how to tip it back so he can be refreshed.
Wesley is chomping away on many different foods recently. He still really likes his fruit. We have had luck with everything except apples. He is also a big fan of meat. I have been making either beef, turkey, pork or chicken patties almost every night for a while now and he just gobbles them down. I wish he was that excited about his vegetables. He is never consistent about what he likes. One day you think he likes carrots because he cleans his plate and then the next he will eat two or three pieces. We’ve also tried to feed him little pieces of some of our food depending on what we have. For instance, we had scallops the other night and he really seemed to enjoy the pieces that we gave him. And on top of all that, he has had an explosion of teeth over the past month to the point that I don’t even have an accurate count. I’m sure he will be able to handle a greater variety of food in the near future.
Wesley hasn’t quite mastered everything associated with walking yet. It is funny how even the slightest change in the floor throws him off. When he just began walking, he used to need to crawl over the little half inch lip that connected the hallway to the bathroom. Now, it poses no problem, but that doesn’t mean he still needs to be cautious with the terrain around here.
Even though horizontal movements are still posing problems, Wesley is trying his hand at another direction…vertical. When I lie on the floor next to the couch, he uses me as a step stool to get up. He has even started to use me as leverage to get on the couch when I am sitting on it. When we are at the park, he climbs up any platforms or steps he sees. He even tries to go up the slide the wrong way. Although, that was one of my favorite activities at the park when I was young. And since we are moving, we have a few boxes and suitcases lying around that he has scaled. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to get done, so he just yells until we come to get him. Sometimes his scaling doesn’t always go as planned. Here he is trying to go from suitcase to bed with a little difficulty…
And yes, Aimee did move the suitcase closer so he could get on the bed.
One good thing about the scaling…I believe it has helped him “hold on” to the edge of the pool during swimming. The kids are being taught a safety drill where they hold on to the edge of the pool. Wesley used to fight this when we first began swimming. Now, he can hold himself up without any help from me. And, he even does it with a big grin on his face.
It seems that when you have a child that you mark time more. Although, I tended to mark time a lot even before we had Wesley so maybe it’s just me. Anyway, it has now been one year since Aimee went back to work and I stayed home full time. Considering the work/life balance here is weighed more heavily on the life side, Aimee has spent more time at home with Wesley during the week than I think either of us expected. Since he is an early riser, she feeds him his first bottle of the day and gets breakfast started. Then, she gets home most nights in time for dinner, bath and some play time. Plus, we always have the weekends! I’d have to say the whole arrangement has worked out in her favor and I know she is glad to spend all of this time with him at such an early age.
As for the two boys at home, Wesley and I have had some not so good days, some good days and some great days together. The thing I’ve kept telling myself this entire time is that this arrangement would not have happened in the States. Aimee would be at work. I’d be at work. And Wesley would be…somewhere else. So, I’ve tried to soak up as much as I can with my time home with him and experience as much as I can with him. Before I know it, we will back in Chicago and the whole arrangement will change. I know he won’t remember the time we spent together but I already consider it to be one of the best experiences of my life.
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