So…we’re going to rather have to skim across the surface of recent weeks.
Suffice to say that a grand time was not had by all; that Millie was ill for so long that even I, the perennial optimist and practical chap, began to be a little bit worried. But three different doctors told us that babies can be ill for weeks with diseases that you or I would cast off in a day or two (as I did, as the Lovely Melanie did). And Millie is completely recovered now.
And what a recovery! It’s as though her two weeks of unwellitude (I just made that word up) were a kind of gathering of forces, a pause before a great leap forward.
To put it perhaps another way: she’d been developing all that time, but didn’t have the energy or the disposition to to do anything about it.
Now that she’s back with us, it’s almost as though we have a different baby.
For a start, there’s the tantrums.
Well…not really “tantrums” properly yet – Millie now knows what she does and doesn’t want, and her growing realisation that she’s an independent person and can affect the course of events around her, coupled with a complete and utter lack of any patience whatsoever, means that she can get a bit hard to handle at times.
Only very briefly – she still seems to have little real concept of time, and can go from a screaming whirlwind to a giggling mess in just seconds – but you try to explain to a 17-month-old that if she is quiet for five seconds while you put a nappy on then she can go and play, whereas if she carries on kicking and screaming the putting-on-nappy experience is going to last a l-o-t longer.
There’s also a lot of giggling now, especially since we discovered gravity.
Did you know that if you push something – a toy, say – over the edge of a table or a high-chair, then it disappears? Did you?
Millie’s in the final stages of some exhaustive scientific tests on this phenomena, but it appears to be a universal law that objects pushed over the edge of a table will always disappear in a downwards direction.
Although, as I say, we haven’t finished every single possible test of this yet.
An unforeseen side-effect of this phenomenon is that it appears to induce uncontrollable mirth in human children of approximately 17 months.
Well, Millie’s discovered how objects can fit inside other objects (e.g. boxes), that some objects will fit together in various ways, and also that you can pass objects to other people and they will hold them or pass them back to you.
When not engaged in her gravity experiments Dr Millie is endlessly experimenting with putting stuff in containers, then taking them out again, then putting them back in again.
There’s also speech.
Millie can definitely communicate “No” or dislike; “no” is “nying-nying-nying” (repeated until you get the message), and there’s also some other communication which is kind of hard to explain, a mixture of pointing, noises and just…familiarity with her personality.
And it is a personality now.
Looking at younger babies, I’m quite startled at how unexpressive and passive they now seem. It makes me wonder, if we ever had another baby would he/she seem rather dull compared to the blossoming Millie we now have?
And she’s still got her natural rhythm – oh, yes – whenever some music is played, whether on a toy, on the radio, on the computer, or even sung by her faithful research assistants, Dr Daddy and Dr Mummy, you’ll find Millie, er, wobbling back and forth a bit.
A busy couple of weeks coming up for us now, what with Grandma’s 60th birthday party this weekend, a wedding next weekend (to which Millie’s invited) and a long weekend in Swindon to catch up with all the friends and relatives there.
Quite how I’m going to find the time to update this site, write a couple of reviews, apply for ever more jobs, design and make this year’s Christmas cards, see my friends and spend some time with my family I don’t really know.
Perhaps I just won’t sleep.