The Blands

Baby's first steps

No sooner was he up, he was down. Just as Freddie takes his first steps, the Blands are taken down by the dreaded lurgy. 

Let me start by telling you that this blog wasn’t supposed to start like this. The very nice people at HomeServe give me deadlines each month and I do my very best (obviously) to meet them. This particular month the deadline for this one fell on a Monday so I thought I’d get it done over the course of the weekend. Sounds simple? I thought so too but it didn’t quite turn out that way thanks to a particularly nasty vomiting bug.

I was the first to fall and to be perfectly honest I didn’t put up much of a fight. It took me down overnight Friday into Saturday and pretty much wiped me out for the whole weekend. Rachael held it off for a day before succumbing on Saturday night. It was so bad she didn’t even manage to watch Strictly. Despite being the smallest, Fred proved the toughest nut to crack. But when I went into his room on Sunday morning, his cot mattress was evidence that he too had bowed to the power of the bug.

So now I sit here on the Monday, feeling a little better myself, but still not 100%. Fred and Rachael are both asleep so I have a moment to myself. I hope you don’t mind me starting off with a vomiting story. It’s unconventional I know, but this is the first time we’ve all been hit by the same illness so I thought it was worth mentioning. Even poor old Bodie wasn’t immune but at least he went outside! I don’t know what brought it all on but it made me think about how important hygiene is when it comes to looking after babies. We always have handwash on the change table but I don’t think you can ever do too much.

I was actually going to talk about the fact that our little man is now officially walking. He’s been threatening to walk for a few weeks now but he was so fast and so efficient at crawling that I just don’t think he saw the point.

We’ve said on more than one occasion in these blogs that all babies develop at different paces and that as a parent, you should avoid comparing your child with others. Obviously we didn’t heed our own advice because we were starting to get a little bit frustrated that he just wasn’t getting it – or showing any inclination to try. He wasn’t even keen on holding our hands while toddling along.

But just as we were resigning ourselves to having a teenage crawler, the penny dropped. One evening, with very little warning or prompting, Fred just pulled himself up and set off. First it was a couple of steps before falling, then a few more, then a few more. He was only hindered by the fact that he found the whole thing so funny and he kept falling over laughing.

Anyway, a couple of weeks later, he’s walking quite happily from one end of the room to the other. Great news in one sense, but it also brings with it a whole load of new challenges and worries. Basically we have nothing of any value any lower than about five feet from the ground.

All of this has actually shown us three things. Firstly, it’s shown us how much of a personality Fred is developing. He knows his own mind now and when he decides he does/doesn’t like something or wants/doesn’t want something, there’s very little you can do to change his mind. For example, he likes mobile phones, anything valuable and breakable, strawberries, potatoes, tuna, cheese and peas and he does not like……well, pretty much everything else. He’s developed a very forceful shake of the head to tell us when he doesn’t like something so we’re under no illusions. He didn’t want to walk and he was only going to do it when he was damn well ready!

The second thing that Fred learning to walk has taught us is that buying kids shoes is an unbelievably expensive business. We recently went to get him measured for his first proper pair and I nearly had a heart attack when I was told I’d have to fork out 32 pounds. Honestly, I know a child’s shoes are important but come on!

The third, and I guess most important thing that all this has reinforced is that babies, and I’m sure probably toddlers and teenagers too, develop at their own speed. Unless there’s something very obviously wrong, nothing at all can be gained from worrying.

Just do what you can to help them on their way and let nature take its course!