Friday, 3 October 2008

Grace -9 months old

So Grace is nine months old, and looks remarkably like humpty dumpty after a very severe home haircut, which is how it should be. Photo albums were invented to give people a chance to laugh at how embarrassing everyone was as a child, how awful the 80's fashions were and how long it took to stop having ridiculous haircuts. No family photo album is complete without snaps of wonky fringes, ridiculously unabashed beach nudity (normally armed with a bucket and spade and swiftly followed by a photo of one family member being "buried in the sand" by said spade and rest of family. If people have a family dog sometimes a hilarious photo of the dog helping to dig is also included.

**My own brother took this a bit too far one year. Our parents took us to Spain and in a fit of nostalgia Mickey asked if he could bury me "like in the good old days" which everyone knows I am a sucker for... half an hour later all that was visible was my head which Mickey put a bucket over, and then took himself off for a pedalo ride. A fat German boy eventually came to my rescue, after attempting to kick the bucket. I was15) , missing front teeth in school photos, or even better, missing front teeth and a scabby nose from going over the handlebars of your bike the day before. Finally, a photo of everyone looking grumpy as they stand against a pebble dash wall (which may well be the reason for the misery. It's very uncomfortable to lean against indeed, but great fun to pick off bit by bit during Summer holidays. We always got very told off for doing it and I never understood why. I always thought I was doing a bit of a favour. Perhaps it was one of those "if everyone did that then there would be none left" tellings off, like when you pick shells on the beach or bluebells in the wood).

Anyway, there will be no snazzy hairdos or porcelain veneers in our albums. I am sticking with tradition all the way. James' family albums also include photos of very complicated "weekly shows" put on by his sisters in the back garden and occasionally feature male family members in dresses and 70's wigs, so we may try some of them too.

Humpy Dumpty impersonations aside, Grace is doing really well. She is at that delightful stage where she throws everything on the floor then cries till you pick it back up again. The books say that babies love the power of dropping things and watching them fall. I think Grace just loves having people run round after her like some kind of mini Mariah Carey. She has learnt how to escape from her playpen now and takes great delight in showing me each time I put her in it. She is also capable of crawling up the stairs if you let her. Much like her daredevil uncle she lives in the fast lane. Her favourite games include opening and slamming the baby-gate (onto her sausage fingers), or holding onto the coffee table with one hand as she pulls off all it's contents with the other ( heavy books, laptops, hot cups of tea etc). She does very funny goose steps holding onto her walker, which is just the sweetest thing. She knows she is doing something clever and when she gets to the end of the rug she stops and turns round so we can give her a round of applause (which she joins in with - we are trying to teach her to wave but she just loves to clap).

We spend alot of time chasing her round the house saying "Grace No....No... NO, Grace NO NO NO NO NO, No means No" But does it to her though? Perhaps to her no means "Do it more it's great fun". According to one book I read at this age babies haven’t learned how to control their feelings yet so complain and howl when they don’t get their own way, giggle, coo and squeal with joy when they are happy and may have very strong likes and dislikes about food. I was quite alarmed when I read this as it's a pretty fair description of me most of the time!!

Grace has finally sprouted two very sharp front teeth which she loves to bite you with. Breastfeeding has become a bit of an extreme sport these days. James' nose gets chewed on a regular basis as well. Getting the teeth to finally poke through seemed to take forever and the effort certainly took it's toll - Grace caught and infected all of us with the novovirus, grandparents included. Not at all pleasant! As you know I am incapable of being sick (maybe I was a sewer rat in a past life) so managed to avoid that part but I DID GET IT TOO (although no one believes me). We are still in recovery mode and are having a very quiet weekend watching Property ladder and testing our 70's underfloor heating system. Who said having children ruined your social life?!

I have started a basketball team with some of my coworkers in an attempt to do some exercise (plus everyone knows playing basketball instantly assures you coolness, which I sometimes doubt now I spend most of my time in banana splattered pyjamas singing row row row your boat. It was my birthday recently and James threw me a surprise party. Some friends came round for a bit of a knees up, but as is often the way once you have kids we spent the whole time chasing our kids round singing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" ( the only game Grace can join in with!)

James is too cool to sing, so he builds very high towers out of blocs instead which Grace knocks down (and then applauds herself for. I do hope she grows out of this habit, no one likes a show-off) or lets her play with the numbers on the front door which for some reason she loves... a budding mathematician perhaps?

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