He's A Character | 11 Months With Harrison Brown
An 11 Month Baby Update (About time, eh?). I don't really know where to begin. I feel like every parent says 'he's such a little character' at one point in the first year, and I'm as guilty as anyone. I'm not even sure what 'having character' or being a 'character' really means anymore. When I say Harrison has 'character' it's normally because he's blowing raspberries or doing something I've told him not to. It's because he's throwing my toothbrush in the toilet or pulling every DVD from the shelf. It's a nicer way of calling him a little terror. He is a little terror, but in the most endearing way. Harrison is now 11 months old, and with the only update given on him being 'he's a little character' I figured it was about time I filled in the blanks. It's been 5 months since my last little baby update, which is crazy in itself, and I could probably write a book with the mini-milestones and updates I have. Instead, I thought I'd keep it short and sweet with 11 little updates for Harrisons' 11 month.
1. He has a voice.
I'm grudging this sentence, but I suppose I'll have to admit it at one point... he said DADA. There, I said it. My endless repeating of 'mama' fell on deaf ears and this little monkey decided to break my heart with his first word. I think Harrison was pretty late with his first word as far as Emma's diary and the likes were concerned, I stopped even looking after the first few months. All of the babes born around the same time as Harrison seemed to have mastered mum and dad, and I couldn't help but wonder when Harrison would join them. He got there eventually and now has his days where we can't keep him quiet. Other days, he's less chatty and more let's make noise by banging things of the ground, whichever way, he makes sure he is heard. He now has 'mama' in the bag, but only when he is upset. Unfortunately mama is not yet a term of endearment, moreover it's the noise he now makes when he cries, but hell I'll take anything.
2. He can walk.
It's been coming for a few months, but at ten and a half months he finally took a few steps unaided, and since then he's gone from strength to strength. It was something I had waited for with baited breath for so long, but also something that I almost resented when it happened. He's walking, he's a little independent man who can move from the couch to the door without my help, and that's a bittersweet thing. I feel like I wasted so much of the baby days waiting for the next milestone, and now the milestones and the baby days are very much behind us. I'm so proud of where he is at but part of me wishes I could rewind and do it all over again just to take it in properly.
3. He has everyone wrapped around his little finger.
If you believe in astrology, Harrison measures up pretty well with his star sign. If I'm going by the Flying Flowers birth month baby insights: as a Libra, he is supposed to be a happy, fun and vibrant baby who can brighten up anyone's day. His flower is a Marigold, meaning he should also be romantic and charming, which just about sums him up. (Less romance and more charm). He's one of these babies that is just rarely not smiling at a stranger. When he is with us he can be having a tantrum and screaming blue murder, but the minute someone new walks into the room, he can switch it on. He can charm just about anyone and will forever be giggling and smiling while we shop or walk through the park.
4. He eats everything.
When I say everything, I literally mean everything. Apart from white bread toasted, which is an odd one. This was one of the first foods he hate consistently as he had it both at nursery and at home - recently his nursery switched to wholemeal bread, and since then he's not very happy with the white. It's funny, I can barely even tell the difference, yet he can and he knows exactly which he prefers. Harrison has always been a brilliant eater, he did lose his way with jars of food a month or so ago and Mr Independent only wanted to feed himself, but he is now open to anything that tastes nice. For anyone trying to decipher what is on his face/body/the walls in these pictures, it's some of my dinner, some of Jordans' dinner, his own dinner and two yoghurts - which gives a fair idea about what he is shoveling down each meal. He is pretty much off of bottles now, with the exception of his bedtime one and one before his nap, so it makes sense that he is eating much more. We've been trying out the Heavenly Tasty range for the last month or so and the snacks have been a lifesaver - Harrison snacks a lot so having a supply of treats that we know are organic and not filled with everything under the sun has been great.
5. GETTING READY IS... DIFFERENT
At the minute, Harrison is going through a sleepy phase in the morning. We still use the Purflo Nest (the days have been numbered for months but we're still holding on) and I actually get him ready whilst he is still barely conscious. He lies using the cushioned part of the next as a pillow on his front with his little bum in the air and expects me to pull every limb in to place to get him ready. It's a bit of a mission, but a hell of a lot easier one than fighting with a wriggling baby. The hat though, the hat is a different story. Harrison has never exactly loved hats, but over the last few months, he's managed to discover a complete aversion to anything on his head. We used to have a bit of a battle to get his hats on, but have now found the easiest way is distraction. You won't find us getting him ready without a set of keys for him to entertain himself with.
6. Nursery was a good choice.
Harrison has been at nursery for nearly 6 months. The day before Harrison started nursery, we visited my cousin Emma and her little boy Connor, who was around 14 months or so at the time. Anytime Connor made the slightest noise, Harrison screamed and nestled into me as though he was in physical pain, he had never been around children this closely before and was obviously not used to the hustle and bustle at all. Fast forward a few months and Harrison is a completely different child. He will play with anyone, and while he can't quite understand the concept of sharing or not snatching toys, he's coming along and he's a far cry from the baby who screamed when a child made a peep. I think for us Harrison went in at a perfect age, neither of us have had any difficulty with the nursery drop off. He was young enough that he could be distracted with a toy or two while I left, and I was happy enough knowing that he was happy. We were both ready, and it's brought him on leaps and bounds.
7. No haircut allowed
We've never really had much hair on the head, but over the last few weeks his mini mane has started to grow in - from the back forwards. I've had so many people comment on his little tuft at the back of his head and getting it trimmed, and every single one of them has been met with the exact same death stare. Absolutely no one will be touching the little tuft with scissors, if I have to pony tail it then that is what I will do. I am nowhere near ready for his first haircut and the tuft will be staying for the foreseeable future. Anyway, it keeps the nape of his neck warm.
8. He sleeps well.
This is a biggy and it's a subject I am not sure I really want to broach. I've been very open about Harrison's sleeping patterns (or lack there of) in the past. So much so that I've written sleep diaries, I've dedicated Instagram post after Instagram post and I've tried every 'remedy' under the sun to get my child to sleep through the night in the way I read about so many others doing. None of them worked. Let me tell you that much. Until the seven month mark I had very little sleep, I dreaded going to bed, I was exhausted both mentally and physically and the lack of sleep was taking it's toll. I remember sitting in bed sobbing one night around the 4 month mark, wondering when it would get easier. Both myself and Jordan were at the point of pulling our own hair out, something neither of us needed what with my postpartum hair loss and his already receding hairline. A hair transplant is not what you are looking for in your mid-twenties but a few more months of no sleep and I think both of us would have been just about there... We were tired, we were both agitated and taking it out on each other. Neither of us really were great at enforcing routine when it came to bedtime - if Harrison didn't want to go to sleep at 8pm, then he wouldn't go to sleep at 8pm. We let him fall into his own routine and followed along duly waiting for him to find his groove, and at some point, he just did. He sleeps now, and he sleeps very well. I don't want to say this is it and he's a 'sleeper' because chances are in the next growth spurt he'll find a new groove, one that finds me awake every hour with him again and that will have me googling for that hair transplant again. Not all children sleep straight away. They are not programmed to, it is not incorrect or wrong of them, every baby is completely different in their own right. Harrison is no better a baby now than he was four months ago, he is simply one who sleeps differently and this one just happens to make life a hell of a lot easier for us.
9. He's a bit of a bruiser.
Harrison is no wall flower. Harrison is in about everything, and he is definitely not gentle about it. There is only so many times you can tell a 10 month old to be careful before realizing that he has absolutely no concept of the word. He loves to make as much noise as possible and the reactions that come from it, he bulldozes through a room in seconds and will go over anything and everything. The difference in him in the last few months has been insane. I found this a little bit worrying with him going to nursery, as he can be a little 'hands on' and I was apprehensive he would be too boisterous with the other babies, which is ridiculous. He may be a mini bulldozer, but he is a baby who will learn as he grows. He's been brilliant at nursery so far and here's hoping it continues.
11. Peppa who?
There is no interest in the television just yet, which I have no complaints about. Our television is high on the wall, and at the minute passes over his head without a second look. Some days I wonder if it would be easier if he would show some interest so that we could have just a tiny little break, but then reality hits and I remember I have half a decade of Peppa Pig ready to hit me in the face at any moment and I continue to embrace playing with the rubber ducks on the floor. Harrison also does not have very many toys at all in the house, maybe 7 or 8. That sounds very very sad but I promise he is not a deprived child, he is simply one who does not know the difference between 7 toys or 70 right now. When we moved house we offloaded more or less everything bar the essentials to grannies house, but at home he has just enough. With his birthday next month and Christmas 2 months after I have a funny feeling that is all about to change, but for now I am reveling in the ability to open and close our living room cupboard door.
It's been almost a year, which I find amazing. I look back at his very first update and wonder where the time has really gone. He's become my favorite little person, a complete character and one I would not change for the world.
This is a collaborative post.