So where to start, I guess the biggest and the one we have been working towards is walking. Rohan has been using his little walker for a while now, I guess properly since around September and October and has just been gaining in confidence ever since. He seems so much more stable on his legs and just goes whizzing about, and that was great but he couldn't change direction or move the walker in any other direction other than forwards that was until one day he just decided that he could. He dragged it to one side to move it and then it all just seemed to click into place! Later that day I took him to the sports centre for Theo's swimming lesson and only took his walker in, and with a few more practice lifts and drags he suddenly mastered being able to turn it in any direction he wanted! I couldn't believe it and had to hold back the tears and just wanted to run and tell people what he'd just learnt because I was so proud! Since then he's not looked back and is getting so confident with it. I've been trying to encourage him to use it as much as possible and ditching the buggy whenever possible so he gets used to walking places and not just being sat down and wheeled around everywhere.
This confidence on being on two feet hasn't just been limited to his walker though, as he's pulling himself up and cruising everywhere he can and even taking tentative steps (whilst still holding on!) between furniture which is so good to see his confidence growing. He's suddenly surprised us too by taking a few steps completely unaided between us! I couldn't believe it when it first happened, it was almost like hang on, we've been waiting for so long for this moment, I've had dreams about it where I've woken up and had to remember that it wasn't real to then suddenly see him wobbling along on his own was just something else. I think it took a while to sink in really. We've just been working so hard to get his confidence up, making sure he's walking around supported by us or his walker as much as possible to get used to being up on his feet that I'm so happy to see some of it start to pay off, but at the same time I have to remind myself that it's still going to be such a slow process to him actually being able to walk properly. If we've learnt anything in the three years we've known Rohan, it's that he does things in his own time and his own way. Yes he can suddenly surprise you by a sudden leap, but that line won't always follow an upward ark; it will do loop the loops, zig zags and go forwards and backwards. I don't want to feel like I'm being negative, more just reminding myself to be realistic before I get too excited about him walking and picturing our summer with him bounding over the beach etc. Plus he's pretty stubborn and won't do something if he doesn't want to!
So let's move on to communication shall we? This boy is learning pretty quickly at the moment and seems to be understanding so much more which is great, the only problem is interpreting what he wants and how to teach him the correct signs back. He gets pretty insistent on wanting things and actually has developed a pretty annoying habit of just making a whinging sound until he gets what he wants. I'm desperately trying to teach him as many signs as I can and we're working on a little picture book so he can identify objects he may want, but I know it's all going to take time. He's not really developed any clear speech sounds yet, but he definitely has different ways of making sounds for the things he wants or in different situations. He'll wave hello and goodbye on request, will stick out his feet when you ask him to put on his shoes, he'll lift up his arms when you say "arms up" and has just started point to different parts of his face when you ask where something is (he doesn't always get it right but you know it's a start!) His little pointy finger emerged at some point last year and I really love that he can point to things now, and press buttons and all sorts, it really is the sweetest! He can choose between objects, will respond when you ask him if he wants to go to bed/have a bath/have food/play/ask for more. He likes you to sing a lot and will often ask for more singing, his favourite song being wind the bobbin up! He can sign book and will go and choose which one he wants out of the whole shelf and at bedtime will go and pick one then bring it to you, turning himself around and snuggle into your lap with his bottle, he'll then turn the pages or lift the flaps or just listen to the whole story (which in itself is amazing for his concentration!) and it really is my favourite thing to do with him. Rohan also picked up the sign for biscuit remarkably quickly...I wonder why and now asks for it and will sign please too, I'm desperately trying to get him to sign Mummy but so far it's not going in, cheers for that Rohan! Other signs include: cat, dog, more, finished, milk, food, banana, book, bath, sing, go, brother and tv.
He started doing a little movement which I think came from me counting to three on my fingers and saying ready steady go, so now when he sits at the top of a slide, in a swing or at the side of a swimming pool he'll make a little pointy finger and move it backwards and forwards so you say: ready steady go! At the go he points to the side and hopefully actually moves, but you know, this doesn't always happen! But it's very sweet and he just loves it, I really feel like it's his little game and it's good when we both understand the rules. His confidence with playing and being outside has grown massively too, and whilst he does still like to sit and observe other children he is pretty keen to explore and join in a bit more too, it really does depend on what sort of mood he's in! I take him to a little play group in the village and sometime he'll sit in the middle of the floor, with something to chew on and just find great delight in watching the other children zoom about. Other times he'll get himself in a little car and push himself backwards (we're nearly there on moving forwards but it takes a lot more effort!) or climb up the little slide or go along on a car ramp. He will sit himself down for snack time and join in with the other children at the table and I just love to see him doing the same as all the other kids. He really is so sociable, and at nursery and his childminder they say that's what he likes doing the most, watching and taking it all in.
We had an audiology appointment recently, following up from his last on in November when they tested his hearings after he had grommits put in. They found that they weren't really working all that well and in fact he just had a lot of wax and congestion and thought that his hearing aids wouldn't really help the situation either, so he's been without them since September. This time around they found that whilst he was still congested he was hearing more or less most of the sounds he needs to and actually his underlying hearing if perfect it's just that pesky middle ear congestion making it harder, but they decided that he still didn't really need the hearing aids which is positive. So fingers crossed once the warmer weather starts to arrive he'll be a little less congested.
His eating is more or less going well, he can tolerate a lot more solid food now like rice cakes, bread and toast. He definitely has a massive sweet tooth so I know we'll have to watch that one as he gets bigger. I'm trying to introduce him to different types of fruit as so far he will only really eat banana, the same with other vegetables. He will of course have vegetables in his meals, but they're more all mixed together as he's still on fairly soft toddler style meals. I think we missed a lot of that whole weaning process in the beginning of getting him used to different textures and colours as we were just so worried about his weight from his constant sickness, it really hit my confidence and I was just so concerned about getting food in him and him keeping it down that it didn't really happen. I hope it's not too late now and that his stubbornness doesn't make it even trickier as I know going forwards his diet and weight are going to be really important to keep on top of as he gets older.
But for now we're in an alright place, he is more or less sleeping through the night every night, he's making such progress with his physical skills and communication so now we just need it to continue really. We just need to stop the whinging and horrendous noise that he makes so we can not feel so tense when it happens as it really is intense. I feel a little like we've found our feet, things are a bit more stable and I just hope it continues in this way. I know there's probably a million other things I need to update on that I've forgotten, but I know if I don't press publish on this now it will be months out of date and then I'll never get round to writing an up to date one!