Megablocks, construction, blocks, car Blog

My Sunday Photo – From Destruction to Construction

My Sunday Photo for this week is of Hannah’s first Mega Bloks construction

This photo represents the reaching of a significant milestone for Hannah. It is a record of the first time that she has successfully constructed something with blocks.

She has been playing with blocks for a long time, but that play has involved watching me build things, then knocking them down. She has had destruction mastered for many months now. But this week, she took herself over to the block container and started building.

Every block on the contraption was placed there by Hannah. I was particularly impressed with how tall she made her tower. She was also tenacious in building it, as on many occasions it fell down. Each time, Hannah examined the pieces and found a better way to put them together.

When Hannah completed her construction, she drove it around for a while making ‘brmm brmm’ noises. As if I wasn’t proud enough already…

 

Megablocks, construction, blocks, car

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baby, smile, teeth, mouth, happy, joy, toothbrush Blog

The Toothbrush and The Tiny Teeth

Sometimes good parenting comes down to patience. Something that seems hopeless and unachievable for weeks, even months on end, can, all of a sudden be realised.

This was our experience with Hannah and the toothbrush. From the moment the first little peg popped through her pink gums, we knew we would have to take good care of it and all the rest that followed. Oral hygiene is fundamental to overall health and developing good habits from an early age seems like a worthwhile investment in Hannah’s future.

But, it hasn’t been easy to get started. In fact, it’s been downright difficult.

In the beginning…

We introduced Hannah to the concept of a toothbrush by first using a damp cloth to wipe her tiny teeth. Emma began attempting to brush her teeth at night, after the feed and before sleep. To say that Hannah was reluctant is an understatement – she downright fought it. She was uncomfortable with the feeling of a cloth in her mouth and, as she was already tired from a long day, she didn’t have the patience to give it a go.

After a little while Hannah became more willing to allow the cloth into her mouth. Emma made up a tooth-brushing song, which Hannah appeared to like and she did a great job of making it part of the night routine. After a few weeks we began to introduce a teeth-brushing before the mid-day nap. Hannah was now familiar with the process and much more willing to participate. She was also less tired at that point in the day, so more willing to give something a go.

After a month or two, Hannah would happily open her mouth for the cloth. She did, however, sometimes decide to put her newfound chompers into action mid-brush, the result of which was tiny little teeth marks in parental fingers. One time recently, she even managed to draw blood from Emma.

All of this was good. It was progress towards our ultimate goal. But it wasn’t our ultimate goal. The regular use of a toothbrush was.

Introducing the toothbrush

Hannah was far more suspicious of the toothbrush. She eyed it sideways from the moment it appeared on the shelf during the bedtime rituals. Initial attempts to get it anywhere near her mouth resulted in tears, flailing limbs and a general sense of frustration for all involved.

This didn’t seem to get easier. In fact, it felt like it became worse. Hannah became anxious about the toothbrush well before it was brought anywhere near her face. She made it very clear that under no circumstances was it to go anywhere near her mouth. This happened for weeks. Long enough that Emma and I became a little concerned about how long-term it was going to be, and whether we would ever be able to convince Hannah of the necessity of the toothbrush.

During this time Emma was fantastic. She persisted each night with presenting Hannah with the toothbrush. She took her own toothbrush in each night and showed Hannah what she did with hers. Hannah watched with great interest, but still she was reluctant to allow the toothbrush near her mouth.

During the day I would give Hannah her toothbrush and ask her if she would like to give it a go. She was willing enough to hold it for a few minutes, and during that time she would look at it intently. I told her what is was and what it was for, as did Emma when she went through the same routine at night. Each time was the same, Hannah didn’t want it in her mouth, but she was happy enough around it. We still had to use the cloth each time to thoroughly clean her ever-growing collection of teeth.

Eventually Hannah came to the point where she was happy to put the toothbrush to her lips. However, she still instantly fought back whenever we tried to get it any further. The whole endeavour felt pointless and we really worried about whether she would ever accept the toothbrush.

Then, a couple of days ago, she opened her mouth and put it right it. She felt the texture of the brush with her tongue and teeth, and she decided it was okay after all. Since that point she has been happy to let us brush her teeth properly. If anything, she even appears to enjoy it… sometimes.

Every good story needs a moral…

I have found, time and time again, that things seem hopeless right up until the point that they are not. Patience and persistence are two of the most powerful tools that a parent has. The end goal may be months away, or it may just be a day away. It all feels the same until it happens. But in the end, the effort is always worth it.

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Guest post, Hannah, typing, keys Blog

Guest Post – Hannah

Every good blog publishes guest posts from time to time. It’s a good way of building networks and adding a more diverse range of voices and opinions to one’s work. It breaks up the monologue, which can become a bit stale, a bit repetitive, even a bit boring.

Hannah has been watching me work on my blog for a while now. I try to explain to her what I’m doing and she seems interested enough. But I have a sneaking suspicion that has more to do with the clicking buttons than the hilarious aspects of parenting that I’m constantly immortalising.

It has now reached the point where she clambers her way up into my lap, then reaches for the keyboard with tiny, sticky outstretched fingers. This has become somewhat of a hindrance to my writing, but it also serves the more useful purpose of pulling myself away from the computer and engaging with Hannah.

Today, however, I thought to myself ‘I wonder what Hannah would write?’

What a great idea! What could possibly go wrong? Hannah has been infatuated with the keyboard for a while now, why not give her free reign, and see what blogging gold she comes up with?

 

So here it is. The first ever guest post on Blog Of Dad – Hannah

Hannah is a 14 month old girl. Her real name isn’t actually Hannah, but due to a healthy dose of ‘privacy first’ from her father, she’s not allowed to use her real name on the internet until she is 25. We sat down for a question and response session. I asked the questions and she typed her answers.

 

‘N

Hannah, how do you like being a baby?

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What are your thoughts on nap time?

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU0PNNNNNNL,KOOOOOOOOO

 

What are your goals in life?

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, KKKK——]””’\                                                           LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL=][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[;. MMMMM/.M

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Who is your favourite parent?

KiMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM;,MMMMMMLLLLLLLL

 

 

What are your thoughts on current geopolitical issues and what could be done to ease tensions in the South-China Sea, and on the Korean Peninsula?

DEWXCCCCECXWWWWWWQEDCXWXCDXSAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZFFFFFFFFFFFFFF VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVWEDEEE

 

*Section removed*

 

 

 

 

What is your favourite button on this keyboard?

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

 

Thanks Hannah. I think that has provided readers with a valuable insight into the life of a 14 month old. I will, however, have to have words with this ‘KiMMMM…’ person. How about you pick a biological parent next time…

 

I must admit that I have edited Hannah’s response slightly. The reason is that she somehow managed to paste sensitive information from a work email that I had just sent, into her response. While I was thoroughly impressed by Hannah’s newfound knowledge of keyboard shortcuts, I thought it best to remove that information.

To be honest, I don’t even know how she did it. I left her playing with the keyboard for a couple of seconds while I fetched the camera. When I returned, I was very briefly astounded by Hannah’s rapid improvement in spelling and sentence structure. Then I realised what had happened. Who knows what other mischief she got up to in that short time. I hope she didn’t email somebody…

 

I’ll leave you now with this parting comment, made by my wife, Emma, made when she read this post –

 

“Makes more sense than some of yours” – Emma

 

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First step, steps, stepping, baby, toddler, legs, walking Blog

The First Steps

Ah milestones. The bringers of great joy and anxiety.

Those of you familiar with this blog will know that I try to not take milestones too seriously. I have, more or less, held the view that things will happen with Hannah when they happen, and that I will enjoy the journey along the way.

I do, of course, encourage Hannah and I try to provide her with as much stimulation and support as possible, to build all of her skills. But what I don’t do is compare her growth to others, or stress when she isn’t the quickest to achieve a milestone. After all, Hannah has proven time and time again that she does these things on her own terms, when she is good and ready.

My resolve to ignore comparisons has only really been tested once – at a joint first birthday party for all of the babies in Emma’s Mother’s group. I was slightly taken back by all the standing and walking tiny tots, and I briefly wondered whether Hannah’s development was on track.

A quick check of the internet assured me that, as with all milestones, there is a wide window of normal development and Hannah sits well within that. Armed with the knowledge that Hannah still had several months before I needed to be in any way concerned, I got straight back into the job of enjoying each moment with my little girl.

 

The past Few Months…

My genuine belief is that Hannah has been capable of walking for a while now. She has always been keen on standing and, often when playing while standing, she had let go of furniture to pass toys between hands or reach for objects. She has demonstrated excellent balance and she is happy to walk for long distances, if she has a parent’s hands to hold on to. However, when it came to letting go intentionally, Hannah had so far been reluctant.

That all changed a few weeks ago. For the first time, Hannah pushed herself up off the floor, completely independently. The signs were there that she was nearly ready to give it a shot. Since that day, she had practised standing over and over and over again. She had even managed to turn it in to a game.

There were two things that struck me over the last couple of weeks as I watched Hannah practise – firstly, she is tenacious. Once she has an idea in her head or a goal in mind, she doesn’t give up on it easily. The second is that she does it all with a smile on her face. This little girl loves learning and I adore that about her.

Finally…

Finally, on Easter Monday, the time came for her to give this walking thing a real crack. We were sitting around and enjoying good company. Hannah was doing her thing, furniture cruising and exploring her surroundings.

As I absent-mindedly watched her, Hannah let go of the furniture and took a step before grabbing back on. Just one. It happened quickly and it was one of those moments when you question what you saw.

“Did she just take a step?” I asked Emma and the rest of the family. None of us were too sure.

I sat down on the floor, a few small steps away from Hannah.

“Will you walk to me?” I asked. I held out my hands and, with a big grin, Hannah let go of the coffee table and took a couple of wobbly steps in my direction.

I could have rushed to get the camera before that, but I didn’t. I don’t really care that I didn’t capture this moment on film, because I was fully present when it happened. There will be plenty of other opportunity to record some wobbly stepping, but in that moment, I was just there to enjoy it and share it.

Hannah has stepped several times since. She is gradually building her confidence and, like with her standing, she practises when she wants and on her terms.

One final anecdote…

The second time that Hannah walked was the next day. Emma and I were playing with Hannah on the landing between the bedrooms of our townhouse. I was in Hannah’s room and Emma and Hannah were on the landing. Hannah scooted into her room at lightning pace (she is an incredibly quick crawler) and she shut the door behind her – this is the latest evolution in our never-ending games of hide-and-seek. After shutting the door, she stood straight up.

“Are you going to walk?” I asked Hannah. With a big grin she stepped forward. One foot, then the other. She walked a total of five steps.

“Open the door quickly, she’s walking!” I yelled to Emma.

Emma opened the door just in time to see a standing baby drop back onto her bottom, a big grin on her face. Due to Hannah’s love of all things hide-and-seek, Emma had just missed her best walking so far.

 

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Own Two Feet Blog

Stand On Your Own Two Feet

The most glorious thing happened this weekend – Hannah learnt how to stand on her own two feet.

It had been a long time coming. She has wanted desperately to spend most of her life standing, from the moment she realised it was a thing. In the early days she would cry and insist on being placed in the standing position. Immediately, a big grin would follow.

As she got older, she figured out how to pull herself up on furniture and people. She has cruised happily for months now. But she has always been reluctant to take that next leap forward – letting go.

Read more “Stand On Your Own Two Feet”

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