Evelyn, just because


Evelyn has nine teeth now, can you believe that?


evie tentEvelyn’s vocalisations are becoming increasingly complex. She still doesn’t make any sense, but she sounds like she should! She just said to me something that sounded like ‘Boyd Attaway!’ and I was like, ‘Ok, who’s that?’ She replied, ‘Feed the boy!’ Long babble-sentences are becoming very common.

Nonsense babble, of course, but she can say a couple of words reasonably clearly. She was saying ‘cat’ a lot yesterday, because we were in a house with one. She also managed ‘bus’ a few times, as they passed us. She is currently playing with the buttons on my pyjama top, going ‘Bwa-bay! Bwaaaaa-boo!’, which I’m going to interpret as attempts at ‘button’.

She’s also using body language more effectively. For quite some time she’s been shaking her head emphatically to indicate ‘no’, and she’s recently started nodding for ‘yes’ as well. She will also grab my hands and put them where she wants them; she’s been trying to pull them off the keyboard and put them into a hug around her while I’m typing this!

One way and another, she is very adept at communicating; there is rarely any doubt as to what she wants!

Letter to my baby

Dearest Evelyn,

You turned one last week. One! A whole year you’ve been with us. Incredible. I guess I can’t call you a baby anymore; you’ve moved on to being a toddler.

You’re a sweet kid. You’re very personable and sociable, which is nice. You like a cuddle, from just about anybody, but you’re also pretty good at telling us when you want to stop being cuddled!

You can be very independent, and you’re certainly as strong-willed as the rest of the women in this family! We’re going to have a merry old time when you get older. However, I think it’s a good thing on the whole; the world is a tough place, and it gets just a little bit easier when you can stand up for yourself.

The things you love right now include grapes, tearing pages in books, and reaching for things you know you’re not meant to have. Yes, you know! You might be only one, but you’re a smart cookie!

The only thing I’ve found that you won’t eat so far is scrambled eggs. You’re perfectly happy with fried or poached eggs, though.

You are walking incredibly well already, and have been for quite some time. You haven’t really crawled at all for a month or so, maybe even more. It’s a bit soon to expect speech, but you make a lot of different sounds and you’re very good at communicating what you want in various ways, both verbal and non-verbal.

You’re capable of sleeping through the night, but you often don’t because you’re teething. Your teeth seem to take a very long time to come through, and hurt you for the entire duration. I feel so sorry for you… but also for me! Your teething means that I don’t get much sleep! But it’s ok, I know it will pass, and one day you’ll read this and feel horribly guilty.

All in all, you’re a sweet and happy child, a wonderful addition to our family. I can’t wait until you’ve got all your teeth and stop bumping your head, and we can start to enjoy whole days with no pain!

Loving you all your life,


A totterer, not yet a toddler

Today, Evelyn decided she could walk. For a little while now she’s been cruising around using the furniture and walls for support, and for a couple of days she has been taking several unsupported steps.

But today she has been tottering around the house astonishingly well, unhesitatingly leaving the security of a chair to wander the wide wasteland of the living room. She went from the dining table to the study this morning, a straightforward jaunt in a single direction of about seven metres. Later, she took an epic journey, almost completing a circuit of the house, which may not be much further in distance, but involves more turning and thus more effort.

She now seems to see walking as a form of transport equally as useful as crawling, or even more so. Although I must say even her crawling is amazing; she gets up a fair turn of speed, and her bum wiggles madly as she goes. She’s also started getting around on her knees, which I’m not sure whether to call ‘walking on her knees’ or ‘crawling upright’.

Here is a short video of Evelyn walking. It’s not her best effort, but she keeps falling over on camera, then putting in the real miles when the camera isn’t handy.

I’ve gotten used to knowing that my other fully mobile child, Elspeth, also knows how to do things like not fall down steps. But I’d forgotten that babies learn mobility long before acquiring a modicum of common sense. I will have to watch Evelyn very closely now that she’s so free-range, to be sure she doesn’t hurt herself or go missing!

Great grapes!

Evelyn adores grapes. This is a sequence of photos I took this afternoon, starting with grumpy grapeless, and proceeding through the receipt, appreciation, and consumption of grape.

She is also getting very tall. It turns out she can now reach the fruit bowl and help herself to grapes! Glad as I am that she’s eating fruit, too many grapes is a good way to give yourself the runs, so I had to move them out of her reach.


A little bit of Evie

Evelyn is nearly eleven months old now. I can’t believe it, that’s nearly a year! So here’s an update of how she is growing.

She is a champion speed-crawler, I am always amazed at how fast she goes. She’s also cruising around very effectively on her feet, using furniture and walls and people and whatever else she can reach. She’s got a walker – an upright toy with wheels and a handle – and she races around the house behind that. She’s pictured here pushing Elspeth around.

Evelyn is also beginning to sleep really well. I’ve got her down to one nap during the day, and that has helped her sleep through the night. We haven’t had a ridiculous o’clock wake up for about a week now, so I’m confident in saying that’s it.

She is still eating wonderfully. She eats anything, everything – except egg. She only has two teeth, but it’s amazing what she can do with them! She was managing big chunks of coconut last night.

She is also becoming really communicative; even though her vocalisations are still mostly ‘ba’ and ‘ga’ and ‘da’ and so on, she can make it very clear when she wants something. For instance, she points at food she wants. She headbutts me in the mouth when she wants a kiss. She screams when she wants attention – but stops and entertains herself if I ignore her!

She and Elspeth are getting much better at playing together. I hear more laughs than screams now as they frolic. I still think Elspeth is too rough with her, but as long as Evelyn is laughing, I figure she doesn’t mind.

All in all, I’m pleased with how she’s going. I think she’s going to be another smart cookie, like her big sister, so I’m in for a hell of a time when she starts talking!

Get up, stand up

This rather puzzled looking munchkin, at just past eight months old, has learnt to pull herself to a standing position! She was figuring it out yesterday, and today she is perfecting the technique. I’m sure it won’t be long before she’s cruising around on the furniture, and then walking all by herself! Just watch my hair turn grey now…