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It’s a Starfish thing

It’s mind bending how quickly Starfish is developing his personality and how fast he’s growing… I’m pretty certain he’s been here before and he knows more about this parenting lark than we do, he’s just testing us!

At around 8 weeks old he was sitting in front of us in his bouncer seat while I read a book and his Dad flicked through the paper. Starfish wasn’t having any of not being the centre of attention and literally erupted in sobs complete with dropped lip, the works. We both instantly looked up from our reading and jumped to attention. Starfish on seeing that he had a captive audience again and all was right with the world, immediately pulled in his lip again and beamed with delight, not one tear in sight! A PHD in emotional manipulation at just 2 months old.

This “fake cry” still continues today; usually after the last feed of the day when we put him in his cot but he decides it’s not quite time for last orders just yet. He lies on his tummy in the cot (usually across it rather than the correct way up, peeping through the bars) He buries his head in the mattress and ‘sobs’ for a few minutes. Here’s the interesting bit though, every few seconds he manages to magically compose himself long enough to peep out and see if the display is having the desired effect on his Dad and I. It’s honestly Oscar worthy! Then when I relent and say “Ok one more feed” He smiles and sometimes even laughs, right in my face! It’s like he knows those big blue eyes are irresistible and is thinking “I’m going to play you like a banjo Momma.”

The first time he saw me walk alongside his Dad while he carried him in his sling; he smiled and gave me a knowing look like he was saying “Check you out Momma, walking, that’s new!”

Then just a few weeks ago, I was exhausted after a particularly sleep deprived few nights thanks to teething (Starfish is teething, not me). I was in the bathroom washing up before bed while Dad got starfish changed. Knowing how exhausted I was and that this leaves me prone to stumbling or worse, hubby kindly said “When you’re ready let me know and I’ll come and help you” When I was ready, Starfish decided he was not being left in the cot under any circumstances; this meant hubby had to once again be Super dad and hold Starfish in one arm while helping me walk back to the bedroom at the same time. To do this we have a nifty little Team Starfish dance which involves hubby walking backwards while I walk towards him and Starfish. This time however was slightly different in that it must have been the first time that Starfish really looked at what was happening. When he saw me move towards him with my wobbly gait and more specifically the way my head was moving, he decided I was funnier than any cartoon or tickles and literally doubled over laughing! We thought at first it was a co incidence; surely he’s not laughing at me walking? So I stopped for a few seconds then started moving again. Right on cue, as soon as I took another step he erupted in a giggling fit again! and so he continued until we’d reached the bed.

I asked myself, should I be a bit upset or offended by the fact that he’s laughing at me? Ha! Of course not. I hope he’s always as easy as that to cheer up and make laugh. Now if he’s in a mood or if we just want to hear his beautiful giggle we just shake our heads from side to side and say “wobbly head” and he obliges with a chuckle that makes our heart’s soar.

Pretty much everything happens on Starfish’s terms. We are using the principles of Baby Led Weaning to introduce Starfish to solid food. Well, that was our intention at least, Starfish has other ideas. The ethos of BLW is that baby feeds themselves but bringing the food to their own mouth and exploring the feel, texture and taste for themselves. Starfish is quite happy to eat absolutely anything, from fruit to curry or bolognese but his version is “why would I waste my energy holding food up to my mouth myself when I can summon the parents to do it for me? Yes I’ll nibble the strawberry, banana or pasta happily but if you think I’m holding it, you better think again.” Interestingly he applies the same logic to his teething rings and sippy cup but he’ll happily grab the TV remote and press buttons, especially if there’s something on I’d really like to watch.

We’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that we are now lodgers in our house and Starfish has firmly established himself as the boss, which is fine…. but I really need to find a way to deter him from gnawing on the wheel of my wheelchair!

Answers on a postcard please…….

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