I keep on wanting to take a minute to write about Axl’s current milestones, but it is tough – every time I look away, he achieves something new.
Two days before Axl turned 7 months, he decided to stand up. For awhile now, he has been able to crawl and move all over the bed, whether it is pulling himself along the duvet or tugging on us, he manages to get around. But the other night, out of nowhere, he pulled himself up on Darren’s leg and stood straight up. Since then, he has been mastering the standing skill and is even testing letting go and falling over. It is quite cute watching him do it over and over again, improving with each try.
If that wasn’t enough, on the 10th of October, he crawled for the first time. Again, he has been getting the position right for awhile, but hadn’t quite gotten the movement going until now. It is ridiculously amazing to watch him maneuver all over the place – he sets his eyes on something and goes for it!
This past week has been challenging though. Although he already has two teeth, his teething wasn’t as extreme as this time round. I can see both top teeth coming through, but his poor little body is taking a knock. From earache, to a runny tummy, to tearing the legs off helpless sponge-toys, my kiddo has it all. The most upsetting thing is watching him turn down food. One thing that is so incredible to me, is how Axl loves trying new food and especially looks forward to meal times, but the last few days – I am lucky if I get 5 spoons in him.
Playtime has become exceptionally enjoyable. We recently bought him one of those play-carpets, that as a child, everyone wanted. It has the roads, and buildings and makes a perfect backdrop for the many hours that I plan on spending playing cars, with Axl. The carpet is what actually helped getting his crawling on the right track – he was struggling with sliding his legs along the wooden floors. But the carpet has also declared a space, in our room, for him. It is funny, how in the beginning, it was just his little play mat, and then his swing and now… an entire carpet, with a toy box, all his teddies and more. But it has been great! I can put him down and he plays for about an hour, on his own, I love just watching him. He has learnt to shake his linked-chain in one hand, before swapping and shaking in the other hand. We also got him a plastic ball from Spar – it’s probably the best R20 we’ve spent. He screeches in delight, as he waits for the ball to be rolled or thrown to him, and then kicks and throws his arms until he gets it back to us. I have come to realize that you don’t always need the most expensive toys that require endless battery changes – a ball gives hours of endless fun, and doesn’t need recharging.
Besides Axl going on a food strike the last few days, he has really been enjoying all sorts of new foods. Last night, I gave him crumbed chicken, steamed carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. He went straight for the chicken strips and ate it all up, before attempting the veg. He seemed to like the carrots but would have this overdramatic squirm whenever he put the broccoli to his lips (this made for good comedy!)
Nothing can quite compare to the look on Axl’s face when he sees his dad. He has become very daddy fuss, lately, and although he doesn’t want his dad putting him to sleep, he does love to cuddle, play and be thrown in the air by him. He has the biggest smile imaginable, kicks his legs and screeches, when his dad gets home from work. It’s enough to send anyone’s ovaries into a complete spiral.
Talking about kicking legs. We put Axl in the pool for the first time, last Monday. It was seriously hot! So when his dad got home, they both put on their swimming trunks and tested the waters for the first time this year. I kept telling Axl to kick his legs and was so surprised when I realized that he knew exactly what I meant.
So the first time this happened, I thought it was just chance but after 4 mornings of this happening – I realize that my kid has learnt to turn on the TV. No jokes! Every morning, as he wakes up, he sits up, looks at the window sill where the remotes are sitting, and turns the TV on. It’s not like anything comes on, because he still has to master the Apple TV, but I mean – that is quite impressive. I guess, given mine and Darren’s slight addiction to technology, we would end up having a little hacker on our hands.
On Friday, I went through the first of many terrifying, gut wrenching moments. I have never had Axl more than 10 meters away from me or his dad. If I have to attend an event or something, Darren keeps Axl and other than that, one of us is always nearby. However, we had guests on Friday but I had already started work. Darren had been firing up the braai and they asked if they could keep Axl with them, while they took the 5 minute stroll to the cottage, where D and I got married. I was hesitant, but thought there could be no harm, after all – they’re not that far. About 5 minutes passed, when I started getting restless and then it happened… the most painful, gut turning, loudest cry I have ever heard coming from Axl. I tried calling their phones several times, when no one answered. I cannot explain to anyone just how terrifying that moment is. I think that only a parent can relate. I am still not entirely sure what happened to him as the story doesn’t quite make sense. However, my kiddo is okay. It took about 15 minutes to calm him down and eventually, I got him to take to the boob, breathe and calm down. Living on a farm, it doesn’t make it any easier – there are baboons, jackals, snakes, uneven grounds, etc. – and when you hear that cry, the heartsore cry, and you’re not near but can hear it… you have no idea, just typing this makes me nauseous and emotional all over again. Needless to say, it won’t happen again, until Axl is old enough to communicate and know where I am and how to get to me. Regardless of who it is, I would much rather be in control of the situation.