So, belatedly and for the records, a brief account of my Christmas:
We all got together. Barry’s parents and brother travelled down to our house on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas morning, we all piled into our respective cars and drove down to my mother’s house, where my mother and sister were frantically rushing round trying to get Christmas lunch on the go. And the eight of us had a huge late Christmas meal and then sat round and opened our presents and generally relaxed.
We stayed over Monday, all but my sister, who had to head back – Mom drove Barry’s family around London to show them the sights, while Barry and I headed into town with Jamie to browse the stores. On Tuesday, we hugged goodbye and all headed our separate ways, ready to resume the daily grind on Wednesday.
Jamie’s reaction to his presents:
He absolutely loves the Fisher Price Little People toys, because they have buttons that can be pressed to make noises and lights happen, and this is very exciting. Lots of electronic wails and screeches and noises that are meant to represent children laughing and playing at a park or a funfair but actually sound disturbingly like the background to a horror show. He also, for some reason, is utterly fascinated by the set of mamushka dolls my mother got him. He keeps picking them up and turning them over and over and just looking at them.
He also seems to like his ride-on, although he hasn’t yet figured out how to use it as a ride-on – he doesn’t sit on it to scoot about. But it has an open-and-shut bit (in the seat) and wheels to spin and a thing that goes squeak when you press it, and all of these are definite attractions, so all in all, it’s a success.
The ride-on has a purple plastic phone receiver behind the wheel, for Baby to have his first car phone, but Jamie doesn’t try to talk on it. (I’d be surprised if he did. In almost fourteen months of “Will you say ‘Hi’ to Nana, Jamie? Say ‘Hi’ to Nana!”, he has never yet been willing to talk on a real phone. He will stare at them in fascination, he will grab them when not in use and enjoy the beeping sounds that the buttons make when you press them, but placing a handset in proximity to his head is a foolproof way of reducing him to silence.) What he does with it is to shove it against the side of a parent’s head in traditional phone position, looking expectantly at said parent. Then, as soon as we pretend to talk into it, he grins hugely and grabs it back again with a satisfied look of “Well, that’s that job done, then.” It’s interesting that he’s so rapidly grasped the basic points that phones are for adults to place next to their heads and talk into, and that a baby’s role in this, as in anything, is to try to grab whatever Mummy or Daddy is currently trying to use.
He seemed quite interested in his hammer-and-peg toy, as well, although all he’s actually done is to tap the hammer against the bench a few times and then try to eat the pegs. When it comes to the ring-stacker, though, it appears that not only does he not wish to stack rings, he actually objects on principle to the whole idea of rings being stacked. When I stack the rings up (I’m not trying to get all educational with him – they’re just a bit tidier that way, and, besides, I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder to satisfy), he carefully removes the wooden knob from the top, then removes the central rod (which isn’t attached to the base, so can be pulled right out). Sometimes he uses his teeth to extract the rod. Then he scatters the rings hither and yon with a quick, decisive back-and-forth movement of his hand, and, with the satisfied expression of a job well done, turns his attention to something more worthy.
As for me, I got all the books I asked for for Christmas, apart from a few which appear to be out of print and one which is still on its way (but that one’s only a recipe book, so I’m in no particular rush there). So I’ve had some happy minutes of reading, squeezed around work and babycare. All in all, I would say it was a good Christmas.
But the best moment of my Christmas was when my sister picked Jamie up and he objected “Mum-mum!”. So she passed him to me, and he repeated with satisfaction “Mum-mum”.
It might very easily have been a coincidence. He makes that sound a lot, and it usually either just means ‘milk’ (as a variation on mih-mih, which is his more usual choice) or is one of his random sounds. He’s used it since then at times when it might have meant ‘Mummy’, but, all in all, it’s entirely possible that he still is just using it as a random sound and just happened to use it at an appropriate moment right then. It could easily have been a coincidence.
But if so, it was a heartwarming coincidence. And it finds a place high on the list of ‘Moments of Maternal Satisfaction’. It was an even better present than the books.