Today is Anna's fourth birthday, and Sam spent much of the day trailing his big sister. He succeeded in climbing up onto her bed all by himself. He also climbed all the stairs at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery this morning - very nonchalantly, as if he climbs stairs all the time, even though we have no stairs in the house for him to practice on.
The great mystery at our house this week is what "a-duh-a-duh-a-duh" might mean. Sam says it all day, and insistently. It clearly means something. We think it might be a general noun - "toy"? "book"? or even something more generic such as "that"? When we point out things Sam might be interested in, he understands when we say "look" and follows a pointing finger with curiosity. If we say, "Oh, isn't that beautiful?" he repeats, "Oh!" in a short, sharp imitation.
Sam is determined to get more teeth than the four he has managed to grow so far. He is looking forward to being able to chew better. With his four little front choppers, he does a mean job biting into toast fingers and peeling apples to chomping into their flesh and prying corn kernels off cobs. He tries to chew things with non-existent molars, fails (because, hey, the molars don't exist) and then bits fall out of his mouth. He uses his dextrous little fingers to pick up any bits that fall and he delicately puts them into his mouth, and the cycle continues.
Sam isn't quite walking but isn't far off. He is able to move from standing to squatting to sitting with great ease and to edge around tables and chairs. He manoeuvres into corners and stands unsupported for quite a while before he notices and then he gently lowers himself to the ground.
I go back to work in such a short time - just six weeks or so - but Sam is uninterested in formula or in reducing his nursing. He's polite about our offers of bottles and is delighted by the action of shaking a bottle to mix in the powdered formula. He just doesn't consider it FOOD. I can't say I blame him, because I don't consider it food either, so I've decided to wait three weeks and see if he's willing to give another try to an adapted schedule. We took another conflict resolution course last week and he only had to join me at lunch time.
Sam is a morning bird, happy to wake at 5:30 a.m. if he can get away with it. He makes sure to wake both his mom and his dad with happy morning crowing, though he rarely succeeds in getting both of us out of bed at once.
His sense of humour is getting more and more defined, too. When anyone laughs, he laughs - and looks around wondering what he has done that is so funny so he can try it again. (He also thinks all applause are for him, even applause on TV.) He loves to pull my glasses off and thinks this is hilarious - this accounts for the rakish angle of my poor mangled specs, when I bother to wear them around the house. He loves it when Anna bangs things or makes them fall on the floor or yells or stomps around. In just one evening a few weeks ago, he figured out how to clap his hands, wave to people, and say "bye-bye" in just one evening, and he was terribly pleased with himself. He grins with delight when he claps or waves. He can also give kisses. He likes to press his forehead against mine and rub noses and then engulf my nose or cheek or whole head in a big slobbery kiss.
Almost a year old already, and we know from watching Anna fly through the last four years that in a blink he will be grown.