Blood-soaked boy

Leo had been having a great time exploring and dancing at Tania and Stuart’s wedding. Then, happily playing in the corner of the garden, Leo tripped and cut his head on a low brick wall. I watched him fall, a glancing blow that left him surprised as well as bleeding. I grabbed ice from the drinks table and pressed it to his head while I carried him through to the empty main pub. Incredible how quickly people move when you’ve got a screaming baby dripping blood in your arms.
Ice stopped the bleeding, then a few minutes of rocking cuddles calmed him down. The cut on his left temple was not deep, and only about 3mm long, but it had gaped a little. For this reason, and because it hadn’t stopped bleeding, we took him to A&E. They cleaned it, taped it and sent us home – but we went back to the party. It was about 9.00 now, but we’d always planned for him to sleep in his buggy. People were pleased to see us.
What is strange looking back on it now is that at no point was i worried or panicky. I knew that head-wounds bled, i just had to go through the ice-and-calming process. Interestingly, thought, i wouldn’t let him go – i wouldn’t let Claire take him. My rationalisation is that i couldn’t be sure she wasn’t panicking, and i knew i certainly wasn’t, but i think it is that i wanted to look after him, heal him.
He went back to look at the wall, and said ‘uh-oh, oops-a-daisy… BOOM’, which i had taught him three days earlier when he fell over in the nursery car park. He wasn’t bothered, just a little puzzled – he stroked the wall then was fine.
The looks i got from the assembled guests upon return were interesting too – interested, curious, slightly wary. Tania’s NCT friends all have kids the same age. Something about storming out with a bloody baby, then returning with a happy baby and a stained shirt, i suppose.



Leo’s big cuddly pig, a gift from Sue and Jeff, has certainly taken on a special role for Leo. He’s always recipient of the biggest bedtime cuddle, and is often carried/dragged around rooms.
But now it’s more than that. Leo fell over running in the hall this morning. Sitting on my lap, lots of crying, Leo reached out to Claire and demanded ‘Pig!’ When she brought him in, Leo cuddled him and calmed instantly. Then wandered off to chat about the bin, happy as anything. Leaving me in tears on the bed, sad that i can’t comfort him but happy that he has invested an object with enough of himself to be able to let it sooth him.

Moving up at nursery

Too hot, can’t sleep, more Leonews
He’s going into the 2-3 year-old room a couple of days a week, to bridge the transition. He seems to be doing fine there, and the carer told me today ‘he knows the numbers 1, 4 and 5’. He was counting to 12 on holiday, and on Monday had gone to 14 (no idea where he’d heard that!). So i counted with him, and he got most of the nunmbers on the way to 14. She was surprised and impressed, and afterwards i felt we’d been showoffs.
I think he is shyer in bigger groups, so doesn’t say so much as at home. He doesn’t show all of himself at nursery. But then, he comes back with things we’ve never taught him, so maybe there’s just other fun stuff there.
Also, that he knows colours better than some of the older kids, which is testament to the work Abby did with him in the toddler room, after we’d said he wasn’t very good at them and called everything ‘blue’.
So i’m worried we’re being hothouse parents and not letting him enjoy himself, since he seems to be picking things up incredibly quickly.

Family holiday

Again, i have neglected to write for so long, and so much has happened!
We’ve had our two weeks off, including a week in Cornwall. Leo enjoyed:
Running around shouting ‘wow’ at the Tring museum’s animal displays
Wolfing cod and chips, leaving behind the batter
At the beach, splashing and paddling, but mainly just throwing sand about
Feeding lambs at ‘Old MacDonald’s Farm’
Going up and down [‘careful’] the stairs at the cottage
Most poignant on the holiday for me was watching him play before getting up one morning. Claire had gone for a shower and i was on my way to get him up. He was lying on his back in his cot with pig sitting on his chest, singing ‘row, row, row’. He was rocking pig back and forth, then side to side, just as i do for Leo. At the end, he shouted ‘hooray’, and clapped pig’s hands.
In fact, Leo’s singing and language has been one of the two revelations of the last month. He sings songs a lot, and sings himself to sleep. Whenever he’s alone and not specifically playing with an object, such as in the car or upon waking, he’ll sing to himself.
Fearless physical play was the other big change. He would happily roam around the garden, running down a slope or kicking a ball around. At the Lappa Valley Railway, he climbed a [quite taut] scramble net and ran around a play castle alongside a load of bigger boys before exiting via the slide.
His proximity to us has changed things too – just how he speaks to us and with us, invloving us in his playing, or telling us what to do. He’ll make connections very quickly as well – when he wanted to go into the garden he asked, but when he anted me to go with him, he told me while bringing me my shoes.