Archived News


Monday 6 December: Max would like to announce that he is going to be a big brother in late May 2005. He's not fussed if it's going to be a boy or a girl, so long as he still gets plenty of Finding Nemo, time at the local playgrounds, and the new baby doesn't take an overt interest in his toy cars. If you're obsessed (hey, I am!), feel free to view Schnoogy's ultrasounds.

Well, I'm back at work now after a very exhausting two weeks looking after Max (how do full time mums do it???). He enjoyed fish'n'chips at Bronte Beach, got to spend lots of quality time with his Grandee, visit many parks, go to two other two year olds' birthday parties, watch Shrek 2 and Finding Nemo far too much, eat junk food, and run amok at his second birthday party (some great photos - of the food! - are available at grabyourfork's blog). Thanks to Rebecca for making the fairy bread and Fiona for the chocolate crackles! And Helen for the bottle of wine for us!

He got some lovely loot on his birthday, even though we did say no presents were required. (The sugar and excitement of all those visitors were enough for him!)

He's also beginning to recognise his name written down! Although he does tend to think that any combination of letters spells "Max", he's getting more precise now and any short word starting with "M" is "Max" as far as he's concerned. Clever chap!

He also had fun doodling on paper (and on the table, and would have continued onto his dad's books and the walls if we let him), and the resulting artworks are available for viewing online.

New words: over there, walk, climb, run, swim, read, tractor, honey, chocolate, baby, boy, ant, grampa, grandma, grandee, cuddle, tissue, noisy.

Friday 12 November: Well, I'm going to be on holidays for the next two weeks (oh frabjous day!). So no more updates for two weeks at least.

But for the moment, there are new photos (from Jason, thanks Jason!), and some new words: dinosaur, people, flower, shoo fly, brown, trailer, sandal.

Wednesday 3 November: Max's birthday invitation is now available for download! Hope to see lots of people there. (And we might just be kicking on at our place afterwards while Max has a nap.) The plan (although the best laid plans of Max and mums oft go astray) is to just have a picnic in the local park which has a pretty good play area. We'll be supplying cake & drinks, and would appreciate it if people could bring a plate of nibblies. If it rains, we'll be at our house.

New words: sun, that way, sit down, lie down, sleep, man, person.

Monday 1 November: Just got an SMS from Max's dad: "Max must be a Buddhist, he doesn't want to step on any ants, if he notices them first that is." I've noticed that he's fascinated with ants too. Being an inner-city boy, they're probably the closest to wildlife he gets (apart from the parade of mollycoddled dogs at Camperdown Park in the evenings and the neighbourhood cats). He gets really excited if he sees one, and squeaks "turtle!" happily.

I wonder if he'd be excited by cockroaches...

Friday 29 October: More photos! Some from some time ago too, mea culpa! It's been very busy lately.

The other day Rachel came by to play with Max before he went to bed. She unfortunately had to leave before his bedtime, but just after she left he said "bye-bye Rachel!". And then we went outside to see the cars on the road, and he noticed that her motorbike was missing. He cogitated for a few seconds then said "Rachel on motorbike?". When I confirmed, he then started waving down the road "bye-bye Rachel on motorbike!". No sign of Rachel any more, of course, but he insisted on waving goodbye for a while.

And his first complete sentence! I went to pick him up from his bed the other morning and he looked out of the crib, noticed he'd lost a bear overboard overnight and said "there is a bear down there". Of course, that's a combo of two of his favourite phrases ("bear there" and "bear down there"), but hurrah!

We bought him a pair of sandals for the upcoming summer (and his Blunnies were getting too small). And the salesperson said it was best for Max to wear the sandals with socks for a week or so until he breaks them in. So we'd just like to say that the current daggy look of our boy has nothing to do with us. It's for his health, honest. And considering how passionate he was about his Blunnies, he gave them up for a pair of sandals with remarkable ease (phew!).

We're also seeing lots of pretend play. Anything will act as a car in lieu of a toy car (sandwiches work well) and will be pushed around with Max happily chanting "car! car! car!". And he'll feed his Monkey Bear food and drink. (It's actually a good way of feeding Max at the moment, make sure you're feeding Monkey Bear at the same time! And Monkey Bear is a noisy eater and doesn't maintain balance well on the stools that go with Max's table. But he's Max's dinner guest, so all is fine by us!) And he keeps on asking us to put shoes on Monkey Bear.

New words: happy, basket, clown, finger, hand, bubble, butter.

Wednesday 20 October: Happy 23rd month AND 100th week birthdays to Max!!

Only a month to go until I'm up to my elbows in fairy bread. :) Advance notice: his party will be held sometime & somewhere on Saturday 20 November.

We've been encouraging Max with kissing lately - giving and receiving. And I caught him the other day giving the HotWheels website a bit juicy smooch. Those kisses are supposed to be for his mum and dad (and maybe the teddy bears), not virtual cars! Yeesh.

New words: dolphin, down there, orange.

Wednesday 13 October: Something I forgot to mention the other day, sorry... Most of you know about Max's shoe fetish. Well, it's still alive and well. He gets quite tanty if we threaten to let him go barefoot anywhere (the beach, in the house, etc). So the other day, the weather was warming up and I went in to pick up Max from his non-nap and he'd removed one sock. So I took off the other and tried persuading him that shoe-free was the way to go by pointing to my feet and pointing out that Mummy had bare feet. Cue Max looking puzzled, then pointing at the feet of his teddy bear. ("bare" vs "bear", geddit?) Homonyms are going to take a bit of explaining...

Other words: bulldozer, up, walk, icecream, apple.

Monday 11 October: A long time between updates! Sorry, work got a bit frantic for a while there....

Words are coming along at a rate of knots. I can't remember them all, but he definitely now also knows (in no particular order): crane, tomato, sheep, elephant, cracker, boat, water, milk, horse, drink, skateboard, boot, purple, upsidedown, and monkey.

He's also getting the hang of prepositions (is that what they're called? Damn this modern education): "in" and "on", in particular. Sometimes he gets it wrong ("boat on duck!"), but he mostly gets it right now ("duck in water!").

Yesterday was a lovely day, and we took the little guy on a ferry ride from Balmain to Circular Quay and then back. He was a little unnerved at first (we were on a modern ferry that hooned across the harbour), but soon got into the swing of it, and pointed out the trains crossing the Harbour Bridge and the other boats: "boats on the water!". When we got to Circular Quay, he got to share some Gelatissimo gelato with us (his dad chose chocolate and cassata; I chose apple pie and passionfruit). I think all of the city heard him scream "MORE!!" whenever the spoonfuls slowed down. He now knows that ice cream can be had outside of his cousins' house, so we're expecting many demands for "more ice ceam!" no matter where we are. Before, he only ever asked for the delicious stuff at his cousins'. (Which suited us mean parents fine!)

Since he hasn't had much exposure to chocolate (less than his exposure to icecream!), he rejected the chocolate gelato his dad had at first. You could just tell he didn't think much of being asked to eat some brown mush. We snuck a mouthful in when he was expecting passionfruit instead, and from then on in, he was hooked.

He's also been ditching his midday naps lately. Not every day, but once or maybe twice a week (usually at his grandparents' place, the cheeky monkey). So it looks as if our Max-free time in the middle of the day is coming to an end as the daytime naps finish. Oh well.

His favourite game at the moment is to insist I sit down (oh woe is me, the pain, the pain) and read books to/with him. He says "mummy book!" quite firmly, pats his hand on the sofa in an expression of "sit here, mummy" and then will go and find a book. He'll either put it in my lap, and stand in front of me, so I have to read the book upside down, or he will clamber into my lap and get in the way so I have to recite the book from memory. We don't necessarily get to the end of any book (the tireder he is, the more likely he'll get distracted before the end), but he loves pointing out his favourite bits. And he's spotted the shelf of books out of his reach in his room...

He can now distinguish between motorbikes and push-bikes. Now to get him to distinguish between scooters and motor scooters, and sail boats and motorboats. It's amazing the fine distinctions we keep on splitting categories into. When do we explain that a ute is different from a truck? When do we start introducing "station wagon" and "panel van" (we're not going to try for "shaggin' wagon", before you suggest it), instead of allowing Max to lump them all in as "jeep cars"? And let's not get started on "bird" vs "owl", "peacock", "pelican", "swan", "parrot", "duck", "pigeon", "macaw", "seagull", etc. At least dogs come in "big" and "little" and not much else.

Thursday 23 September: Many three-word phrases! A sample:

Monday 6 September: Definite three-words! And his favourite three word combination? "White jeep car"! He sees them everywhere, apparently. On the roads. In the kitchen. In his crib at night. (NOTE: a "jeep car" is a four wheeled drive. I'm not a car person, it just seemed the most logical word for, well, jeep cars.)

"White" is now the default colour over "blue". Everything is white. (Should I worry about colour blindness??)

Max spent Friday night in Canberra, and for the *first time ever* slept through the night in a house that wasn't his own! Hurrah for Max! He also loved stopping at a truck stop on the way down ("truck! TRUCK! TRUUUUUUUUUCK!!!") and on the way home had a fun play in a playground behind the Bargo Hotel which had this really cool helicopter. ("Hel-cop!")

We were also staying with Cath and Rob, and their two cats: Plummet and Shadow. Max has met them before, and loved meeting them again. Shadow was a bit nervous of small squawking boys, and would try to get away. Cue boy chasing cat. Cue Plummet chasing boy, to see what was so exciting. (If only Stumpy just sat still, she wouldn't get chased by Max! But we just can't convince her of that fact.)

He also resisted a nap on the way home, which meant that we were serenaded with upset wails of "mummymummymummymummy" for several looooong minutes. Oh well. (And he threw all his toys away whenever we tried to give them back. Inconsolable!)

Sydney had some wild weather yesterday - hail and thunder and lightning! Max was fascinated, and keen to go outside and play in the hail. I didn't think he'd much like being bonced on the noggin by a hailstone, so he had to watch it all from my arms, which wasn't quite what he wanted. But he got to hold a book while there, so that was okay, he guesses.

And he extends his playtime for as long as possible when we're trying to put him to bed. First, he must   v e r y   s l o w l y   finish every drop of milk in his cup. (He gets milk & cookies as a pre-bed treat. "Cuckoo!") Then he has to kiss us both goodnight multiple times. Then we have to kiss goodnight Richard Parker and Monkey Bear. Then he tries to interest us in a game or six of peek-a-boo, using the stuffed toys to hide behind. Cheeky monkey!

Wednesday 25 August: Artwork! A fingerpainting and a couple of crayon scribbles!

Colours he can say: blue, red, white, yellow, green. (In that order, mostly.) "Blue" is default, so almost everything is called "blue", even if it's red/yellow/white/green/polka dotted.

Newest word: helicopter ("hel-cop!"). And cow (errr, "cow", actually).

Books are a new (again!) obsession. He will NOT LET GO of his favourite books and will insist on taking them to the park and trying to climb things while holding onto the books with both hands. He gets quite tanty if we take the book away so he can climb safely.

Some more recent dialogue from the Smallish One:

MAX (sitting on desk, poking the computer monitor which is showing the Hot Wheels website): car! blue car! plane! two plane! hel-cop! car! [turns around, notices daddy missing] Daddy?
MUM: Daddy's cooking you dinner.
MAX: [cogitation]
MUM: Do you want some dinner?
MAX: [waves bye-bye to computer monitor] bye-bye cars! [hops off the desk - with help! - and runs to the kitchen] daddy! daddy! daddy!

Wednesday 18 August: Two words!

And quite a lot of them too. Didn't want to say anything in case it was just one of those things that only a Parental Unit can understand, but his carers at Day Care have confirmed some of the more favoured phrases.

He knows the colours "red" and "blue" and can say "blue car/truck" and "red car/truck". He also says "shoe stuck" if he's gotten tangled up getting up onto the sofa or wherever. And, finally, he says "two car/truck/duck/bear" where two = "more than one". What a clever chappie!

And he's had his first haircut. He's lost his curls (wah!), but also his mullet (phew!). I mentioned (in passing jest) to his dad that he was getting a mullet, and the next day he got trotted off to the hairdressers and came back looking much neater and far less bogan. (And we've got a little plastic bag with some tiny curls in it!)

Apparently 5am is a perfect time to wake up lately. Eurgh.

Cats are definitely called "meow! meow! meow!" now, and he loves sleeping with a little orange stuffed cat his grandma gave him (and we promptly named "Richard Parker"). And Monkey Bear. And Hymie Bear, if we indulge him and bury him under his toys at bed-time.

His comprehension is better than his talking still. He knows the phrase "bed time" and starts acting up the instant it appears in the evenings. Naughty monkey child.

Friday 13 August:Confessions of a Munchausen Mum...


The other afternoon I went over to my parents to pick up young Max (who was being babysat by them that day). I'd already known that he'd slept for over three hours (they'd run to check if I wanted him woken up; I'd said no, since he had a restless night).

Turns out that he ended up sleeping for nearly four hours (completely unheard of) and had only woken up because his grandma had woken him up because I was on my way over.

When I got there, he was lying on his grandma's chest, still as a very still thing. (Completely unlike Max, who usually runs around like a lunatic at every opportunity.)

We gave him some Nurofen - he'd only take 1/2 dose though, which is also unusual. Generally, if he can get hold of a bottle, he'll follow us around, demanding "more!", he likes the sticky stuff so much.

So, on the drive home, I started to panic. He was just in the babyseat, staring out the window, and I realised that he'd been COMPLETELY silent all the way home. Absolutely no commentary about the cars stuck in traffic with us, or yanking his plush red cow toy that's glued to his window (called "Mao Cow" by us for obvious reasons), or pointing out that he seems to have shoes on his feet, or demanding biscuits or a drink.

So I detoured to the hospital.

Of course, as soon as I walked (at a very brisk pace) into casualty, he perked up. He demanded to see the ambulances over and over again. He ran amok. He charmed people. He played with his new ball. (I rang Max's dad [who was on a late shift], and he agreed that the previous symptoms had been so unlike Max that we should get him checked out anyhow.)

I felt so embarrassed. I had to keep on saying "he was really listless and quiet, and he's never listless or quiet" as he pushed chairs around, ran through the nurses' station whenever my back was turned, tried to flick all the light switches, wanted to know what the fire hose was, and played with all the cars in the toy room, all with a running commentary.

And of course, no symptoms were present, by the time we did see the nurse (and the doctor). (A little redness of the throat, that's it.)

The nurse asked "are you sure he wasn't just tired?" and I had to explain that if he's tired, he's more noisy and playful (as they experienced when he ended up there 1.5 hours past his usual bedtime). He just loses coordination and runs into things when he's tired, that's the only difference. (They experienced that, too.)

So Max got discharged with a clean bill of health (and rushed home and given two ginger bread babies and a big glass of milk as a reward for being such a good boy at the hospital - boisterous, but good).

I'm sure they all think I've got Munchausen-by-proxy at the hospital now. (Do you think such a thing goes on your permanent record??)

Wednesday 28 July: A current conversation between the Smallish One and me:

MAX: Argle bargle car car car wheee! gah ecky ptang thump.
ME: Really?
MAX (with deadly seriousness): Yes.

And there's a new photo! Thanks to MarkMcG, taken at a recent yum cha. Not Max's first yum cha, he's getting to be a dab hand at them recently. The trick is to take him to a playground first so he can work out some energy and work up a small appetite. He likes bbq pork buns (in all varieties) and spring rolls, and my favourite fried rice noodles as well. He still wants to run around the restaurant and play tag with the trolleys and check out the bathrooms and play with the mirrors by the lifts, etc, but he'll also sit still and eat (or play with chopsticks) for maybe 10 minutes at a stretch.

Wednesday 21 July: Max has been infected by a baby meme! We assume he picked it up at day care, but if he drops something or knocks something over, there's instantly a chant of "uh-oh!" from the Smallish One.

Of course, he's also taken to signalling that he's about to push all his books off the coffee table (say) by toddling over to it, arms outstretched and chanting "uh-oh!" in preparation for the crash.

And he's infected his little cousin Matthew with the same meme. It's unstoppable.

The other night he was having his bath (the splashing has died down a bit recently, they're almost sedate affairs now) and I tickled him with his lion facecloth (many thanks to Brooce & Michelle in Amsterdam for the present!). I went to "bite" him with it, and he did a very impressive "roaaaaaar!" back at the lion. And he also said "meow" a few times when he saw a picture of some kittens (in a Spot book from Nora & Molly - thanks girls!).

Monday 19 July: And thus a shoe fetishist is born...

We think it's because he's not allowed outside until he's got shoes on, but he gets most upset if we're not wearing shoes, and loves having his own shoes put on. Even if they are just the indoor red slippers with ducks with umbrellas on them.

And now the winds from Antarctica are here (quoth a friend: "you can almost smell the penguin poo"), and he's not allowed outside without a coat on, he seems very fond of his red quilted coat (with the fake fur collar) and has even learnt a new word: "coh!" ("coat").

Sometimes he has entire conversations about "bear! shoe! car!". The mind boggles.

Monday 21 June: New words! "Outside" ("ow-sai!"), "slide" ("slai! slai! SLAI!!!!"), "my" (as in "my cah!"), "bath" ("bah!").

(Okay, now combine "door", "outside" and "slide" and three guesses as to what most of our conversations are about.)

Did I mention that he now thinks that our car is called "bye-bye"? I pulled up the Toyota website to amuse him, and found a picture of an Echo, and Max immediately said "bye-bye!". (Other favourite websites are Hot Wheels and Pixar (especially the Monsters Inc bits). Now he goes into the study demanding "car! car! car!" and tries to climb into the monitor whenever the Hot Wheels website pops up, all the while chanting happily "car! car! car!".)

And "more" also means "open". He brings his rattle toys to me (especially the Peek-a-blocks) and demands "more!".

And he's learnt to shake his head for no and nod for yes. Clever boy! The only problem is, now he's communicating better than ever, you feel a bit guilty denying him what he wants. Even if that is a steady diet of sultanas and smoothies.

The poor little guy came down with a high temperature over the weekend. Not sure what the cause was. He did have a runny nose, but he's had that for at least a week. Of course, being sick means that he's more likely to just sit still for a while and he's been sleeping in. I'm finding it hard to think of a down side to his sickness.

Monday 7 June: More photos! Of him swimming!

His current favourite song is Woo Hoo by the's (a Japanese girl band, if you were wondering). He'll dance very happily to it. (And then get dizzy - as dancing involves spinning around and around - and fall down.) Other favourite bands are The Cat Empire and Eskimo Joe.

He's been rather insane lately, lots of running around and around and giggling his head off. Chaseys is the bestest game ever.

We also seem to be on the verge of temper tantrums. He's beginning to be quite firm on what he wants (more sultanas, going outside to play, more sultanas, no nappy change, more sultanas, etc) and will have a bit of a squawk if he doesn't get it. (Or does get it, in the case of a nappy change.)

And we ended up at the Post Cafe in Marrickville yesterday for some brunch, and he charmed the pants off everyone there, flirting with the gentlemen on the next table, waving bye-bye to planes, and loving his cinnamon toast and babycino. (Actually, the cinnamon toast was mine, see above comment about him knowing what he wants.)

He now says "nigh-nigh" at bedtime more often than not. (And he'll say it repeatedly. Not quite ad nauseam as yet, but give us a little while.)

Books are less interesting now, unless he knows he's going to see a car in them. (Wibbly Pig and Olivia are both now known as "cah!" as they have toy cars in their books.)

Bath time has become a lot more fun and messy. He'll hurl himself into the bathwater, and kick and splash it all over the place. Then he'll pull in all his toys after him. Then push all the toys to the other end of the bath. Then tummy flop back down. The kick and splash. Then pull all the toys to the other end of the bath. Etc. Very wet, but very funny.

And Max has mastered clambering up the ladders at three slides at his most favourite parks. The little daredevil. (Yesterday other parents were explaining to their toddlers "sorry, you're still too little for that one" as Max determinedly heaved himself up the trickiest ladder.)

New words: "door" ("doh!"). Umm, I think that's about it!

Monday 31 May: And "no" has been discovered!

Although he doesn't seem to know what it really means. He'll happily toddle towards the power point to pull out the electrical cord, or reach the top of the kitchen cupboards to pull a sharp knife down onto his head, or pull all the tissues out of the tissue box, all the while happily chanting "no, no, no, no, no".

He can also say "nose" ("nos!") now. Generally while tweaking mine. He can point out my mouth, but doesn't say "mouth" as yet. And he'll happily poke at my eyes while screeching "aiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" like some demented Tolkeinesque elf. I'm not sure if that counts as the word "eye" or not.

Wednesday 5 May: Max has discovered the moon (and no, he does not howl at it, you silly people). After his bath, once he's in his pajamas (flannel, with dogs or dinosaurs or tigger on them) we go outside and see the moon ("moooh!") and he even waved bye-bye to it last night (it was very full and worth waving bye-bye to). He also knows that stars are stars ("stah!"), although he thinks the red lights on the crane on the nearby building site are stars too.

And (as mentioned above) he's now waving bye-bye to things (planes ("play!") mostly). He uses both hands at once, and initially would only remember to wave bye-bye several minutes after the person he was farewelling had left. Now he gets it mostly right, but is waving bye-bye to people even if they're only leaving the room, and at anything (dogs, trucks) that he passes on the street. Oh well, friendly child!

He's started his swimming lessons for this term, and is apparently an "insane seamonkey boychild" according to the SMS his dad sent me. He's really enjoying himself, getting into the splashing and the kicking.

He's having a great time during his trips to the park in the afternoon too. They wear him out nicely, and he sometimes plays chaseys with the other kids, and sometimes just wanders off to point out all the cars to me. He's still car crazy, I see no sign of that abating.

And he seems to have discovered the most important word a toddler can know: "more". ("No" will be appearing sometime soon, I assume.) I also think I heard him say "more toast" ("moh toh") the other day, and Don reckons he repeated "Shiny Dog" ("shi daw") to him as well.

Other words that have appeared are: "drink" ("dih!"), "moon" ("moooh!") and "toast" ("toh!").

He's happier feeding himself now - he sometimes tries to grab the spoon and use that, but more often just uses his fingers. Even if it's bolognaise sauce or baked beans. It's messy, but he's having fun. And at least there seems to be more of a point to bathtime now.

Friday 16 April: Finally! Artwork by Master Duffield-Close is now live! It's a gorgeous splash of orange and green, and I hope he had as much fun finger painting as I've had seeing it.

Most important new word is "sultana" ("tah!"), as he's gone sultana crazy. And once he discovered that hot cross buns have sultanas too, he couldn't get enough of them. He's got a year or so to go until his next chance to pig out on hot cross buns!

And there are a couple of molars working their way out now, meaning that Max is a little grumpy at the moment.

Wednesday 7 April: New photos! Including an awful lot of a certain little boy dressed in his tiger costume. Too cute for words.

And the words keep on coming! "Dog" ("dawh"), "fish" ("geh"), "truck" ("(t)uh"), "tiger" ("tai"), "bike" ("dye").

And he can distinguish cars, trucks, busses and bikes! However prams are apparently cars (although occasionally "brms"). Don & I have worked out how Max will rebel against us when he's older. He's going to ignore geek culture, high culture and pop culture. He'll in interested in yob culture and will go out every year to Bathurst to watch cars go round and round in circles. Nooooo!

This weekend he got a pony ride at his day care centre's Family Day Picnic! See the photos!

I got to be all mumsie leading up to the weekend and cook brownies for my local ABA group's cake stall and muffins for the picnic. How domesticated!

And he's got his canine teeth coming through. Luckily he's already got his incisors, or he'd look like a baby vampire.

And this morning he "read" a book on his own! He turned all the pages correctly and said "(t)uh" for each picture of a truck he saw. Too clever. Can't wait until he can start reading the newspaper and summarising it for me.

Friday 26 March: New photos! New words! "Star" ("(st)ah"), "zebra" ("zeebah"), "bee" ("dee"), "biscuit" ("kih") and I'm trying to show him the difference between cars and trucks. (The difference is, with cars, Max points at them excitedly and says "cah! cah! cah!". With trucks, he just stares at them in awe and silence.)

We took the little guy to the zoo on the weekend to show him lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). We thought he'd really like the zebras, as that was his latest word and hell, who doesn't like zebras? However, Max reckoned the prams surrounding the zebra & giraffe area were by far and away the most exciting things ("cah! cah! cah!"). Oh well.

He did however love the bears ("dere! dere! DERE!") and was fascinated by the penguins, the chickens and the chimpanzees. He also saw a lot of turtles, lizards, gorillas, flamingos, sea lions, emus, kangaroos, turkeys, a bird eating spider, meerkats, goats, birds, a snow leopard, mountain goats, lions and shrews.

He also understands when we ask him where something is. He'll point or look at the light, or the cat, or the duck, or the car. Clever boy!

Current favourite books are Kipper's Kite by Mike Inkpen, one of those nice touchy-feely books; and Where's The Cat? from his grandma, with lots of gorgeous illustrations (including ones of cats ("cah!"), starfish ("(st)ah!") and birds ("burr!")).

Friday 19 March: And the words keep on coming! "Bird" ("burr") and "shoe" ("shhh") now. And he keeps on walking off with my shoes.

Oh, and he doesn't say "bus" as yet, I misheard his dad talking about the truck/car distinction. Whoops.

And everything with wheels is a car. He'll point at his trike and happily say "car!" and we'll reply "no, Max, that's your trike" and he'll look very puzzled and then say "car!" again. Oh well.

And he knows some of his fellow babies in daycare by name, which is very cool. Social little guy!

Does anyone know who gave us a lovely plush monkey at Max's babyshower? Max loves it to death, and we'd like to say thank you, only we can't remember who gave it to us. He calls it "bear" and we've given up correcting him that it's a monkey. :) And he's slowly ripping out Monkey Bear's hair with his teeth. What strange displays of affection toddlers have.

And with the cooler weather in the offing, Max got some flannel pajamas for bed time. One set in blue with puppy dogs. The other set in bright green with yellow, orange and red dinosaurs on it. Rrrrrrooaaaarrr! He looks super cute in them.

Wednesday 17 March: Happy birthday to Max's dad! And I didn't get a chance the other week to update this website when Max was 66 weeks and 6 days old, dagnabbit.

More photos! Sorry it's been so long between photo updates, but there are some fabulous ones here to make up for the delay.

Did a word count the other day and we have (in more-or-less order of acquisition):
juice (joosh)
cat (cah)
duck (duh)
clock (gloh)
car (cah)
light (ligh)
bear (dere)
truck (tuh)
bus (buh)
night-night (nigh-nigh)

Of those, his current extreme favourite is "car". And living on a busy road as we do, there are a lot of cars going past and every single one has to be identified by Max as a car. We're going insane constantly saying "yes Max, that was a car! Good boy!"

He's still completely gaga over his tricycle, and insists on sitting on it all the time. He kicks up quite a fuss if you take him off it. So we've taken to parking it in the spare bathroom, behind a closed door, completely out of sight and reach of him. But when he does get on it, he can steer very well (unless he's too busy pointing out cars, of course) and insists on going to the corner store via the park whenever possible. Shame they're in opposite directions.

Friday 27 February: Speaking of boxes, Max got his final (!!!) Xmas present last night from his grandparents: a fabulous tricycle! It came in a box, and Max spent a while last night climbing up and down the box. This morning, his dad put it together for him and Max could hardly wait - he kept on trying to get onto the tricycle seat, even though the back wheels were still unattached!

It's one of those tricycles with a handle out the back so you can push him in the right direction and basically take control when necessary (like when he's still too small for it and can barely reach either pedal). Apparently he enjoyed his trip to the corner store this morning! (I didn't get to see it, I was stuck on a train, boo hoo.)

And everything round and inanimate is a "clock" apparently. Oh well. He also loves pointing out pictures of clocks in his books (there are precisely three books in his collection with pictures of clocks, and he knows which ones they are and demands them first every night).

And all animals are "cat" apparently. But he is extra fascinated by pictures of monkeys, bears, zebras and big cats, so if all goes well, we will be taking Max to Taronga Zoo this weekend, and showing him lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). And monkeys and zebras, but they don't scan so well.

Favourite game this week: Demand to be picked up and put on bed. Crawl to the far side of bed. As mum comes around to that side of bed, giggle insanely and crawl back to the first side. Teeter precariously on the edge. Repeat ad nauseam.

He's also discovered his rocking zebra that he got for his first birthday and has been demanding being put on it. He can rock himself very well, and get off safely too! And his wheeled bee is still a favourite, he can now get onto it himself and push around a little.

And there are not enough strawberries in the world to satisfy this little boy.

Friday 20 February: And now words are back. "Juice" and "cat", and two new ones, "clock" and "fan" (his two favourite household objects)! He's a clever little boy.

He can also climb up onto kitchen chairs. We are less impressed with this, as he doesn't seem to be able to work out how to get down again safely.

He also managed to climb up on a sofa, then onto some matresses that were in temporary storage behind there, and would have made it out the window if it didn't have bars on it. Curses! Foiled again!

Also at day care the other day, the babies were being shown toys in a box that were initially hidden under scarves. Much excitment from all the other babies, what could possibly be under the scarves?? Only excitment from Max was when he tried to climb into the box, or push the box around the room. Silly boy.

They also tried him on finger painting, which I think showed great patience from his carers. We didn't get any bits of paper with his artwork on them to take home, so I assume he ate all his paint (a mixture of cornflower and food dye). Better luck next time!

Friday 13 February: Well, he seems to have forgotten all about words! He said a few, then decided that he's obviously shown off enough, and has gone back to just happy noises. Oh well.

But he has decided that his favourite colour is purple. Give him a choice of anything, and he'll pick the purple one. Second favourite colour is red. Colourful! Thank assorted deities he's not dressing himself yet.

The temper tantrums are still being developed. He'll throw himself down on his tummy, squawk indignantly, drum his feet and hands on the ground experimentally, then look up cheekily to make sure you're paying full attention to his display. I have no idea where he learnt how to do this, none of his friends have temper tantrums that involve throwing oneself bodily to the floor. Maybe it's innate?

Favourite activities are still climbing and eating. And protesting about nap time.

And he's discovered hot chips. With plenty of tomato sauce.

Monday 19 January: "Juice" is still definitely Max's favourite word. He uses it for everything. Although "ca" (for "cat") has been heard a few times, and I'm pretty sure I heard "boo" (for "book") the other day.

Max's favourite books at the moment are Tails by Matthew Van Fleet and Amazing Baby. Both feature lots of flaps and moving bits and touchy-feely bits. Max is going to be very disappointed when he grows up and realises that grown up books not only have no illustrations, but have very little interactivity as well!

His walking is getting better and better, although he's often still sitting down suddenly in the middle of a walk somewhere (very Maggie Simpson). We've had to buy him shoes (his first pairs!) so he can walk around outside in the middle of summer (he also didn't like the feel of sand/dirt between his toes much).

And he managed to climb up the top of Joey's slippery dip when we weren't looking. We found him about 1.5m off the ground, happy as a pig in mud (or as a toddler on a slide, I guess), squeaking happily because he was the tallest child in the room. Cute as he was up there, he was still firmly returned to the floor.

He's also getting into some real toddler behaviour. He's thrown a tanty on occasion, if he doesn't get what he thinks he deserves (a smoothie, usually). Nothing much to do but grin and bear it.

And he's discovered the joys of turkish pide bread, chorizo, souvlaki, blueberries and watermelon.

Wednesday 7 January: Well, back from a busy two weeks off! Max was full of beans, and I was beginning to look forward to the relative peace and quiet and sanity of the office, which really means something.

We had a very good Christmas, Max had fun on the day (mostly climbing his cousin Joey's slippery dip - we'd turn our backs and he'd be halfway up, precarious and wobbling and very, very happy).

And he's a definite toddler now! Lots and lots of toddling. Don describes it as a "Godzilla destroying Toyko" gait. You know, *thud*, *thud*, *thud*, *roar*, *thud*, *thud*.

He's also discovered his first word! "Juice"! Although it sounds more like "joooosh" (which makes me think he's been watching Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and would like his shirt sleeves rolled up just so. And sometimes it means "juice" and sometimes it means "milk" and sometimes it means "gimme" and sometimes it means "ooh look at that interesting shiny thing over there, I wonder if it'll make friends with me". Versatile!

Clothes pegs are still the best ever toy, and he likes picking them up just so, holding onto the thinner end, with thumb and forefinger, fingers parallel to the peg, and along the top and bottom of the peg, not along the sides. No other way will do. (Don't listen to his Dad, Max gets all his anal behaviour from him, not me!)

He spent time at Centennial Park, riding his cousin's tricycle (he couldn't reach the wheels, so I'd push and he'd steer), getting delicious babycinos (with chocolate sauce!) and chasing the pigeons. We also went to the local pool once, and he was fascinated by all the bigger kids in the babies' pool. He whinged in the K-Mart queue at every chance he got (and, being K-Mart, he got lots of good long chances). He slept through midnight on New Year's Eve (as did his parents). He saw the inside of new cafes, and got to drink lots of smoothies (current way of keeping him occupied at cafes, he'll happily shlurp until it's all gone; and he can drink a lot of smoothie).

Max also had to say goodbye to his Grandee, and he's missing all the cuddles and playtime with her. (And we're missing the luxury of going back to bed and leaving someone else looking after him in the mornings.)