It is true that a small baby in the home takes up quite a lot of time, even when your wife is doing most of the child rearing. This is my excuse for not writing very many English blog entries recently. However, Mayuki is growing up nicely, and she’s passed a number of really important milestones in the last week or so.
First, she’s said her first consonant. Up until now, she’s been saying “aaa” and “oo”, but a couple of days ago, after her bath, she managed “goo”. This is the first time I’ve actually heard a baby say “goo”, popular representations notwithstanding, which added to the amazement. She still prefers “aah” and “ooh” noises, though.
Second, she’s laughed for the first time. She’s been smiling for a while, but yesterday and today she actually laughed, complete with sound effects. Mind you, there didn’t seem to be anything obvious for her to laugh at, so I suspect she was just practising for the future. She will need to do develop that skill if she’s going to cope with Yuriko and me as parents.
Third, today I got to look after her for a whole day by myself for the first time. Yuriko has gone off to Ikea, and won’t be back until this evening. So far, it’s been fine. She slept after the iChat with America this morning, woke up to be fed, played for an hour or so, and then went back to sleep, which is her current state. Looking at the clock, she’s about due for another feed, so I’ll have to see whether she looks like she’s waking up when I’ve written this. Assuming she doesn’t make that entirely obvious before then.
While spending time with Mayuki is fun even now, I am looking forward to her getting a bit more responsive and interactive. It’s a bit hard to play with her, at the moment, since most of her play involves lying on her back and waving her limbs around while making noises (this is easily distinguished from the crying version of lying on her back and waving her limbs around by experienced parents — and I can tell the difference, too), or lying on her front and trying to do press-ups. She can’t quite manage that yet, but she can hold her head up for quite a while.
She seems to be doing that more than most babies her age, and I wonder whether part of the reason is that she is relatively light. She is over four kilograms now, though, and just creeps into the “normal” band on the graph we were given in the health record book. So, nothing to worry about, and maybe it’s a sign that she’s going to be naturally slender.
Changing the subject, there was one other first this week. For the first time, I started reading a Japanese magazine article without thinking. I do this with English all the time; my eye falls on some text, I read it, and then I realise that I should be doing something else. But until this week it didn’t happen with Japanese; reading Japanese required a bit of concentration, because otherwise the kanji didn’t become meaningful. Another sign of progress. I think my reading speed in Japanese is slowly picking up, but it’s still a long way behind English. Still, I’ve had a lot more practice in English. Maybe Japanese will catch up eventually.