Archive for the 'Peter Development' Category


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Peter has now been a week not wearing nappies during the daytime and continues to be managing this with remarkably few accidents. He had two days at nursery this week (thanks to the extra bank holidays that Leeds University observes) and had no real no accidents and only one missed potty incident. Obviously this won’t last for ever, but compared to the difficulties we had with Matthew at a similar stage – when I positively dreaded seeing the row of little blue nappy sack bags containing dirty pants and trousers at pickup time – this seems all too easy !

Peter’s words, again

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The question came up today about how big Peter’s vocabulary now is. It should be said that many of his words are pretty unclear (to anyone other than his parents).

Peter says:
hello, bye-bye, yes, no, please, thank-you, uh-oh, all-gone, more, share [=gimme], again, cheers, there, row-row-row
[I haven’t heard him say “ta” for a while]
mummy, daddy, Beh, me
[Still no single comprehensible word for Matthew, which is odd; sometimes he says “ma” and sometimes an approximation of “thew”]
chair, stairs, door, bath
Lilies [=nursery]
shoes, boots, hat, coat, trousers, dressed [=get dressed]
spoon, bowl, bib
book, ball, pen, paper
baby, duck, cat, pig, bear
tractor, truck, train [though he normally calls a train “choo-choo”], digger, roller
juice, pear, toast, cheese, biscuit [“bi-bi”]
[possibly ‘cup’ – he has a consistent word ‘cu’ which means ‘I want a drink’]
tip, dig [if you count that as separate from “digger”]
up, down

and probably some more I’ve forgotten… Comfortably 50, I’d say, although they do go in phases – some of the above have not been heard for a while.

Peter’s words

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

I note that Matthew was approaching the 50-word mark by this age. Peter doesn’t have 50 yet, but the lists will be interesting to compare. Again, many of them take considerable parental stupidity to decipher.

Peter says:
hello, bye-bye, yes, no, uh-oh, ta [=”here you are”], please, thank-you, all-gone [not “awg”; Peter definitely says it as two syllables], again, row-row-row, boo, there [as response to “where’s…?], cheers

mummy, daddy, Beh [which is the name of his soft toy zebra, as named by Peter. We sing “Beh the zebra/ Can he fix it?”]

[I’m pretty sure he has a consistent sound for “Matthew” but it doesn’t sound anything like Matthew, so doesn’t count]

duck, cat, baby, tractor, truck, train

shoes, coat, spoon, pen, paper, chair, stairs, telly

juice, pear, toast

tip, dig


Unconfirmed recent appearances include breakfast, ten (= “generic counting word”), down. Most common words at the moment are “bye-bye”/ “all-gone”, “pen” and “Daddy”.

Life goes on

Monday, November 16th, 2009

We all (except Gavin) had to get over the flu. Then I went away to the American Academy of Religion conference in Montreal. Then other bits of life happened. Hence no updates for a while.

When I got back, Peter had a few days in which he gave us frequent foretastes of the terrible twos; not just “thwarted baby lets you know he’s not happy”, which has happened for a while, but “thwarted toddler loses it completely”. Why do we suspect that Peter will be more troublesome than Matthew was as a toddler? He is equally strong-willed, and cares rather less what people think.

He’s very keen on books at the moment, particularly books with pictures of animals, but mainly books as a sure-fire way of monopolising an adult’s attention.

And he’s obsessed with things with wheels. He has about 30 words, we think, and 10% of them relate to transport (“train”, “tractor”, “truck”; and I suppose we should add “dig-dig-dig”).
His favourite word at present seems to be “da-da”. Daddy is the approved-of parent. Daddy did not go away. And Daddy makes porridge for Peter.

Matthew is forcing me to dust off my GCSE Balanced Science:
“Why do trees have leaves?”
“Why do we have to breathe?”
“Why is blood red?”

Peter’s speech

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

I am typing this on Gavin’s netbook, on which, for some unknown reason, the letter between “c” & “e” is not working this morning. Interesting composition challenge. Better steer clear of the past tense.

This morning saw Peter’s first mini-phrase: “pear please”.
His vocabulary seems to be growing quite fast. This morning, also: “rabbit”, “paper”, “socks”.

Still refuses to accept anything less than what everyone else has. Grownup gets pear, Peter must have pear. Grownup cuts Peter’s section of pear into small chunks for easier consumption. No. That is not acceptable. Peter must have grownup-style pear. Peter will make a fuss until Peter is happy that no-one is fobbing him off with any of this baby stuff.

There, got through the whole post without using that letter. What a curious glitch.


Sunday, October 11th, 2009

are, as they say, odious. Or odorous, which is perhaps more appropriate where young children are involved. But, as you will have noticed, we can’t help the occasional comparison, age-for-age, between Matthew and Peter.

Peter has definitely acquired fine motor skills faster. He can build a tower of 5 or 6 wooden bricks (where Matthew at the same age was really only doing demolition). His fine motor skills also make him “child most likely to”: scribble on walls, poke things into electrical sockets, post vital pieces of household equipment into inaccessible places, produce interesting effects when he gets his hands on the TV remote. All of which he has attempted recently, none of which were major problems with Matthew.

On the other hand, Matthew’s words and meaningful noises were, I think, clearer and more frequent at this age. Peter has continued to acquire more words (recent additions include “pear” and “juice”) but most of them don’t appear very often.

Peter, even more than Matthew, has a very clear sense of his priorities. He has an impressively loud and sustained yell that is heard when he is thwarted. But if he isn’t thwarted in a plan he doesn’t let many things bother him.

Most noticeably, Peter (still) likes watching things. Matthew, you will recall, never liked watching things (hence, in part, his frustration with being a baby).

Peter, unfortunately, finds teething a major trial in a way that Matthew never did. He only has six teeth so far, though we sincerely hope we’re now nearly there with numbers seven and eight. Each teething episode seems to last at least a fortnight, and to involve broken nights and very bad nappy rash. Only twelve more teeth to come. Sigh.

Words Peter says

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Compare the archive for Matthew. We think we have heard, more than once in appropriate contexts:
uh-oh, ta (usually=”here you are”), thank-you, row-row-row, yes, hello, bye-bye, sshhh, mummy, daddy, duck, cat, shoes, cheers, up, dig-dig-dig / tip-tip-tip (often indistinguishable), plum.

And animal noises for duck, chick, snake, lion, cow, dog, donkey, sheep, fish (bloob-bloob-bloob).
And sound effects for train and car.

Keeping pace

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Peter has clearly been reading the blog archive and is keeping up with his big brother, age for age – by learning to say “row-row-row” as a cue for the song.

He also goes “sshhh” with a finger on his lips when he hears people whispering; and on request (& occasionally spontaneously) he will blow a kiss, though he sometimes gets a bit confused about the sequence of kiss & hand wave.

Unlike Matthew, age for age, he has no idea where his nose is and no discernible interest in finding out.

His favourite word at the moment is “shoes”, uttered when sitting on the stairs, and constituting a request to have his shoes put on and to be allowed to toddle out of the front door and up to the gate to look for the digger, the tipper truck, the roller and the man with the watering can. Gavin and I were very short-sighted in our response to the letter that came through our door a few weeks ago telling us that our pavement was going to be resurfaced. We said “Oh well, that’ll be a bit annoying for a week or so, but good in the long run”. We should have said “Great, a week of free entertainment AND a brand new pavement into the bargain”. Peter is fascinated by the machines. The man with the watering can is probably the star of the show so far, but his appearances are infrequent. Unfortunately, the pavement-resurfacers don’t work weekends or bank holidays, and they most inconsiderately take their machines away.

One year on

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Peter’s having an “official” birthday this year, on Saturday. He and I have only just got back from a conference in Cambridge (where Peter, in the care of Granny Jane and Grandpa Robin, studied punting technique from safe vantage points on the bridges, and visited several of Matthew’s old haunts, as well as those of some of his other relations. And got ejected from a university building, but I’ll write more about that another time).

Anyway, we are delaying birthday celebrations for family visits at the weekend, & to allow Matthew to help make the cake. He has decided that Peter would like a chocolate cake. I think this is not, as you might expect, only because Matthew himself would like a chocolate cake, but because Peppa Pig’s little brother likes chocolate cake; it’s just what you give to little brothers.

Peter continues to get better at toddling. He does the “180 degree turn without unplanned sit-down” trick. He does the “carry item above head” trick. Most impressively, he does not attempt the “step out into thin air at top of stairs” trick, but does the “toddle – stop – sit down – backwards crawling descent of stairs” instead. Phew. It’s quite convenient to have a risk-averse child, second time around (and when we never got round to getting wide stairgates).

He’s also communicating a bit more with noises. Today he got out a toy that buzzes and vibrates when you switch it on, pointed to the on switch and made a buzzing noise.

More development

Monday, May 25th, 2009

I put a lot more about Peter than about Matthew on the blog at the moment. I think this is just because Peter is changing much faster. It also may have to do with the fact that it feels weirder to blog about someone who can actually read. Yes, I do realise it’ll be a while before he makes it to this site. (Matthew, if you’re reading this, sorry…)

So, other things Peter’s been doing lately: producing his first animal noise, “cow” (a grunty sort of moo) closely followed by “cat” (a squeak that could plausibly be a miaow); learning to point at his mouth or thereabouts when you ask him where his nose is; learning to point at things he wants, more or less accurately; giving you things when you ask for them even if he can’t see you putting your hand out; eating, eating, eating; cutting another tooth; standing up without anything to pull up on; lots more short bursts of walking; removing his sunhat, a lot.

He is on the verge of toddlerhood. Weird.