What weekends are made of

When I think back on my childhood there are certain events that stand out – family holidays, birthdays and Christmases. But filling in the gaps in between are countless afternoons and evenings spent at the homes of friends of my parents. These are vague recollections, featuring various other children. My brother and I would spend hours tearing around the garden, taking breaks for sustenance in between, before passing out exhausted on a handy couch or bed. These memories represent uneventful weekends over a period years. They are extraordinary ordinary moments.

Last night we had a few friends over for a braai (barbeque for non- South African readers). Of the five couples, four have children and the fifth is expecting their first next year. The ten kids ranged from nine years to five months and for a few splendid hours our garden rang with shouts of delight (and the occasional and inevitable screams of protest).

There’s always a lot to do when one is hosting people and I spent a fair bit of time running around. But in the midst of getting dinner ready I had a realization – our house is going to feature in the childhood memories of this next generation. And that’s kind of awesome!

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Our walking, talking toddler

The last few months have been ridiculously busy for us as we first renovated, and then moved into our new house. In the chaos, I just couldn’t find the time to blog about two major milestones that Cam has achieved – walking and talking!

Look
In his case the talking came first. We were in Tzaneen at the end of September and Cam suddenly started saying ‘Look!’ Unlike the ‘mamas’ and ‘dadas’ this was his first really distinct word, which he clearly knows the meaning of as he always points to whatever it is we must all look at. Initially he always whispered when he said it. Clearly he was copying us, as mostly we’d say ‘Look’ when we were carrying him, and therefore spoke much more softly.

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In recent weeks Cam has added ‘banana’ (nanana), ‘hello’ (huh-loooo) and ‘Maria’ (Ria) to his vocab. (Maria is our domestic helper.) He’s also become a lot more intentional with his ‘Mamama’ and ‘Dada’ and is copying sounds we make (such as ‘uh-oh’). I am beginning to understand Cam-language more easily and mostly get the gist of what his grunts are communicating.

Wobbly steps, spectacular falls
Cam was 13 months old when he took his first unassisted steps on a Tuesday night in our kitchen. He tried three steps and then fell into his daddy’s arms. He then took six steps, but obviously decided he wasn’t sure about this walking business because he didn’t attempt it again for two weeks. Then on Saturday 27 October, at 14 months old, Cam suddenly started tottering about and hasn’t stopped since.

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Since moving to the new house which is all one level (as opposed to three as our old place was), Cameron has gained confidence and speed. That said however, this phase has been accompanied by some spectacular falls, especially when the ground isn’t level. Only yesterday he somehow contrived to simultaneously put both feet on a rubber ducky that was lying on the floor, and went over backwards with much flailing of arms and legs.

Ah cute!
It’s incredible how much Cameron has grown, changed and developed in the last while. Watching him explore his world, learning all the time, and having huge amounts of fun is such a rewarding experience. Yesterday afternoon, after a game of last touch (which involves waddling up and down the passage giggling madly) Colin and I had to conclude that so far, the older Cam becomes, the more fun we have!

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