The Twelfth Month

A year already?

So our boy is one year old. Jas and I have succeeded in keeping a dependent human being alive for twelve months. We’re a bit chuffed, really, especially given that he is also a happy little person, that he can feed himself and that – very importantly! - he rarely disturbs us in our sleep. 

We’re not quite sure how he has turned out so well, but then Jas and I have both been jobless bums for most of his life and we’ve both constantly been on hand to supply him with food, entertainment and clean pants. And the fact that we quite like him probably helps too!

Little chapters

Looking back, the first year was just a rapid series of phases. Most of them are good; others you are incredibly grateful that they have been banished to eternity. The End of Vomit was a milestone I was particularly happy about. Personally, I can’t wait until he can wipe his own arse. There’ll also be much rejoicing in the household when he can eat breakfast without covering several square metres of floor and furniture with milk and mushy cereal.

There was the phase of Putting Everything On The Floor, closely followed by the Putting Everything Into Some Sort Of Container phase. During the latter, I had to fish a couple of his books out of the rubbish bin, and I spent an hour looking for keys that Zane had thoughtfully deposited into the washing basket.

And there are many more to look forward to, of course. The Walking And Falling On His Face phase, quickly followed by the stage of Running And Falling On His Face. Before we know it we’ll be in the realms of the Dad Can I Borrow The Car period. 

Every one of these steps will be a new chapter in his quest for independence – and no doubt a new challenge for Jas and I - until ultimately he’ll be able to do, and hopefully pay for, absolutely everything himself. Perhaps one day further down the line he’ll end up feeding me and be supplying me with clean pants. 


I’ve made a rod for my own back: I’ve introduced Zane to the Piggy Back. He loves tenuously hanging on to my shoulders as I jog and spin about the room, laughing as he bounces about on my back. The problem is, whenever I am sitting on the floor, Zane will cunningly manoeuvre himself behind me and tap me politely on the shoulder, the signal to bring me into service.

I generally act like a lazy old horse that I used to have and pretend he isn't there. As I ignore him, the tapping becomes more insistent, eventually becoming a hearty slap, as though he has a pressing engagement to be carried to and I am his full-time chauffeur. I usually relent and give him the ride.

Toddler tongue

He is very expressive. Zane speaks all the time, whether it’s murmuring quietly to himself or busily chattering to us. However: we have no idea what he is talking about. He has created his own language, one that heavily features ‘g’, ‘b’ and all the vowels, a language that he has developed in conjunction with the Welsh, speakers of Hindi and the Swedish Chef from the Muppets.

He gently mumbles to his toys: “goitha goitha goitha”. He looks at us seriously to ask us questions: “godoiba dubaiba goyawa??” He gets attention in the supermarket with loud expressions on “dolawia!” He makes important announcements to the nation from our living room, with his arms charismatically outstretched: “DUBBA DUBBA GOHOMANA”. I wish Google would find me a translator for it; it all sounds incredibly fascinating.

Smooth moves

Zane has a new food favourite. Well, after bananas that is: the banana is still the only food he has every single day, with relish. But smoothies are the new banana. Especially banana smoothies. We gave him an experimental sip of one, and he made it embarrassingly clear that a single sip would not suffice. Since then, he has no trouble downing a large cup of the stuff at a time. And it’s usually mine.

Actually, he has developed the incredible knack of taking a drink of mine and making it his own as though it was never meant for me. What’s more, he’ll offer me a little sip or two as though he is being an exceedingly charitable chap.

It's a disturbing trend. I need to start eating more when he is asleep so I have the energy to piggy-back a growing smoothie-stealing lad about the house.

All about cake: Being A Baby (

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