Today we celebrated Arthur's birthday by hanging the birthday banner and making cupcakes. Unfortunately, we were a bit crunched for time as Elsie had a dentist appointment in Ottawa in the morning and Martin had a hospital visit to make after work. Elsie helped to clean up the house and Arthur helped by postponing his nap, which he ended up entirely skipping. We later called Grammie and Grampie on Skype so they could see Arthur open up his big fire truck toy. Elsie started playing with it under the premise that she was showing him how it worked. Arthur soon caught on and had fun with it for the rest of the night.
At 1, Arthur is doing a lot of standing and has been taking more and more continuous steps. Just yesterday, I saw him take no less than 6 steps in one go. On December 22nd, I saw him take three steps with something in his hand. Before that he had been taking one or two steps every few days. So, his progress toward walking is happening sooner than Elsie's did, but has been way more gradual. Arthur can crawl really fast and one of his favorite things to do is to crawl-run between the bedrooms and flop around on the beds. He bounces and laughs and rolls and really likes it when we throw the blankets over our heads and get underneath the covers with him.
"Mama" is Arthur's most often used word right now, but it doesn't mean me all the time. I think it is used when he wants something in general. There's "nana" as well, though, which might mean he wants to nurse. On December 14th, I heard Arthur whisper "Papa" while looking at Martin, so it seemed like he was definitely using it to refer to Martin. We are finding it fun to occasionally have him attempt to mimic animal sounds and right now he can do a roar and a trumpeting elephant. I tried to get him to do a quack and didn't get an answer until about a day later. The "tsk-tsk" sounds have decreased since Christmas, but they're still there. The cutest thing he's doing right now is making the "mmmmmma" kiss, but not actually kissing. I think he thinks he's giving us kisses and I say "thank you" when he gives them to me. Sometimes he does make the move to put his mouth on our faces and we want to recoil because we don't know if it will be lips or teeth that land on our cheeks. Every now and then, when Arthur has just woken up both Martin and I get nice snuggles. He likes to rest his head on us and just stay there. I'm happy that we seem to have an affectionate fellow even though he is so busy.
We've been very bad about not reading to Arthur, but in the last month we have started leaving board books out for him to flip through. When we see him playing with the books, we take the opportunity to read them to him. I think this is a good start. Bedtime reading is just not practical yet as he can't yet sit still for a story when he's tired.
Arthur likes to play tickle games and is especially sensitive on the side of his neck. He likes any game that has to do with poking parts of our faces, bonking foreheads, pulling hair, etc. Hiding games and chasing games are a blast right now too. He also enjoys music - a lot! He likes dancing with one leg kicking while he holds himself up. He likes banging, clapping, and playing on the keyboard. He's occasionally strummed on the ukulele he got for Christmas.
Martin here: I asked Arthur for a snuggle this morning and he put his head down on my chest for a moment. It was super cute. We've been continuing our mornings together, often with a nice long walk around town. That's if the temperature is above about -10. Last weekend it was below -20 in the mornings and we took the car down to the coffee shop. Normally we just stop in and chat for a bit with whoever is in, but this time we had no where else to be so we stuck around. Arthur had fun exploring and trying to sneak behind the counter. He then promptly fell asleep a minute after we left, so I drove around for a while before parking in our driveway and waiting for him to wake.