Dot writes: communicating with Hugh is a bit like communicating with Lassie, if Lassie wanted to say things like ‘I urgently need the lid of the black saucepan, which is currently out of my reach on the counter-top’ or ‘let me give you some of this partially masticated toast’. The message is very explicit, but it has to be conveyed through gesture and noises alone, Hugh’s main resources being a mamamamama noise (level tone if he wants us to do or give him something, rising intonation if he wants to give something to us) and the stretching out of an imperious little hand. His only obvious word is still ‘bye-bye’, but he works it very hard. It can mean (for example) ‘goodnight’ (he says it when I’ve put him down in his cot, only tonight he didn’t and I feel a bit hurt); ‘oh! you are putting the rejected food in the bin’; or ‘I do not wish to get in the car but instead to run off to the opposite end of the carpark’. In addition he has occasionally produced a contextually appropriate ‘hi’ or ‘no’ and the last two nights he has said ‘diddy’ when I handed him his teddy, but all in all his verbal resources do not fully serve his complex communicational needs. In fact, he is rather bad tempered at present and I think it may partly be frustration. And teeth. And waking up too early, curse him. But we love him very much and he gets more interesting all the time.
Meanwhile, the other sprog, the extremely small one, is making his/her presence known in the form of morning sickness. This takes some getting used to because I didn’t really have it with Hugh, and every time I lurch to the sink for a little retch (I have it in the classic form and am worst first thing in the morning) I feel faintly surprised. I also have some breast sensitivity, but less and of a different kind from that produced by Prawn. If Prawn’s signals to Mars were FM, this baby is broadcasting long wave – not so much sharp excitable prickings as slow rumbly aches. If Prawn is from Mars, Sprout is from Neptune or somewhere. But I am comforted by discomfort inasmuch as it’s a sign of the hormones pumping away and, I hope, the pregnancy going well. Keep on sprouting, little Sprout!