Mark has been out in the 'big wide world' for over a month now, since he became strong enough to leave the Critical Care Unit. We've loved having Mark out in the Baby Room. He's got such a funny personality and is a real charmer. During this last month, he has actually made quite an impact!
Grace, one of our awesome Summer Staff volunteers who recently returned to America, wrote this about the effect that Mark has had on the other babies -
"Until Mark came out, none of the babies were crawling or walking. However, as soon as Mark started crawling around everywhere, Jack decided he wanted to get in on the action. After a few days of watching Mark, Jack was crawling right behind him (and of course, getting into all sorts of trouble!).
Since then, Jack has moved downstairs with the other toddlers. However, this week, we noticed something else. Robert started crawling! Robert, who when he got here could not even lift his head, has been scooting around the floor all over the place on his hands, knees, and stomach this week. Robert couldn't let Mark have all the fun! Up until this week, Robert had been quite content to roll around on the floor. Now, however, he is quite mobile. Yay Robert!
This just goes to show that kids really do teach each other. It’s fun to watch them grow and develop, and as one gains a new skill, such as crawling, the other ones want to learn too!"
Besides teaching other kids to crawl, Mark has been busy doing other things as well. He is always on the look-out for items that he isn't allowed to have. He seems to have a special talent for it. Any item that is left at Mark-level - boxes of tissues, mobile phones, bottles of milk belonging to other babies - will almost instantly be grabbed and investigated.
Not only does he like to take things, he also likes to share them. In this picture he is kindly sharing the lens-cap taken from Gan Lu's camera with Iris!
One thing that Mark does not like to share is food. He has a remarkable appetite and would happily eat all the time. When other kids are getting food and he isn't, Mark is not a happy boy.
The other day, Mark ate a LOT of cucumbers. He was photographed on at least three separate occasions eating them, and who knows how many more he ate at other times.
Cucumbers are delicious, aren't they Mark? Especially the big, juicy home-grown kind you can get here.
At one point, Mark's nanny tried to eat one as a snack, and Mark fussed at her until she gave him a piece too!
Mark shows an interest in his little companions and Iris thinks he's amazing. Apart from Robert, none of them are very good at playing with him yet though. Note the piece of cucumber on the ground behind Mark in the picture above!
Keep up the good work, Mark. Keep crawling and exploring and entertaining everyone. Your next challenge? Walking...