Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Five-sixths of a year

Dear boy,

How, exactly, did your daddy and I become the parents of a ten-month-old? We have no idea how it happened, and yet, here you are. Happy birthday, ten months ago.

Yet again, the last month has brought about amazing and exciting changes in your growth and development. Weighing in at a solid 19 pounds, you're a pound away from meeting the weight requirement to transitioning to a forward-facing car seat. It's a change we all await eagerly, probably no one more than you. I know I'd hate to be facing the rear of the vehicle anytime we went anywhere. I don't blame you, really, for melting down on long car rides.

One thing that hasn't changed, though, is your sleeping. You're still a challenge in that department, and something tells me you always will be. A typical night looks like this ... You're asleep in your crib at 6:40 p.m. You wake up and are nursed back to sleep at 7:20, 9, 11:15, and 2:50 a.m., going back into your crib each time. Each of those nursings takes between 10-30 minutes. (If I'm really lucky, you'll let me rock you to sleep in the big comfy chair in your room. For any other baby, this would probably constitute regression, but hey -- if you're falling asleep without nursing, I'll take it -- it's one step closer to falling asleep without me at all.) When you awaken again at 3:45 a.m. or so, I just give up and bring you downstairs to bed with us, an arrangement that leads to blissful semi-sound sleep for all of us until around 7:15 when you get up for the day. You are ROUGH on your momma, kid, but I am so over you crying in your room alone in the middle of the night, which we tried for several months. It just never really stuck, and since we were all miserable anyway, I figure this arrangement keeps you rested and happy, your daddy sleeping through the night so he can work and fund our play-filled lifestyle, and me ... well, I just nap with you when you do, and it's been fine. Someday, though, son, I have daydreams of sleeping longer than three and a half hours at a stretch. 

You've always enjoyed outings, but it seems as though you're more into being outside now than ever. Maybe it's because the weather has been so gorgeous, I don't know, but whatever the reason, we take more walks now and you love it every time. Even just getting the mail makes you so happy. And it's a mellow happy -- you usually lean back in your stroller and smile peacefully at the world around you. We discovered this weekend that it's a great way to calm you down before a nap, so at least through the fall and winter we may be on more outings than ever.

This month, you've been introduced to more solid foods. And not just baby food, but real food, table food like your mom and dad eat. Sort of. I don't know the last time I ever had zwieback toast, for instance, but you're loving the chance to munch on whatever we're having that's safe and relatively healthy. Your latest new foods include Pop-Tart crusts (which you adore -- it's gotten to the point now that when you see that silver foil package come out of the pantry, you start smacking your lips in anticipation), macaroni and cheese, pudding, Kix cereal, and even a tiny bite of a baked Cheeto. (Um, yeah -- I take back that part about being relatively healthy, but in our defense, you don't eat very much of the stuff I just listed. Except for maybe the Pop-Tarts.) You do swimmingly with anything bite-sized that we put into your mouth with our fingers, but lumpy food from a spoon still throws you for a loop. It's like you assume that if it's on a spoon, you can just swallow it without chewing it, and your gaggy faces are tremendously melodramatic. 

Another one of your favorite things is being naked. The fewer items of clothing you're wearing, the happier you are. This one, I really don't get. Your dad and I are modest people who aren't really into showing skin, so your love of the naturalist lifestyle is one that baffles us. Still, you're at an age where it's pretty much acceptable to appear en dishabille, so we're ok with it for now. We really only humor you right before bathtime, anyway. 

One of the most fun changes you've undergone lately is an even greater desire to converse with us, or even with yourself. You spend your playtime just chatting and babbling away to no one in particular, though it all gets cranked up a notch if we start answering you. You make sounds that could be the words, "momma," "da-da," "wow," "hey," "ball," and "teeth." We have no way of knowing if you're actually saying any of that and meaning it, which has been frustrating since I want to write SOMETHING in your baby book under "first word," but we'll just have to wait and see. 

It's been incredible to watch you get an appreciation for the reactions people have to your antics. Lately you've been doing things on purpose, just to get people to laugh at you.  You make "kh" noises, hoping someone will make them back at you to start a volley of throat-clearing. You watch someone leave the room, then bellow, "EHH!" at them until they answer with, "Hey!" To which you respond, "EHH!" and so forth.

And most recently, you've developed a new smile, which you bestow liberally upon us, as it causes us to laugh at you to no end.

Sweet baby, you are a delight and a miracle, a blessing and a joy. Even when I'm worn out from being up with you six or seven times a night, even when you're resisting bedtime just to play a little longer, even when you're giving me the silent treatment and a cold stare from your high chair because you REALLY don't want any more sweet potatoes, I have never loved life better than I do now, because I get to be your mommy. Sometimes, your dad and I just watch you as you play, your relatively big and beautifully round noggin balanced on your impossibly slim little neck, and we marvel at how perfect you are, how funny you've grown, how astoundingly much we love you.

I will ALWAYS share my Pop-Tarts with you.



Laura said...

For at least the first year, maybe two, that she ate Pop Tarts, M made us cut the crusts off first. She wouldn't even consider one with crusts intact. Therefore, it amuses me that you are teaching him to like the crusts!
My mom still thinks that we're trying to kill our children by feeding them one or two Pop Tarts per week, which would be funny if it weren't for all of the things that we ate growing up (but never Pop Tarts). She claims that she can't remember the daily bologna sandwich on white bread. Ah, the days before nutrition labels...

Laura said...

Yes, me again.

Links for you to read and consider:, both pages
(After which, I will butt out on the topic -- thanks for humoring me.)

As far as the all-things-car angst, this too shall pass. I remember a phase where riding anywhere in the car started by buckling with one hand while using the other to reshape baby (who had folded herself inside-out, origami-style) into a form that would fit in a car seat. She became a good traveler, and now appreciates her safest-available car seat, even as her peers are rebelling against wearing seat belts at all.

One more observation -- the naked trend may get a whole lot naked-er as soon as he figures out how to remove his own clothes! Duct tape tab reinforcement and backwards zipper PJs are the best suggestions I know to prevent unauthorized diaper removal (file that for future reference)!