The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘baby’

Month 14 Or, The Chit Chat Kid

Here we find ourselves (we meaning me, myself and I) a few days into month 14 and lo and behold, the mighty munchkin continues to delight. I have found it weird that this is my comparison point – but here it is. It’s like a new relationship when you’re dating someone, except the shine has not really rubbed off. There are times that I think, ‘oh I’m tired … I wish I could just do nothing all day long’ but the little fella continues to pass along a steady diet of love and happiness, with bouts of sleeplessness and irritability.

What’s that rambling nonsense? Is that coffee-fueled jabber? Sure. Yes. But also that’s month 14. Ka-chow.

Month 14 seemed big. They’ve all been big, but this one felt like a number of mental things clicked for the little guy that have been so exciting to see.

This is a month 15 story, and I’m sorry to steal your thunder 15, but this feels representative of month 14. My wife and I went over to the kiddo’s ‘school’ for Halloween the other day and when I walked in the room my wife informed me excitedly, ‘he knows how to say high five!’ And yes, sure enough, our son would excitedly say high five, and/or hold up his tiny little adorable hand and then if you high fived he would say ‘high five.’ Do you know just how STRANGE it is to have someone who you spend tons of time with, who you adore endlessly, and who is only capable of about 10 words surprise you with a new word/phrase? It’s odd, and delightful. Also, his ‘high five’ is really more of a ‘ha fa’ but he knows what’s up.

The month started off with a new streak of independence which we had yet to see, and it showed up consistently at mealtime causing us some consternation until we figured it out. The kiddo had a sudden interest in taking a much more active role in feeding himself, and it showed up as rejecting old fan favorites and being a little tyrant at the table until it clicked. We figured it out one day with blueberries. We had cut a number in half because he has some personal revolt against chewing and will swallow down large chunks of food with a pained look on his face as the food goes down, then quickly reach out and repeat the whole painful process. But no, I don’t want those blueberry halves. We tried this, that, and the other thing but what finally worked, and worked very well, was holding the container out to him. He pounced on it and would grab tiny adorable handfuls and throw them in his mouth, chewing his little meaningless chews and swallowing painfully. But hey, he was eating. Phew. The same trend showed up in other foods … string cheese was no longer cut up, he got the whole stick. Bananas likewise are now served in about 3 or 4 big chunks instead of little bite sized pieces. It makes mealtime easier all in all, but it took a bit to figure out this new desire.

I don’t know when this happened exactly, it was before month 14, but I think I’ve yet to mention it so I’ll do so now. Another word in the kid’s small but growing list is book. It’s really just a b noise, but he knows what it means because he’ll pick up a book, hold it in the air, and say, ‘buh … buh … buh.’ He’ll look at you while doing this, which means please read me this book, dear mother or father. And if you’re busy cleaning up or doing something else you’ll eventually hear his little persistent noise, look up, and see him patiently waiting while repeating ‘buh’ over and over. It is almost incomprehensibly adorable. Naturally, you plop down near him and he’ll excitedly crawl right up to you with the book and then become overjoyed when you open up the book to start reading. He especially loves The Pout Pout Fish. One funny part about this is that you have an almost 0% chance of actually reading the book. He loves turning pages and will aggressively turn the pages on you as you attempt to read, skipping large chunks of the book with his fat-fingered page turning. Generally The Pout Pout Fish is reduced to about 20 words, scattered across various pages. One morning I did manage to read about 50% of Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb about 10 times. That was a very exciting morning. Dum ditty dum ditty dum ditty dum.

The words we’ve got going now, perhaps mostly in the order of appearance: dog, dad, mom, ball, bye, book, banana, airplane, car, high five, outside. Airplanes get a reaction even when we’re inside the house. He’ll hear one, point to the sky and say, ‘ah-pane.’

The word car seemed to arrive instantly, and boy was it an exciting walk when that word first appeared. We have, as one might expect in a suburban neighborhood, a lot of cars. And you know who delighted in pointing out every car? Our little wordsmith. Something between a ‘cat’ and a ‘gah’ and a happy point at car, after car, after car, after car. Sometimes a pause to wave at a car driving by as I would wave (it feels weird to point to random neighbors cars as they drive by so I try to wave to make it not seem like I’m being ominous or threatening).

The language front has been amazing this past month, which has been wonderful to witness.

Now on to the physicality. The kiddo is still not walking, which is completely fine, but boy do I dislike it when people say, ‘he’s not walking yet?’ or any variation on that. This does nothing for us, or the person saying it, so … why say it? That said, we have had a lot of fun physical developments.

He climbed down the stairs backwards for the first time during this month, and just like when he learned to climb up them he went from never having done it to expert in seemingly no time at all. Initially he wanted to crawl down things face forward, which would lead to me flipping him around and trying to pull him down backwards to show him. He didn’t like that and would try and squirm away from me till one day – boom. I get it. And away he went. That day he climbed up the stairs over and over just to get the chance to then climb down them. My wife said he would occasionally crawl up one or two steps then point at the top of the stairs so she would carry him up so that he could climb down again. Crafty, lazy, stair descending monster.

The next big happening was my wife’s first night away from the little guy since his time in the NICU. She took a short trip to hang out with a friend for the weekend so the little guy and I had some nice adventures of our own – a museum, swim lessons, a Halloween thing and some typical errands. It was a great weekend with the little guy, made all the better by the fact that sleep changed this month and became somewhat reliably good. He’d still wake up one or two times a night, but a quick visit to hand him his pacifier and re-sing the putdown song or letting him cry for 2 or 3 minutes usually did the trick to get him back into a solid sleep. The difference that makes is huge, and made the weekend (and this last month in general) much easier on the parental side. I can’t overstate what a big difference solid, predictable sleep makes. As I write this he’s napping (and, ironically, his first nap was oddly short today so we’ll see how this one goes).

During that weekend the mornings were spent the same way my wife spends them … wake up, play for a bit, breakfast, play for a bit, then a walk, playing and an-time. The walk pretty much always involves a stop off at the nearby park where he loves the swings and these little spinny type toys. It’s like a little dome you sit in and someone else spins it. It’s hysterical to watch his little eyes when he gets stopped because they bounce around as he tries to come back from the dizziness. But he loves it. Because as soon as things quit spinning for him and his eyes can focus, he begins to rock back and forth, his hands still holding on, waiting for you to start spinning him again. But oh … when you leave … that’s his least favorite part. And if you dare walk by the playground casually without stopping? He’s not a fan of that either. Usually my trick is to find some other thing to point out to distract him – oh look, an airplane!, or oooh a neighbor’s dog! Thankfully distractions exist in spades.

Ok friends, gut check. Even I am sick of writing this down. But you know who might not be sick of reading this a ways down the road from now? My son-loving future self. So, here’s to you, pal.

This month also featured … clapping! I know this is typically something kids conquer much earlier but we never clapped at home, so I think this is something he likely picked up from daycare. I don’t have too much to say about that, it was just fun to see him clap. I think sometimes he claps because he enjoys the act of clapping, and other times it’s because something happened that he liked (generally food-related).

This one may be silly, but I was pretty enthused in the moment. The kiddo and I were at the nearby playground, which has the play area’s ground comprised of small pebbles. The kiddo loves to grab handfuls of small things and then he pulls his arm back so his hand is at his side, near his waist, and then he drops whatever it is (mulch, pebbles, sand, whatever). He was doing this over and over when I got his attention and showed him what I like to do at the beach – grab a handful (pebbles instead of sand), and then slowly open my hand and let it drain out between my fingers. I did this over and over and then lo and behold, he switched from his method to mimicking what I was doing! Amazing! He only did it a few times before he decided he liked his game more … but it was the first time I’d seen him see me doing something and then so quickly mimic it.

And speaking of learning things … We went to a pumpkin patch one weekend and the kiddo went down a slide. This was the first time I’d seen him kind of scoot his body forward to get into a spot where he’d actually start to slide down. This was very fun to see but it showed up again later at his swim lessons when he squirmed/scooted his little body from the side of the pool, where I’d placed him, toward me in the water. It was fun watching his tiny little self sort of trust fall into me from the side of the pool, excitedly reaching out and grinning as he’d come at me.

Last but certainly not least, and another late blooming thing – peek-a-boo! This month the kiddo really fell in love with that, and it’s been hysterical to watch. He is terrible at it. He’ll cover one eye with his hand and stare at you with the other. But with an object like a towel or pillow he’s great, he’ll hide behind it and then we ask where he is excitedly and boom, he reveals he’s been there all along. Boy, aren’t mom and dad stupid for not knowing I was right here? One adorable and sad daycare pickup was when I showed up and he had clearly just been crying, but I walked in the door and he’s sitting with tears on his face, his tired little eyes, and boom, he throws his hands up to immediately begin a peek-a-boo game with old pop. Heartbreaking and sweet.

Anywho … that’s 14. I may have to revisit how I do these because boy, even I’m bored at this moment.

If you’ve stuck with me, you really ought to get a life.

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13 Months, Or One … And 1

Once again I have made the big mistake of not writing this down RIGHT on the 13th month day and lo and behold, here I am thinking of the latest and greatest developments which are all 14th month feats.

But that’s not what we’re here for, self. We’re here for month 13.

The month felt like it flew by. I wrote that statement in a note to myself a few weeks ago when I initially sat down to write this and I look back at that note and think, huh … all right. Seems fitting that a note I don’t remember writing about time flying by is a note that was written weeks ago. Enough of me blabbing about that note.

IMG_20180902_121720906The 13th month included Labor Day weekend which was a very adventuresome weekend for my wife and I. We went out on a FIVE MILE HIKE! The kiddo lived in backpack land the whole time, with quite a few stops to check if he wanted water. For the most part, with the cool weather that day, the brisk pace of our hike, and the other hikers as eye diversions … the kiddo was content with the ride along. Shockingly, he didn’t go to sleep at all during the trip – but we did bribe him with a graham cracker or two toward the end to keep him awake. It was a ton of fun for my wife and I to be out and taking advantage of the outdoors here, and the day went just so darn well. Generally it’s hard to have days where everything goes according to plan, but this day deviated from the plan only to have EVEN BETTER outcomes. You can’t ask for more than that.

We did our hour long drive to get to the hike which we planned during his first nap. Fantastic. Went great. Then the hike, which included a stop for all of us to have lunch. And then when we finished we had another snack sitting next to a river. It was pristine and beautiful and foot-numbingly cold water (which felt nice after the hike).

The bonus came when we left. We had planned to leave during nap two and drive home then. But the kiddo sat in the backseat awake and content. With about twenty minutes left in the drive my wife hopped out and sat in the back with him to make sure he didn’t conk out. When we got home we put him down for a nap and ended up with an unexpected lounging time. We had assumed both naps would be occupied by car rides so that was quite the treat to have that bonus free time.

Other fun Labor Day weekend plans included the pool (which he has grown to love) and a delightful picnic lunch outside. The kiddo is not exactly in restaurant-friendly territory these days so with the weather being so beautiful we decided to get ourselves some burritos and head to a park.

All in all, just about as good a weekend as one could hope for. The next weekend balanced it a bit because we again drove a long ways to a hike but this time it was so hot the kiddo was uncomfortable and unhappy and probably cooking in his backpack … so we turned around quickly. A long hike drive for a little jaunt, and then back home. That involved a bit more entertaining of the kiddo on the drive home because that was a good stretch of being cooped up.

My wife’s folks got the kiddo a teepee for his 1st birthday and that has managed to up our chase game. The little chaser would start to crawl, then look back at you and speed up toward the teepee. If you followed him he would make his excited little noises and pop his head up to look out at you from the little window in the teepee. It’s been a nice enhancement to our hide-and-go-seek / crawl-and-chase-me games.

Speaking of upping the ante … the kiddo can say no now! But. Here’s the thing. 1, I’m not sure he knows what he is saying. And 2, he says it to mock us. Great, right? He loves electrical outlets (great) and I’m pretty sure it’s just because he gets so much attention by crawling up to it. But he would crawl up to it, put his hand up on it, stand up, and look around. One time he did this and looked at me expectantly. I knew then how well he had trained me. My wife and I got in the habit of saying ‘no’ or ‘no, no’ or any number of times using the word no over and over. And occasionally he’d look at you with a big pout like, ‘how dare you take a firm voice with me’ but more often he would look at you and said back, ‘nonononono’ … great. Message clearly not received. Was it cute though? You bet it was.

IMG_20180904_190531745_LL

I decided to make a box an airplane, because why not. And it is the worst bit of DIY you have ever seen … til you look at the ‘pinup girl’ on the side. I told my wife she should draw one so it’d be like an old war plane and … my God. That pinup would make someone want to die at war.

My wife works Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’ve probably said that before, but what … am I supposed to remember everything I say? I say too much to have that kind of expectation thrown at me. Anywho. That means we have a morning ritual that is nice (when sleep allows it to be normal). Part of that morning ritual involves the kiddo and I being downstairs together for a bit while mom gets ready (or while mom catches some downtime on Mondays and Fridays before running the show all day). And we always go outside. The little outdoorsman loves it. LOVES it. He got used to the routine and came to know it, so just walking toward the front door would elicit little squawks of joy. Then, once outside, he got to show off one of his new favorite ways of communicating – the POINT.

The point is an all-encompassing, all-powerful way of telling us … we’re not sure what. You want to walk over there? You want to eat that? You want to look at that from here, you’re just letting me know that there is a thing over there? Generally, if you’re up and at ‘em, walking to whatever he is pointing at makes him happy. But sometimes when he’s eating he’ll point to a hat and you just have to look at him and wonder, what would you tell me if you could speak? Get that hat off the dinner table, dad? Is that it?

But when we are outside, the tree in the front yard is often a favorite target of the point, and the go to activity is trying to rip leaves off it. When it had crab apples on it, he would also relish trying to eat those … but ol mom and pop generally denied him of that fun.

Outside the former GREATEST THING ON EARTH was a neighbor’s dog. Move over dogs, because airplanes have taken over. We live pretty close to an airport and are treating to many planes flying overhead, and they have been the hit of the month. First we’ll hear one, and that results in a quick jerk of the neck to look skyward while we scan the skies until, aha!, there it is! At first in the month a plane would cause a little giggle, a point, and a lot of smiles. As time has gone on it is less exciting, and now it’s just a smile, and an excited point. I think he enjoys the challenge of hearing them and then trying to spot them.

Dear reader, if you want to, you should really treat yourself to an intermission. This post is more than 50% done, but boy is it a long one. And I’d apologize for that, but you’ve probably already stopped reading so it’s fine.

Back at it? Refreshed? Ok. Let’s do this.

My folks came out for a visit during this month as well, which was great to see them. Unfortunately, the kiddo does not see any of his grandparents enough for them to be an instantly recognized presence. There is an inevitable, ‘uhhhh … I don’t know about you, lady’ with the grandmas and the grandpas all tend to take a more hands-off, I’ll be over here approach which the kiddo digs. He would squawk back and forth happily with my dad, then crawl to me if my mom would try to play with him. It’s unfortunate that he is yet to recognize the grandparents as a steady, good presence but it’ll happen over time. And in the meantime, for the next trip, we’ll get the grandparents to feed him which ought to warm him up post-haste.

Two fun things coincided with my parents trip, too.

First is that the kiddo learned how to make a face. This is a weird statement, but it’s true. I think from my wife, though I’m not sure how this started, he would glance down very deliberately, then furrow his brows, tighten his lips, and stare at you! It’s a very adorable mean mugging that you are receiving. It’s especially adorable because he will often do this, and then grin at the end because he’s so pleased. My wife and I generally do this face back to him when he does it. One thing I have found pretty funny about this is when the occasional stranger is treated to this face. Generally it’s reserved for my wife and I, but randomly a stranger will get the treatment which usually gives them a bit of a surprise. Normally he is very smiley and, basically, flirty with strangers. He’ll smile, wave, and then sort of bury himself into my chest if I’m holding him and a stranger says hi. It’s heart-melting. But then there’s that blue moon and some stranger will smile sweetly at him and BAM, you’ve been mean mugged. And then the stranger probably feels worse because I just laugh and laugh while my baby stares, seemingly, with anger at him or her.

It’s pretty fun.

The other fun that happened was the kiddo’s first swim lesson! Woah! I signed us up for a ‘parent and me’ swim class which is thirty minutes once a week. So far we have loved it. Well, he has been ok with. His favorite activity at the pool is watching kids play, but he doesn’t mind being floated around in the water. I can tell you that he does NOT like when you put him on his back and try to float him around. No sir. He also has taken being dumped quite well! My wife was shocked when she did a lesson (meanwhile I was off on a hike) and the instructor said, ‘blow in your baby’s face, and then dunk them.’ But he has since been dunked by both mom and dad and he comes up, a little surprised looking, but still intent on the number one goal at the pool – finding and watching other big kids play. This whole underwater thing is just a brief deviation from the ability to accomplish that goal.

Right at the end of the 13th month a new skill also reared it’s adorable head – shaking his head no! My wife had made a point to emphasize offering foods and saying, ‘yes? Or no?’ while she would shake her head to represent those. Eventually, our little wunderkind got it because he too began shaking his head no! At first it was a very involved, whole upper body shaking of the head that made him look, and I say this with love, as though he was having a seizure of some sort. But he quickly managed to calm things down and now it is truly a head shake. He also mostly gets what it means … but he occasionally delights in looking at you and just shaking his head no over and over. Or saying no to random items. It’s just a fun thing to shake your head no, you know?

Stay tuned for next month, because it’ll include … oh wait. Crap. The 15th month is when Halloween hits. I bought him his costume this month which I’m QUITE excited about, and I really hoped he would be walking because he’d look like a little zombie (as all first-time walkers do) … but alas, he’ll likely have to resign himself to being a crawling Ewok rather than a walking one. But that’s ok, it’ll still be incredibly adorable.

September 2018 Haiku

September 1 (Saturday)

Short walk, pool,and stores
A fun and go-go-go day
Good start to weekend!

September 2 (Sunday)
Hike with the kiddo!
Managed to do five miles
And give lots of waves
#heLovesToWave

September 3 (Monday)
Swam laps this morning
This despite minor back pain
(Hi, foreshadowing)

September 4 (Tuesday)

Oh dear Lord what. Why?
All movement hurts. Really. All.
Hike? Swim? Who did this?!

September 5 (Wednesday)
“Pizza party night!”
Text from wife. This means she had …
Great or stressful day
#stressOrSuccessEat

September 6 (Thursday)
Sometimes life’s stressful
That’s when you need a basement
With Legos to build

September 7 (Friday)

Joined a neat work thing
Volunteering to work more
Yep, I’m a smart one

September 8 (Saturday)

Tried another hike
Too toasty out today though
Poor kid cooked in bag

September 9 (Sunday)
Hi Doritos ‘chefs’
Son’s high-chair has weird flavor
Combos that you seek
#yum

September 10 (Monday)
My memory’s great!
*Checks phone to see what he did
…
One whole day ago*

September 11 (Tuesday)

Doing the right thing
While running toward raging hell
Brave souls remembered

September 12 (Wednesday)
Kid’s long lasting cough
Saw doc, got an inhaler
Hope it helps his cough!

September 13 (Thursday)
Cute, small instrument
Of awful, hated torture
Poor sweet little guy

September 14 (Friday)
My folks are in town
FOR A WILD WEEKEND OF …
You want take out?, or …?

September 15 (Saturday)

Son’s first swim lesson!
Wait, you’re giving instructions?!
He’s, um, a baby.

September 16 (Sunday)
Estes Park with folks
Sheesh, so many tourists here
(Yes, we’re tourists too)

September 17 (Monday)

Making faces now
Glance down, furrow brow, repeat
MAX adorable

September 18 (Tuesday)
End of release soon
Time for days and days of dull
Manual testing

September 19 (Wednesday)
Work event with beer
Then back to boring testing …
Eyes glazing in 3 …

September 20 (Thursday)

Hackathon at work
Small team, fast, frequent checkins
It was pretty fun!

September 21 (Friday)

Cousin visiting
Had dinner, sat and just talked
Sometimes simple’s best

September 22 (Saturday)

Wife and son at pool
While I go for a long hike
Miss my little fam

September 23 (Sunday)

Start day with a walk
The little guy LOVES airplanes
Spots them, points, and squawks

September 24 (Monday)

Halloween costume
My son will be an EWOK!!
So cute you could puke

September 25 (Tuesday)
Sleep’s FALLEN. APART.
Mom or dad rock, shush, cuddle …
Just makes us sleepy

September 26 (Wednesday)
Trump admin has helped
Me learn things that PISS. ME. OFF.
I’m with her, you ape.

September 27 (Thursday)
Kavanaugh hearing
It’s daytime TV drama
But real, and much worse

September 28 (Friday)
Independence starts …
Kiddo wants to feed himself
Or he’ll get FEISTY

September 29 (Saturday)

Swim lesson today
“Blow in their face and dunk them”
Dunked and … He’s nonplussed

September 30 (Sunday)

Hour and a half
Of snuggled up sleep with son
Beauty start to day

Eat Like a One Year Old

I’ve got an idea for a restaurant which would fail miserably … but oh what fun in the one month it’d be open.

The idea is customers eat like one year olds.

You walk in, the host or hostess shows you to your seat and then around comes your waiter or waitress. This is where the fun begins. As a customer you don’t need to say a WORD. Nothing. You can, if you want, you can say just one word over and over while looking at any and everything. Or you can just make noises. Or be silent. Whatever.

You are the 1 year old customer, and it’s up to you.

Over the course of the next however long you want you will sample, spit out, make weird faces, make noises, look with disgust and horror at your waiter/waitress when they guess wrong at what you want.

It’ll be grand.

The waiter/waitress will run to/from the kitchen, over and over, bringing you small samples of a really weird variety of foods, and you’ll happily eat four bites and then NO, I DO NOT WANT … ok, one more bite WAIT NO. I DO NOT WANT.

Be as difficult and crazy as you want as you eat a seventeen course meal, where each course is comprised of just a few bites.

Tip will be automatically included in your bill, because the wait staff deserve it.

One Year Later!

Ladies and gentlemen, the kiddo has made it to one year of life! And, mom and dad have too! Phew.

Let’s take a look back (read: lazy post) … here are my posts around the kiddo’s arrival, and all of the daily haiku I’ve been doing.

(Note: I recently looked back on these, and it made me appreciate that I have been doing the daily haiku.)

 

The Big Arrival

The Kiddo – Part I – Watership Down

The Kiddo – Part II – Game Day

The Kiddo – Part III – Chez NICU

 

Monthly Posts

Is the Fog Beginning to Lift? (3 Months)

4 Months and Counting

The Carousel of New Parenthood (5 months)

Month 6, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Short Nap

Month 7, Or Oh the Places You’ll Go (Developmentally)

Month 8, Or Get Up, Come On Get Down With the Sickness

Month 9 or Crawlington Station

Month 10, or Stand Up And Make Your Voice Heard!

Month 11, or OHHH! MY EYE!!!!

 

Haiku

January 2017 Haiku

February 2017 Haiku

March 2017 Haiku

April 2017 Haiku

May 2017 Haiku

June 2017 Haiku

July 2017 Haiku

August 2017 Haiku

September 2017 Haiku

October 2017 Haiku

November 2017 Haiku

December 2017 Haiku

January 2018 Haiku

February 2018 Haiku

March 2018 Haiku

April 2018 Haiku

May 2018 Haiku

June 2018 Haiku

July 2018 Haiku

 

The Little Bus, With the Little Passenger

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog then you are aware that my wife and I have a kiddo, and he was born about 7 weeks early. This has led to my wife and I being quite interested in all things preterm (we’re part of a select club you know).

Recently, an article in the journal Science talked about some findings … given that I’m not brainy or enthused enough to read every Science journal (a more ambitious and time-well-utilized version of myself would) … I read a dumbed down article about it from the New York Times.

It ended with this paragraph,

It is almost as though the molecular message being sent by RNA “is a little bus that travels back and forth and is letting Mom know what’s going on,” Dr. Cheng said.  “I bet you they’re going to find that the mother’s going to respond. There’s a conversation going on. That’s what’s cool.”

(RNA is what is looked at by this blood test.)

***

Hi, I’m Gary. I drive the bus that a mother and fetus use to talk to each other and it’s amazing and incredible and whatever, but guys. It is also disgusting.

You know how pregnant women have their ‘water.’ And when it’s go time the water breaks and oh a miracle and blah blah?

You know that water is partially baby urine, right? And that sick baby is drinking that urine?

Do you know what it’s like communicating with a urine drinker? I’LL TELL YOU! IT’S GROSS. Their breath is just … weird. And they have this distinct, ‘as soon as this conversation is over … I’m gonna drink more urine’ look on their faces. It’s weird.

And those little guys are INTENSE. Their hearts beat like … I don’t know, 160 beats per minute? Imagine the tiniest person you know on crack, drinking urine. That’s a baby. ‘Hey look man, I just discovered this, check it out!’ Then the baby goes and like strangles itself with the umbilical cord for a while, all the while staring right at me. Blech. It’s terrifying.

And you know who I haven’t even mentioned yet? The mother. My God the mother. ‘Oh I’m a dad and my wife is more emotional these days and wah wah wah.’ OH YEAH, PAL!? TRY DRIVING A BUS INSIDE SOMEONE WHOSE HORMONES LIKE JUST TOOK LSD AND HEADED TO THE TOWN CARNIVAL.

Seriously. It’s like, you show up and say, ‘hey, baby says maybe 7 weeks to go and it’s digging all the kale you’ve been eating lately, but also it wants you to eat ice cream out of a plastic bag.’ And the mom is like, ‘my little darling angel’ all cooing with love and then the mom thinks about all the plastic garbage floating in the ocean and she starts crying and then the mom thinks about how salty her tears are and wants McDonald’s fries and then she’s SO, SO ANGRY AND I DON’T KNOW WHY.

So you get the message from the mom which is … you know, mixed, and you take it back to old urine mouth.

It’s just.

I don’t know man.

I wish one of the white blood cells would hang out with me sometime, those guys are cool.

Month 9 or Crawlington Station

Month 9 started off with a bang. The kiddo, wife and I headed to a pediatric urgent care to see what he had going on. He had a fever which drugs managed to keep from going up, but it was still there. And, in case you don’t know, babies can run higher fevers than adults. Their little bodies can really cook.

Urgent care took a while, but the news came back as positive – he’s got a fever, keep an eye on those ears for a possible ear infection, and he doesn’t have the flu. We said okie done, and headed on home.

When we got home my wife fed him, he yakked it all up which was unusual .. but then he seemed ok. The day continues, he manages to eat just fine. And then we hit bedtime … Before bed he definitely had a high fever, we had waited on drugs till right before bed so he would be able to get a good chunk of sleep. Unfortunately, his little oven body does not do well with food. It seemed like when he had a very high fever whatever food went in would come right back out. He ate dinner from dear old mom, returned it immediately to the sender and then I hung out with him while he was just in a diaper. His poor little self was tired, cuddly, and full of woes.

Eventually I got him re-prepped for bed and he went down ok.

Around 11pm or midnight he woke up crying and my wife went to feed him and I think we were maybe able to give more drugs at that point. Going in was a mild case of heartbreaking. Normally on the changing pad he is full of life and energy but his poor, dehydrated little sick body was lifeless. He looked up at us sadly, extra pale, hardly moving, and he hadn’t peed despite it having been four hours (which is a crazy long stretch). My wife fed him and thankfully it went ok, but after she put him down I think I was up another hour or two randomly going in to check on him. It was just awful to see him so sick.

The next day my wife and I took him to his doc and he did in fact have an ear infection. We got drugs and he began on that course. Phew. Solution in hand, right? Eh.

He was to have four millimeters of drugs twice a day, which sounds like nothing but four mL can be an annoying amount for a baby to swallow if they hate it. Which he did. That night he had about half the dose then vomited. The next morning, Tuesday, we tried a new routine which involved giving him one mL, then pausing, dancing around, toys and clapping to distract him. (He LOVES clapping … though he can’t do it yet, but he’ll happily put his hands on yours while you clap.) Fantastic. Tuesday evening I was driving home from work, updating my sister, feeling good about everything, open the door and … there’s my wife, holding our sweet baby, both of them covered in vomit. Crap.

After getting cleaned up my wife manages to call and get a new prescription, this one is only a one mL dose each time (phew) AND the kiddo seems to like it.

He was out of daycare both Tuesday and Wednesday that week, which was a hit for my wife especially, and I worked weird hours to compensate.

The first … one, or two, or three weeks of month 9 were weird with daycare. The sickness continued which meant both my wife and I (mostly my wife though) shifting work around to take care of the kiddo.

Another challenging experience was our first travel. My wife got a call on a Wednesday that her grandma was doing very poorly, quite suddenly. We are fortunate enough to both have jobs where we are able to drop things and go, which we did. Wednesday late afternoon we were on a flight to Minnesota to say goodbye. My wife’s dad’s side had gathered to lean on each other and say goodbye to someone who was a friend of every one of her grandkids. Which in my mind is a rare thing, and it was always amazing to see her and her grandkids interact and throw jeers at each other. I don’t have enough eloquence to really give someone their due, suffice to say I’m going to miss her, and I hardly knew her.

My wife’s cousin had managed to make the visit as easy as possible for us as far as baby logistics, getting a car seat and pack n play for us. The travel was not as bad as we feared it would be, our son mostly slept on both flights, although he had definitely come down with something (again). On the flight home the cabin pressure had changed a lot, and that with what we found out on Monday was a double ear infection (ho boy!) led to a sudden crying wake up. The guy directly in front of me, a classic manspreader (homeboy would stretch his hands up, then put them down on the back of his seat … aka inches from my face), looked back at my wife while the kiddo was crying and she stared at him, he then offered, ‘… you want some water?’ What?

Now, as per usual, I have rambled on and on about the unfortunate things and am going to give too little time and space to the fun developments. But here we go.

This month we got the beginnings of the B sound, all the way up to some classic babble. It’s now common to wake up to ‘bah bah bah bah … bah bah.’ It is wonderful to hear him chatter. He also will clamp his lips tight in an almost frowning face … seemingly really focused on that next bah sound. He looks shockingly like Mitch McConnell when making this face. While I disagree with his politics, and his integrity, and find him physically unattractive … I do think that my baby is adorable when making the Mitch face.

Another short-lived phase that was fun … And excuse me for not knowing a better way to describe this. The kiddo would stick out his tongue, then uh … sorta make a fart noise with his mouth. I would do this back and we’d both giggle. This lasted about two days but oh, what a glorious two days of comedy.

The REAL focus of this month was crawling. You go in to pick him up from a nap? He’s in the classic crawl position (on hands and knees, sorta rocking). Funnily enough, he did best with crawling when you put him down sitting … and then he would choose to crawl. If you put him down on his hands and knees he usually got upset pretty quickly.

But try, and try, and try he did. It was exciting to see the progress, although it seemed like he was on the same stage for a long time. One day he managed to go from accidentally crawling backwards to moving forwards … this was by: 1, a sort of Army crawl; 2, being in the crawl position and then suddenly lunging forward like a belly dive to get to the object of his desire; 3, having a dog. Oh how he loves the dog. She is his perpetual target of crawling. Unfortunately they don’t get along the best … The kiddo grabs with a purpose, and then pulls … Go figure, the dog isn’t a fan of having her hair pulled out. But, she has to deal with it, so uh … sorry pooch. I pet her gently on her face while the kid menaces her neck fur. It’s a real treat for the dog. Like some sort of weird massage. One day I went to work with him doing his usual crawling – one bit of forward progress, then laying down or fussing or getting distracted by … God knows what. And then I come home and he can ACTUALLY crawl. Like, there’s that thing four feet away and he would crawl, and crawl, and crawl till he got there. Weirdly enough, it reminds me of watching a robot with AI try to learn how to move. The limbs all seem to pause and think with great intention, and then they jerkily move forward. Sometimes a leg randomly kicks backwards while he crawls (picture an action movie with someone climbing up a ladder, and a bad guy in hot pursuit, so the person randomly kicks downward to knock the bad guy away … it’s like that).

Oh and my wife was delighted by the kiddo going from four naps a day to three. He’s been a slow go kid on the sleep front. We hear friends talk about sleeping through the night and question when that will happen for us. When the kiddo is not doing well, as happened a lot this month, he sometimes ends up sleeping between us on the bed. It reduces sleep, but I love hearing his sleepy coos and he is a huge fan of noses (much to the pain of noses) so he will reach out and squeeze your nose. One night when he slept in bed with us he kept sliding over to me, squishing about 20% of his body under mine … I would move away, not wanting to crush him, and he would just follow. Eventually I ended up waking up on the very edge of the bed, his tiny loud-breathing self smooshed up against me. I was flattered, happy, and sleepy. What a thing.

Ok. That’s enough rambling. Til next month.

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