Thursday, January 24, 2013

8 Months

Much like last month was all about teeth, this month was definitely mobility-oriented.

1)  I put the baby in his crib while Maya and I were putting away laundry in his dresser, and when I glanced around, I saw him grinning at me over the top of the railing, because he had managed to pull himself into a standing position without any assistance.

2) We had felt that Fuzzy was close to crawling ever since our vacation in California a month ago, and shortly after we got back he started doing a sort-of Army crawl: picture grunts in boot camp forced to crawl under barbed wire while bullets are fired over their heads.  That was our Fuzzy, snaking it along the floor without ever pulling his belly off the ground.

Then, a week before his 8 month birthday, he finally sorted out his arms and legs, and started crawling for leg sort of dragged at an odd angle, giving him a slightly crab-like appearance, but nevertheless, it was real crawling, and he was clearly thrilled with himself.

3) In addition to his mobility breakthroughs, this month featured the aforementioned California vacation over the holidays - Fuzzy got to spend his first Christmas and New Years with various grandparents and great-grandparents, being showered with love and presents...oh, so very many presents.

Being close to family gave perks to The Pit and I too - my mom kindly took over Fuzzy's care and feeding for three days while we went to Tahoe for some skiing.  Well, the The Pit went skiing - I spent the weekend gratefully sleeping in, and also calling my mother three times a day to check on the welfare of the child.

4) It was also a busy month for communication - about halfway through the month, I was puttering around in the kitchen, with Fuzzy entertaining himself in the highchair next to me.  Then he looked up, caught my eye and said "arrrrrgggggggghhhh."  So I made the same guttural growling noise back at him, and he got super happy, and made it at me again.  So we went, back and forth, mutually delighted.  The Pit's first reaction upon witnessing this scene was to ask what was wrong with the baby.  He was quite doubtful when I told him that this was a happy noise, and that we were talking to each other.  However, after this had been going on for several days, I caught the two of them chatting back and forth in the same way.

5)  Unfortunately, argh is the extent of the baby's talking so far - although he has figured out that "no" is an interesting word.  I'm not sure that he's fully grasped the meaning, but he's definitely glommed onto the fact that exciting things happen when "no" is shouted at him in panic.  He'll reach for some random inappropriate object - dad's dirty shoe, the sharp and heavy fireplace poker, a dining room table place-mat with a full glass of milk on it - and we will tell him "no, no, no!"  He will pause in his reaching, look around, see if we are still paying attention, and then reach for the object again, but much more slowly, while also staring at us expectantly, waiting to see what happens next.

Friday, January 18, 2013

7ish Months

The baby is nearly 8 months old, but never fear, the 7 month post has existed as a series of notes to myself for weeks.  We shall not miss a single developmental milestone!  So here it is, late but not forgotten:

1)  The single most important happening of the month was Fuzzy's tooth breakthrough.  On December 8th, we attended my boss's holiday party, where the baby charmed all assembled by sucking on any jewelry,  shiny object, or beer bottled that happened to be offered to him...or even those thoughtlessly waved in his general vicinity.  When one of the ladies he was flirting with tried to disengage him from her necklace, she found a hard little nubbin on his lower gum that had gone unnoticed by his stellar parents.  Or I should say, unnoticed by me - apparently The Pit had spotted it several days before, but didn't think it warranted mentioning.

Anyway, two weeks later, when we arrived in California for our winter vacation, that nubbin had expanded to a full one and a half teeth, which the Fuzz promptly utilized to chomp me while nursing.  I was taken rather aback, and in fact screamed quite loudly both times he did it.  Each time I screamed, his expression progressed from surprised to offended to full-on crying in a matter of seconds.  I gathered him up and apologized for scaring him, but apparently as a behavioral therapy it was quite effective - I haven't been bitten since.

2)  In other mouth-related developments, Fuzz also learned to make two new noises - a sort of clicking sound and a lip smacking noise.  I haven't noticed any pattern with the clicking, but he definitely makes the lip smacking sound after eating, which is particularly humorous when he's just finished nursing from the boob.

3) I think I mentioned previously that Fuzzy likes to be lifted high on our shoulders, where he can survey the room from a different angle.  Well, now that he seems sturdy enough, The Pit has also taken to tossing him up in the air and then catching him under the arms - and judging by the squeals of delight, Fuzz loves this activity very very much.  He's actually too heavy now for me to toss him, so the two of them have a fun father-son bonding game.

4) Another recent game Fuzzy enjoys is hiding under a blanket.  We cover up his face, pretend to lose him, and then either uncover him ourselves, or wait for him to sweep the blanket aside.  Each time he is revealed, Fuzzy smiles hugely, clearly incredibly proud of himself for being found.

5)  In less fun milestones, there's definitely been in an uptick in clinginess and separation anxiety.  As Maya likes to say, "his biggest enemy now is loneliness "  And oh, how quickly does his enemy strike.  Fuzz used to be okay playing in his crib unattended for upwards of 20 or 30 minutes - but starting shortly after his six month birthday, he began having trouble being alone.  After 30 seconds we hear crying, and if somebody does not return to the room to pick him up, the crying quickly escalates to heart-breaking wailing, followed by full-on clawing at his face in tantrum within a minute or two.

And after that one great party outing where he took being handed around the room completely in stride, he also began to exhibit stranger anxiety - which was a wonderful development for our vacation, where we had ever so many volunteers willing to hold him, if only he could be induced to let go of mom or dad.