Nine months

Since sharing all his business on the Internet has already bought David, at the worst, years of therapy and, at the very best, lots and lots of eye rolling, I’m just going to go ahead and throw caution to the wind here. Internet, I give you David’s most noticeable development this past month:

We’ve introduced Cheerios into David’s diet and, wow. His poop has really taken a turn for the worst.

It’s the first question Tom asked the doctor at his 9-month appointment. Is this normal? This smell?

The doctor assured us that, yes, the smell is normal. And, well, if we think this is bad then we’d better buckle up.

He weighs just over 22 lbs, still big, but no longer on track to play Goliath in the church play.

Last night David woke up screaming at 2am. When I went in to check on him he had a fever of 103.6. We panicked and called the doctor. An hour later we finally got back to bed and I had anxiety dreams for the rest of the night. I’m guessing it was just a reaction to his vaccine, because he woke up at 7am, happy and fever-free.

It was an unfortunate punctuation to what has really been a delightful month.

David has settled into a great sleep pattern. He takes two naps a day and is sleeping through the night pretty consistently. As his mom, it’s so wonderful to be “normal tired” again — instead of core-bending, mind-numbing, my limbs are so heavy and my eyes feel like cardboard tired.

Last month was the first time we could distract David with a toy. Before, if he was MAD then he was MAD. Suddenly, he could be MAD but then, OH! Look at that ball! Maybe life is worth living after all!

That little milestone has given way to anger whenever we take something away or he doesn’t get what he wants. For example, he insists on feeding himself. If I so much as consider feeding him he dissolves into tears because, Are you SERIOUS, mom? LET ME LIVE MY OWN LIFE ALREADY!

A few days ago David was eating sweet potato fries and suddenly he started screaming and throwing his body backwards in his high chair. It was the sort of piercing scream that can only mean a severed limb or perhaps a bad call in a Virginia Tech football game.

Tom was understandably concerned, “Amanda! What’s wrong with him?”

I will tell you what was wrong with him. I gave him a graham cracker, and he wanted a sweet potato fry.

Who taught my baby to have outbursts like that?

The great thing about babies is that, though they can dissolve into a screaming puddle of lava, they’ll erupt with hysterical laughter with just as much gusto.

David does this new thing; when he’s really excited he extends both of his arms, clenches his fists, tenses his entire body and smiles. It’s like he just needs a moment to digest his happiness. And then, whew, he can resume a normal level of happiness.

He has also finally, finally discovered his feet. He holds them whenever he’s in his high chair, the bath or on the changing table. It’s nearly impossible to change the diaper of a baby holding his feet, but I let him do it anyway. After all, he is a Krieger, which means his toe-touching days are numbered.

He’s still army crawling, and he’s gotten really good at it. He has callouses on both feet and toe nails are bent backward. He’s started to pull up on low things, so we’re thinking he might just skip conventional crawling.

His favorite toy is a bouncy ball. He has three, and he spends all day chasing them around our house. He seeks out obstacles, like our kitchen table, to push the ball through. If there’s no obstacle, he’ll just push the ball and then crawl over my legs as if that were the only way to get where he needs to go.

When we sit him up and bounce a ball, he gets stiff-armed excited. He can catch the ball and roll it back. It almost makes me wonder if I gave birth to the right baby, because both Tom and I still struggle with that level of coordination.

David’s never really been much for snuggling; he’s way too busy chasing the cat and screaming for hugging. Lately he’s started snuggling, but here’s the catch: he only does it with me. Every time I pick him up he sucks his thumb and, even if just for a moment, rests his head on my shoulder. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it. Motherhood is a hard, hard job. But if this is what the paycheck looks like, well, I’ll take it.

Dear David,

Yesterday after dinner your dad went inside to lower your crib and you and I stayed outside on a blanket and played. The weather was perfect, and you were in a great mood. It was one of those moments when you wish you could freeze time.

Yesterday held both parenting extremes: picturesque play followed by fearfully holding your hot little body in the middle of the night. Maybe it seems paradoxical, but sometimes it’s in the highs that I feel most inadequate to be your mommy, and the lows that help me realize just how blessed I am.

Now that you’re mobile and gaining independence, you move around the room playing with your favorite toys with little help or encouragement from me. But you’ve also started doing this thing where you’ll just drop whatever you’re doing, crawl over to me and pull yourself into my lap. When you get there, you aren’t sure what you want to do. You don’t want me to hold you and you don’t want to snuggle. If I pick you up you struggle against me; you seem to want to say hello and then go back to what you were doing.

I like to think that you’re just checking in, looking for a little reassurance, and making sure I’m still there.

David, I don’t know much and I won’t always have all the answers. But you can always check in.

Love,

Mama

Thanks to Andrea and Steve for taking the first two photos in this post, respectively.

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3 Comments

  1. Rachel May 17, 2012

    Love it.

    Reply
  2. jenny ramsey May 18, 2012

    super sweet! scary fever! glad he is feeling better!! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Laura @ Mommyrunfast May 18, 2012

    This is such a sweet post! He sounds so much like L… screams and giddy giggles… the spirited babies can be challenging, but so much fun, too! Happy 9 months to David!

    Reply

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