David turned 10 months old, um, four days ago. This is the latest I’ve ever been with a monthly update, and it’s a far cry from when I wrote his one-month update three days early.
I like to think the change is because I’ve stopped wishing the days away and started enjoying, no, savoring time with David. And instead of starting every monthly update with phrases like, “we survived“ or “this month almost killed me,” I’ve started using words like “delightful.” For a few months now, each new month has been my favorite, and month 10 is no exception.
David is a much happier baby these days, and I credit his mood change to his new abilities. His world is much bigger now that he move from his belly to sitting, pull up, and cruise, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
He’s opting to crawl the traditional way more and more. It’s a change that started when I put him down outside. Princess David didn’t want grass to touch his belly and started crawling Mowgli style. Ever since then he’s alternated between the three: traditional crawling, Mowgli crawling and body dragging. When he wants to get somewhere really fast, like Daddy’s shoes, the open dishwasher, or a power cord, he always reverts to the body-drag. He pummels his body through the room with so much effort, I almost feel bad carrying him away from the cat bowl, undoing all his effort by just taking a few steps across the room.
Early this month David fell into an amazing sleep schedule. He was sleeping until 7 a.m. and taking 1.5 hour naps twice a day. I was thrilled because, SLEEP! We finally nailed it!
But, remember? Everything is a phase with babies.
After about a week David started waking up at 6:30. 6. 5:30. Oh my goodness, please let this be a phase. And I know there are people in the world, normal people, who get up at 5:30 because they want to, but I am not one of those people. Did you hear that young man?
I hung towels in his windows to block out the sunlight, but he wasn’t tricked.
We have a nickname for David, one I haven’t mentioned here before, and I’m not sure why because we use it as much as we use his name. We call him Doodle, and alternately Doodledog, Doodlebug, etc. Tom’s cousin visited last weekend, and when their daughter (David’s second cousin, is that right, Rachel?) heard us say Doodle, she called David, “Cock-a-Doodledog.”
We can’t think of a more appropriate name, particularly at 5:30 in the morning.
David has always liked when I make certain sounds. He liked “boop” for a while, then it was a high-pitched dog sound. Now he loves smacking his lips. Unlike the lip-smacking that would get you in trouble at the dinner table, it’s a cute, popping sound. And he loves when Tom and I do it. Tom plays hide and seek with him by leaving the room and making the noise. Regardless of what David is doing, the moment Tom smack his lips, David freezes and starts looking for Daddy.
David’s separation anxiety has gotten so much better, but we’ve noticed he’s more aware of strangers and uncomfortable situations. He’s started making this face, a face that looks like a worried smile (He’s sort of doing it in the photo above). It’s the sort of face reserved for comments like, “Wow. Your nose job looks greeeeat.”
I took him to an ice cream party earlier this month. There were kids and hula hoops and moms corralling toddlers, and he made the face the whole time. It’s his way of saying, “Hello, nice to meet you. And, Mommy? If you put me down I will call the authorities. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about the morning I wore mis-matched pajamas and a doggy hat just because YOU THOUGHT IT LOOKED FUNNY.”
David still has just two teeth, and while I’m not looking forward to having a teething baby in the house, I am looking forward to more food options have when he has more teeth. David will not let me feed him with a spoon; he only eats food he can pick up off his tray. It means less work for me, but the number of foods a person can eat only two teeth is limited.
It helps that he isn’t picky. As long as I don’t try to feed him, he’ll eat lentils, broccoli, green beans, hummus (on a pita), ground beef, chicken, and almost any fruit; especially prunes. Once we had macaroni and cheese and eventually I had to stop giving it to him because I just didn’t think a 10-month old should eat an entire box of macaroni and cheese.
I love that David can pull up, but it’s caused some complications that I didn’t foresee. I was prepared for having to move things higher and higher out of his reach and that he would turn everyday items into death traps.
What I wasn’t prepared for is what this new skill would do to his sleeping. Before, if David woke up way too early from a nap, I’d let him fuss a little and he’d (usually) go back to sleep. Now, as soon as he wakes up, he stands up and starts wailing. When I finally go into his room, he’s standing up and resting his head on his crib in despair that should be saved for when I tell him he’s not allowed to date until he’s 30.
I know he needs more sleep, but I’m not convinced he knows how to sit down. In fact, I blame his entire new sleeping pattern on pulling up. Perhaps he’d figure it out on his own if I just left him alone and let him cry, but I’m a softie. I just can’t handle the screaming, the tears, the snot running down his nose as he chokes on his own breath.
Last week, after waking up at 5:30 a.m., David refused to take a morning nap. I did everything I could. I let him cry, I nursed him twice, I took him out of the crib and started all over again. Finally, I gave up and while he played on the floor I called Tom and Googled “when do babies give up their morning naps?” Then I e-mailed my friends and asked them to pray for me. Then, with nothing left to do, I sat on the floor and cried.
Does that sound dramatic to you? DOES IT?
It sounds dramatic to me, too. But it didn’t at the time.
This parenting thing? It’s tough. Especially when it starts at 5:30 a.m.
But we’re getting there. One day at a time.
We’ve had so much fun this month, we went on road trips and visited friends and went swimming in a swimming pool. Well, I’ve got news for you, this is called summer, and it’s awesome. Would you like to know something else people like to do in the summertime? They like to sleep in, son.
The summer is about to get much more awesome because you’re about to meet a LOT of new cousins. Your brand new baby girl cousin will be born any day now, and in week you’ll meet your cousins who live in Taiwan.
We’re always comparing you to other members of the family. You’re bald like your mommy, hate to snuggle like your daddy, and love watermelon just like Mimi. But if I’ve learned anything about you this month it’s that you’ve got a personality that’s all your own.
It might sound silly, but when you were brand new and my days and nights were filled with nursing and diapers, it was hard to remember that you were more than just something to take care of. Now it seems like I’m learning more about you every day. You’re always moving, determined, ticklish, lip-smacking and delightful. I used to just be excited about you getting bigger and more sturdy, and now I’m just enjoying watching you turn into the person God made you to be.
I love you so much, Cock-a-Doodledog,