Why “Now” is the best age
Is there a bad age for a baby? Each step has been a fascination for me, an experiment in what it is to become one. A person. A being. To develop a personality. And so far it’s felt quicker than a roller coaster ride, even though it’s been almost a whole year that my little L has been my little man. Over the past week L has been abuzz with activity. Maybe he realizes that he’s heading up into his first birthday, so he better get a move-on with baby stuff before he’s officially a toddler.
First of all, his eating routines have gotten so much more grown up. In other words, he’s become an absolute mess! Food everywhere, thrown on the floor, on his hands, his clothes. It makes too much laundry if you ask me. But for having bemoaned his lack of interest in purees or anything chewable, all of a sudden I am flummoxed by not being prepared for his ravenous, if inconsistent, appetite. My little L loves things he can chew and definitely knows the difference between teh “baby” food (all of my purees) and grown up food, like breads, yogurt, cheeses, chicken pieces, hummus. Flavor is his best friend, and don’t even try to give him rice cereal. It just plain won’t work. But give him a slice of wheat bread (he even doesn’t mind a little seediness to the bread) and slather on some homemade hummus, and little L will chew, slurp, and gobble with the best of them. His grandparents are amazed by how he will open his mouth so willingly for yogurt when he used to shut it entirely for his baby applesauce. Guess I can’t get anything past him . . except for the same good old home cooking that I like to eat! I had a good time today cleaning up his table from the water, apple slices, chicken puree, cheese, and water-soaked bread that were covering it. Good times.
And the wiggleworm moves and moves and moves. Changing his diapers has become nearly impossible because he wriggles so much. I teased my mom last week for the way his diapers were appearing, because they were all bunched up on one side, and then I realized that I was having the same difficulties changing him. The minute his diaper is off he’s already turned over, reaching for the soap dish near his changer, crawling up and grabbing the mirror, and basically making a run for it. It takes everything in me to get him into a position where I can change his diaper, and believe me it becomes that much harder using cloth. It’s all about position and timing.
I can’t explain the feeling of how he is changing except that he Just. Plain. Is. Before, he didn’t cruise. Now he does, and he does it so well. I can’t pinpoint when a change happen. Suddenly he did not and suddenly he does. I had the same feeling when he got that viral infection a few months ago, when before my husband and my very eyes he was developing a rash all over his body. Now I know how disconcerting it is to see these sudden appearances and not be able to pinpoint what is happening when, because it all seems to be happening at the same time, it just depends on where I am looking. It feels like an uncertainty principle, where the very act of monitoring one variable interferes with whatever else I am tracking.
Oh the movement. When L walks holding onto our hands he hardly puts any weight on me; he just uses me for stability. Now when I put him down on one side of the room, before I know it he is already on the other side of the room, whether he got there from crawling, walking, throwing himself wherever he could. His crawl amazes us. His grandparents call it “unique.” He goes from whatever position he is in and uses his hands to push himself up, and then sort of goes into a modified downward facing dog. One leg (the right one) is up, attempting to help him crawl, and he sort of drags the left leg which he keeps in a seated position. It’s like he is scooting if you see him from the left, and he is crawling if you see it from the right. Now I’m a pediatrician and I don’t even know if this is normal, but when he gets up and walks everything seems symmetric so I think it’s just him.
And handedness, which I have learned from pediatrics isn’t something a child should readily develop, seems to be clearly evident in my little one, who holds up his right index finger whenever he looks at everything. How he points and looks. Eh! Gah! He definitely uses the right hand a lot! But his left hand is useful as well; I shouldn’t try to pretend it isn’t. For example, it is very useful for pinching his mom’s skin while she is trying to breastfeed him. And boy is it painful!
There is so much I want to write, but alas so many things I want to do this afternoon in the brief solace while he is still napping. We completed his birthday invitations and sent them off to the printer. Now there is only packing for our Christmas trip and holiday baking to do . . . which both seem pretty intimidating right now! Toodles!