The Baby is officially walking. Not all the time, because he has a few months of experience with crawling and can get to the cat food or the toilet way quicker on four legs, but he can now push himself to standing unaided and toddle several steps. I am so proud, and so delighted, and so terrified. Time really moves at a strange pace once you have children.
The Political Awakening
Speaking of baby steps, my progress on the Progressive Moms Project is moving along, and I have only cried two more times over the election since my last post. (Honestly, though, having something to do other than wallow feels really good.)
I’ve gotten lots of good suggestions and have been brainstorming a list into fruition. I’m leaning toward choosing a topic each month to educate myself on and focus most of my actions around. I hope to publish the list, at least one that covers the next 6-12 months, this week.
While the list comes together, I thought I’d share just a few posts from other moms and bloggers in the wake of the election that resonated with me:
The Baby turns one on December 25th! (Unbelievable!) We are planning a birthday open house smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which we’re also hosting (because I was hoping to end the year with a stress-induced ulcer). I’ve trawled Pinterest for ideas, naturally. Because I love puns, I settled on a Winter Onederland theme with lots birch bark and cardinals as the primary aesthetic, to match our woodsy surroundings. Here’s a snapshot of the invitation I designed:
Bonus book recommendation: I haven’t had time to read much, and it’s long past “summer reading“, but I just finished reading Station Eleven (to the detriment of laundry during yesterday’s nap) and I highly recommend it. Why do I find post-apocalyptic literature comforting right now? I don’t know, but I do!
The Baby celebrated turning seven months old yesterday by perfecting his brand-new skill of pulling himself to stand in his play yard (read: baby jail) and taking his first standing up dump. (Sorry, grown up The Baby. Sometimes you have to overshare. You’re welcome I don’t use your name.)
In the same vein as my other milestone posts, here’s a quick stream of consciousness list about this particular moment in our lives.
Seven things about seven months
The past two or three weeks have been the developmental equivalent of a bullet train. The Baby has gone from sitting up and scooting a little to full on crawling, getting to sit up on his own and then pulling himself to standing whenever he can. He also has four teeth now.
This burst of development means I’m locked in a babyproofing arms race. He’s no longer content for very long to hang out in one (safe) place and play with toys, so much of my time is spent following him around the house while he conducts and ever more alarming complimentary babyproofing audit of his surroundings.With the speed and fervor of a predator on the hunt, he crawls from the top of the basement stairs (baby-gated) to the cord of a lamp (now stashed behind a piece of furniture) to a fistful of dog hair (forever a losing battle) to the bedroom wastebasket (just generally dump-able and full of trash). We’ve taken swapped out most of the outlet covers with these, and now that our house is no longer an active construction site I’m getting caught up on general decluttering and keeping the floor cleanish, but this upcoming weekend will be spent strapping all our furniture to the walls and likely banishing our never-used TV to the basement since it’s an extreme tipping hazard.
Because that’s not exhausting enough, he’s paired it with the two filthiest words in parenting: sleep regression.I’ve done minimal research on sleep regression (some sources deny its existence/link to particular times in a baby’s life?) but I guarantee it’s happening right now. While I used to be able to put him down drowsy for naps, he now must be fully out before I lay him in his crib or I have to start over again. Naps that were stretching to 1.5-2 hours at a time without interruption have gone back to the dreaded 50-minutes-then-come-rock-me-back-to-sleep variety, every single time. I have avoided nursing him to sleep at bedtime for months and months now, but he is insistent about it now. And, very worst of all, he is now waking up at 4 a.m. – not for a quick snack and to go back to sleep, but to nurse nonstop except for yelps and flailing and general disruption until we finally get out of bed at 6 a.m. Please, sleep gods, don’t let this last too long.
The babbling, oh the babbling! The baby’s favorite sound to make is MUH-MUH-MUH-MUH-MUH-MUH-MUH, that every so often truly sounds like he’s calling out for me. I know from hearing him say it as he rolls a truck across the floor or watch his mobile that he’s not really saying, “Mama,” but it’s a really endearing look into the future I can look forward to with a talking baby. His dad continues to read this book to him all the time, but I think I’m winning.
Eating is starting to look more like eating. We’ve been at the baby led weaning thing for just over a month now. The amount of food stuffed between his legs and seat or scattered across the floor or smeared into his hair, while still abundant, is starting to be slightly less than the amount of food we put in front of him. I have actually witnessed him chewing and swallowing food at just about every meal. I’m sure having four teeth helps a little bit. Even though it is truly a godawful mess, I’m really glad we went the BLW route. He gets to experience food through all his senses, which is probably pretty helpful for his raging development. He gets agency and independence to make decisions for himself. And it’s really fun to watch and share a meal with him. It also has forced us to eat way healthier and way more vegetables than we otherwise would.
Books – you can also look at them! The Baby’s approach to storytime has typically involved trying to get the book into his mouth, period. Aside from a couple favorite board books, he just wasn’t interested in hearing stories or looking at pictures. I ended up steering clear of all our non-board books because he’d just try to rip out the pages. It still depends on his mood, but more often than not at bedtime he will look at the pages while we read to him and even tries to turn the pages (on board books) without trying to rip the book out of our hands to shove it in his mouth. Here’s hoping he’ll become a voracious reader in the regular sense as he keeps growing.
I watched my first movie since becoming a mom. It seems absurd that it took me seven months to watch a movie, but there it is. The Husband and I have started watching an episode of TV on Hulu now and again once The Baby goes down, but Saturday night was our first time sitting next to each other on the couch (actually, our poor neglected dog lay in between us) and watching a full length movie. Yes, it involved rocking the baby back to sleep twice, but we did it. We even had popcorn and beer. It was like a vacation.
There you have it! My baby is torpedoing toward toddlerhood and I’m just trying to keep up.