Maeve: Ten Months
Whoo hoo — double digits! Not that the single digits weren’t exciting, but somehow it looks more prestigious to say you are 10 months old.
As always, the last month was a whirlwind of firsts and fun. The biggest of which was you learning to pull yourself up on things. One minute you were staring at your musical activity table from the floor and the next you were slooooowly pulling yourself up to standing. Now, it’s all you want to do. I find you standing at the toybox, throwing items out on to the floor, quite often. But I occasionally also find you stuck upside down IN the toybox because you have reached in juuust a little too far. And within days of learning to stand and play, you started cruising along the furniture. You’re still more in line with a snail than a cheetah in terms of speed, but I see you getting faster every day. And frankly, it scares me.
You’re also rarely content to have anyone feed you anymore. You’re all about the table food and some of your favorites include turkey, cheese, bread, pita, hummus, squash, black beans, rice, puffs and cereal bars. You’ll tolerate one jar of baby food at a time, but usually only if we follow it up with the good stuff, aka baby yogurt. Meal times are so funny because you peek around your high chair and won’t let me out of your sight while I get your food ready. I’m pretty sure you think I’m trying to starve you by taking longer than necessary, but I assure you, I am moving as fast as I can. And your disinterest in anything you don’t feed yourself also extends to the boob. You’ve become an extremely impatient breastfeeder, refusing to settle down for more than three or four minutes at a time. I figure you know when you’re done, but this is a little ridiculous.
Of course you are more than happy to latch on for a little longer than that in the middle of the night. You had been sleeping through the night for several weeks, but another first — your first ear infection — disrupted that awesomeness. You were back to waking two or three times a night, and because you were sick, I didn’t have the heart to make you cry it out. But now that you’re healthy again, we’re taking the hardline approach.
I’m not going to lie to you, it wasn’t all bad having you sleep next to me for a few nights. You look so sweet lying on your tummy, with your hands up under your face and your butt in the air. And when you wake me up by sitting up and banging on my face with your hands and laughing, it’s hard to be mad. But I know we’ll both be better-rested sleeping in our own beds.
Being sick dampened your spirits somewhat. You just weren’t your usual happy self, instead you were clingy and prone to crying and just generally unhappy. Sure, there were flashes of smiles and fun, but mostly, you were pretty sad. But once your fever finally broke after five days, and we got you on a different antibiotic, you were back to smiling and giggling and being your normal happy self. I was so glad to see my Maeve again.
Your increased mobility and newfound reach means you have access to the big kids’ toys. Emmie spends half her day running around moving toys to higher spaces and the other half yelling, “Nononononono Maeve. That’s mine! You can’t have it!” Jack, on the other hand, prefers the old bait and switch. He’ll show you a toy and when you reach for it, will laugh and say, “That’s not for you!” We’re such gifted sharers around here. I’m so proud. But whenever Jack and Emmie aren’t around, which is rare, but not unheard of, I let you slobber over any of their stuff that you want. Granted, some of it really is off limits to you, but if it’s not dangerous, I’ll usually give you free reign. Despite their less-than-stellar records when it comes to the art of sharing, you adore them. And they love to be around you and make you laugh. Just last week Emmie was showing you her babies and telling you how to play a princess game, and Jack was playing a bizarre game of whole-body peek-a-boo that had you both belly-laughing. I can’t wait to see what alliances develop among the three of you, because as of right now, I still think it’s every kid for himself.
Your allegiance right now, however, is definitely pledged to me. I mean Daddy is great fun, but it’s Mommy who makes your dreams come true. You sob when I leave your sight, even for a minute sometimes, which makes it a little difficult to get things done. And then half the time, you don’t really want me anyway. So you push away from me. But then you cry because I’m not holding you. And when I pick you up again, you throw yourself backward and howl in protest. It really makes for some fun times.
I know the push/pull is all part of this age. You are asserting your independence, but you’re freaked out because you realize you’re not connected to me. It’s totally normal and I am happy to help you explore, reset and explore again. I’m not happy to bring you into the actual shower with me every morning, however, so you’re really going to need to work on amusing yourself in the exersaucer for 10 minutes. But other than that, we’re good. I figure it’s good practice for the future. You know, when you beg to walk to school, but really still want me to drop you off with a kiss and a hug at the door. Or when you go off to college, but still need my checkbook. But don’t worry, just like I am now, I’ll always be there for you.