Well, let’s see. This month you had your first Thanksgiving dinner at Eric and Jill’s. You caught a nasty cold and then gave it to your Mom and me. You developed a bit of separation anxiety. And it feels like I’m forgetting something. Something… Ah, yes, now I remember. You started crawling. Honestly, you develop these new abilities overnight, like there’s no learning curve at all. One minute you’re not able to do something, and the next minute you’re doing it all the time, and looking at us like it’s no big deal, you’ve always done this, and you’re not sure why we’re making such a fuss over it.
You might remember that last month I said you were getting up onto your hands and knees, where you would rock back and forth, but you weren’t crawling yet. Well, a couple of weeks ago, you figured it out. Your mom called me at work to tell me that you had crawled a little bit to get at a toy, so when I got home, I put you down on the floor and sat a few feet away with one of your favorite toys. You started laughing and got right onto your hands and knees and took a few “steps” forward, and then stretched out onto your belly to grab the toy.
You’ve got the idea, but you’re still working out the details, especially of what to do with your knees. You’ve totally got the idea of putting one hand in front of the other, but pulling those knees forward seems to be a bit of a struggle, and you rarely go more than two or three steps before you lay down on your belly. Still, I’ve seen you do that three or four times in a row to get at a toy that’s outside your range, or crawl from the couch to the armchair in the living room, in a few attempts.
I’m sure you’ll figure it out soon, and right now your mom and I are enjoying the calm before the storm — our last days of knowing that if we set you down somewhere, you’ll still be in that area a few minutes later. Your cousin Milo will be here later today, and he’s a champion crawler, and is even working towards walking, so who knows, it might not even last the day, but this crawling-in-bursts has been a fun little unexpected moment on your path to mobility.
This month you’ve developed a bit of separation anxiety with your mom and me. Sometimes you’re fine, especially if you’re distracted or busy playing with something, but if you’re a bit tired or hungry, or if things aren’t quite right, and your mom or I walk away from you, you will suddenly burst into tears. We try to talk to you from where we are (usually the kitchen while you’re playing in the living room), and sometimes hearing our voices helps, but in general, if we’re out of sight, you’re upset. Of course, you stop crying immediately if we come back and pick you up. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is just a short phase, or if it keeps going.
I’m not sure whether it started this month, or I’m just noticing it now, but you’ve definitely become attached to your routine. You’re used to certain things happening at certain times, and if we miss something, you get noticeably grumpier — although you’re such an easygoing and pleasant baby that I hesitate to even use the “G” word. For example, your mom usually lets you play for an hour or two in the morning, and then puts you in the front-pack around 10am for a nap. This morning your mom was at the Chiropractor, and Grandma Amy and I were taking care of you, and around 10am, suddenly you were not happy with anything other than being held, and every time I set you down, you would start fussing and reaching out for me until I picked you back up. Once your grandma got you in the front-pack, though, you were perfectly happy, and even took a little nap while she took her dog for a walk.
I also mentioned last month that you were sleeping poorly, and we weren’t sure why. Well, it was two things. First of all, you caught a cold (more on that in a minute), and secondly, you were indeed teething again. Sometime last week after the worst of your cold passed, your second bottom front tooth broke through. I spotted it by accident one morning and all the pieces suddenly snapped together in my mind, that of course you were teething the last few weeks. I just hope that you getting sick just before each tooth broke through is a coincidence, and not the start of a pattern. You’ve got 18 teeth to go, and I’m not sure I’m up for you having a horrible throat cold every few weeks for the foreseeable future.
The cold was about the same as last time you were sick. You started with a really runny nose and watery eyes for a few days, and the difficulty breathing meant that you were eating and sleeping poorly. That passed pretty quickly, and the last several days have just been lingering symptoms like a slight cough and a wheeze when you breathe. The worst part, honestly, was that your mom almost immediately caught the cold, so I’ve been sleeping in the basement for the last week, first in a (futile) attempt to stay healthy, and then just to get a solid night of sleep so I could keep working. Lucky for me, I can work from home, but it was still a horrible few days, and I’m only just now getting over it. Altogether, I think we went through two big boxes of kleenex in one week.
On a more pleasant note, there were a few other things you did this month for the first time, and three of them happened yesterday. First of all, I came to bed to wake you and your momma up, and you hadn’t seen much of me the last few days because of the colds, so you were very happy and spent several minutes grabbing at my beard and laughing when I kissed you. Then, just like you did to your mom, you grabbed my face and gave me a big open-mouth kiss on my nose. I know I said this last month, but I love that you’re old enough now to be able to express your feelings a bit.
The second thing is that Daniel came to visit, and while he was sitting on the floor, you crawled over to him, and climbed up onto his knees so he would pick you up, which he was happy to do. Your mom and I were pretty surprised, because you had never done that before. Usually if you want us to pick you up, you just fuss a bit and hold your arms out to us, so it was a pleasant surprise to see you casually pull yourself up on someone.
The third thing is that you started imitating us for the first time. You had discovered earlier in the day how to smack your lips, and you were absent-mindedly doing it while I was holding you, so I did it also, and you looked at me in complete surprise, and then very deliberately smacked your lips three times. I did it back three time, and we went back and forth for several minutes. You were still doing it at the bottom of the stairs as I spoke to your mom while she got ready to nurse you down for the night, responding to me at the top of the stairs.
It was especially cute because after the first time, like I mentioned above, you acted like it was no big deal, we’ve always done this thing where you imitate me. You weren’t even making eye contact by the end. You would be looking away, watching one of the cats or something, but still smacking your lips every time I did.
I love you, baby girl!
- Your Dad