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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 16 - May 4, 2009
Independence Day

WillThere are times when I look at our son and think, "Wow, he is not a baby anymore!"

Of course, I know that eight months still qualifies as an infant and that Will is most certainly a baby by definition. But when I think back to those early newborn days, I can hardly reconcile in my mind that he is the same little guy. He is laughing, smiling, teasing, talking, rolling, almost-crawling, eating, playing with toys, and just generally becoming more and more of his own person each and every day.

When I say talking, Will is quite the jabberer. Most of what comes out of his mouth is just the random vowel and consonant combination of early language development. But boy, does he like to jabber! He also loves it when Mike and I mimic his sounds, whatever they might be. The only problem with this game is that he likes to raise the noise level with each imitation, so it can get quite loud. He certainly doesn't understand the difference between indoor and outdoor voices yet. At home, I like to encourage this game, even if it does almost get to a shouting match, but today while we were out grocery shopping, I realized that while we might find his loud gibberish amusing, I highly doubt it is an opinion shared by all. We did get a lot of smiles and comments about his "talking," so hopefully, we won't get kicked out of public spots yet. He does have two intelligible words: Dadda and nana. I don't think either are actually attached to a meaning, yet, he just likes the way that they sound. I am looking forward to a Mama one of these days. He does make a cute kissing sound with his lips, although I don't think he equates it with kissing. No, when he wants to "kiss," he grabs your face with both hands and comes at you, mouth open, ready to slobber. It's so very cute!

We play a lot of games together in addition to the mimicking game. He adores peek-a-boo and is quite clever at looking around things for the missing object, whether it's a toy, piece of clothing, or a familiar face. He loves to "sing" and read together. He has a book where he can identify the various body parts on a baby and at the end, there is a mirror, and he gets all excited to kiss the baby in the book. There are slobber marks all over the mirror!

Crawling still eludes him. I was starting to get kind of worried, as most of my friends' babies seemed to be more mobile by this point, but the pediatrician said he is still well within the ranges of normal and that some babies don't crawl until 10 or 11 months. A couple of weeks ago, he finally got the idea of getting onto all fours and rocking. He can skootch backward and he does a kind of commando/inchworm crawl to get where he wants to go, so I have confidence that a true crawl is only a few days or weeks in the future. He loves to stand up by holding on to things such as any willing adult, an activity table, or coffee table. He can't pull himself up, so you have to position him, but then he can stand for a long time, working on balance.

He loves stacking toys right now. Well, he doesn't love the actual stacking, but he loves it if a willing person stacks the blocks up so that he can knock them down! He also likes to dump toys out of containers and delights in making the most mess possible. Gee, loves to yell and make a mess . . . I think I am in trouble!

WillSleep, ah, blessed sleep! He has been sleeping great since he learned that he prefers tummy sleeping. I will have to admit a case of the nerves about it, but our pediatrician said as long as we still put him to bed on his back, if he rolls himself over, we don't have to flip him back. He used to roll over about an hour in to his night sleep, but now, the minute you put him on his back, he rolls right over, grabs his nighttime pal, Monkey, and goes right to sleep.

He even slept through the night for his grandma Jan when he spent the first night away from us last Saturday. It was truly an Independence Day all around. The longest we had ever been apart prior to that night was five hours, so it was quite a stretch for me to go a whole 24. But it was our six year wedding anniversary and high time we had an adult night to ourselves. We ate lunch AND dinner out, shared a bottle of wine, and stayed a really nice hotel with a giant soaking tub that I spent a lot of time in. It was pure heaven to take a bath and not have to keep an ear out for a baby. I haven't had a full bath (where you get to stay in until you are all pruny and the water is cold) for months.

Grandma Jan had been begging for a night of fun with her grandson. She was pretty exhausted when it was over, but she said it was a fun time. I think we did pretty admirably for our first time away. I packed way too many things and enough food to feed him for a week or more (not an exaggeration, it was slightly ridiculous), but I think that was my way of preparing all of us for the separation. The end result of my (over) preparation was that I was really able to enjoy my time away and know that he had everything that he needed. I didn't even call one time - though I did break down and send a text message to make sure he had gone down smoothly for the night, but I still think that was pretty good!

~ Katie

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