Big change this past weekend. Our child who, to date, gagged every time food with the smallest shred of texture hit the back of his throat, decided to happily stuff handfuls of Cheerios down his throat, feed himself bits of chopped avocado and scrambled egg, and also made quick work of a whole nectarine. Wonders will never cease.
Tau is also standing and trying to cruise holding onto furniture but his legs are not quite stable enough to allow him to do that. Hold each of his hands and encourage him to walk, however, and the face lights up like it’s Christmas and he’ll take a few very wobbly steps. He gets so excited about walking, though, that he loses focus immediately, his legs crumple and he ends up back on the floor. Tau is also trying valiantly to climb the stairs — he maneuvers up one or two with great effort and then the belly gets stuck on a step and the protesting begins!
About sleep: After a string of ear infections and a month-long bout of coughing when we found it easiest to rock him to sleep in the evenings, we are now teaching Tau to go down in his crib on his own. So we get him good ‘n sleepy and then put him in his crib. The parents reading this are smiling … Uh huh! As soon as his back hits the sheet, cha-ching! He’s up and it’s time to party again. So we leave him up there in his crib for 5 minutes and come back to much wailing and a little boy standing up in the crib hanging pitifully onto the bars (but, of course, big grins when you come into the room). And we lay him back down, pat the back and talk soothingly and then leave for 10 minutes … come back to little-standing-up boy, only complaining mildly this time, mind you. So we lay him down again, give him his lion, pat and soothe, say goodnight again … and so it goes. Eventually, he gets the idea and just goes to sleep. It takes 20-30 minutes but it works, and the idea is that eventually he’ll go to sleep sooner rather than later. We’ll see how that goes. One great benefit of this approach is that one of us doesn’t have to spend half an hour rocking him to sleep and we can actually finish cooking and have dinner while he is putting himself down. He knows we’re there because he can hear us talking downstairs — he’s just determined to prolong play a little longer than is good for him. Once Tau is asleep, he is G-O-N-E for the night, which is wonderful after a couple months of getting up 2-3 times a night with him coughing.
And we are finally done with breastfeeding – YAY! So now once Dave and I have showered and dressed, we get Tau up and whoever is taking him to daycare that day gets him a bottle. He sits in his highchair and sucks that thing down in two seconds flat! Then it’s off to daycare — to teachers Miss Jessica and Miss Denise, and buddies Hanna, Brynnie, Jason and Dillon, and new additions to the infant room, Ryan and Megan. At daycare, Tau typically gets cereal from Jessica straight away and a mid-morning bottle, has a bit of play time and then goes down for a short nap. Lunch is around Noon, followed by a few more hours of play, a mid-afternoon bottle and then usually a good 2-hour nap. We pick him up just after 5 p.m. from Denise and are home to get dinner in him by 5:45.
We are pretty thrilled with the care Tau gets at daycare – the teachers are totally devoted to the infants, and pay very close attention to developmental stuff and teaching their babies new skills. They are also excellent at communicating with parents. Knowing that they’ll call the second something is up allows us to go to work without any worries. Summertime Fridays are kinda special at daycare because of Splash Time. The teachers add a couple inches off water to the plastic pool, pop the kids in swimsuits, sun glasses (for fun pictures) and Hawaiian flower leis around their necks, and it pretty much becomes a wet free for all in that room! An aside: Tau still has a problem with spitting up food and milk. Jessica explained the golden rule to us a couple weeks back: Splash time is over when Tau pukes in the pool!
Our recent trip up to Canada for Dave’s birthday illustrated the difference between traveling with a 3-month old (as we did to Africa) and a 10-month old toddler wannabe. During the almost-24 hours of flying to SA, he did little more than eat, sleep and fill diapers. Not a peep out of him. But did you know: The supreme purpose of a 4-hour flight to Canada is scaling the mounds of your mother’s body so you can launch yourself over the top of her seat, grin and reach for the people sitting behind you. Again. And again. And again. Try to restrain a wriggly boy-child on an airplane, I dare you.
We also recently took Tau to Swami’s beach for the first time two weekends ago. Loved the sand, loved jumping in the waves, HATES having to wear a hat and sunscreen. It’s tough being 10 months old!