Wednesday, February 06, 2008

River News: Month Ten

Note to my lovely readers:

Sorry I've been so remiss with my posting duties. I spent a really fantastic long weekend with my best friend Jenn in the Berkshires at a yoga retreat (Crystal, then Thom, came along and were real champs taking care of River). We were extremely busy breathing, eating, and sitting in the sauna, so you understand why this is late. I wrote this post a few days before River's ten month b-day, and it already feels like I could add a novel to it, but I'll just have to save it for next month.

My handsome, handsome boy,

Every day I seem to find a new nickname for you, and I wonder if you'll go through your formative years thinking your name is Biver or Pook. Well, you've earned a new one this month: Beaver. Your auntie strapped that one firmly to your little person after you bit off a huge chunk of her wood coffee table.

As much as you do like a good gnaw these days, you're much less inclined to stick something new straight in your mouth. Your sense of touch and smell seem to be expanding, so you've learned some other ways of exploring.

This is the month I have finally (almost nearly) baby-proofed this place. The big project was locking up those cabinets and drawers you love so much. We've reserved you one cabinet in the kitchen full of fun plastic colanders and utensils, but those bathroom drawers--with their toxic hair gels and q-tips--are decidedly verboten. Of course, you'll always be able to find something you're not allowed to get into. But I think it's important to teach you that there are certain things off limits to you and that I'm not going to cage them (or you) in just because you're a baby.

It's not always easy, especially since one of your favorite activities is destroyong things. We stack blocks, you knock them down. We put puzzles together, you take them apart. We build train tracks, you trample them like godzilla. You pull books off shelves, dump toy boxes out, unroll toilet paper, turn bowls of cheerios over... You live to create chaos from order.

We've always tried to let you take the lead in deciding how you want to play, but you've really upped the game this month. You love to play chase and tickle games and you're very clear about initiating them. It always starts with you heading toward the dining room table. Halfway there, you'll peek back to see if we're watching, then off you go. We follow you under, winding in and out of chairs and table legs, making scary monster noises while you laugh and laugh. Of course, we have to catch you and tickle you or the game isn't as much fun, and you give ample opportunity for that.

When you're not running around, you are eating! You've had a real growth spurt this month, and we seem to be constantly shoveling food into your mouth. You love anything from our plate and anything you can pick up yourself. It's a struggle to figure out what I can make that will be both healthy for you and tasty for the rest of us. It's meant adding a few more soft canned veggies to the table than I like, but we're making it work.

We take you out to restaurants quite a bit these days, and though it's never mess-free or easy, you are very content most of the time. I always laugh when strangers come up to me and say what a "good baby" you are. It's a bit of a silly idea, that someone your age could be good or bad. You're simply happy. Your daddy suggested the next time I'm given the "good baby" line I should say, "That's because we ply him with liquor before we go out."

We've been doing lots of fun activities this month. Swim lessons, birthday parties, trips to the Children's Museum. You're so sociable and sweet to everyone; it's never stressful to take you out. We went to a fitness class this week and the only issue I had was keeping you from crawling over the other mommies and babies. Given the choice between that and a baby who stays glued to my side in fear, I'm really happy with the Pooker I got.

We have a nice little routine in the evening now. After your last nap in the afternoon, I'll get you up and put you in the highchair in the kitchen. You'll sit there happily munching on cheerios and watching me cook dinner for a good long time. We talk about what I'm doing and reminisce about our day, and then daddy comes home and you light up. There were so many months early on when I was just ragged by the end of the day, willing the clock to hit 6pm so I could get a break. I'm still tired at the end of the day, but I don't often feel desperate anymore. It's a wonderful thing these days, to share my time with you.

Well, I've saved the most significant news for last. You are finally finally sleeping through the night regularly. It took a bit of work, and you still fight us at bed times, but you are so much more likely to stay down for a long nap or a full night of sleep than you were just a few weeks ago. It's made everyone in this house so much happier. I just know you're going to feel so good and be healthier if you can keep it up. I feel lighter these days--less worried, less irritable. And I know it's the same for your dad. We need those hours to decompress, to rest, so that we can be good parents for you when we're together.

I love you love you love you my Pumpkin Doodle,

1 comment:

Mom said...

I love the monthly River News and pictures! Lots of happy news this month. Sleep and yoga, both good for the soul.

Can't wait to see you and hug and kiss my little man!