Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Hey! Watch out for those milestones!"

Sometimes I look at my giant, cooing baby and think, "How on earth did this happen?"  He's amazing.  Beyond his sheer size (weighing in at over one stone, for you measurement fans out there) Walter has gained so much these 2 months.  He's more adept with his hands and more coherently communicative every day.  The milestones are whizzing by and we barely have a chance to note them before we're on to the next big "first."

Holy roller!
This week we had a big one. On Tuesday morning I put Walter down on his activity mat for some tummy time and he immediately rolled over onto his back.  We blinked at each other for a few seconds, shocked. "That had to have been a fluke," I thought. "I must have given him a little push."  I picked him up and put him on his tummy again, grabbing a nearby camera to catch some of his impressive head-lifting.  And then he rolled over again!  This time there was no mistaking it: he'd gone from flat on his belly, to lifted up on his arms, to lifted up on one arm, a little push from that arm and ta daaaaa ... on his back.  Neither of us could believe it.  I gushed effusive congratulations; Walter smiled a bit, puckered his lips and said "Oh!"

I knew exactly what he meant. "OK!  Time to eat!" And it was.   Very effectively communicative, this boy.

Walter holding his own burp rag. Helpful!
On Wednesday morning I gazed at him expectantly, waiting for the next milestone to drop. "Mama?" I whispered hopefully. No doing. He wouldn't roll over again, either, preferring to crumple into a heap and wail every time he was put on his belly.  "Too much pressure!" he cried.  Very communicative, like I said. I put him down on his back in his play yard for a moment, hoping he'd doze off for a bit.  I put a burp rag down next to him, at the ready for pre-nap spitting.  Then I watched as he very deliberately grabbed the rag, brought it to his mouth, and spit up onto it.  "What a smart baby!" I said, very pleased.  Then he put the wet part of the rag into his mouth and started to suck on it. "What a ... good baby," I said, grossed out. "It must be time to eat!" And it was.  That's how all my stories end, I'm noticing.  You don't get to weigh one stone by sleeping through meals!

Oh, sleeping.  Speaking of milestones, Walter started sleeping 5-7 hours a night very early on, with a few bad nights here and there of constant waking and eating.  Now the bad nights have become the norm, maybe from not being swaddled anymore, or that cold he's still getting over, or maybe another growth spurt, or all of the above, or something else entirely.  He hasn't told us what's going on. All I know is that I'm glad today is my day off from work and I'm wondering how Sean is going to function at all at work today (my guess: sleepily.)

Tomorrow is Sean's last day at work before 6 weeks of paternity leave.  He'll be getting Walt's room ready (where Walt will sleep independently through the night very soon.  Yes, he will!) and gradually introducing the little guy to daycare.  That means more hours at the office for me.  I'm glad and looking forward to it--being a pastor is has become a big part of my identity, a part I missed dearly during maternity leave.  Our pediatrician is a fan of daycare, too: good for socialization, development, immunity, etc. In some ways, it's hard to think about having so few waking hours with Walt each day, and to know that Sean and I will miss many of his next "firsts."  But, just as I'm sure he will roll over again (or, you know, skip right to walking) I'm sure we'll make good and loving use of the time we have together, continuing to be amazed by our Scooter.

Pictures (lots of them, great ones) from Christmas are posted here. And now I'm off to put the baby on his tummy again!

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