Monday, September 24, 2012

11 months

This morning, I walked in to PB's room and he stood up in his crib when he saw me. He'd been relaxing and babbling to himself, already awake but not feeling impatient. He reached up for me and I hefted him up and had the same thought I've been having each morning for the last couple of weeks: you're not a baby any more. PB is big. Picking him up is not like picking up a baby, it's like picking up a little kid. And now we're a few weeks away from a first birthday party, and he's starting to take steps and he's approximating words, and he's so much more like a walking, talking toddler than a little lump of a baby.

I don't get sad about this the way I thought I would. When I anticipate changes in him, I do get sad: I still remember thinking "I know I'm going to miss his gummy smile" when he'd beam at me around three months old. But then each thing I love about him gets replaced with something of equal or greater loveability. His toothy smile is adorable, and I love the way he plays with his teeth when he's eating, trying to chew a sweet pea with just his three lower teeth, for instance.

As we prepare to cross that one-year threshold, I find myself doing a lot more looking forward and a lot less looking back than I expected that I would. PB will always be my baby boy, even when he's 6'4" tall and can pick me up. So he doesn't have to remain an infant.

Weight: According to the scale at home, roughly 26 pounds.

Length: Tall.

What he's eating: He nurses in the morning and at bedtime. On weekdays he has three 5-ish ounce bottles during the day. And then he has 3 meals and the occasional afternoon snack. On weekends we still basically nurse on demand, bit it's about the same: 4 or 5 times a day, total.

Physical skills: He's practically walking. He will take about 2 steps unsupported, from the table to the couch, for instance. Much more than that and he falls down... which means he falls down all. the. time. I've seen him get frustrated about it a couple of time, which is a sign that he's about to take off, I think. If he wants to get somewhere in a hurry, he crawls, but he is really working hard on the walking.

He's also getting better at doing things like taking apart his Mega Blocks and he's starting to figure out how to put them together.

Teeth: That fourth one on the bottom still hasn't shown up.

Favorite toys: The remote control (DH found an old remote and took out the batteries, so now he plays with that), mega blocks, anything with wheels.

Verbal skills: He's playing with sounds a lot these days. Over Labor Day weekend, DH's mom was in town so we left PB with her for a day while we painted our kitchen (this was something we needed to do before the days started getting darker - the kitchen is so much brighter now!). Then we went to visit with various in-laws for a while after a long day of painting. When we walked in to the room, PB was standing up in front of a chair and looked at me, smiled, and yelled, "MAMA". The whole room stopped, and then everyone repeated it: "mama! He said mama." So I think that counts. He's also had a few moments with me when he's said (and, I think, asked for) "dada" or "daddy". Once was at bedtime about a week ago when I was nursing him. He heard footsteps in the hall outside his room, and he stopped nursing for a moment to listen, then looked at me and said, "daddy", and pointed toward his door. That level of comprehension and communication is pretty cool to see.   

I do think "mama" is sometimes his sound for milk, and sometimes for me, but half the time the desire for the two is basically the same thing.

Social skills: PB likes to point at things, and sometimes he'll point just so DH or I will turn to where he's pointing. He's mimicking us a lot these days, including doing a big, loud fake laugh if we laugh at something. So, sometimes I just fake laugh to make him fake laugh.

Sleep: It got much cooler this week, and PB started pretty consistently sleeping through the night, 7:30pm to 6:30am, once it cooled down. I'm not sure if the correlation indicates causation, but I'm sure cooler weather and snuggly pajamas don't hurt. Except for one recent rough night (teeth? Overstimulation because my parents were staying with us? A random day? Who knows?) last weekend, he's sleeping either all night long or with one wakeup at 5am for nursing. 

His naps have just shifted completely: about a week and a half ago, DH told me he put PB down for his morning nap, and the kid just didn't sleep. By the normal time of his afternoon nap, he was beat. After a couple of days of transition, PB is now down to one nap that starts around 11:30 or noonish and is generally around 3 hours long (unless he poops himself awake, which happened yesterday). This has shifted our schedule so we can't really be out and about at lunch time any more, but that isn't a huge deal.

New category! Potty time: We know a couple of people who have done the potty training boot camp 3 day process, and it sounded both exhausting and ineffective. One of the moms involved said potty training (using the 3-day program) was the absolute worst thing about parenting for her. So I asked myself: "what is the opposite of that approach?" and without too much effort I found a wealth of information about what is variously called Elimination Communication or Early Potty Training or the like. We checked out Diaper Free Before Three from the library, and DH and I both read it. We like the approach and the philosophy fits with our lives. So we're trying it.

Side note: My mother has already pretty much told me I'm stupid for doing this, but I think she sees this as a referendum on how she potty trained us. Note to grandparents: it's not. There's more than one way to parent and most of them are fine.

Anyway, the gist of this is, we have a little potty chair (like this one) and a few weeks ago we started sitting PB on the potty a few times a day when we change his diaper. This is nice because it gives one the chance to tidy up a bit and prepare the clean diaper while PB sits and "reads" a book or plays with a toy. In his usual easygoing fashion, he enjoys sitting on the potty. He's taken a pee in the potty a few times now, and each time he's been praised, but there's really no pressure to do anything at this stage in the game: we're just getting him comfortable with the potty and showing him that this is what folks do in the bathroom. (We had already moved his whole diaper-changing station in to the bathroom, so we were unwittingly primed for this)

Frankly, if we do things this way and it takes a year and a half to have him fully "trained", that is completely cool by me, because this doesn't feel like training, it's just establishing another pleasant little routine in PB's day (The book claims kids will be fully trained by 18 months! But the book was written to... sell books). My aim is to avoid tantrums, battles, screaming, and feces everywhere, all of which is the experience of folks I know who have done (and redone and re-re-done) the boot camp thing. So, pleasant potty time is here for now, and I suspect it's for keeps in our household.