Thursday, October 21, 2010

Smile and Wave


It was a hard week, last week. Zephyr started waking up from his morning nap after only 20 or 30 minutes. It went on for almost two weeks, and I was beginning to resign myself to the fact that he might be weaning himself down to one nap a day. It was too early for that! Most babies don't cut back to one nap until they're a year or so old. Zephyr hasn't hit any other milestones early, so why should this be any different?

When it started to cut into the rest of his day (fussiness mid-day, messed-up afternoon nap, fussy dinnertime, waking at night), I decided to try something different: I ignored Weissbluth's advice (gasp!). Instead of putting him down earlier - what, like I'm gonna put him down for his first nap at 8:00am? - I ignored the yawns and the slow-blinks for a half hour and put him down when he was really sleepy. Instead of nodding off on the breast, he got a little second wind and chatted in his crib for 5 minutes before drifting off. This worried me.

But then he slept for three hours.

Surely this was a fluke? Nope, he did it again in the afternoon, woke only once to nurse very early in the morning, and has been napping great all week after that. I had my baby back. Granted, Weissbluth also probably thinks that two 3-hour naps is too much daytime sleep for a kid Zephyr's age, but I've decided that he wouldn't sleep that long if he didn't need it. He plays hard, and he sleeps hard.

Cuteness of the week: after I set him in his crib and give him smooches on his head to wish him a nice nap, he stands up and makes the smoochy smacking sounds back at me. I'm so glad this has entered his vernacular! He still "kisses" by coming at my face with a wide-open mouth, but he'll put two and two together soon enough.

He has also learned how to wave "hello." Or rather, he points to the person he's greeting, and does the waving part by just opening and closing his fingers. It's so funny. When Scott gets home Boosh looks at him, looks at me, shrieks with laughter, then points/waves like "Whoa, there's Dada! Are you seeing this? Man, I love that guy!"

Okay, now, for real this time: his top left tooth is about to pop out. I can see the little white nub at the gumline. Would anyone like to place a wager on what day it will emerge? Can I get an over-under on this? I'm going to guess...December 1. No, but seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if he finally cuts it this weekend.

And godspeed to that tooth, because I'm starting to run out of ideas for what to feed him. He eats a lot of the same stuff all the time (beans, brown rice, oatmeal, cauliflower, carrots, squash, tofu, salmon, blueberries, greens). It's all good, healthy food, but I'm getting lazy now and occasionally feed him crap like macaroni and cheese from a box (I get the organic kind and add some vegetables, but still). I am such a hypocrite! But then I remember, oh yeah - I love boxed mac and chee, and 7-11 nachos, and chili dogs and all kinds of garbage food. As long as it's a rare treat and not his main fare, I guess I can let go of my healthy baby food dogma.

He gets into everything these days, and man, is he a fast crawler. We have finally given in and put up the nice things that I care about so he doesn't break them, and our living room is (more or less) a baby-proof playground.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Dance

Zephyr said a perfect "yeah" today, and in context and everything. But it was followed by his string of percussive mono-and disyllabic babymumbles, "op. ep. uh-da," so I don't know that it was intentional. He pauses for effect between each word, looking at me, then at the blue cup in his hands.

Today he also danced for the first time, and bless his heart, it was because he was so rapt with joy at the taste of the oatmeal with cinnamon and pears I cooked for him. He had been eating his usual "Mommy doesn't know what to give you, Bubbie" dinner of reheated salmon, sweet potatoes and greens (frozen cubes for the win), and as usual, about midway through dinner he just starts cramming handfuls of food into his eye sockets and nostrils as he rubbed his sleepy eyes and runny nose (I should probably start giving him dinner earlier, but it was only 5:15). Then he started wailing pitifully, reaching out for me. I suffered the flakes of salmon down my shirt and smears of starchy, orange goo in my hair to comfort my sweet baby, and he instantly cheered right up and began chatting at us.

"That's an order!" - Booshie McBossman

He hadn't eaten much of his dinner, and I knew he'd be hungry again soon, so I squatted down to his level and fed him bites of dinner with my fingers. He ate it all up, so I gave him some of the oatmeal that I cooked for his breakfast tomorrow, and he loved it! I passed the pot with the wooden spoon sticking out of it to Scott and Zephyr yanked the spoon out of his hand and just started chomping down, doing that little bouncy happy dance that babies do, holding onto the chair for support. He ate a lot of oatmeal like that, dancing and singing happy syllables to himself and to us.

Last Sunday we got some cheeseburgers from Burgerville. Okay, we got ten of them. They were those tiny kind that they put in kids' meals, and they were having a deal (10 for $10) and I can never resist! Plus they're really tasty and local and guilt-free and all that, so don't look at me like that. I took one of the buns off one and cut it into little bites so Zephyr could have cheeseburgers like Mommy and Daddy (but without all the extra white bread and ketchup), and he was shoveling bites into his mouth happily, until he stopped, let out a little cry, and then started pulling the food out of his mouth with his fingers. He had tears streaming down his cheeks, but then he'd put another bite into his mouth. Then he'd whine and wimper again and pull it out, crying. We couldn't figure out what the hell was going on! Then I realized I'd cut his burger on the same cutting board where I'd cut up a hot red chili just minutes earlier. I tasted one of his bites to check. Spicy. Tongue-biting spicy. Poor baby! Luckily we still had like 5 or 6 cheeseburgers in the bag so I just cut up another one for him and we were all smiles all over again.

You see this face he's making? he does this a lot lately. It reminds me of the face our cat Wumpy makes when he smells something good and stinky. I can't tell if he's being funny or stretching out his gums or what. He does it every night at bedtime, too, it's the strangest thing. When I finish singing my lullabies to him and we turn on the iPod with the Radiohead lullaby music, he makes this exact face at the light of the iPod. Maybe he's practicing his best ballad-singing face for when he becomes a rock star. For now, though, it's just fun to watch him trying new things, faces included. He changes so much every day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mr. Snuffleupagus

You hafta admit, the resemblance is uncanny.

I tried in vain to get Zephyr to hold still and smile for my camera yesterday, but ended up with just a few shots of him glaring at the camera, nonplussed. In these photos he also looks remarkably like the men of my family. I can see my dad in this contemplative face, and my grandfather Edward. Very stern and serious men, they were, even in boyhood.

My father Donald, at age 12

Zephyr had just woken from a long nap in these photos yesterday, and was on the precipice of the cold he woke up with this morning. He's a sniffly Snuffy.

Zephyr still only has two teeth. I know of only one other baby close to his age that has this few teeth! There are so many foods that I want to give him, but he just can't gum through everything. He really prefers to feed himself, and I'm getting tired of giving him chunks of cooked carrot or squash all the time just because I'm afraid he'll choke.

Today we were reading My Mother is Mine, and I got to the page, "my mother feeds me." I suddenly realized I hadn't given him lunch yet! Out of desperation, I gave him a handful of cooked carrots, a Wasa Crispbread and a thin slice of olive loaf from Edelweiss (another vestige of my childhood - my grandma Laverne used to feed it to me on Wonder bread, or sometimes Braunschweiger, or sometimes pimento loaf). He gummed the cracker a bit, and pawed at the carrots, but he greedily ate up the olive loaf like a good little German boy. The sodium isn't great for him, but the iron is.

Zephyr looks amazing in autumn colors, doesn't he? I think so. If you really want to have your breath taken, click the photo and look at his eyes, which upon my hope of hopes are staying olive-gray with bronze-brown nebulae centers.

Every day I am a little more embarrassed about how cliché I am, with all the Motherly Love, and every day it gets a little deeper. I hear this is only the beginning. I'm totally okay with that.