Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Zephyr is 13 months old, and as you can see, still has only 3.5 teeth (the second top incisor is still only halfway down). He still crawls and cruises more than he stands unassisted. In a characteristic fit of motherly concern for the truancy of his milestones, I finally peeked into my and Scott's baby books to find out who's genes were to blame, and I am happy to say that it's Scott's fault. He didn't start walking until 14 or 15 months. I started walking at 10 months. So I guess I should say "oh Jesus Christ, thank goodness that Zephyr takes after Scott and not me."
I recently read that infants who spend more time in the crawling phase statistically test higher in preschool than those who walk early, as reported in this article. It turns out that late walkers tend to be smarter. I wonder how much of this is related to later walkers' tendency toward caution and easy demeanor; Zephyr is just more content playing studiously with blocks or drumsticks than he is running around in fitful expression of gross motor skills.
I also recently read that babies who get their teeth late are more likely to require orthodontics later in life (according to a study reported in Science Daily). Scott had braces as a kid and still requires quarterly maintenance on his self-described "fucked-up grill." I, conversely, have naturally straight teeth, which is a good thing because my parents never would've coughed up the dough for orthodontia, had I needed it. I had five teeth by 11 months, Scott didn't get his first tooth until he was 8 months old. So this one is his genes, too. I still that hope Zephyr misses out on the allergies and asthma, but if it didn't stop Scott from having good times as a kid, I can't see why it should stop Zephyr.
Here he is catching a cat hair in a sunbeam, the little genius. Note the perfect action sequence of his dropping the purple ring to grab the bit of sundander.
Another trait of Zephyr's that is typically linked with smarts is long sleeping. Last week, we made a one-night attempt to let him cry it out (going in to pat him on the back instead of nursing), but it was a complete failure. I ended up caving like usual, nursed him for comfort and returned him to his crib and he slept fine the rest of the night. The following night, he woke twice but soothed himself back to sleep. The two nights following that, he didn't wake up at all. I got all excited that maybe he figured out that we're getting serious, but the past couple of nights he's been back to waking up once or twice to nurse. I am still trying to figure out if it's just that he's teething or has the sniffles, and whether or not we should bite the bullet and go full-on Ferber with him, or if it'll just pass as soon as he's back to 100%.
It's official: Zephyr's first sentence is "more food." That's my boy! He knows all of the words that pertain to food. If you ask him, "Zephyr! Are you hungry?" he says "fffffuh." "Zephyr! Do you want breakfast?" "Ffffuh." Lunch, dinner, snack: "fffuh!" After he's finished a bowl or plate of whatever he's eating, we ask him if he wants more and show him the sign language. He can now say "muh! fffffuh!" while clapping his fingers together. Yes, there is a chance he is actually saying "motherfucker," but in this context I am choosing to think he means "more food." I usually do give him more, except yesterday he ate almost all of two full adult-sized side dishes of beans and tofu and kept opening his mouth for more, before I decided that I didn't want him getting a tummyache and put the breaks on it. He got mad and whined about it.
Speaking of food, he's got a few food milestones that I'm proud of this week. A few weeks ago I put a sturdy box (about 6" tall) on the floor and taped a place mat to it so I have a place to give him a snack without having to get him all suited up at his high chair. Things like berries or cubed cheese are an easy thing to feed him, and he loves them, so he's unlikely to dump them or make a mess. He's gotten so tall, though, that he sort of hunches over the "table" and looks like he wants to sit down, but there's no place for his legs. So I seated him on top of the box and pushed one of those small Ikea bent wood end tables in front of him - it fit perfectly, and he just sat there all matter-of-fact like, "yup. this is mah snack table and I have snacks here." And he just ate his little fruits and drank his little cup of milk with a straw instead of the usual throwing-the-sippy-cup debacle. And now that he's suddenly interested in drinking cow's milk, I can quit sweating the constant nursing and pushing cheese on him, because I know he'll get his RDA of calcium. Now nursing can be for comfort and snuggling, and he'll get his antibodies from me.
Today he fed himself completely and neatly using his spoon. This might sound like a non-event, but until now I've had to either give him finger foods or put food on his spoon and hand it to him, then pick his spoon up off the floor after every bite. Today, he spooned his chicken and stars right into his little mouth like it wasn't even a Thing. But it was a Thing! I think what may have tipped the scales for him is that I let him use a "real" spoon instead of giving him his usual baby spoon. And I sat there with him, eating the same food as he was having.
We just chatted like old friends, eating our soup and crackers, and then we cleaned up and had some story time in the living room.