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I can’t believe I have a ten-month-old. Two digits. I was looking at Pinterest the other day and saw all of these adorable ideas of things to do with your baby, and realized that my baby is too old for them. Too. Old. Wait, what? I have to remind myself every day that he is still a baby, still so little, even though he seems so big and is looking more and more like a toddler every time I turn around.

My son’s first priority in life seems to be exploration and movement. This month that has meant that he has perfected his crawling skills and is now a little speed demon. He also has started climbing on things, and while he hasn’t quite figured out how to get up onto our coffee table and cabinets at school yet, he’s trying very hard. He has, however, figured out how to climb up stairs. I find this slightly terrifying. He’s good at it, too — a few days ago he went up the entire staircase (with his dad spotting him closely, of course). I walked out of his bedroom to see him sitting on the next-to-top step, grinning at me. Busy, busy baby. In the last week he has also developed the ability to stand unassisted, and when he’s done standing he lowers himself to the ground instead of toppling over. It is amazing to watch the process as he figures out his body and how it moves.

Of course, with all of this movement comes a lot of bonks. He bonks his head when he miscalculated and topples into things, he bonks when the dog knocks him over, he bonks when he leans on the toy basket and it flips over unexpectedly. The saddest of all bonks are the ones where he runs into a table or windowsill because he is now taller than he was a few weeks ago and no longer has clearance on said piece of furniture. When that happens, he gets this betrayed look on his face as if someone has gone around shortening everything while he was sleeping just to mess with him.

Thanks to a bout of pinkeye (and an ear infection discovered at the same time), we were back at the doctor’s office just before he turned ten months. His weight is hanging out just below the 50th percentile at this point, but his height was back up again closer to the 70th. He grows in one direction at a time, and this month it has been up. I expect we’ll do out for a while soon. Looking back over the year, I suspect we’re going to end up with an average-sized kid, despite a few months of being OMG SO BIG. Given that both BWB and I are small, I didn’t expect a giant child, and I am very happy to have him be stone cold average. The “nine month” sized clothes are the first set which he hasn’t outgrown like mad before he even hit that age, so I think his growth is starting to slow down (as it is supposed to). At the moment, nine-month onesies still fit fine, but we’ve had to move up a size for pants, unless I feel like putting him in capris. Strange. It seems that clothing sizes for little babies are just as confusing as clothing sizes for women, varying by manufacturer and reflecting someone’s random idea of “normal” which may or may not resemble reality.

I could (and should), as always, write an entirely separate post on feeding this little guy. I took an online quiz a few months ago about “What Type Of Mom Are You?” and it told me I am a “whatever works!” mom. Nowhere is that more evident than in my son’s diet. He gets some combination of breastmilk, purees, and table food, and he still eats like a little vacuum cleaner. I am counting down the days until I don’t have to pump anymore, and have started cutting back my pumping at work already, but neither of us is ready to give up nursing anytime soon. It’s so confusing, though; I don’t expect that he will turn one and magically stop eating any purees or bottles and eat only table food with cow milk in a cup, but how does that transition work? I get anxious at the thought of him not having bottles at day care anymore not because he needs the bottles but because it will mean he doesn’t get cuddled on during his snack times. Will he miss the cuddling? How do I know he’s ready to give that up? I know I have two months before any of this has to be acted on, but it is already causing me headaches.

My little explorer finds more and more of his world every day, and I love watching him. He is developing a temper when things don’t go his way, and looks to see if I have noticed he toppled over before deciding he should fuss about it. He gets impatient if we don’t feed him fast enough, or try to feed him more than he’s interested in. My easy bedtime boy has started to stubbornly refuse to go to sleep, in case he misses the party. Mostly, though, he is a cheerful and easy-going baby who entertains himself happily and laughs easily. I love him more than anything, in case you hadn’t noticed. He’s pretty awesome.

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Rescued from my email drafts folder, finally…

My son is not only nine months old, but has now passed 40 weeks and 2 days, which means he has officially been outside of me longer than he was in. In this as in all of his milestones, I am proud of him and yet I simply can’t get over how quickly he grows up. I hope it slows down a little at some point, but I have been warned it never does.

This month our baby started at a new daycare, which provided more than a little anxiety for his mother. Would he be okay, away from the provider who had been taking care of him one-on-one for months? I shouldn’t have worried. He has done beautifully. Within a week of starting, he had gone from his old standby army crawl (which he had been doing since December) and started a more traditional hands-and-knees crawl — I am certain this is because he watched other babies and picked it up from them. He moves even faster now, and between that and his cruising, nothing is safe in our house. He has decided that opening drawers and cabinet is fun, and likes to take things out of bags, baskets, boxes, and anything else he can get his hands on. We have taken a somewhat liberal approach to baby-proofing, and as a result he still has a wide range of cabinets, drawers, bags, boxes, baskets, and shelves which he has access to. I love watching him explore and find new things, and chasing him down is rapidly becoming an excellent form of exercise.

Within a week of starting his new day care, my son also came down with his first cold. He has had a runny nose and cough ever since then, and on the day he turned nine months he celebrated with his first very high fever. The verdict was an ear infection. Now there’s a milestone neither of us were all that excited about! Thankfully, he decided that both his baby ibuprofen and the antibiotic were tolerable, so we didn’t have to hold down a screaming infant and traumatize everyone involved with pink sticky medication going everywhere but in his belly. My sister had a lot of ear infections as a child, and I remember the pink sticky medication so clearly, along with screamingly traumatic administrations, so I am grateful that this time at least my baby was amenable. Hopefully that’s a trend that holds — actually, scratch that, hopefully we don’t have to repeat this often enough to call it a trend at all!

The teachers at daycare say they think of him lumped in with the older babies, the ones a few months older than he is. They say this because developmentally, he tends to hang with the big kids — he cruises, waves, eats table food, drinks out of a straw cup, and greets people (and cats, and toys, and most other things) with a big grin and a cheerful, “hi!”. That last one still gets me. He’s been saying hi for the better part of the last month, but I didn’t believe it was intentional until they confirmed it for me. Other parents have commented on it, too; I figure that is enough third-party confirmation to safely say yes, my baby’s first word is Hi. Funny story, so was his mother’s.

Aside from “hi”, our little boy has become very verbal in the last month. He babbles almost constantly. In the mornings and at naptimes, he will wake up and whisper to his lovie or to us. I ask him to tell me secrets and talk to me about his dreams and he burbles at me in nonsense words which sound very convincingly conversational. He says da-da-da-da-da and ma-ma-ma-ma-ma at semi-appropriate times, and we are suspicious that when he watches the dog and exclaims, “DOE!” that he is attempting another important word. I find myself very much looking forward to his linguistic development, because I see so much going on in his head and I want him to be able to share it. However, Father Time, do not take this as an excuse to hurry things along, thank you very much.

As I write that, it occurs to me that Father Time must indeed be male, because I am certain that if it were Mother Time, babies would never ever grow up at all, which I suppose would be inconvenient. I would still appreciate it if Father Time were a little less insistent on moving things forward in this house, though. I’d really like a few more weeks between now and the end of May, for example. This first year is just flying by way, way too fast.

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