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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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