Today is your eight month birthday, and what a difference a month makes!
You are now sitting up independently and army crawling. Your daddy calls your crawl "The Zombie" because of the way you drag yourself across the floor. Pulling with one arm, pushing with the other. Your left leg dead weight, your right leg doing all the work.
Sometimes you crawl toward me saying "ma-ma-ma-ma...", your newest word. You say it to refer to me and to get WHAT you want, WHEN you want it!
"MA-MA-MA-MA!" DO YOU HEAR ME? I WANT DOWN! I WANT UP! I WANT THIS! I WANT THAT!" And the list goes on and on.
Your other favorite word, and I use the word "word" lightly, is a cat call and it is purr-recious! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
I have a habit of calling the cats with a high pitched, fast paced, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty...." roll of the tongue. And, you've picked up on it.
Every time you see the cats, you start to squeal in the highest pitch voice you can muster. Every time. Problem is, the cats have picked up on it too, and as soon as they hear you, they make a run for it! In the oppposite direction.
Unfortunately, this month you caught your first cold, and boy, was that a hard week! It started with you not wanting to nurse at all during the day. AT ALL. Then, since you weren't nursing during the day, you began to wake up every three hours at night to nurse. This happened before we knew it was a cold and of course, I was panicking!
You've always eaten solids like they are going out of style, and the week of your cold, you maintained that skill. But, I know that ounce for ounce, breast milk is much richer and better for you. And, like all the books say, it should still be your main source of nutrition.
I tried to explain that to you, but you wouldn't listen. "Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma! I don't want breast milk! I want oatmeal! I want chicken! I want green beans! I want applesauce! I want what you're having!"
You get that honestly, though. The "I want what you're having" part. That's the way I am. I think I want one thing to eat, and then your daddy gets something else and what d'ya know? I want what he's having! It drives him nuts. But, I digress.
So, we head off to Destin for Labor Day weekend, and you develop a runny nose and turn into the sixth Dwarf, Sneezy. I was just a mess over this. My baby has a cold. How did he catch a cold? What do I do for him? Wait! Is it a cold, or is he teething? Oh no! What if it's neither? What if it's an ear infection?!
Lucky for me, your daddy is a laid back guy and we were with the Whites who have four children and know a thing or two about sick babies. So we gave you Tylenol throughout the day and treated you to a warm bath each evening. We also made sure you didn't miss your naps. I'm a stickler about those naps. And then, we just went with the flow. Well, I was more sucked along by the current and tossed about by the waves, but still, we survived.
Once we returned home I decided to teach you to sign "more" during mealtimes. But, so far you're sticking to your guns. You have your own way of saying "more" and that is to BANG on the highchair tray and say, you guessed it, "MA-MA-MA-MA..!" I swear, sometimes it sounds like you're saying "more". Even your daddy thinks so.
The most recent skill that you've developed is finger feeding. It takes both of your little hands to get those bite sized pieces of food from the tray to your mouth, but as soon as you get 'em in, you start clapping. It's the cutest thing ever. But, I feel bad because I think you might be confused with signing "more" and clapping. Sorry about that.
Your highchair tray isn't the only thing you bang these days. You bang everything! And, after eight months, you've finally taken a liking to rattles and books. Yes, you bang both of them, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
Every night before bed we read a bedtime sing along book. Each page has a pretty picture, the words to a bedtime song, and a symbol. I press the button that matches the symbol and then sing along with the music. You have discovered the pictures and now look at them while I'm singing. Sometimes you even touch the pictures, as if you're asking me to tell you about them. The songs are very short, so if you seem real interested in the picture, I tell you about it when the song is over.
Some nights we don't make it all the way through the book because you're so sleepy. You let me know when you're all done by flipping over onto your back and getting into nursing position. Of course, I'm happy to oblige.
Breastfeeding you has been one of the greatest joys of my life and I had no idea that it would be so wonderful. I don't think I can put into words how it has bonded us, but now I understand why some mothers don't stop breastfeeding when their baby turns a year old.
I had always planned to wean you when you turn one, and I probably still will, but there's a part of me that secretly hopes we can hang on to that bedtime feeding. It could be our little ritual. Our chance to remind each other that no matter what has happened during the day, no matter how disobedient you've been, or how impatient I've been, that we still love each other and need each other, and can't live without each other.