It's late and I need to go to bed, but I wanted to post quickly about E's nine-month checkup, which we had this afternoon. He weighed exactly 23 pounds (just under the 90th percentile), and is 29 inches long (can't remember the percentile for that). Basically his growth was great, and has slowed down in the way they expect it to. Dr. Mc was thrilled with where he is in all areas, and she seemed to get a real kick out of him. He was Mr. Personality in there--it was a hoot. I wasn't sure how he'd be, but he really poured on the charm. And curiosity. He didn't hold back at all. Babbling (she seemed especially pleased by all the sounds he's making: Da, Ma, Puh, Buh, Tt, Th, Yuh, clicking and clucking, and a bunch of other crazy sounds), reaching for anything and everything he could get his hands on, showing her how he can balance on his hands and feet and push back from that into a seated position (new development), standing up in her lap, laughing and smiling. She asked if he's saying any words yet or waving bye-bye, and I said he doesn't appear close to doing either one, which she said was no biggie.
I told her that we'd tried a couple of finger foods on him a few weeks ago but that he wasn't interested. She explained that he can eat almost everything we eat now, and probably won't put up with jarred food much longer. (He's already over it, actually.) She encouraged us to branch out and try giving him quartered grapes, cheese, etc. It must be time, because he's becoming more and more finicky about his food, not drinking from his own cup (only mine), looking longingly at our plates, etc. The only thing he loves is yogurt, and he LOVES it. Dr. Mc said that that's great because yogurt is almost a complete food and has pretty much everything he needs. She said we shouldn't worry if he wants it for every meal (which he does). That was a relief to hear. No matter how many books you read, it's much more helpful to talk to an actual person about this stuff.
She asked if he'd started having temper tantrums. I said that he's ramped up in that area in the past couple of weeks. We're now experiencing long, high-pitched shrieks when things don't go his way (or when I step out of his line of sight for a second).
We feel like he's changing so quickly all of a sudden. New behaviors (in addition to the shrieking) include lunging dramatically (either towards a person or to get down if he's being held), squeezing his legs tightly around my hips if I try to put him down and he doesn't want me to, pushing the spoon away with his left hand, banging blocks together on purpose, expecting to play a game where TJ carries him up the stairs and I chase them (and he squeals and laughs hysterically), and not sitting still--wanting desperately to be on the go. He manages to get hold of a lot more things now (through rolling and maneuvering), especially cords and plugs and cabinet doors. It's like a preview of a whole new world that's right around the corner. I can practically see the synapses in his brain making connections. His personality and desires seem more defined by the day. It's cool (kind of mind-blowing, actually) to see him expressing what he wants and doesn't want after having to guess for so long. He's always been a separate person, I realize, but he's starting to be able to really assert himself. It feels different. And exciting!