Thursday, October 16, 2008

Status Report: Twelve Months

It's amazing that twelve months ago, give or take, E looked like this.

And here he is today, a big standing guy.

I took him to his twelve-month check-up this morning (he turned one on September 30). He weighed 24 pounds 11 ounces and measured 30 inches tall. Those measurements apparently fall in the 60th to 75th percentile range, and his head circumference landed around the 80th percentile.

In the waiting room, I noticed something in his hair that I thought was dried food or snot at first, only to discover that he has cradle cap on the top of his head. For some reason, uncovering the peeling, flaky, orangey expanse of dry scalp hidden under his sweet blond locks gave me the willies. The timing of the discovery couldn't have been more perfect, though. The doc told us some stuff to do, so we'll see if it works.

I only had a couple of questions going in. The first had to do with whether I might be raising a Motrin addict. I just feel like I'm constantly doling out the Motrin. The doc said once a day is okay when it's needed, and giving it a break every now and then is a good thing. Our Motrin use runs in spurts, so I was relieved to hear this. E's fifth tooth is in as of yesterday or the day before, so that was cool to see.

My other question had to do with food (surprise, surprise, toddlerhood). I haven't had a chance to post about it, but I just don't feel like we've got the food thing down. It seems like Eamon eats the same four meals (actually more like two now) over and over again, and in the meantime he's getting pickier and pickier. (So predictable, I know.) He flat-out refuses to feed himself fruits or vegetables. He won't touch them; the texture freaks him out. We're still able to feed him some veggies and fruit out of jars in between bites of regular food, but I don't expect that to last much longer. Right now, the main meals he eats are peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with Pirate's Booty and black bean & cheese quesadillas (and this week we thought to add spinach--and he ate it!). He used to eat tortilla with hummus, but now he won't touch hummus. Last night I couldn't bear to give him another quesadilla, so I tried heating up leftovers from our dinner the night before: baked pesto chicken and rice and peas. He surprised me by going nuts over the chicken, and he spit the rice and peas out. (He used to just refuse things; now he spits them out.) I was ecstatic over the chicken. Up until now he wouldn't eat chicken. He's also stopped eating avocado and bananas. He loves cubed cheese and cottage cheese; he's a dairy man in general. Frozen veggie burgers used to be popular: no mas. We've gotta find some other things that he'll eat, although the doc said not to worry about this stuff. He said E's sensitivity to texture is completely normal and that on average toddlers only eat one spoonful of food per meal, and then every seventh meal or so they eat a ton. Worrying about it will just make you neurotic, he said. I didn't tell him I already had that covered.

It would probably be best to all eat together, and to feed him whatever we're eating, but I just don't see that happening right now. He eats at 5:30 or 6:00, and there's just no way we can have dinner ready by then. Maybe at some point.

While I'm at it, here's a (hopefully quick) rundown on life with E as of late. On average, he goes down at 7 p.m. and wakes up at 6 a.m. (today it was 5:00, woohoo). We haven't had any night wakings in awhile, not since we cut out that one feeding. Actually, that's not completely true. He often wakes up once or twice between 7:00 and 11:00. Frequently, he puts himself back to sleep without us having to go in, but if he wakes up more than twice, it's usually because he's teething, and at that point I give him Motrin and rock him for a song or two. He goes down for his nap between noon and 1:00 and is usually up by 2:00. He often sleeps for an hour and a half, sometimes an hour or less, and sometimes (more rarely) for two hours.

He nurses three times a day: morning, before nap, and before bed. He's had a runny nose for the past week and has sometimes been too congested to nurse before nap, so on those days he's nursed after nap, and hasn't had a problem going down for his nap without nursing. I'm toying with the idea of cutting out the midday nursing, or rather seeing what happens if I don't offer it. There are days he wants to nurse for comfort, and I oblige. This happens maybe once a week. It happened last week in the middle of our playdate with Kay and Jonas. He came over to me and asked to nurse by moaning and leaning into me and grabbing at my shirt and biting/sucking on my arm. He nursed for a few minutes and then pulled off and resumed playing with Jonas, as though all was right in the world again.

He's starting to take steps but isn't walking yet. He spends a lot of time going from sitting to standing without holding on to anything, and then he stands and balances and grins and bounces and squeals and claps. We've noticed that he understands certain things we say: "Are you ready to go?" "Where's Squeaky?" That kind of thing. It's an amazing feeling to see him start to comprehend language.

In the past week he's learned how to hold his sippy cup by himself, and he seems to be enjoying the independence this offers. We now put his cup on his highchair tray during meals, and he stops eating very frequently to drink, which I find hilarious.

He loves social outings and is no shrinking violet. This is a constant source of wonder and discovery for me--watching him with other people, seeing the energy and happiness he gets from connecting with adults, bigger kids, and to a lesser (or different) extent, other babies. He thrives on it. He feels such joy, he could just burst.

This past Tuesday was my first time working at the co-op, and it was fascinating for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was seeing E's response to my taking care of other babies. One baby had a hard time when his mama left, and he needed to be held for a while. Eamon did not like that one bit. In fact, the other mom on duty had to comfort him while I was holding the other baby. It cracked me up because it seemed so unlike E (at least to date; then again we've never been in this situation before). A similar thing happened when I changed another boy's poopy diaper. E crawled over and clung to my leg, moaning dramatically the whole time. It was pretty funny.

It's amazing how intense and exhausting two hours with a group of little ones can be. I had a good time getting to know the other five babes better. They are all so different (natch), and so funny and sweet. The ages range from 12 months (E) to 17 months. This whole co-op thing rocks, I must say.

Well, I started this post during naptime today, and now it's evening and time to wind things down. Maybe I'll add a few more things tomorrow (as if this post weren't long enough).

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