Storm is now just over nine months old, and with that he’s spent more time outside my womb than inside it. And for some reason, the impending fall has made it feel like we’re now close to his first birthday. Which is crazy. Really these months have flown by.
We’ve had another good month, if very busy, what with travel, family visits, conference presentations, job applications, company creation, and another move. And Storm is thriving. He went on his first camping trip, participated in a wedding for the first time, and visited Berlin (and slept through most of its major attractions).
In between all the exciting events, there was everyday life. Playing, eating, napping, and just hanging out with family.
After finishing a wonder weeks leap, he’s been a constant source of delight, and I’m really enjoying seeing him interacting with the world, playing in new ways, discovering the properties of things, and encountering fascinating phenomena. This month especially, he has been working hard on figuring out on his own what things can do.
Right now, some things that fascinate him are lamps and lights, the sound of the Nespresso machine in the morning, playing peek-a-boo with blankets, and clapping his hands.
But by far his favorite pastime is pulling to standing. And then sitting down again. And pulling up to standing. And then some more standing.
He has gained more mobility across the board: when he’s on his belly, he is pulling/pushing himself increasingly further (but still in the centimeter range, and sometimes backwards) using his hands and feet, and when he’s sitting, he’s able to shuffle forward an to maneuver his knees and legs from side to side so that the can turn almost full circle to see what’s happening behind him. With this increased mobility comes the need for me to accept that I cannot protect Storm from everything. He fearlessly reaches for stuff with little care for what happens when the stuff is outside his range or what will happen once he pulls it free. And sometimes tears and little bruises ensue. Like when he opens the door of the toy oven and hits his own face in the process. Or that day when I was documenting him pulling all the books out, and managed to get an action shot of him falling backwards right after pulling a particularly stubborn book out, and loosing his balance. And so he hit the back of his head on the floor, and I felt like the world’s worst mom for a second, before I made myself realize that these things are bound to happen if you want to be the kind of parent that lets your child explore the world, including actions and consequences, for themselves.
But the types of movements he can do on his belly or his bum are nothing more necessary evils to be endured when nobody is coming to help him stand up and he’s not near any furniture of appropriate size. No household objects are safe from being tried out as standing support. Coffee tables, cardboard boxes, sofas, loungers, hanging blankets, shelves, drawers, and various toys have all been put through rigorous testing to see whether they will support him in pulling himself up and in cruising. He’s much more stable on his legs than a month ago, and a few times, he’s simply let go of my hands when he was standing up wanted to reach something. He doesn’t have the balance for that yet, though, so we’re staying vigilant. And now, Storm owns shoes.
He also owns a bike helmet, because this month he first took his first bike ride with his Opa. He seems to enjoy the sensation of his body vibrating in the bike seat- at least going by the humming sound he makes, which is otherwise reserved for bumpy roads in the stroller.
And with all of this movement comes enormous hunger. He still has breast milk, either from a bottle or from nursing, but his intake is decreasing, at least during the day, as he is upping his intake of solid food. He’s eating so well, especially now that he has improved his hand coordination. He has mastered the pincer grip and has learned to open his fist at his mouth, enabling him to get at both small and slippery food items. And he has learnt how to get water to his mouth himself, and to signal that he’s done eating by pulling on his bib or his eating smock.
Helping himself to Papa’s noodles.
And finally, although during the months and months of 30-40 minute catnaps, I never thought we would get here, it looks like we may (possibly, maybe) now getting to a point of two long-ish naps (50-120 mins) a day, morning and afternoon. Now, I’m looking forward to some longer stretches of sleep at night (we’re currently at 1.5-2 hourly wake-ups), which may happen after this 8-10 month sleep regression is over. Maybe.
Oh, yeah, and also, we’re living in Germany now. For a little while.