Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Barrett, 7 months

This picture captures you pretty perfectly.
At seven months (what??) you weigh about 19 pounds. You have two bottom teeth and you are drooling up a storm. You seem to have abandoned your ambition to crawl since you can pretty much get where you want to go by scooting around army style. You have recently, within the past 10 days or so, entered a more challenging phase than any you have presented since you were born.

You are waking up once a night most nights (and then very early in the morning, about 5:30-6), and your nap times during the day are short and infrequent. Really, you seem to prefer napping on my back in the carrier. You can put yourself to sleep in your bed without a problem - it's just staying asleep that's the issue. But you have been such a dream easy baby up to this point that I figure you have earned a little grace for your difficulty (which isn't even really all that difficult; although you are awake most of the day, you are happy, cheerful, cuddly, and sweet!). I will not stress about this. I remember Will going through this exact phase. I felt I'd worked so hard to earn a good long nap from him, and then not thirty minutes later he'd be up again. I was so frustrated!

But I will not get frustrated again. At one year, Will was napping up a storm and only getting up once a night. I couldn't believe how MUCH he was sleeping. And in only five short months, YOU will be a year old, and this phase will probably be over - but you won't be a baby anymore. So I've decided I won't wish away your babyhood.

You really are a dream baby. You are content to sit on anyone's lap. You'll even let Aunt Becca hold you her favorite way, slung in her arms as though you're relaxing in a hammock. But you also like to be on the GO! Your favorite thing to do is play on the floor, scooting around and exploring everything. When you see a scattering of toys beneath you, you want to twist yourself out of my arms. You'll also sit in your jumper or your command center, when you're in the mood. You really love to play.

Today you wanted to get into the dog food, and we had a bit of a training session. I said, "No, no," and pulled your hand away. Immediately you reached again and I calmly said, "No, no," and thumped you lightly on the back of the hand. When I began that with Will, he totally ignored it. You, on the other hand, burst into tears! You were sobbing! I picked you up and snuggled you. How could I not? And when you last bit me, I squealed and said, "Barrett, no!" You looked up at me, shocked, and then dissolved into sad cries. You seem to have a very tender heart already!

You are eating solid food three to four times a day, and I think I may need to feed you MORE. You've eaten everything I've offered so far, and you're quite the vacuum. You like to nurse only in the middle of the night or when Will is not around, because if he IS - well, why would you possibly want to turn your head away from the most entertaining thing in your universe? You love your brother and you laugh for him when you sometimes won't even laugh for me. (You like when he says, "Barrett!") You tolerate him putting toys on your head and back and laughing at how silly you look. I let him do this as long as he's being gentle, because I want you both to have a good time with each other. I really wonder what things will look like as you begin being more mobile and more interested in his things, and as Will, who's getting older and more imaginative in his play, may not appreciate you destroying his "gas station" or chewing on his lineup of trucks. So far, he has been (usually) very gracious with you.

One of my favorite things that you do, you big snuggler, is when you smush your face into my cheek and rub it back and forth. You do this when you're sleepy, just waking up or after nighttime feedings. Even when I'm very tired, and eager to get back to bed, I can't resist holding you for another minute after you're done nursing, because it feels so, so good when you snuggle into my face, stretch against my shoulder, and rest your head on me, asleep. It feels like you're my brand-new Barrett (only about three times the size).

If there's anything that you hate, it's lying on your back for a diaper change. Once you grab your feet, you're fine, but then I have to wrench them down to get your diaper on and you're very distraught. I think you would be the happiest in the world if I'd only let you be naked all the time. Still, no one is happier than you. You are going to be just like your daddy, I think. Always easy-going, hardly ever a bad mood in sight.

You seemed like my newborn baby for months and months. It's only now, with your recent disinterest in nursing, your ability to scoot around anywhere you want, and your big old bottom teeth, that I'm waking up to realize you're NOT a newborn anymore! And it seems just as I'm realizing this, you're going to be a year old before I know it. I LOVE you, you big chubby chunky meatball sub.

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