And just in time for a long Easter drive, it seems that Liam has a couple more teeth threatening to appear. Someone woke up at 3:15 this morning, only went back to sleep at 4:45, and woke up again at 6:30. Infant Tylenol is my friend. (Oh, and his too; right. The line between who obtains relief from Infant Tylenol becomes so blurred…)
It’s been a big month, what with crawling and words and standing and graduating to the new big-baby car seat and so forth. Now I understand why when my mother tells stories of me as a baby, they all seem to be when I was nine months old. It’s a busy time.
Liam’s pulling himself up on everything. He wants to be standing all the time. He stands to watch his Baby Einstein DVDs, he stands to play on the coffee table with a block or two, he stands to pat the cats on the chesterfield, he stands to be dressed. He pulls himself up on kitchen cabinets, chairs, pant legs, wooden chests — you name it, he’s tried it. When he woke up last night I went into his room and saw him standing in his crib, reaching his arms out to me over the top rail as he cried. The rocking chair isn’t heavy enough and so it ends up being pushed away when he tries to scale it, and it frustrates him. He’s used the bookcases a couple of times, and we’re glad we made them really steady with shims when we moved in. He hasn’t reached for the Edith Wharton or the Nietzche on the bottom shelf yet; he seems to want the Timothy Zahn Star Wars novels. Well, he’s a bit young still. Although if there’s a book on the table or a chair, he lunges for it. He adores paper of any kind.
We bought two wicker baskets to hold Liam’s toys in the living room, and he has learned how to tip them over. He doesn’t do it so that he can play with the toys; oh no. He empties them so he can flip them over and use them to stand up. Then he pushes them around, using them as support while he walks. It’s amusing, because they’re small enough to make him bend all the way over. They slide along the hardwood really well, and the carpet too. He’s also learned how to empty them then turn it over on top of a few blocks, then slide it around with the trapped blocks sliding inside on the floor. It’s fascinating watching him develop new skills, then applying those skills to new obstacles or situations. For example, in his bath he’s been watching us scoop up water in a little cup and then pour it out again. Now he does an abbreviated version of it to make a splash. (Which has now made bathtime “a ride where you will get wet,” as HRH said last night.)
Maggie’s not as impressed with Liam sharing his toys with her as we are. Apart from letting him hold blocks up in her face, she lets him pull her, kiss her, pat her, and bury his face in her. She will often come join him on the floor where he’s playing, to just sit nearby and watch. The one thing she won’t let him do is touch her feet. He tries to do that to Nixie as well, who completely freaks out and tears off. But when he plays with his feet, then looks over at Maggie’s paws and reaches for them, she just pulls them firmly out of his reach and looks at him sternly.
He loves books. Deep in my soul, I feel relief. (I did worry, and of course it was baseless, but it was one of those “What will I do if?” things.) He has four “real” words (in order of appearance: hi, cat, Mama, Dada, although we weren’t sure “Hi!” was a real word until he began to combine it with the others), and he uses them with the correct objects when he says them, which isn’t often. He still says “boh” in an almost reverent whisper when looking at my bookcases, but he hasn’t clearly applied it to a single book yet. In fact, he doesn’t use his words a lot at all; he prefers to babble in baby-language, and his inflections are a riot.
Liam eats anything and everything. Whatever he sees me eating, he wants to taste it, then eat lots of it! He’s tasted things like fresh bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, vanilla ice cream, all manner of crackers, chocolate muffins, and toast this way. He also wants to drink whatever I’m drinking from a glass, so I share my water with him now and again. Sometimes it even stays in his mouth. We’ve added corn, potatoes, bread, rice rusks, zucchini, chickpeas, lentils, cheese, strawberries, and fish to his regular menu. He’s getting better and better with his training cup, but he prefers it when we hold it for him, the lazy little guy.
Changing his diaper is a battle more often than not these days. We folded up the changing table extension over a month ago because he was throwing himself all over the place; we just change him on the floor now, with his knitted panda bear known as Pan-Pan (sorry Mousme! The name just kind of slipped out one day, and that was that) or his little fuzzy cow toy to distract him. I’ve become adept at diapering a baby on his tummy. He still loves the baby in the mirror, and now plays peek-a-boo with him. He can open the drawers to his bureau in his room. And he’s grown out of another batch of clothes. Especially socks: how is it that his feet grow so fast?
I absolutely adore his loony giggle. I love that I can see all his teeth when he breaks into that goofy grin before he starts laughing. I love that he’s enthralled by my cello. I love that we can have a “conversation” now. I love that we can play peek-a-boo until I tire of the game, and he laughs every single time I peek at him. I love that when we’re nursing before his bedtime, he’ll sometimes stop and struggle to sit up, then bang his hand on the arm of the chair until I read Goodnight Moon to him two or three times, and only then will he settle back to finish nursing and fall asleep. I love the sleepy grin he gives me when I’ve tucked him in and kissed him, and I pause to look at him one last time before I step out the door. I love how he pulls out all the baking sheets when I’m working in the kitchen, and pushes them around the floor like he’s pushing a toy car.
This kid? He’s okay.