Ollie is nine months... plus
Somebody on my Attached Parenting posted this the other day:
"Parents don't trust that their children will naturally become more independent, but think that they need to begin fostering independence from birth. Independence is one of our culture's most ingrained values."
While I don't think it's quite that simple (I mean, I do know some kids who have never detached) I do think that's generally true. It's ridiculous for people to think that at nine months I should be teaching Ollie to do without me. He's teaching himself. Here are all the things he can do at nine months:
-respond to his name (full name and nicknames)
-pull up on a box or his crib by himself
-take his shirt off
-give kisses (he knows the word kiss too)
-put objects (like little people) in their correct places
-wave bye bye and hello
-flirt with people to get what he wants
-problem solve. The other day at Lava Java he wanted stuff that was higher than him. So he tried climbing up a high chair to get higher to get it.
-find random things hilariously funny (such as putting the duck in mama's mouth in the bath, taking it out, and putting it back in again- not the whole duck, the whole duck doesn't fit)
-pick up small pieces of cereal and put them in his mouth
-use his spoon
-match pitches when we sing
-mimic and imitate me (we checked out a cloth tool set from Family Connections and I used the wrench to adjust his nose as a joke. I handed him the wrench and got in the front seat to drive. I looked back in the mirror and he was adjusting his nose. He's also mimicked sounds, like when I said, "this is a duck. quack. quack. And he said, "duck. quack. quack.")
-call Eric and I mama and dada (he doesn't distinguish)
-he knows what the words light, dog, cat, sing, dance, boogie, clap, block, toy, snuggle, eat, milk, and more mean
-he can sign milk and more
-he recognizes himself in the mirror and gives himself kisses
-if placed on his stomach in the water he will doggie paddle
This is what we can think of off the top of our head. As you can see, he is growing by leaps and bounds. He remains beautiful and very smart (well, we are his parents. It's a biological imperative we think so). He has changed so much in nine months! The other day I saw a two month old with the glassy, pirate eyes (aargh matey!) in her own little world and I was like, damn. They change into people so fast!! Here is what I know of Ollie's personality: he is a flirt, he is very curious and observant, he is easily frustrated and will give up on things that are hard but when he really wants to accomplish something he's super persistant (god, he sounds exactly like both his parents in this respect), he loves to sing and dance, he is very sweet and affectionate, he's not very good at playing by himself (should we suck it up and make him a sibling?), he sets his own schedule and timeline, he loves books and the pets.
So is it nature or nurture that you get exactly the perfect baby for you?
In nine months we've changed too. We are definitely more confident as parents. As the birth thing gets further away I am more able to let it go and not think about it. Someday I know it won't matter at all. Already the scary parts of labor and the suckiness of avoiding drugs for all the painful shit just to get a c-section and a tummy that looks like Fred Thompson's face have been replaced for me by the fact that that's how I got to meet Ollie! Whatever I had to do to get an Ollie is ok, I am ok with it.
Eric and I continue to struggle to figure out our new relationship as parents too and not primarily lovers and friends. We are running on oxytocin these days and no dopamine or norepinephrine (when you're in love, three chemicals are produced. The oxytocin is the chemical that causes lasting contentment. It's also the chemical produced by breastfeeding. The latter two chemicals are the lust and initial sparks of a relationship, or so I have learned from the Radio Lab podcast). But supposedly you can create the latter two by being in a dangerous unpredictable situation with someone (a la the movie Speed) so Eric and I will just have to white water raft someday in the future. I wonder why parenting doesn't count? We continue to work on it though, to negotiate to make things fair and to make everybody happy.
So things are good. And now I have to get to work.