Thursday, January 7, 2010
leon is quite the busy baby. every day i'm convinced he's going to start walking, but i think he's taking his time after pulling up to stand at 6.5 months and standing on his own at 9.5 months.
although he doesn't really say specific words, leon carries on conversations with me, matthew, and the cats. sometimes he scolds us, other times he chatters, and more often than not he collapses in a hysteric fit of giggles. mama the pack leader is working non-stop now. if i say 'no,' he pauses, retracts the hand, and proceeds to argue with me. when i say 'no' again, he looks at me, a smile twitching at the corner of his mouth, waiting to see if i'll smile back. if my stern face relaxes just a tiny bit, that sly little hand stretches out again. sigh. my mom was right when she told me i would have my hands full disciplining him.
we started a new 'sleep training' program 5 days before christmas because that's how we like to spend our holidays. for 3 nights it was awful. i would nurse him in bed from 7pm until 11ish, and then refuse to nurse until at least 5am. i still co-sleep, which means i have to figure out other ways to soothe him such as rocking, patting, and shushing. the first night he protest-cried for 2 hours, slept for 1, and then cried again for an hour before falling asleep for 2 more hours. the second night he cried for 1 hour, slept for 2, repeat. by the fourth night, he was not only sleeping 2.5-3 hours between 7 and 11, he also was going right back to sleep between 11 and 5.
it was going well until day 8. ever since then, he goes back to sleep quickly after a few pats, except between 3 and 4. during this hour, he cries a little, lurches about the bed, often knocking his head against my face (ouch), and then flops down across my chest. as soon as i remove him, the whole cycle starts again. sometimes i remain calm and stoic, other times i tell him how much i dislike him.
progress, even at a snail's pace, is good enough for me. i'm relieved that he doesn't cry from distress or fear, only out of indignation. it's also reassuring to know that he can fall asleep relatively easily without nursing. we decided to do this partly because we hope he'll sleep better and for longer periods by nursing less frequently at night. i also wanted him to not rely on night milkfeeds because it was altering my day supply for the worse. leon now nurses more often during the day, every 2-3 hours instead of every 4-5, so i don't have to worry as much about dehydration (he's terrible with the sippy cup and regular cup).
it's also a relief to not obsess about sleep even while working to adjust his sleep patterns. even though he's still high-energy during the day, i don't fret about it as much because i'm feeling ok about the sleep issue. although he doesn't clap, he now hits objects together, which is almost the same thing i suppose. he's obsessed with putting things into containers. ever since he started playing with his montessori box, he spends most of his time trying to put objects into baskets, cups, anything. leon is also getting steady enough that he can bob up and down to music while standing, and he's becoming quite adept at crawling onto and off from the couch.
my favorite new leon thing is his propensity to share. just a few weeks ago he began offering things for us to bite, usually right after he's had a good nibble on them. he can also pet the cats without yanking their fur, and he loves giving them (and us) bear hugs. as gratifying as that first smile was, i'm even more enamoured with leon's affectionate overtures.