We’ve had a lot of company since Tristan turned 9 months old. My mom spent a few days in town right around the time Tristan hit 9 months, and James’s sister Cindy spent the better part of last week with us. Thankfully, baby had a wonderful time with everyone and we got some much needed rest, too. It was great to introduce the baby to the family, for even those who had met him before had no inclination of the creature they were to meet.
It’s so much easier now. It’s not nearly as scary living with a baby, and therefore it’s not nearly as hard for me to leave him under a family member’s care. His routines are a lot less complicated than they were as a newborn, and he seems far less fragile. Plus, he’s sort of entertaining now and he doesn’t sleep the entire day away. The downside is that he requires an astronomical amount of energy to keep entertained and safe, even though he’s pleasant natured and entertains himself. He is that baby that you will find climbing on top of something remarkably unsafe if you turn your back to pee.
During Aunt Cindy’s visit, those of us who lived here came down with a cold, making it officially Tristan’s first. He was quite the little crankypaw while he wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t generally have objections to being passed to her unless he was just miserable. In fact, Tristan may have actually said “mama” discriminately, as I was trying to pass Tristan to Aunt Cindy but he wasn’t having any of it. When she passed him back to me, he very deliberately pronounced the syllables. He’d been babbling it for a while; on again and off again he’s had a tendency to just repeat ma-ma-ma or the like. But that was the first time (and so far, the last) he said it appropriately. As far as the cold, we’re all mostly over it now and Tristan was in a much better mood once he felt better.
Tristan is getting good at climbing stairs, falling on his ass when failing to stand (instead of his head or anywhere else ungraceful), and pushing his walker cart (little grocery cart toy meant to help baby learn to walk) forward while playing with it. He can pull up to stand with ease on just about anything, including dogs and one-year-olds. He can stand for about two seconds without holding anything but isn’t very interested in trying. He likes to walk while holding onto our hands, but would rather just crawl around now that he knows how to when he actually wants to get somewhere. We got some fancy dragon shoes but he’s not very enthused about shoes so far – we do our practicing barefoot and have thusfar reserved shoes for outdoor use. He’ll get more used to them when he actually gets walking, I’m sure. He’s been crawling toward and then climbing up the stairs when it’s been near naptime or bedtime, and then crawling through the cat door in the dog gate upstairs to show the cats he’s badass before going to bed.
It’s also getting more obvious that he understands some words we say and he’s been able to signal his needs at times. We’re interested in teaching him sign language but we’ve been slackers; that being said, I think he knows and uses the sign for milk. He understands “baby up” and raises his arms in anticipation of being picked up or grabbed from another person. So far, he doesn’t really heed the actions in the reading videos but he does try to say “hi” and “hat.” We’re working on waving hi but he hasn’t tried it yet – he makes the “I’m too shy” face and turns away instead. He’s been really easy to amuse, though – he breaks out in the giggles when James says the word “scuttle” to him or wiggles his clawed hand up to Tristan’s head, as well as giggling in anticipation at a few other things.
We’re a little behind on food, I think. He will eat anything that comes in a jar but isn’t too keen on “real” food yet. He also loves his bottle of milk and it’s been difficult to get him to drink less. We’ve tried a few little things such as filling the bottle an ounce less, presenting the solids before/during/after the bottle, presenting milk in a sippy cup (he will use these for anyone but me, apparently), handing him food to eat, handing him a spoon.. it’s been a very gradual process. He drank 8 ounces less of formula today than his normal intake, and he’s been eating and drinking regularly today. Part of the fun of this one is that we don’t really eat as a family; we’re still dieting so most of our meals are not even seen, and those meals we do eat are eaten on the couch. Baby still gets most of his feedings on the couch, which is remarkably clean for as much shit as we have gotten on it. I figure what with us having to concentrate on decreasing the milk intake and increasing the food intake, getting him to like the high chair is probably secondary. He WILL need to be in it when he really starts feeding himself, but we’re also anticipating it being easier to do that once we move in 2 months (assuming everything goes without a hitch!).