Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Joey: 6 Months

Well, what have we here?
Our Joey is 6 months old and already he is crawling like a champ, sitting sturdily, and has cut two teeth. He's trying to pull up on things too, which is a little scary. He is on the accelerated baby plan. At six months old, his siblings were sitting and just starting to get on all fours, but not going anywhere yet.
He remains a lousy sleeper. At night I'm lucky to get a four-hour stretch from him, but it's usually two to three at a time. He sometimes puts up a good, long fight at bedtime, and by the time he gives up we're ready to turn in ourselves. I can usually get him to take two to three naps a day, sometimes with some coaxing. They are not at consistent times, and maybe the baby sleep experts would tell me that's part of my problem. But my saving grace is that school is out, and when I hand him off to Annie at around 6, I can get one to two more hours of sleep myself. Then I can still function and take them to the pool or the store, and do whatever other things I need to do. His day, and my day start at different times from one day to the next, and there's no consistency. I know that if I really put some focus and effort into it, I could get him and us on a reliable schedule; but I feel like it would mean more work and less rest for me, at least in the short term, so I keep putting it off.
The silver lining to this is that I don't have to worry about ruining any stellar routine that I have established with him, with our upcoming travels. There is freedom in that. Tim and I always like to tell any new parents we know the story of how we once squandered a work trip to Lake George, NY. The world would not have ended if we'd left that dark and silent hotel room at 7:30 p.m. and pushed Delaney around town in her stroller, seen some sights, and had a drink and socialized. It's OK to throw out the routine once in awhile. It's supposed to serve us, not the other way around. But knowing me, once I ever get this kid sleeping at predictable times, I might start to get very rigid again about what time I'll go where. (Birthday party at 2 p.m.? Hell no. Why do people always want to do things at 2 p.m.?) But with things being the way they are, my other kids are happier than ever because I'm willing to pack up and go at just about any time of the day as long as Joey's up. He's been taking naps poolside in his stroller. If they get to have fun, that makes me happy.
Sleep issues aside, he is a delight to us all. He is so playful. He loves the attention of his siblings, and he'll shriek or squeal with joy at them. And I know it's not really possible, there are times I almost think he's saying "hi." For instance, once Annie brought him out after his nap and set him on the floor. I looked over and waved and said, "Hi," and he smiled huge and made a noise that sounded almost like "Hi." I didn't think much of it because I was/am pretty sure that he can't say anything. But a few days later at a party a neighbor said to me, "It sounded like he said 'hi' to me!" I was pretty surprised someone besides me had thought that. One thing for sure is he is responding to being greeted, even if he's not actually saying hi.
Joey's first time sitting in grass, and not just any grass. The nice grass at the downtown park. I would not try sitting him in the kind of grass that's in our yard, all prickly and full of ants.
We just love this baby so much. His growing list of nicknames is proof of this. Joes, Joesie, Joes Knows, Shnoogumberry, Jo-Jo Berries, Jo-Jo Beans, Josie-Posey.. The other kids like the rhymes I make up: "Josey-Posey pudding and pie spit up on the girls and made them cry." "Joeses supposes we'll goeses to Moeses." "Joesie supposies he'll eat Mama's clothesies." "Joeses supposies his dipe smells like roses, but Joeses supposes erroneously." I stole that from a book my mom checked out from the library for me a long time ago. It went "Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously." We got a kick out of that back then, and it gives my kids a laugh now.
We have started baby-led weaning, mostly as a way to keep him amused during dinnertime. (Weaning in this context means adding solid foods to the baby's breastfed diet -- not quitting breastfeeding.) He does not appreciate sitting in his chair empty-handed while we all eat. So far I've given him a baby fist-sized piece of cantaloupe, an apple slice, a roasted red pepper slice, and a taste of guacamole. He has not ingested any of these things. He breaks them apart in his mouth and then drools them out, making a terrific mess. Sometimes he gags on pieces and that's normal. Gagging is not choking. Gagging is the reflex that protects a baby from choking. But of course I keep my eye on him the whole time he has food so I can save him if I need to. I have tried purees in the past with my kids and never had much luck. It didn't seem worth the bother. They liked to nurse mostly, and then they gradually started liking our food more and more, in addition to nursing. Eventually they are eating mostly table foods and nursing a little bit. Weaning is complete when they are not nursing at all. At some point I learned that this is a legitimate approach to starting solids, and there's a fancy sounding name to go with my laziness.
He still has never taken a bottle, and doesn't always want to nurse, so I've started offering him a sippy cup every day with either my milk or water in it. It has handles on the side so he can grip it easily. Mostly he just plays with it and gnaws on the spout, but the other day he did take a few drinks with my help. It would be great if we could get him to take the sippy and I could go a few hours without worrying about having to nurse him.

He's in mostly 6-9 or 6-12 clothes now, and size 3 diapers. His doctor appointment is later this month, and then we'll see how he's growing. Happy half-birthday to Joe!