I brought him to the doctor for his 12-month checkup about a week ago, and the doctor was a bit concerned about his growth. He measured 28.54 inches (8th percentile) and weighed 19.62 pounds ( 6th percentile). He had a printout of his growth curve in his hand, and I could see how the line just leveled off at the top. This didn't come as any kind of surprise since I've been complaining for awhile that he doesn't eat as well or as often as he should. It's difficult to get him eating solid foods, but then a lot of times he acts like he can't be bothered to nurse either! Nor does he want a bottle or a sippy of milk. It's maddening. A more stubborn child I have never had. I feel like I'm always trying to get him to eat or nurse. Lately -- and it's subject to change from one day to the next -- he's been liking spaghetti and meatballs and hummus. He hates cereal of all kinds. He won't even snack on dry Cheerios or Chex; just throws them around and sometimes puts one in his mouth only to spit it out.
The doctor said that lack of weight gain is pretty common at his age, but the height is more of a concern since it would indicate some "caloric restriction." Then he asked how he compared to my other kids. I remembered that at Delaney's 12-month checkup, her pediatrician had told me that she'd dropped off her growth curve. I pulled out her growth chart (yes, I keep all the kids' immunization records handy in my purse, for what reason I'm not exactly sure; and the girls' ones from Massachusetts have their growth charts in the back.). I took a look and then said, "Wow, Delaney was actually a little bigger. And Delaney's a peanut."
|This was first thing in the morning. I don't know why he's licking her face but it's funny.|
I have to say this conversation was so much easier to have as a veteran mom of four. Knowing he knew that I've managed to keep three older kids alive for as long as I have, made me feel much more secure and less like I was getting a bad grade for not growing my baby big enough. Even if I kind of was.
I told him about what a finicky eater he is and I took him up on his offer of a referral for a nutritional counselor, saying, "My kids could all use that; they're all picky." I'll take him for another checkup in three months. In the meantime grow, Joey, grow!
So how is our runt doing otherwise?
He just got over his first cold. It was a rough few days, especially since the worst of it started right as Tim left on a work trip. Sick babies are the saddest. He was feverish, sleepy but not sleeping well, coughing, nose running, all standard cold stuff. I had to use the Nosefrida on him a few times, and his terrified cries would wake the whole house up. As of yesterday and today, I definitely think he's recovered but he is still so moody. He demands to be held almost every waking moment and cries whenever I'm out of his direct line of sight. Tim and I think he must have gotten used to the sick baby treatment and now he's malingering.
He took his first steps on December 23, while we were staying at my mom and dad's. He is still not walking other than taking practice steps here and there, usually when I stand him up and hold my arms out for him to walk to me. And ONLY when he's in the mood for it.
When he is playful and content, he is so nice to be around and so much fun to watch.
He puts things away now, or at least tries to, in addition to pulling them out. A few days ago I looked over and saw him with Timmy's wallet and a handful of dollar bills, and I observed him for a little while instead of just taking them away. He wasn't ripping them to pieces; he was trying to make them go back in the wallet. He was concentrating so hard, like 'I know these go in here, but I just don't know how.'
He loves to point at things, especially overhead lights. When he does, I say, "That's the light," or "Those are the lights." He says, "Tsss.."
He does a "downward dog" and laughs when I come look at him through his legs.
His siblings are obsessed with him and they are always vying with one another for the honor of being the one to take him out of my arms the minute they get off the bus in the afternoon. If it's a nice day, Annie takes him outside to play.
When he's ready for bed he rubs his eyes and waves 'night-night'. It is adorable. Just a couple nights ago I skipped the 10:00 dream feed for the first time, and he slept as well as ever. So no more dream feed. He got to the point where he didn't want to be bothered with it anymore, and I was getting sick of it too since sometimes I'd rather go to bed at 9 or even 8:30. I just worried that he still needed the extra feeding since, you know, I've got to feed him at every possible opportunity. He's still taking his morning nap usually, for about an hour and 20 minutes, although he fights it sometimes. His afternoon nap is usually and hour-and-a-half long. Those naps have been saving my butt, especially on his really moody days. He still sleeps in his pack 'n play on the other side of the guest bed. That was not the plan, but he still needs his own room and that's going to be the way it is at least until we move.
He might drive us (mostly me) crazy, but we sure do love our Joe!