So, I’m going to interrupt the study-ridden period know as my weekend to talk about the wonderful little toddler we have in our house. In other words, consider this my warning that there’s a long baby entry ahead.
We’re almost done with October, but I’m going to start with September. Why? September was a big month for Mathias. For one, we started taking him to a daycare near Lisa’s work, both to add a little more stability to Lisa’s schedule—she now works three afternoons in a row—and to get Mathias into an environment where he can get a lot of interaction with toddlers his age. (The daycare also has a basic curriculum, which is nice.) It may be a bit tough for him as he’s the only one who can’t walk independently—not completely surprising as he is the youngest in his room—but hopefully he’ll get a bit more brave on the walking bit as he sees his cohorts running around.
At home, he’s all over the place. Lisa and him went to Madison last weekend, which gave me some time to finish some babyproofing (but not quite enough time). Most of the items that could be a threat to him have already been taken care of, so at this point it’s more about what we can do to prevent him from destroying the house. While he’s doesn’t have the balance thing completely figured out, he can stand and walk if he has something to hold onto or lean on, which means he can pretty much make his way around the apartment at standing-level. If it’s at table-level or below, he can and will get at it.
On the plus side, he’s kind of lost interest in the litter box, although I’m still going to try to build something around it. The challenge is preventing the baby from accessing the litter box without preventing the cat from doing the same. Untraining a housebroken feline would be a bad thing.
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A challenge for Mathias trying to walk may be his body shape: According to his most recent checkup, his head is in the 90th percentile, and he’s in the 70th percentile for height, but in the weight category he’s only in the 20th percentile. I suspect his center of gravity is probably quite a bit higher than many his age.
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Mathias has been very talkative as of late. Most of it’s still baby babble, but his use of actual words has been increasing. Mama, dada, kitty, are common. “A-da,” Mathias’ rough translation at “all done” is on the books, although we haven’t heard it for a while. His most recent word is “clock,” although it often comes out “cock,” which is a bit unfortunate. The word may be a bit difficult for him, as it’s his first monosyllable word, where everything up to this point has been two-syllable.
Does he actually know what he’s saying when he says “clock?” His errors in recognition are just as telling as the times he’s correct. When in Madison, he started saying “clock” when he spotted the round thermometers in the refrigerated cases at the grocery store, and at a recent swimming lesson he “clocked” the pace clock from the middle of the pool.
For a while it seemed his use of “dada” was more about parental units than me in particular, but he seems to have the differentiation down now. One of the most grotesquely heartwarming things I’ve ever had happen came just a few weeks ago while I was carrying Mathias down the hall. He was in one of his quietly contented baby states, fully awake but with two of his fingers in his mouth. (Instead of his thumb, he usually sucks on his left middle and ring fingers.) At one point turned at me and paused, as if to study me. He pulled his fingers out of his mouth, matter-of-factly said “dada,” and put his fingers back in. It wasn’t as much what he said as the look on his face and how he said it—I suddenly had the recognition that, holy shit, he actually knows.
There’s quite a difference between knowing you’re a dad, and knowing your son knows you’re his dad. And, trust me, it’s a big one. The flips side is, I’ll be holding him, and he’ll be all “mama mama mama.” So I’ll hand him to his mom, and he’ll reach for me and start dada-ing.
So, he’s definitely developed a preference among his parents: both.
Back to studying. More later.