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Clawing my way back to normal

A few weeks ago, we had it made.  Henry went down with a minimum of fussing for 2 naps per day, and the slipped peacefully into slumber at night, not really awakening for 12 or so hours.

That  has changed.

I’m pretty sure it’s due to all the back & forthing.  He doesn’t like ‘camping out’ in New Hampshire (and I have to say, I’m looking forward to having furniture again, too.) and his portable crib cramps his outflung arms, & roll-y-baby style.  The routine is, by necessity, different between Brooklyn & NH.  His NH room is brighter during the day than the baby-cave of the basement in NY.  He doesn’t have homemade food in NH, just the ready-made stuff, and I think it doesn’t agree with him as well.  Plus, you know, the ongoing quest to have all his teeth before he turns 10 mos. old, the almost-crawling that has him aquiver with anticipation, the development of rolling as a deliberate, motor-across-the-room action, sitting up without help, and letting himself back down to roll – these are all exciting things to a baby brain, and I’m pretty sure he’s just amped about how cool his life is, much of the time.  (Empty boxes! The letter ‘B’! Doggie! SIPPY CUP!  ROLLLLININNNNGGGG!!!!!! CRACKER!!! OOOOAAAAAATTTTMEALLLLLLL!!!!!!)

Which is all well & good, but for the last two weeks or so, his days have been all about appearing to consider taking a nap, but instead deciding to pop open his eyes, laugh in mom’s weary face, and go back to trying to pick up the cracks in the wood floor.  His nights have been more along the lines of ‘scream!’ ‘sleep’ ‘scream!’ ‘sleep’

repeat.  repeat.  repeat.

I’m really quite exhausted – sort of a bone-deep ‘don’t talk to me, cuz you’ll just piss me off’ level of exhaustion that even the Boy has noticed.  And I’m trying not to give into the mean, because that’s not who I want to be, but it’s hard when you feel like all your neurons are just stuttering to a halt in your braincase without ever getting you anywhere.

But this morning, Henry let me sleep til a little after 6 (which is SO much better than the 4am which has been his new wake-up time recently)  He’s currently propelling himself (backwards) through the kitchen on his tummy, which is amusing me as much as it’s pissing him off.

And, really, there’s an awful lot of fun going on in the household, too, in between the no-napping.

  • Henry has gone from a smiling, but not-very-chuckly baby to a little person who finds new things to giggle at every day.  Being threatened by mom’s “Tickle Hands” coming at him is his new favorite.
  • He’s been giving his peculiar big, open-mouthed kisses for a couple of months, now – to me, and his father, and his dog.  But now, apparently, photos of faces have made enough of an impression on his baby-brain that they’re due the same treatment.  Nothing cuter than a baby kissing all the pictures of babies in a big board book.
  • His babbling has (finally!) progressed past mastery of the ‘MMMM’ sound, and we’ve got some complex word forms going on.  I swear he’s been practicing the word “Blah-blah-blah” lately, because I laugh every time he says it.  He’s also figured out that his tongue is good for changing the sound of sounds.  But he hasn’t figured out he can usually leave it in his mouth while he’s talking.  So it pokes out – crookedly, no less! – from one side of his mouth while he’s babbling.  ADORABLE!
  • Cords – and shoelaces – and my long hair – and the dog’s leash — (are you sensing a theme here?) — are the new favored toys.  Which is making baby-proofing a bit challenging.  I think we’re going to be investing in a lot of ‘nail ’em to the wall’ type cord securing devices.  Weirdly enough, his cousin went through a stage where he was obsessed with extension cords.  It’s family legend, actually, how odd this now-perfectly-normal man was as a young kid.  Looks like Henry’s following along in those family footsteps, perhaps.
  • Feeding mama is his new bust-out-into-giggles trick. If I hand him a rice rusk, he’ll offer it back to me first.  I’ll pretend to take a nibble and make extravagant faces over how delicious it is.  This makes him nearly swoon with delight.  So he’ll take a bite before offering it back to me.  So very good at sharing!  (And such a shame I don’t like rice rusks.)
  • Truly – lack of sleep aside, this age is proving to be so very much fun.  And once I have neurons to use again, it’ll be even better, I’m sure.

And on an entirely different note, I’ve got a new book review up at BlogHer.  Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok – I didn’t expect to like this book but I really really did.  See, I know kids like this in Queens.  Kids that are so bright, so full of promise – and yeah, this is a semi-autobiographical, so you know it’s not going to have a bummer of an ending, which is something I’m not at all assured of with the kids I knew in Queens.  But an excellent read, a wonderful, hopeful, story that I truly enjoyed.