5/6 of a year

So here's an update on 10-month-old Kent and his most recent new things.

Everything is "da" or "dada" now. Sometimes Jack gets a "hey dada," but then so do I, so we're pretty sure it doesn't communicate any fatherly sentiment yet. We've had fun mimicking his das, then trying to get him to switch to mas. Here's how that usually goes:

K: Hey dada.
Us: Hey mama.
K: Hey dada.
Us: Mama.
K: Da.
Us: Mama.
K: Da.


He also says "ah-da," which I've decided means, "Oh, look!" He says it when he sees one of the cats, or anything else that has just entered his field of vision. It's just so darn cute to hear him babble, even when it's coming over the baby monitor at 3 a.m. when we'd much rather hear light breathing or little boy snores, or better yet, nothing at all if we're *all* asleep.

He's greatly expanded his food repertoire, and he'll now eat pretty much any puree we feed him. The last one I made, which I invented (partly inspired by First Meals), was chicken, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese mixed with orzo pasta. I think it's pretty tasty, it's a good consistency for him since it's a little bit chunky but mostly smooth, and Kent seems to like it too. Jack has not weighed in on its tastiness, however, due to the presence of chicken.

Kent is also starting to eat more pieces of things with his fingers, though he has the funniest skeptical expression when we first put something new in front of him. He eats Gerber puffs and Cheerios like gangbusters, and he's also been known to sample cheddar cheese, apples, carrot sticks, chicken, and some miniscule pieces of bacon, in addition to various breads and baked goods. (You can see him working on part of my pretzel in my birthday photo essay.) He'll try anything on his high chair tray, but most of the things that aren't Cheerios or puffs get licked and then dropped very deliberately on the floor. I keep thinking that it would be such fun for a dog, never knowing what deliciousness would drop from the heavens next, though we can barely handle a 10-month-old and aren't looking to expand our family in the canine direction anytime soon.

We're still in sippy cup limbo. He'll drink from the cup without a straw if we hold it up to his mouth and he's in the right mood, but he hasn't taken over holding it himself (he usually just wants to bang it on the high chair or drop it very deliberately on the floor... are you sensing a pattern?). I try the cup with the straw every so often, but he hasn't gotten the hang of it, either. So we keep practicing. He's actually better at drinking from a regular water bottle, but he needs a lot of help and he's gotten pretty drenched a few times when I tipped it back too far. Oops.

He's crawling like a pro, still pulling up on things and walking with assistance but not making any moves toward walking on his own yet. Crawling is getting him everywhere he needs to go, so he doesn't seem to be in any rush to become an upright person. Fine by us.

Kent and I visited his school for the second time yesterday to check out how lunch time works with a bunch of 1-year-olds. It was so much more calm than I had expected. All six of the little ones were in their high chairs, working on their little pizzas, mixed veggies, and fruit, with the two teachers popping around to help and dish out seconds for anyone who wanted more. The kids were cute, and even though most of them are on the high end of 1 and will be moving to the two-year-old class in a month or two, I thought, okay, I can see Kent doing this with some help. Everyone got his or her own little sippy cup at the end of the meal, and it was easy for me to imagine Kent getting help with his. The most amazing thing was that after the meal, each kid toddled over to his or her own crib, waited to be lifted into it, then lay down with his or her butt in the air and closed his or her eyes. Just like that. Sarah, the main teacher, said there's always a period of adjustment at first when a new class starts but that the kids get the hang of naptime pretty quickly, and then they just fall asleep. I'm totally blown away. Kent needs to learn this trick.

I'm getting over some of my issues each time we visit, and Kent is already getting fairly comfortable with the teachers and the room, so I'm glad we're making time to do this. I'm still concerned about his transition from nursing on demand (every 2 hours at least) and eating a little bit of solid food at mealtimes to having a morning snack and then lunch, with no nursing and only limited access to a cup of pumped milk. We'll iron this out, I know, but since I'm kind of unable to anticipate how exactly that will happen, I keep getting visions of him going hungry and sadly wondering where in the world I've gone.

So his 10-month milestone came and went without a lot of fanfare. We're just enjoying life with our son, catching sleep some of the time, and having a lot of exploration, books, and tickles and giggles. Sometimes too many tickles and giggles. We really, really like to hear him giggle.




It sounds like so many exciting things are happening. BTW, the "hey da-da" video clip is awesome - I'm totally using it in the language development section of my class! You two are just naturally doing all these great things to help him realize that this sound has a meaning, and I again thank you for the use of your son for educational purposes. LOL! :-)

Oh, I thought of you recently when a new friend was talking about getting her 18 mo old used to daycare. Initially, she would leave her for just 30, 45, 60 minutes at a time and she would go to another room in the building to read, so she was close by if the teachers needed to come get her. She said it was greatly comforting when she would look into the window and see her daughter having a good time (after the initial crying session), and she got more comfortable leaving her for longer. Maybe something like that would help ease into the transition?
In response to "I keep thinking that it would be such fun for a dog, never knowing what deliciousness would drop from the heavens next," I can promise that Jessie and Cotton are eagerly awaiting the chance to demonstrate the appropriate prayers and thanksgivings associated with such divine gifts.
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