29 July 2009

I Have to Write a Really Long Synopsis of the Doctor Appointment So I Can Remember What the Doctor Said Three Months From Now When We Go Again

Today was our 6 month appointment with the doctor. Don’t let it confuse you that Eamon is actually 7 months old (today. He emerged into this Earth 7 months ago today)—it was definitely his 6 month checkup. I have a handout and everything that tells me about him being 6 months old, and how I should be doing things like baby-proofing the house (which I started in great earnest about a month ago and then the effort just sort of petered out. Hopefully, I’ll feel the urge to safetify everything again after I finish teaching summer school tomorrow).

As for Eamon’s height, he was 28 ¼ inches (90th%), 19.02 pounds (75th%), and his head was ____ inches (75th%) (okay, I can’t remember the exact number. Whatever. It’s not like I buy him hats based on his head size or anything). I was a bit worried about this appointment because Eamon’s at that tricky age where he gets bored really easily, and yet still isn’t mobile so he expects mommy to provide all his entertainment, and our doctor always runs late.

Which I did. Let me tell you about the entertainment I provided and how completely creative and rockin’ Eamon’s mommy is. I will preface by saying that I certainly did bring along a number of wonderful and brightly colored toys carefully designed to stimulate his fine motor coordination and overall intelligence. Here are the things that actually kept his attention the majority of the time: 1) other kids (hooray for other people’s mobile children who can walk up and say ‘hi’ to my child), 2) a water bottle (almost empty), and 3) the wall.

Eamon was fascinated by the wall. He kept kissing it. In his own special Eamon-kissing way. I hope they clean their walls.

Anyway, Dr. Bolduc came in, and we discussed how fabulous Eamon is. Well, I mentioned that anyway. He didn’t disagree with me, but I suppose after so many years in pediatrics he knows better.

Then Eamon bit him. (Two teeth! At the same time!)

Dr. Bolduc also noticed Eamon’s haircut (everyone does), and asked how I felt about it—whether I was okay with it. I blinked in surprise.

“Um, yeah. I gave it to him.”

He looked equally surprised.

“He had hair in his eyes,” I fumbled to explain.

“Well, then, you’re a very practical mom,” he said. I smiled uneasily—what does that mean? Is practical good? Or bad? Or just…practical?

He went on to explain that many moms get really emotional about their baby’s first haircut, because it means the kid is growing up. I looked at Eamon, who was attempting to take off his diaper, and just thought, “Well, yeah. What else is he supposed to do?”

We also talked about Eamon’s eating habits. We’ve been going really slowly with introducing new foods since he’s shown signs of allergy and I have a lot of allergies, which means that at 7 months old, he’s only eating rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas (we tried green beans, but he hated them and they turned his cheeks red, so we’re going to shelve them for now). Dr. Bolduc told us to try meats and fruits next, and then somewhere around month 9, start him on finger foods like mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings. Or maybe it was damp bread and Cheerios. Something like that.

Around this point, Dr. Bolduc asked me if I had any questions, and you have to have questions, so I made up some questions really quickly, such as: 1) should Eamon be crawling now? And 2) is it okay if he sleeps on his tummy if he puts himself that way? I sort of already knew the answers. To the first: some babies crawl by now, but more and more babies are sort of skipping the crawling phase altogether because so many of them sleep on their backs and just go straight to walking. That’s not the worst thing in the world, though tummy time is important because it strengthens their throat muscles, and that helps in speech. SO, don’t sweat the crawling too much (as long as he is getting around somehow), but do keep putting him on his tummy.

(I do put Eamon on his tummy often. And then he flips right back over onto his back. Nevertheless! said the doctor. Just keep putting him there anyway)

As for sleeping on his tummy, obviously we can’t watch the kiddo all night long, so if he can flip himself onto his tummy, then he can flip himself back off it if he needs to.

Dr. Bolduc also said that we could start letting Eamon go into the pool, which is good because he totally went in the pool again last week with our friends Samantha (age 1 ½ ) and Beth (age ____), and didn’t hate it that time. Also, we’ve signed him up for swim “lessons” starting next weekend at the Riverside Wellness Center (expect a nice huge blog about that next week).

Then it came time for Eamon’s shots, which E certainly handled like a champ. He took three to the leg with only about 30 seconds of crying. By the time we made it back to the waiting room to schedule our next appointment, Eamon was all smiles for the girl behind the counter.

Finally (two hours after we had arrived there), we walked quickly across the parking lot through the rain, made it back into the car, and Eamon promptly passed out until we finally made it home.

In other news, Eamon successfully weathered a mommy-drought when I was gone for 3 days to explore the Great Northeast (3 states in 3 days!), mostly thanks to his Oma and Opa, who drove down from Delaware so that E could stay in his own house. Eamon has wonderful grandparents, and I would have made him sign the thank you card, except that he's been too busy trying to figure out how to get the diaper off.

20 July 2009

Eamon's Book Recommendations

Preface: Eamon loves books. He thinks they are yummy. Literally. Most story times are actually a wrestling match to see whether we will read or eat the book in question. But tonight, something different happened...

Have you read the FUNNIEST BOOK EVER?

It's a laugh-a-minute work of art called Pop! Went Another Balloon, by Keith Faulkner and Roger Tyger. In it, Toby starts with TEN BALLOONS to take to Tina for her birthday, but they keep (wait for it!): POPPING! Until there is only ONE balloon left! HAHAHAHAHA!

But there's more! There's action (swooping birds! popping balloons!), suspense (will yet ANOTHER balloon be popped? will any be LEFT?), and a romance on brink of destruction (can Tina still love Toby even though he keeps letting all these balloons be popped?). It is obviously a travesty that this book was never nominated for a Caldecott, or a Newberry, or even a Pulitizer.

I had no idea when I bought this book (years ago, for a class at William and Mary on teaching math to wee children) that I had taken home the MOST HILARIOUS BOOK KNOWN TO MAN. It has sat demurely on our bookshelves, its potential unknown, until last night when I pulled it out for Aaron to read to Eamon before bed.

If that video doesn't make you want to rush right out and buy your own copy, I don't know what will.

17 July 2009


So, yesterday, I wrote about Eamon not being able to figure out how to move the lower and upper half of his body at the same time, and I think he read the blog after I went to bed, because today, he seemed to realize, "OH! This is how you do it."

He was going after (of course) the remote control. He pushed up his butt and lunged with his arms. It was terribly undignified, and not really a "proper" crawl, but he propelled himself forward enough to grab the remote and then flipped onto his back to suck on the remote triumphantly.

Being a naturally loving mother, I immediately took away the remote, turned him back on his stomach, and placed the remote control just out of reach to see if he would do it again. He did.

But when I tried it a third and fourth time...well, enough is enough, woman, I'm sure he was thinking. So I let him suck happily on the remote as a reward for putting up with his mother's insanity. He hasn't duplicated the feat since, but once they get an idea into their heads, it never takes long for it to take hold...
This is a terrible picture because I took it with my cell phone, which doesn't do "live action" well. I couldn't find our camera anywhere--it turns out Aaron had taken it with him on an overnight trip, of course...

16 July 2009

Immobile Communication

Eamon is at that great age (6 ½ months), where he can communicate and interact, but when you put him down somewhere you can be reasonably sure he’ll still be there if you turn your back for 10 seconds. I know that these days are numbered, however, since each day he seems to be doing something new and different on his milestone chart.

Eamon "helps" Mommy fold the laundry

For instance, Eamon can definitely turn over now. He can turn over onto his tummy, and onto his side, and onto his back. He hasn’t figured out crawling, yet, but he has figured out to roll short distances to get what he wants. The other day, he rolled onto his stomach and even got his feet and bottom up and pushed, but forgot to move his arms, and then became frustrated because he wasn’t moving. Other times, he pulls with his arms but forgets to move his feet. There’s a lot of baby to coordinate, but I know that it’s coming soon.

He’s also trying to sit himself up. He can sit for a long time if you put him in that position, but has yet to be able to go from lying down to sitting up unassisted. He grabs onto his crib rails and heaves, though nothing quite happens yet (once again, that’s a lot of baby to pull up). Eamon also attempts to sit up while his diaper is being changed, which is just fascinating.

Mmm...remote control...I shall love thee and covet thee always....

Even more pronounced, however, are his advances in communication. He doesn’t talk yet, but he has learned that he can initiate communication. He laughs and smiles almost all the time (when he’s not tired or hungry, of course), and is always trying to get others to laugh and smile with him. He's been playing Peek-A-Boo with us for awhile now (where he puts a diaper rag over his face, and then pulls it away and laughs when we shout Peek-A-Boo).


He’s also learning to mimic. Aaron and I give Eamon raspberries all the time on his tummy, and the other day, to my surprise, he grabbed my leg and did the same thing to me! Now it’s one of his favorite tricks to make the people in his life laugh. Today, when Eamon and I went to lunch with my friend, Charmaine, she banged on the table while talking, and then Eamon banged on it, too. She banged again, and so did he, and on and on it went. When she occasionally remembered to talk to me, Eamon would bang on the table again to get her attention and keep playing their game.


Unfortunately, not all of Eamon’s communications are positive. He’s also learning to be a bit, how shall we say it?—manipulative. Eamon and I were shopping in Babies R Us a few days ago, and I was looking for something on a registry. Eamon was determined that he wanted that registry, and kept grabbing at it. I was looking for a specific diaper bag, so I just kept moving the registry away from him and ignoring him until I suddenly heard a loud wail. I looked over to see the tears welling up and the little mouth starting to pout as he reached for the registry again. I put the registry behind my back and told him, “No, you can’t have it, now stop it,” and he gave a very disgruntled sigh and started playing with the toys on his seat cover. He hadn’t been upset at all. He just wanted to see if he could use the crying to get what he wanted.

The shadow looms ever closer...

But 95% of the time, he’s a smiley, happy little guy. That manipulation thing was just a fluke, I’m sure, and probably won’t happen again.

(Sigh. We're in for it, aren't we?)

08 July 2009

Eamon vs. Water

Over the holiday weekend, the Wolfe family made a trip across the Virginia peninsulas to meet up with our friends the Greens who live in Okinawa. It was the second overnight trip Eamon has taken (see Meltdown Extravaganza), and we worry how he'll react. He's done much better with strangers recently, but we curtailed our plans a little just to be safe. We wanted to take a trip to DC and visit friends, but were unsure how having his routine disruped for 3 or 4 days would affect him.

Anyway, the visit was great and it was good to catch up. The exciting part was getting Eamon to sample a pool for the first time. No, not having him eat it (although he did try- like he tries to put everything in his mouth).

As a former lifeguard, I think it is imporatnt to get him used to the water early. I loved being in the water (and still do), so naturally I want Eamon to feel comfortable, too. He has become more interested in bath time since he figured out he could splash, so we weren't too worried about the adventure.

Admittedly, the pool (although heated) was chilly. It took a little while to get used to it. Have we mentioned Eamon's dislike of cold? He won't drink from the bottle if it's too cold, he won't sleep well if he's too cold, he doesn't like the wind if it's too cold, etc. Although this fact was well known to us, we tried to get him in the water anyway. It didn't quite go as planned. Little man went from smilely happy baby to upset crier in 2.3 seconds. I kept him in the pool anyway, since I had grown accustomed to the temperature and thusly thought that he would, too. Wrong again. More screaming. So we took him out.

I sat him on the edge of the pool to see if he would go with just having his feet in the water. No. Once removed from the (assumed) torture, Eamon quickly retured to his smiling happy self. Not being a quitter, I wanted to try again. This time we slowly waded in, and I took off his hat so I could submerge him, thinking that if it was all done at once, he might actually like it. Wrong. Blood-curdling screams leapt from his little lungs. Who knew something so small could make noises that loud?

Well, even though his first foray into the water was a complete and total failure, I am going to sigh him up for baby swimming lessons next week. Maybe the indoor pool will be better for him...