Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Mid-Exhaustion Musings as I Crave Chocolate and Dream of Sleep

Michael's fever was gone without a trace yesterday, vanishing as quickly and mysteriously as it came. I'm going to chalk it up to the Big Bad Shot and count my blessings that I did not have a sick baby on my hands on Tom's day to go into the office. Michael was still a little cranky, though, (courtesy of teething, most likely) and refused his afternoon nap.

He rejected it again today.

So, I'm thinking maybe we're transitioning out of the two-nap phase into the one-nap phase. The trouble is, he's still taking that first nap mighty early, and I think he'll be continuing to need to until he gets it into his head that 5:00-7:00 am is a little sooner than he really needs to be waking up in the morning with an 8:00 pm bedtime.

Though he's making slow, steady progress towards switching gears from crawling to walking, we're running into a few new hurdles on the feeding front. It's suddenly become massively important to get him to eat, since we have to limit his cow's milk intake, and he's chosen this time to start up a brand-new, obnoxious habit. He's learned a new move, which I have dubbed the "windshield wipe." Imagine little baby hands and arms mimicking the motion of wiper blades along the surface of the high chair tray. Then, imagine what effect such motion might have on the food that I placed there for him to eat.

Good times.

Abby used to do this, as well, though she generally waited until she'd had enough to eat, and was bored with the whole process. Michael is a bit more whimsical. Sometimes he'll wait awhile, other times, he'll start into it right away, having taken nary a bite.

So, now I have two options: focus more on spoon-feeding, which I really need to move away from at this point, as he's getting too old to just be eating purees, and he needs to be exploring how to feed himself. Or, try to limit the food carnage by placing just a few morsels on the tray at a time.

I've been doing somewhat of a combination approach, but the end result is the same as using any one of them: constant interruptions to my own attempts to eat. Not that the eating experience has been particularly pleasant for some time now, what with the shrieks, screams, and banging that go on just to the left of me throughout each meal.

Sigh. Is it any wonder that I've been so slow to gain weight this pregnancy?

As usual, Abby's been trying to balance the scales by upping the cuteness factor. She's taken to speaking directly to her brother, and addressing him by the nickname that I use for him: Buddy. "How's it going, Buddy? Are you okay, Buddy? What'sa matter, Buddy?" And, of course, she does all of this in her own version of baby talk.

It's quite the experience, hearing a young toddler trying to talk to a little baby in a special "Mommy voice." Too cute for words.

What's most striking, however, is the approach that she takes with him. So Big-Sisterly. She'll stoop to his level, look in his eyes, pat his back, place a hand on his tiny shoulder. Of course, at this point, it's all very fleeting; at any given moment she's just as likely (more so, really) to be grabbing a toy out of his hands or pushing him out of her way as she is to be channeling her nurturing side. But when she does play the role of nurturer, I catch a glimpse of a future in which she embraces her role as the eldest, and becomes a protective and loving older sibling.

It took time to get to this point, though, and I'm unsure how much of it can be attributed to her developing maturity, and how much to Michael's (which makes him more relatable to her, suddenly). So now, I'm left to wonder just what the initial dynamic between her and my littlest baby will be, when that future is finally realized.