Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Meet Clark: 9 months

Clark is nine months old today. I can vividly remember sitting in this exact same spot on the couch writing his one month update and being overwhelmed by how much material I had to write about. Now I'm wondering why exactly that was so overwhelming? For his first month of life, he slept, ate, and pooped a lot. That's about it. Writing his nine month update will be impossible to fully capture everything going on in his life right now because literally (I hate when people use that word, even if they mean something to be literal) Clark did something new and improved every single day last month. I could punch myself in the face for not keeping a more accurate account of it because it would be one heck of an update. But I'll try my best.

Where do I even begin? I'll start with what seems like the most appropriate and relevant topic: mobility. I spend ten or more hours a day chasing around a VERY mobile infant. People used to warn me that Clark would be a handful because even as a small baby, he was always squirming, wriggling, twisting, and trying to jump out of our arms. I grossly underestimated them. This kid's got moves, and nothing is off limits in Clark's world. I'm scared to describe how fast he crawls for fear of you thinking I'm exaggerating. You just need to come see it for yourself. He can be in his room and in ten seconds or less be in our room at the opposite side of the house. When he was doing the army crawl, he became pretty efficient at reaching high speeds, but now that he's on all fours, its as if we strapped an engine to his back.

He also gets into trouble about fifty or more times per day. I follow him around all day pulling him out of cabinets, the fireplace, the pantry, the washing machine, and the toilet. I only tell him 'no' when I need to, but dadgum, I need to all the dadgum time. He's already had a couple of close calls, like when he opened a cabinet in the kitchen, grabbed the blender, threw it on the ground, and then cried when it shattered into a hundred pieces all around him. I told Clark that mommy was sorry that he was scared, but mommy was also sad that she can't make a frozen margarita anymore. He didn't understand.

So that brings me to my next topic: babyproofing. We are not going to do it to the extreme that most good parents do. I firmly believe that if we teach Clark to obey us and to really listen to our voices, then he will learn (eventually) to not touch things he's not supposed to. If we go and rearrange our entire house to be foolproof, it might be easier in the short run, but he won't learn to listen to me or Aaron. Also, when we go somewhere else that is not babyproofed, which is pretty much everywhere in the world, it would be pretty awful because he would try to touch (or terrorize) everything within reach because he only knows what is off limits at home. So I'm not going to lock toilet seats down, lock cabinets, rearrange furniture, etc. I'm just going to start now really teaching him to obey me and Aaron and in the meantime, I will just robotically say "that's a no" about a billion times a day. However, I will cover outlets and move all my cleaning supplies to a higher cabinet so there's no danger there. I'm really not a horrible mom, I promise. Aaron is on the same page as I am with the babyproofing thing. But sometimes, he gets really frustrated and does what any man would do when their kid is continually trying to explore new territory: reach for the nearest roll of duct tape. I honestly do not know if he considered this a permanent solution, seeing as how pretty much all of my kitchen utensils are in that drawer, but whatever.

At nine months old, Clark is definitely in the business of growing teeth. He has eight teeth and at least one more coming in, which basically means he has been in a constant state of teething for five months. And man, those puppies are sharp. Sometimes Aaron lets Clark bite his hand (which is incredibly stupid if you ask me) and always acts surprised when he starts bleeding and has shark teeth imprints all over it. Clark also has been known to attack one's nose if one is holding him. He will lunge toward your face with his mouth wide open just hoping to sink his teeth into your nose. I can't decide if its disturbing or cute, but either way, we are always on guard when holding him. Everything within reach goes in his mouth still, and I mean everything. Dog food. Mud. Grass. Jake. Everything. He eats his crib every night and has a couple of stuffed animals who are already approaching their doomsday any day now. I had to quit wearing earrings for the time being because he will straight up rip those babies right out of my ear just to get a taste. I hope this is a phase, because it could start to get creepy if it carries on into his teenage years.

Speaking of eating, he does a lot of that too. He eats about as much as any grown man would eat at dinnertime. He eats 2-3 boxes of baby food for breakfast and for lunch, and for dinner he eats four entire baby food boxes and a big serving of whatever we are having. He eats whatever we put in front of him. Today, for example, we ate lunch at a Japanese restaurant (which hasn't happened in, say, six months) and we gave him some of the food off our plate. Sure enough, he devoured everything...mushrooms, carrots, onions, squash, peas, rice, a piece of steak, and even a few crackers that the manager brought him. He loves cheese, strawberries, blueberries, ham, pasta, mashed potatoes, and of course he's a big fan of the Cheerio. Aaron and I think he's trying to tell us he's ready to move to 100% real food so he can start feeding himself full time. When we feed him his baby food, he started knocking the spoon out of our hands, or grabbing the spoon and throwing it on the ground. He throws it on the ground! This is an unbelievably messy experience every single time, and I get decorated with food from Clark's buffet three times a day. The people in my exercise class at the gym think its hilarious to guess what Clark had for lunch based on what color is on my shoes that day.

One of our favorite things Clark is doing right now is how he laughs at everything. It requires zero effort on our part to get him to laugh now. When he sees or hears us laughing, he laughs with us. What you would imagine to be the most unfunny thing on earth, he laughs. Its actually hilarious. Sometimes its a full blown cackle, other times its an effortless, lazy laugh, but its always sweet. I hope he continues this into adulthood, because the ability to laugh at everything in life is truly an awesome thing.

I'm still doing the creepy stalker thing where I sneak into his room in the middle of the night and stare at him, and usually I take pictures. Some days I'm counting down the minutes until his bedtime so I can enjoy some much needed r&r, but the second he goes to bed I always want to go in their and pick him back up. Watching him sleep gives me chill bumps sometimes. I would give anything to know what he dreams about. Jake maybe? Or the leaf he ate that day? I'll never know, but he looks so peaceful and happy. And he's starting to look older and older every time I go in there. Speaking of sleeping, he’s still great at it. We’re putting him to bed around 7:30 and he wakes up at 7, so there are definitely no problems there. He’s down to two naps a day, but every now and then when he’s kind of being a turd towards the end of the day, we’ll just put him in his crib and cross our fingers that he’ll take a 30 minute nap. Sometimes it actually works and I want to frolic in the field by our house. Sometimes it doesn’t work and we have one unhappy baby for the rest of the day.

It is strange how fast and slow the past nine months have gone by for us. I can’t believe he’s already nine whole months old. We definitely got here way too fast. But on the other hand, it seems like it was so long ago that we brought him home from the hospital and were freaked out because we did not know what to do with this new, fragile little body in our house. I didn’t realize it until a few days ago when I was talking, or texting rather, to Nikki and she was asking me what I did when Clark woke up too early from naps. Did I let him cry? Did I go in and get him? Did I try to feed him and put him down again? Dadgum, I realized I have no idea what I did back then. I honestly can’t remember. It’s kind of a blur. It seems like it was so long ago. But it also seems like yesterday. Do I sound drunk? Because I can’t seem to make sense of what I’m trying to say. For baby number dos, I’m going to have to start all over because I was an idiot and didn’t write down one thing. Is that normal? Oh, and Nikki, I’m pretty sure I never even responded back to your text about the nap problems. Sorry about that. I guess I was just thinking about it and then got confused and gave up. Don’t hate.

A few mornings ago, I went into Clark's room to get him because he had just woken up and wanted the entire neighborhood to know he was awake. I walked in to find Clark standing up in his crib with his pants and his diaper off and lovely pee stains all over the wall, his bedding, the carpet, and other places I have yet to find. I have no idea why he chose to remove his pants and his diaper in the middle of the night, but he sure did think it was hilarious watching me clean it up. I was sharing this story with Aaron's mom, and she laughed and said that Clark definitely got that from his daddy and his uncle. Apparently, Aaron and Ryan did that until they were 14 years old. Just kidding. They probably quit when they were 12. If nothing else, this past month did give me a little sneak peak into what Clark's future holds. A lot of pee stained walls and a lot of laughter. I don't mind either one.

P.S. You have not lived until you have seen Clark in a fleece vest and Wallabees.

There, now you can live because you have seen it. I have a very cute kid.


The Trobough's said...

We didn't baby proof our house either....we taught WC to listen. She does pretty good on her own now! It was a lot of "do not touch's", but it pays off!! I promise! And he is stinkin cute in those wallabee's and vest!!!
And I'm so jealous you have a good eater on your hands :)

Katie A. said...

He's absolutely precious! I can't wait to meet him one day. I really can't believe that he's already 9 months old! Wow, how time flies!

Haley said...

First, yes you do have a very cute kid there. Amazingly cute. Unbelievable. And second, it is good for me to read this and brace myself for what my life is going to be like when Isaac crawls. They really get fast, don't they? Love the update.