Monday, September 21, 2009

15 Months

Jacob turned 15 months yesterday. Every time he hits a milestone, it amazes me how far we've come. He's gone from the helpless little baby whose picture I stare at on my wall at work to this little boy with a mind of his own who tears around the house on all fours or on two feet with his walking toy. Yesterday I looked at the boppy pillow still sitting on the end of the couch. We spent many long hours with that thing every time I nursed, and now it just sits there as not much more than another thing to play with. We've come a long way, but still have a ways to go, obviously. These days I find myself looking forward to future stages, when Jacob understands what we are saying and can respond coherently to us as well. I know that those stages come with their own problems, but right now he's getting in the habit of doing this annoying, droning whine every time he wants something and can't get it that instant. And if he doesn't get it a few instants after that, he goes into full-fledged meltdown mode--screaming, arching his back, stiffening up--it's brutal. He must have done the whine a couple dozen times yesterday and it was starting to make me crazy. He'll do it when he can see but can't get to something that's in his pack-n-play, when he sees a sippy cup and wants a drink (even if he sees us getting him a drink, he'll do it until the moment it's in his hands), or when he just wants to do something else. The other night he wanted the lemon in my water at dinner. Apparently he remembered he liked it the last time I let him have one. Go figure. Hardly a sour face at all. He was having a full blown tantrum but I couldn't give it to him at that moment--I think I was cutting his food or had messy hands or something. Craig just wanted me to give it to him so he'd chill, but I said that Jacob has to learn he can't have everything he wants. Sure enough, once he calmed himself down I gave him the lemon and he was a happy camper. Discipline is a scary world but we're really going to have to work on it in the coming months.

Yesterday we were supposed to go to a Bills party at another couple's house. Shortly before we were going to leave, the cold I'd been battling all week hit me. I was super tired and congested all of a sudden, and I just couldn't bring myself to get up and go. I think the cold and a combination of other factors just got to me and I just sort of shut down for a bit. I felt bad that I couldn't go because I know Jacob's whining was getting to Craig, too, but at the same time I just didn't feel well enough to be social and be a good mom. So off the boys went without me. If nothing else I figured it would be an interesting experience for Craig because it's not often that he's out and about with Jacob alone, particularly when there's a meal involved. Turned out that Jacob spent most of the party glued to Craig but still managed to discover a love for Cheetos. And he didn't come home orange...bonus.

Back at home I finally felt good enough to get out of bed and get some things done amidst the solitude. It was actually a funny little throwback to the days before Jacob was around, when I had countless weekend days home alone while Craig was working. It almost felt like a time warp. It's not too often I'm home alone anymore, so it felt funny to have a chunk of time at home, without Craig or Jacob, undistracted and able to just get things done or relax as I pleased. Would have been a little more fun had I been feeling better, but it was nice nonetheless. No matter how I was feeling, the opportunity to take care of some nagging tasks was too much to resist. I did some laundry, put up some fall decorations, and sorted through a bunch of clothes--new, old and hand-me-downs--to pack some away and pull some out. It was stuff that I knew I had to do, but had a hard time taking the time to do any other time.

I guess I was also a little beat down by a lot of stuff that's been passing through my head lately. First in line is the car seat decision. We're fortunate that we picked an infant car seat that has a higher weight and height limit than most, so technically Jacob would be fine in it for another 10 pounds and six inches. However, we can't comfortably carry him in the carrier anymore and it's actually sort of a pain to have to leave it at day care when Craig is picking him up. If we're going to have to buy new car seats at some point soon, why not just get it out of the way now and avoid that problem? Well, the decision is brutal. First of all, they're not cheap...and if they're too cheap you wonder how safe they are. I'm looking for a happy medium, I guess...the safest seat you can get without spending $300...because we have to buy two and $600 seems ridiculous. Obviously if it's a life and death thing it's worth it, but if it's just a small difference, then really, I'd rather spend less. People swear by the Britax seats, which are certainly nice and generally rate well, but they are so expensive. Not to mention that we could either get a convertible seat that can be placed backwards for a bit longer (which is way safer...less risk of spinal cord breakage that way) or a 3-in-1 seat that can be used as a car seat with the harness, a high back booster with the seat belt, and a booster seat later on. But supposedly car seats "expire" after six years, and Jacob may still need a seat for longer than that. It's such a tough decision. It's Jacob's safety, after all.

On top of that, I'm just generally concerned about him. While I know that he's probably fine, I have moments of concern when I think about how skinny he still is, how little he eats, the fact that he's still not walking, and that his vocabulary doesn't go much past Mama, Dada, and Ball. I know he understands some things (he's so cute when he uses sign language for a couple things), but sometimes he doesn't seem to get things he should and it makes me wonder if he's doing it on purpose or if he just doesn't get it. The other day I got a 15-month email from one of the mailing lists I'm on and they said that 90% of babies are walking by now. Great, thanks. I think about how little food he eats at a sitting, and think about the massive amount and variety of foods I see other kids eating, and I worry. I don't want him to be the skinny kid or be malnourished. I want him to be a good eater, strong and healthy. And again, while I know that he's probably somewhere on the scale of normal, I'm still longing for his next trip to the doctor next month, just in case. And of course, he had another rough visit to church yesterday morning, so that didn't help either.

So with all of that in mind, it made for a rough day. Jacob just seemed out of sync with us this weekend and with my cold and all of these issues running around in my brain, I think my body just said that enough was enough. I feel better today but I know a lot of the issues are still there. Another work week is upon us and I have even more to add to my brain. And yeah, the working mom thing is a tough gig too. But still...I push through as always. Sometimes those breaks are needed, and I probably should do more of them. I hate relying on other people to allow those to happen, but I guess I don't have a choice and it's vital that I get what I need so I can be a better mom and give Jacob what he needs. And right now, Mama needs sleep. Have a good night, everyone...

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