So...I knew it was coming, but I hoped it wouldn't happen quite yet. My perfect, sweet little Carter is suddenly a major handful. I think we've got a few things going on right now, actually, and it's making him much higher maintenance than he used to be. That said, he's still sweet, perfect, and adorable...and far easier than your average baby, but still, he's a handful.
A couple weeks ago he started crawling. I knew that it was the beginning of the end of our perfect, discipline-free relationship, but I hoped that somehow his perfection would carry over to that element as well. No luck. He may not be the most skilled, speedy crawler yet, but he can get where he needs to go rather quickly nonetheless. And once his gaze rests on something he wants, he will stop at nothing to get at it. Over and over and over again. I can't even tell you how many times in the past two days I had to reroute him from Jacob's Legos. A least a dozen? I was way behind on newspaper reading over the past month or so and did a major catch-up this weekend, often breezing through a few sections at a time while Carter was contentedly playing on the floor next to me. Sometimes he'd sit on my lap as the pages flipped by. But inevitably, once there was a pile of papers nearby on the floor, he'd be on his way to get them. He'd destroy anything in his grasp if I let him. A couple times I let him go to town, once on a catalog and another time on some ads, and he had a blast--for minutes at a time--crunching and ripping the paper. We just had to watch for him putting small pieces in his mouth, but other than that it was pretty harmless fun. It definitely made me look forward to Christmas and the joy of wrapping paper, because he'll be far more into it at ten months than Jacob was at six months. But still, he could have a dozen toys sitting in front of him, but he's far more interested in everything else! Oh, and if there's a piece of fuzz or a crumb on the carpet, he will find it. Good thing his pincer grasp still stinks, because he can't quite pick them up yet once he finds them.
He's putting up a fuss when I try to put him in his carseat, and wrangling him on the changing table is getting to be a challenge as well. He's forever trying to grab his medicine syringe or the tub of wipes, and he giggles maniacally when he flips himself over and nearly rolls off the table. If I have him sitting up there to put on a shirt, he will pull himself forward so he's practically folding himself in half to peer over the end.
He's also doing his darnedest to pull himself up. He hasn't really tried on furniture, but he's done it on me and his toys. He was sitting on his knees at his activity table yesterday! He's not doing it a lot, but he can do it, particularly if given a little balance. The bad news is that he's not too steady yet once he does get up, so he's definitely prone to toppling if we're not there to get him.
All of a sudden a week or so ago I realized that he was going from laying to sitting without a problem, and that's when I started to get the idea that he was going to be unstoppable very soon. Yesterday at church I put his feet on the floor as he was holding my fingers, and he effortlessly took a few steps toward me. I don't know where that came from because I had a hard time replicating it later, but I can't help but wonder if he's going to blow past Jacob in terms of starting to walk. Jacob took his time and didn't walk full time until about 16 months. I can't imagine Carter will take that long, but I could be wrong!
Despite my exhaustion and frustration with a little man who wants to be on the move, it's amazing to watch him figure things out. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head. He's growing and changing so much lately, and I'm so amazed (possibly even more than last time around) to watch it happen. I can't believe how fast this past year has gone (my car is a year old!), and while at times it seems like Carter has been here forever, I can't get over how time has flown. It's been an unorthodox last year, for sure. But to have this little baby that's growing and changing and turning into a little boy before our eyes...it's just nuts.
I'm a little sad that our discipline-free time is done, because that is a magical time where your baby can do no wrong (not on purpose, anyway). It's hard to see a willful side emerge, particularly now that we know what that will can do, because it all seems like it goes downhill from here. Sure, there are amazing moments along the way, but feeling like you and your baby can do no wrong is such a great feeling. All the smiles and giggles make it worth it, but we're in for an interesting ride with this one, I think...