Cooper finally had his 6th month check-up and all is well! He kept a close eye on the doctor, nurse, and nursing student who came to poke and prod him and enthusiastically waved at them as if to tell them they were dismissed. The waving thing is a fairly new phenomenon. I’m not 100% convinced he knows what it means or that he’s doing it in direct response to our waving, but if anyone asks, he’s waving and he’s clearly a genius. The genius’s shape takes the now-familiar form of a lollipop:
Head circumference: 17.75 inches. 80th percentile. Yowza.
Height: 27 inches. 55th percentile. As expected.
Weight: 14 lbs, 8 oz. 3rd percentile. And here we thought he was a chunk!
The real news is that Cooper started daycare last week! He’s only going 2 days a week for starters, mainly until we can get past the whole only-Mom-can-feed-me thing. The first day went relatively well in the sense that he was interested in playing with all the “new” toys and babies, took a couple of naps, and did not seem distressed but he only ate a little bit of solid food the whole time he was there. The second day was a little better where he took 2 longer naps, ate a little more food, and his teacher claimed she got him to drink one ounce from the bottle. Today’s dropoff included a few tears as Mike was leaving but apparently he had already napped and drank 2 ounces of milk from a sippy. Success! Relief!
That success did not come without some frustration, of course. Bedtime was especially interesting yesterday. Cooper was very irritable and somewhat inconsolable, which I’m guessing is either teething (always the theory) or a reaction to the vaccines from earlier in the day. He cried when I held him, cried when I put him down, cried when I tried to nurse him, and cried when I jumped in surprise and pain when he bit me. An hour later, he finally calmed down and passed out on my shoulder and slept for 4 straight hours, which is a record these days. When he awoke, he seemed to have the same irritability as bedtime but I was concerned he hadn’t had anything to eat in 7 hours so I thought I’d try something new. I had dug up Maxon’s old starter sippies the day before and it was the next thing I was going to offer up to Cooper. I poured a little pumped milk in it and waited to see what would happen. I had tried various cups before with marginal success, with about half of the milk dribbling down his chin, and obviously bottles were just a chew toy but imagine my surprise when I saw Cooper working the sippy like nobody’s business. He ended up drinking what I estimated to be a normal nursing amount and was immediately content. It was 2am, I had been up for nearly an hour, I now needed to pump, but by golly, I still felt like there was hope for us yet!
We are learning about the whole truth, the partial truth, and not at all the truth, so help us God. The struggle of dealing with one’s conscience or facing the consequences is upon us. Of course Maxon is a very good kid but sometimes he is just curious or likes to test the boundaries. Or, you know, be an almost 3-year-old. Sometimes after we’ve said our goodnights, he’s still revved from the day and not ready to welcome sleep. To entertain himself, he’ll talk to himself, roll around his bed, or kick his feet on the headboard. Since our lovely old house doesn’t absorb sound or shocks very well, his kicking feet sometimes feels like the whole house is shaking. On many occasions, Mike has had to check in with Maxon and get him settled back down to go to sleep. A sample exchange:
Mike: “Were you kicking the headboard?”
Maxon: (Pause) “…No.”
Mike: “Were you?”
Maxon: (small voice) “I kicked the headboard a little bit.”
He also sometimes yells “a little bit” at Mommy, cries “a little bit” in the bath when I am washing his hair (worst thing in the world, apparently), and doesn’t always listen “a little bit.” Let’s just say a little goes a long way in this house.
These kids are pretty cute with each other. If I am getting Maxon up in the morning after wakeup, he immediately asks where Cooper is. If I tell him Cooper is sleeping, he asks me every 5 minutes if he is awake yet. Once he is awake, Maxon insists on coming with me to get Cooper. He’s even taken it upon himself to fetch a toy if Cooper starts to fuss.
The love flows the other way too. If I happen to have Cooper with me when getting Maxon in the morning, Cooper’s whole face lights up and he starts giggling as soon as we get in his bedroom. If Maxon’s hair is within reach, Cooper will give a loud squawk and grab a fistful. He is laser-focused on Maxon whenever he is putting on some kind of show or playing with a toy.
I’ll be enjoying this lovefest until I hear “he made me do it.”
So I’ve been keeping notes on what I wanted to post here on Cooper’s behalf tentatively titled “Approaching 6 Months” so yes, I’m running a bit behind. It has been a pretty exciting month and it’s been so fun watching Cooper develop new little tricks each day. We’ve been working on sitting up and we’re now at the point that I feel comfortable leaving Cooper by himself for a minute, albeit surrounded by cushions. He’s even dabbling in doing a deliberate slow roll down from a sitting position to lying down, but usually it happens because he’s reaching for a toy just out of reach and he flops down on the pillows and just keeps rolling until he gets said toy. We are now full-blown “helicoptering” on his belly and he’s even pushing way up on his arms and managing to slide backwards. I’ve tried getting him on his knees too but he’s not quite there yet. Not that I am ready for him to be completely mobile just yet!
And you’d think with all this movement and physical development that he’d just be utterly exhausted at the end of the day and sleep all night, but no. Big fat no. Just when I think it’s as bad as its going to get, it gets a little worse. He’s even taken to staying up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, ready to hang out and play. On those nights, I just give up on rocking him to sleep and just let him roll around the crib while I go back to bed and wait for him to get more tired. I’ve heard babies have a hard time staying asleep when they are working on new skills and new teeth. That’s probably just wishful thinking but what else do I have to go on when I’m up every couple of hours every night? Although, just last week we noticed the first little slit on his bottom gums and a second one this morning so teeth are finally imminent. So maybe when those pop out he’ll sleep better? See how wishful thinking works?
Cooper has also started on the solid food journey. We tried avocado a few weeks ago but he wasn’t quite ready for the texture so after sloshing it around in his mouth, he just ended up drooling it out. We had great success with sweet potatoes and carrots last week and managed to get it all down but apparently that was gumming up the digestive works so I’ve moved on to pears and prunes. Lots of prunes. Poor guy.
Bottles are still a battle. I bought a different kind of formula that hasn’t given him a skin rash yet, but that could be because he hasn’t actually ingested all that much of it. It will seem like we’re making progress and he has actually consumed something from the bottle, but then I check how much is left and it’s pretty much where we started. I even got a starter sippy cup and while he thought it was quite cute, it was still a bit too much for him to handle. Back to the drawing board.
Our next journey begins tomorrow when Cooper starts daycare. We’ve never left him anywhere before so I’m just dreading that feeling of not knowing how he is doing at all times. It’s a bit easier this time around since we know the whole process does work and babies adapt just fine. Plus, we have our little Agent Maxon there to check in on him and make sure the teachers do right by him. It will be strange to have a quiet house tomorrow and I’m sure I will be totally guilt-ridden, but it will be nice to have my brain back and able to focus on only thing at a time, even if only for a few hours.