FVB has recently discovered walking, and has convinced himself that he CAN walk independently and pushes away helping hands, pulling a Godzilla like move by plowing over and through obstacles. He does not lack confidence…a trait I hope he hangs onto! Over the past few weeks he has gained a lot of strength and is able to walk a surprising number of steps alone, but when he gets going too fast he stiffens up his entire body and just starts going down, either face first or backwards, heading directly for the nearest un-carpeted/most dangerous surface or piece of furniture that he can find. Needless to say, he must be within arms reach at all times.
His favorite activity OF ALL TIME is walking aimlessly around the house, opening doors or drawers, or picking up random objects and carrying them around (pots/pans/wooden muddlers/dog toys). I’ve been spending a lot of time in the guest bathroom lately because this room is a treasure trove of amazing objects, including the small trash can with moving lid, the toilet, toilet paper roll, and the dog’s dish. Oh, and opening and closing the cabinet doors. Over and over and over. Each time I try to redirect him to a different room (one with toys perhaps, or a carpet?) he heads straight back to the bathroom. The past few mornings I’ve “enjoyed” my coffee in there, sitting on the tile floor and listening to the toilet flush. Every time he finds himself on his bottom, or laying down, or any other position besides standing, he WAILS. I can’t even change his diaper anymore with tears and that used to be our favorite activity!
I have had to adjust my attitude about his behavior in order to survive my days. With hubs’ new job, he’s gone about 11 hours out of the day, which is a lot different from his old job (15 minute commute, home for lunch). Over the holidays, before hubs went back to work, I was starting to feel panicky about all those hours alone with a baby who needed VIGILANT supervision. How would I get anything done? Would I lose my mind over the tedium of the days? Would I be terribly desperate for adult company? (Answers: I won’t; only slightly; not really).
I decided that instead of fighting FVB’s desire to walk ALL THE TIME, I would just embrace it. I set aside segmented times each day for aimless walks, downloaded an audio book and updated my podcasts, and let go of everything else that I could/should be doing. I love this quote from C.S. Lewis: “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” So I keep repeating that to myself as I aimlessly walk the floors of our home, watching FVB discover the joy there is to be found in every day objects (and the loud noises they make when banged together).
The great news is, with all this walking, FVB is actually getting tired enough to take naps. REAL naps. Like, over an hour naps. SOMETIMES ALMOST TWO! I never thought we’d make it to this day. Now, granted, I do not simply lay him down and walk away for two hours while he sleeps. My clock starts when I lay down to nurse him to sleep. I’m usually in there about 35-60 minutes. After I slip away, he sleeps on his own for up to an hour or so. So I generally get 20-60 minutes alone, usually once or twice a day. Sometimes his nap is only one hour and he wants me in there the entire time. Sometimes he naps twice, sometimes three times. But we are at least getting into a loose routine and I can count on, at the very minimum, 20 minutes alone.
We are getting out every day at least once, either to walk (if the temperature cooperates) or do errands. The other day, after finally making it out of the house, we arrived at our first destination to return something. I didn’t have the receipt, but was told they could arrange store credit but would need my license. I dug through my purse and realized that I had left my wallet at home. SO, the idea of running errands was out. I couldn’t face heading back home so quickly, so got the genius idea of walking around the local mall (it’s been freezing here). Come to find out, the whole mall is undergoing massive renovations and basically five stores are open. Of course I had FVB all loaded in the stroller and was ready to go by the time I realized this. Long story short, we walked the mall and enjoyed the company of one old woman who was mall-walking (complete with headphones and white athletic socks) and the construction workers. FVB had the time of his life, pointing (his new favorite skill) and laughing. He’s a funny little man!
OK, I’ve only been working on this post for a week. Not bad. I’ll try for some more food related things soon. I have a lentil loaf ready to bake for tonight; can’t wait to see how it turns out! And we made teething biscuits. And some yummy brownies. I just bought a truck load of produce at the store, so I’ve got A LOT of inspiration! Have a great long weekend!