Georgie is getting more and more vocal, testing sound. Testing me.
If he’s in a vocal mood, I’ll say “Da-da-da-da-da” and he’ll immitate me. When I say “Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma,” he shakes his head “no.” And Papa thinks it’s just so funny. Pam & I have a theory that perhaps this early monosylabic venture by baby is an attempt by nature to encourage father-bonding.
He has also started doing this little reverse “bye-bye” wave when he wants something. If he wishes to be brought closer to the fan/light/dog/toy, he will hold up his hand and beckon. It’s hilarious. He’s also moving much faster, but still dragging his leg a la Marty Feldman. Someone suggested that we stick a pillow in the back of his shirt and let him be Quasimodo for Halloween. As my friend Elmer said last week, “He can always pursue a career as a bell-ringer.”
We had dinner with Grandpa Lenny, Grandma Tina and (the other) Uncle John on Sunday. I was surprised that Georgie sat so well at the restaurant for as long as he did, considering his recent tooth-related crankiness, but he only complained a few times, and nothing that a spoon or a toy or a five-minute-nursey couldn’t fix. He even sat for a few pictures with them and protested very little.
I found the coolest storybook at the library called “The Jolly Postman (or, Other People’s Letters)” by Allan Ahlberg. The Jolly Postman goes from home to home in a fairy-tale kingdom, delivering letters to such familiar addresses as “Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Three Bears Cottage, The Woods.” Every other page is an actual envelope, with a letter tucked inside. The letter to the three bears, for instance, is from Goldilocks, who apologizes for the trouble she’s caused and invites Baby Bear to a party. George was reading it to the baby this afternoon, and told me we should get this. I’ll have to keep my eye out at Borders for it.
You know that old axiom, “The grass is always greener”? I think it kicks in the moment you begin to crawl.
Georgie isn’t happy with playing with his toys on the area rug. Oh, no. He wants to play with the outlets and the lamp cord. He doesn’t want to sit in the swing — he wants to pull himself up on it. He doesn’t want to scoot around in his walker — he wants to pull himself up on it. I’ve mostly given up on any attempt to redirect his attention, and I spend lots of time sitting behind him, making sure that he doesn’t crack his skull when he falls.
He’s gotten very quick at crawling, and I can’t leave him alone for a second — otherwise he’ll be into something he shouldn’t. Surprise. He’s still dragging one leg behind him, and to further his Frankenstein-esque appearance, he has taken to grunting loudly when he gets excited. I have to catch this on video.
It took a few days, but he’s much more acclimated to the crib. I’ve put blankets over the rails so that he doesn’t think he’s in baby jail, and he naps pretty well. I invested in a mattress pad, which I think makes it feel more like our mattress, so he’s content to sleep on it.
Now that his top two teeth are through, he has a new trick — grinding his teeth. It is not fun to wake up to someone grinding his shiny new teeth in your ear. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
Yesterday he waved bye-bye to Papa when he left for work. We practiced a lot today, waving at the birds and fish and turtles at the Nature Center. I think he’s starting to get it, so I’ve stepped up the signing. In fact, at the program at the Nature Center today, a woman thought that Georgie was hearing-impaired because I was modeling signs, so she came over and started signing to him. I explained that he’s a hearing child, and we’re just signing for the sake of communication… she explained that she has a relative (aunt? sister?) who is hearing impaired and that’s how she knows ASL. She had never heard of signing with babies, so gave her a brief synopsis of Babysigns and she was duly impressed.
Sharing the knowledge!
I had just put the baby down for a nap this morning when George called. He asked me to do something for him, so I grabbed the monitor and went upstairs. I heard the baby move and then resettle, so I kept talking to George. A minute later I heard a horrible thump and a wail.
The baby had fallen off the bed.
I flew downstairs and saw him lying beside the bed on the floor, crying. I picked him up, crying myself, trying to tell George what had happened, making sure he wasn’t bleeding or convulsing… when he finally quieted down and nursed, and I stopped shaking like a leaf, my head cleared enough to figure out what had happened. He’d woken up, rolled over and sat up in the bed, then slid off the bed backwards onto the floor.
I’d happily let him nap in the crib (after all, it’s two feet away from the bed) but he hates the crib. I think the mattress is too firm… plus, he is more familiar with the bed since he sleeps in it every night. But now that he’s rolling over and sitting up and crawling with ease, we’re going to need to do something drastic — either put the mattress & box springs down on the floor, or get him used to napping in the crib during the day.
My vote is for getting him used to the crib in the daytime.
I spent two hours this afternoon trying to convince him to fall asleep in the crib. Everytime he opened his eyes and saw the bars, he started crying all over again, heartbroken that I would put him away in a horrible little cell. I feel bad for him, I know he’s not used to it and doesn’t understand that it’s for his own safety. I guess he’ll just have to get used to it.
And so will I.
Today was the Lakewood Community Festival, and George had to work at the Child Identification Booth, fingerprinting little kids and taking their digital photographs.
I was standing near the booth, listening to a Fat Elvis impersonator, when who should walk by but Senator George Voinovich, accompanied by Lakewood Mayor Thomas George. We have a running joke that we named the baby after the Mayor in an attempt to curry favor, but that it’s backfired miserably.
So we had George, baby George, Mayor George and Senator George. And I left my camera at home (of course!) so I didn’t get to take what would have been an awesome picture. Oh well.
Today I went to the BMV to get my drivers’ license renewed and the lady that helped me was asking about Georgie. She has a little boy, just a few weeks younger than Georgie. She said that she wished her little one would wear hats, and I told her that as soon as he figures out he has one on his head, Georgie tries to rip it off. She smiled slightly, and said No, my son can’t wear hats, he has brain damage.
What do you say to that? I apologized; it was the first thing that came to mind. She looked away to process my paperwork, and when she looked back up at me, huge tears were rolling down her cheeks. I was completely bewildered. What was she thinking about? Why her? Why her child? How much she misses him when she’s at work all day? Does her family let her brag on him the way all parents brag on their children, or do they smile indulgently when she mentions the new outfit she bought for him, or which new toy he seems to like, or how many smiles he gave to Grandma the day before?
As she typed away, I quietly asked her, “What is his name?” She smiled for the first time and said, “Anthony.” I asked “When was his birthday?” She told me her water broke on his due date, but he held out until 1:30 AM on January 26. I asked about her labor, and she was very proud that she’d lasted for 20 hours without needing an epidural. I asked if she had a picture, and she pulled out her locket and clicked it open. There was the tiniest picture of a tiny little baby boy, in a Cleveland Indians onesie, staring at the camera with a slight smile on his face. Daddy had bought the Indians outfit and she had had the photos done at Sears. They did a good job, and the package was a pretty good deal.
Before I left, I walked by her line and said, “Congratulations again on your little boy. He’s adorable.” She smiled and said, “Thank you.” And I heard the man at the counter ask her “How old is he?” as I was walking out the door.
And my drivers’ license photo is terrible. The worst I’ve ever had.
Today is my birthday. I am 29 years old. I was carded for alcohol at the grocery store, and the clerk told me that I was much older than she thought. I got flowers and cards and Mary played “Older” by They Might Be Giants on answering machine.
And Georgie crawled for the first time today.
He pulls his left knee up underneath him and keeps his right leg sticking straight out, and pushes forward with his right foot. I caught him on video this evening, and he’s already maneuvering very well. I can’t believe he’s already crawling; now I have to further baby-proof the house.
It was a good day.