Tuesday, October 01, 2013

6 Months Old and We're in Trouble

Baby Chris turned 6 months old on Saturday.

Yes, it has been that long. No, we don't know where the time went either, other than mostly to sleep deprivation. Which isn't as bad since he's now sleeping through the night... most of the time.

So remember what I said about Baby Chris being a lot like his father?

... Yeah, just a little bit.

Daddy's foot is fascinating.

And so is Mommy holding a camera.
Christopher Byrne V entered this world at 6 lbs 15.8oz, 18 in, and with a head circumference of 13 in. He started out in the 25th percentile for weight, 5th percentile for height, and 10th percentile for head circumference. That didn't last long.

He's now 19 lbs, 29 1/2 in long, and 17 1/2 in head circumference. He's now up to about 85th in head circumference, 60th percentile in weight and... well I can't get a percentile for length, because he's literally off the chart. He's as tall as the average 12-month-old.

Somebody's been busy eating and sleeping, sometimes at the same time.

This growing stuff is hard work.

In fact, we had to start him on solids early because he could no longer be satisfied with the liquid diet. Now he's up to 4 solid meals a day (with bottles in between of course) and he will snub the bottle if he wants "real" food. He has not once snubbed solid food, and while most babies need to be encouraged to eat from a spoon (at least sometimes), he's been known to attempt to take the spoon out of my hand if I'm not moving fast enough. He's eating between a 1 and 1 1/3 cups a day of baby cereal, about 3/4 cup of baby food (of all sorts, it's all good to him), 3 oz of yogurt, and 30 fl oz of formula.

That's approximately 1000 calories a day, 53 calories per lb. And no, we're NOT overfeeding him, if he's not fed until he's full (which he indicates VERY well by stopping his requests for more food) he will either fuss or, if he's fallen asleep eating, will wake up an hour later screaming.

So my theory that I could not gain weight while pregnant because he was stealing all of the calories I ate (plus more)... more or less proven.

So where is all of that food going?

There are some other, less used measurements that tell the story.

Yes, that is a normal shopping cart.

Neck: 10 in
Chest (around): 18 in
Wingspan: 27 in
Bicep: 6 in
Calf: 7 1/4 in

He's just a little like his father. Just a tiny bit. We know grown women with smaller necks, and his calves are bigger than my wrists.

Speaking of the physical stuff... he's almost mobile. He's figured out how to crawl backwards somewhat (and therefore give me heart attacks).

What, you want me to KEEP my fingers and toes?

And he's perilously close to the "going forward" part.

Yes, he is quite expressive.

How about the rest, the mental and emotional and social development. Well...

The first observations total strangers in the store make about him usually are:

"He's so alert. I've never seen a baby so alert."
"He's so calm. I've never seen a baby behave this well in a store."
"He's so happy. What a cute smile!"

This kid doesn't miss ANYTHING.

Watching his first football game.
He's also remarkably self-occupying for his age.

His attention span is also longer than that of many ADULTS, as well as his patience.

He developed a signal that he wanted to be picked up about a month and a half ago; he puts his arms straight out to his sides and waits. My 93-year-old grandmother won't pick him up because she's afraid of dropping him. He doesn't understand this though, so he'll sit there for 5 minutes, staring at her from his exersaucer, with his arms straight out waiting for her to pick him up. For 5 MINUTES. Then he'll fuss until I pick him up instead.

He doesn't have patience if he's hungry though. Food is the one thing he will not wait for.

He's also quite calm.

He doesn't really cry much. If he needs something he'll fuss, and if he fusses too long he might cry. Even the pain of teething doesn't cause more than the occasional fussing and crying usually signals pain. Outright screaming? That's only if he's fallen over or something equally disturbing to him.

This even applies to frustration. He can be attempting to crawl and get frustrated with his lack of progress and not fuss for a long time. Even once he starts fussing he won't give his signal to be picked up... if you go to pick him up he gives you a look like, "no, I got this." It will take him a good 10 minutes of frustration to ask to be picked up.

He's also quite happy.

Happy seems to be his natural state. And he's always looking for more reasons to be happy.

So this combination of natural innate happiness, alertness, long attention span, and ability to self-occupy makes it possible to do something I'd never dreamed of doing with a baby before: taking him out to dinner in public with friends.

Or spending all day at a friend's place, or taking him to a gaming event or... you get the idea. As long as we've got enough food and diapers with us, almost anything is possible.

It doesn't hurt that he's also extremely social and expressive.

"Wow Mel it sounds like you lucked out. You have an obscenely healthy, happy, well-tempered, easy-to-handle baby. You've got it made."


This smile and what it does to people keeps me up at night.

Sometimes infancy isn't the parental challenge presented to you. Sometimes it's every OTHER stage.

Chris V is uniformly advanced for his age. He's 2 months ahead on almost everything. This is a strong indicator of hyper-intelligence. Combine that with his temperament, attention span, patience, high frustration tolerance, sociability, expressiveness, and general level of cute and you have... a shameless flirt. Extremely shameless, extremely effective flirt.

He's almost figured out that he can manipulate people. Almost. I give it another month, max. He's already showing signs.

And his innate curiosity and interest in the world is rather all-consuming. If he's bored, he will MAKE his own entertainment. Right now that means pulling on Jayne's ears. Later it might involve chemicals or explosives. Constant supervision is a must, and will be until he figures out how to NOT kill himself with his own curiosity. Some of LawDog's stories from his childhood come to mind.

Raising him is going to be... interesting and challenging.

But we're up for it and glad to be here, enjoying our baby boy.