Max at 9 months
Nine months in, nine months out – or, as I’m convinced most new mums will probably see it, ‘Approximately 120 years in, roughly 10 seconds out…” Or that’s what it feels like, anyway.
One of the first things you learn as a parent is that parenthood has the uncanny ability to warp time. (One of the other things you learn is that you’ll be hearing that old, “Long days/short years,” chestnut a LOT from now on, so you better get used to nodding and smiling to it now…) Nine months of pregnancy seemed to last forever. Nine months of Max, on the other hand… well, I’m not going to say it’s flown by, because sometimes I look back at things that happened in January, say, and it feels like a decade ago or something, but what I WILL say is that, if he keeps on growing at the current rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks over and asks to borrow the car keys by the time I finish writing this post. And, OK, I mean, I know my blog posts are pretty long, but seriously: it’s like, last week I had a baby, and now I have a little boy. Which is all kinds of weird and wonderful, but also pretty scary, really, because, when I was pregnant, I just couldn’t see past the baby stage, but then, this morning that “baby” grabbed my leg, and then used it to pull himself to a standing position, and WHAT EVEN IS THIS, PEOPLE, SERIOUSLY?
So. Standing. It’s pretty much all he wants to do right now (Well, that and eating. Let’s just say the boy likes his food, and leave it at that…), which is just a little bit tricky for Terry and I, because it basically means that nothing is safe. I’ve had to clear all of my beloved candles from the coffee table, the ornaments in the living room are living on borrowed time, and we’ve learned never to put anything expensive/fragile/dangerous out on display, or Max WILL be trying to get a hold of it. The fact that he’s a pretty accomplished crawler now too just adds to the fun, obviously: we used to be able to sit him down with a toy, and he’d occupy himself with it for a few minutes, at least, but if I sit him down somewhere now, I only need to blink, and he’ll be halfway across the room. Normally with, like, a sharp knife in his hand, or something.
(That was a joke, btw. We hardly ever let him play with knives…)
As good as is at crawling, though, he’s still much more interested in standing, and in trying to walk, which he does by clinging on to the side of the sofa, or his play pen, or whatever, and then inching along that way – normally shrieking with laughter as he goes. It’s absolutely adorable, but also quite frustrating for him, I suspect, because he’s at that stage now where he REALLY wants to be able to walk, but he just can’t do it, and, well, you can see how that would get old pretty fast, can’t you? As it is, it’s become almost impossible to change his clothes these days: I always used to just lie him on the rug in the nursery to get him dressed in the morning, because there’s obviously more space there than on the changing table, but, now that he’s so mobile, the second I lie him down, he just flips onto his stomach and races off, so I either have to use the changing table (While he screams with rage at the absolute indignity of being made to wear CLOTHES. Pretty sure he must have been a house elf in a past life or something…), or I’ll just end up chasing a naked baby along the hall. Yes.
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September was also the month he started pointing at things he’s interested in, which, seriously, is just the most adorable thing ever. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of using his finger yet, so he’ll “point” at something by gesturing towards it, with his hand out, almost as if he’s offering it to be kissed, and he’ll make this little babbling noise at the same time, with his voice going up at the end, as if he’s asking a question. SO SWEET – although not quite as sweet, granted, as when he’s in the middle of eating something, and he’ll stop, look up, and then offer me a piece: and, OK, it’s normally a piece of food that he’s just taken out of his own mouth, sure, but still – SO CUTE. Just SO, SO CUTE.
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Not gonna lie, I was secretly quite happy it got cold enough for Max to wear this little jacket I’ve had squirrelled away for months. Because we had such an unexpectedly nice summer – and I’d shopped for the usual miserable one – he outgrew loads of things without getting a chance to wear them, but, well I guess we won’t have that problem with winter clothes, huh? (She says, watching the rain pound against the windows… ☔️ ?) . . . #rawmotherhood #thisparentlife #themagicineveryday #lifecloseup #developinglife #motherhood #motherhoodunplugged #parenthoodunplugged #rememberingthesedays #motherhoodrising #besttimescaptured #whatmykidwore #parenthood #curiouslittlexplorers #mamahood #unitemotherhood #rockingmotherhood #worldoflittles #motherhoodalive #momsohard #acupofmotherhood #littleloves #littlehumans #motherhoodrising #whatevertheweatherkids #amomentinmotherhood #longdaysshortyears #raisingthoserascals #myhappyday #mamasboy
Other than those little developments, it’s been a pretty quiet month, really, with no major drama. Thankfully for us, Max is back to mostly sleeping through the night, with just the occasional “dummy run” (When we have to go into his room to give him his discarded dummy, so he can go back to sleep…) for Terry and I. So, we’re definitely getting more sleep, which is awesome: we’re not, however, getting a whole lot of work done, because Max’s increased mobility means that one of us basically has to be with him at all times, to stop him getting into trouble. In desperation, we went out and bought a play-pen for the office, thinking it would give us some much-needed time to work, while he sat in it and played, but he mostly just wants to cling onto the sides while walking the perimeter of the thing, which means one of us really has to be with him, to make sure he doesn’t topple over and hurt himself. (And also to stop him just clinging onto the side and yelling at us, basically.) “We bought a playpen to give ourselves a bit more freedom,” I said to Terry last week, “But all that’s happened is that I’M now stuck in a playpen all day!” Which, yes, I totally am, folks. In fairness, I do have a lot of toys and books in there to play with, but there’s only so many times I can stack those damn cups, and it really ISN’T my elephant in that book, you know?
Still, though, I can’t complain, because, around about this time last year, I bought this little sweater, which I used in one of the photos of the just-completed nursery:
I can clearly remember taking that photo… and feeling sick to my stomach as I did it, because my anxiety about the pregnancy was so acute by that stage that I was convinced there would never be a baby to wear that sweater, or lie in that cot. By the week of my c-section, I was so convinced that something was going to go wrong that I actually had to close the nursery door, so I couldn’t see inside it every time I walked past, or I’d just burst into tears. I remember looking into the open closet, seeing all of those hopeful little clothes hanging there, their little feet dangling, waiting for a baby who I was sure would never be born, and just wanting to lie on the floor and sob my heart out at the unfairness of it all. I was absolutely SURE that nursery would never get used: that I’d just come home from hospital and have to pack up the tiny little outfits, and the optimistic ‘HELLO!’ sweater, but then, look at what happened this month…
And, I mean, OK, sure, this photo would’ve been better if I’d managed to persuade him to smile in it, or if I’d managed to get the bunny in exactly the right position . (I’d just finished dressing him, though, so he was absolutely LIVID about it, and if you think it would be easy to faff around with bunny placement when you have a cranky baby to deal with, then I’m guessing you’ve never actually HAD a cranky baby to deal with, have you… ), but, then again, it couldn’t POSSIBLY be any better, could it? Because he’s IN IT. And even now, a whole nine months after he was born, his very existence is still absolutely amazing to me. There’s still barely a day that goes by without me thinking, “God, I wish my younger self could see this: could know that he got here safe, perfect, and cuter than she could ever have believed possible.”
And I really wish she could.
Oh, and I ALSO wish she could’ve checked the label when she bought that sweater, because she assumed that, being £12.99 from H&M, it was probably some man-made fibre, that would wash just fine, but HAHANOPE, it was WOOL. And now it probably wouldn’t even fit the freaking BUNNY, FFS.
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But still. There will be other sweaters, and other photos: for now, though, let the record show that, as he turns 9 months old, Max…
… can stand, crawl and point at things he’s interested in.
… is still eating everything we put in front of him (including my phone case).
… seems to have developed a bit of a crush on Moana: he smiles every time he sees her on screen, and one of the easiest ways to calm him down if he’s upset is by singing a song from the movie.
… will try to “kiss” the pictures in some of his books (Mostly ones of ducks, for some reason…), along with his own reflection in the mirror. This week he also tried to kiss his gran’s face on Terry’s phone, when we were Facetiming with her: he’s yet to kiss any of us for real, but he finds it absolutely hilarious when we kiss him, so there’s that.
…knows who mummy and daddy are, and will look at the correct person when asked. He can also identify “the light” and “the clock” – the latter being the large clock on the living room wall, which he’s been obsessed with since he was a baby, and still smiles at to this day.
… loves being sung to: current favourites are ‘Do Re Mi’ and anything from the Moana soundtrack.
… can sit up front in the supermarket trolley, and thinks it’s the absolute best thing ever:
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(He also acquired a few more items of clothing with ears, but I guess you could say that about ANY month so far, couldn’t you?)
So, this weekend my baby turns nine months old, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never stop being amazed by that – or by him. If time keeps moving at this rate, there’s a good chance that my next monthly update will be telling you all about how he’s off backpacking around Europe or something, but, well, let’s just wait and see, shall we?
Happy nine months, Max: or happy 18 months, as it feels to me…