I’ve been gone for a minute, now i’m back with the jumpoff…thank you for allowing me a forum to quote Lil’ Kim and it be completely alright.
Let’s backtrack and update you on what’s been going on in our tiny little pocket of the universe. I celebrated my 27th birthday (so that makes me officially in my late 20s?), we celebrated Father’s Day and took The Man up to Santa Barbara for a little fishing, RJ is sprouting 3 new teeth all at once (new Teething Chronicles forthcoming), it’s hot as hell in LA, I’m sporting some new ink, and, i’m starting to get more graphic design work (p.s. if you’re interested in working for me, check out the “work” tab above for some of my recent work and feel free to contact me).
In my little interim we’ve also hit a major milestone. RJ is a crawler! He was giving it all he had in practice over the last month or so, and within the last week, he’s seemingly mastered the art of getting around on all fours. Excited doesn’t even begin to sum up how we (or he) feels about it. For RJ it’s a combination of excitement and this sense of curiosity, perseverance, and gumption. I’m sure all babies go through this as they start to move and discover their world with their hands, but this kid has an insane drive for exploration. Nothing will stop him from getting where he’s going, except me of course.
Which bring me to the “we” of this situation. We, The Man and I, are excited, of course. Our baby is knocking down these milestones like bowling pins. This is a sign to us that on at least some level, our parenting style is working just right for our kid. We [forewent?] any bouncers, walkers, and excessive time in a pack n’ play. Instead, we allowed RJ to roll around on his playmats and have plenty of freedom to try moving on his own, despite being our own personal baby Roomba.
I’m not knocking bouncers or walkers, they are really entertaining and allow your child to get around and not be stuck in one place. We even considered getting this awesome looking Finding Nemo one, but found it a bit expensive for our budget. And since the first floor of our apartment isn’t all that huge, we figured the bouncer would only make the space seem smaller for us and for RJ, so we opted against it. Now in hindsight, allowing him ample time on the floor and on his tummy encouraged him to just keep at it until his curiosity urged him forward and hey, it worked!
But with a moving baby, comes a whole lot of extra attention. I mistakenly assumed that with mobility, he’d enjoy playing independently with his toys on the playmats and be content with everything that was within his reach. Uh, no! I don’t know what kind of statue I though I gave birth to. I assumed I’d be able to get more work done when I wasn’t constantly nursing and rocking him to sleep throughout the day and keeping him entertained with rattles and stuffed animals. But alas, that is not the case. And the struggle is real y’all.
I’m sure you can relate to hearing nearly everyone you’ve come in contact with say “Wait til they’re crawling”, “Wait, until they’re on the move”, “They won’t be this small forever”, and of course, you hear it, you take in, and you relish in the fact that baby is still a tiny ball of bumbling joy…AND THEN, it happens. They start to wiggle, roll around, and suddenly, they are crawling. Getting from one place in almost a literal blink of an eye. It’s crazy, it’s awesome, it’s amazing, but most of all, it’s tiring.
Of course RJ would use this newfound ability to work his way around every inch of the apartment and even towards the things
he had probably been secretly eyeing, just waiting for the day he could touch I had no idea he would even be interested in . Ok, so that means baby proof. Of course. And yes, we have taken the steps to do that and we also have gates blocking the bedroom, which leads to a bathroom and currently shopping around for the best one for our kitchen, which means he has a limited reach already, but you wouldn’t think it with the quickness the boy gets around.
Since the crawling began, I’ve been a stickler for cleaning the floors. And for my birthday I got a brand new floor steamer/vacuum. You know you’re getting old when you start getting household appliances as gifts. But it’s honestly the best thing and knocks off a whole lotta worry when it comes to RJ exploring the apartment. This magical piece of domestic wizardry makes sweeping and mopping a breeze.
There’s already so many other things to worry about:
He’s already keen on shoes, which we take off and leave by the door (currently trying to figure out a convenient, safer alternative), He loves the dogs, so much that he tries to lick them (apparently, the feeling is mutual), He likes to see himself in mirrors, and again, lick them. He is fascinated by the hinges on doors (which means we need to keep all the doors closed so no smashed fingers) He really, really likes DVDs and books (quite the intellectual). He loves a good birthday card, he’s got a green thumb and likes plants and grass. He has a monstrous appetite and will manhandle your food
if you aren’t watching it carefully are balancing him on your knee while eating dinner and simply trying to take a bite. If you touched it, even for just a second, he wants it, and he will get it.
What this means for me is that I am a hawk. Not quite helicoptering at this point, because I let him explore to his heart’s content, watching from a close distance (hey, the 1st floor of our apartment is only so big) until he is about to grab a shoe and put it in his mouth. Then I quickly run and grab him up and reinforce that “No, we do not chew shoes”. There are some days where I’ll bust out the pack n’ play, but his entertainment in there is short lived before he wants to be back out crawling about, which can be a headache some days when I’m trying to knock out a big chunk of work during the day, but he balances it out with days that he is perfectly fine entertaining himself with a colander and wooden spoons for 10 minutes at a time.
My hands have been a little more than full lately, as you see. I’ve been struggling with some things, namely actually keeping up with the blog (even though it’s really only been a week and a half) and run a little ragged from chasing a baby and working him through these new teeth. Oh, and not to mention, diaper changes are now a full blown event. The kid doesn’t like to stay still while being changed. He almost does full on somersaults the minute i unlatch the diaper, as if that’s his cue to practice his circus moves. And he loves to play with the dirty diapers once they’re off and all wrapped up, leading me to believe he might need a spot on the next “My Strange Addiction”. I mean between that and shoes, he’s an interesting character.
As each month passes, I swear I enter a whole new level of parenthood and i’m sure as the years go by it will feel the same. With every milestone hit and new life changes to juggle, it’s completely different from one week, or month, or year to the next. I’m definitely staying on my toes, but I can’t deny that the struggle is alive and well. I’m not ashamed of that though. I’ve always been the type to embrace life’s challenges and this [parenting] is just another (albeit, a very important one, not to fuck up on) that I accept with open arms.
Thanks for reading! Love y’all.