Wednesday, January 23, 2008

An Evening with Alex

Just thought I'd share what a "typical" evening is like with Alex these days.

He has been starting to phase out his third nap during the day and will often stay awake for many hours between his second nap and bedtime. As a result, we have been trying to move his bedtime up a little, just to make that transition easier. Last night, he woke from his nap at 2:45 and was in bed by 7. In the past, that large of a span would have resulted in some disastrous waketime, but lately, it isn't such a big deal.

In the past few weeks, he has been very aggressive with his bedding - yanking at it, chewing on it...somehow he even managed to untie the straps that hold his bumper together so that he could chew on them more easily. A couple of times when I've gone in to check on him, I've found him with his arm slung over the top of the bumper, clinging to it like he might do with a stuffed animal. In the last two evenings, however, I've come in to get him from his nap and found him on his stomach, mushing the top of the bumper down so that he could see through the slats in his crib.

After some dinner (peas, green beans, and a bottle) we play downstairs for a while, alternating between the walker, the jumperoo, sitting on the floor with toys, and tummy time (aka "crawling practice). We head upstairs around 6, where he plays in his room while I draw his water and get his bed stuff ready. He loooooves the activity cube that Grandma B got him and that will occupy him for long periods of time. It has fun gadgets and cha-chas on five of the sides, and I usually rotate it every night so he has a whole new set of things to explore.

Even if he starts sitting down, he inevitably reaches for something on the far side of the cube and - BLOOP!! - flops over onto the floor. No problem!! He has just as much fun when he's laying down as when he's sitting up. Plus, that means he can use his feet to play with it too (seriously, he does use his feet)!

Before his bath, I usually root around in his mouth to see if any more teeth have decided to make an appearance, and sometimes I'll give him some Tylenol or apply some Baby Orajel* if he's been crabby during the day and I suspect that gum soreness is to blame. Still just the one, so far. But I did manage to get a better pic than last time. (Oh, and imagine that his face is not covered in nasty baby food residue. He was about to take a bath so I didn't do the best job with the clean up at dinner time. Sue me.)

*Babies do not like Baby Orajel. It causes confusion, heartbreaking "Mommy, what's happening to my face?" expressions, massive amounts of drool, and even tears. I tried it myself before I gave it to him to see how strong it was (par for the course), and yes, it completely numbs everything that it comes in contact with. Not what I would describe as a "pleasant" feeling, by any means. Unless, of course, you have ragged little teeth attempting to tear their way through your sensitive gum tissue. Which is exactly why I went ahead and gave it to him. Because it's for his own good. Poor baby.

Onto bathtime. Let me use last night as a "typical" example of how bathtime goes. It started out as usual. He clawed for the washcloth when I went to scrub him down, so I gave him one of his own to keep him distracted while I washed his nethers.

Then I took it away.

Then I gave it back.

Yeah, he's entering that fun phase where he is starting to express obvious likes and dislikes. He is very sure to let me know that I've been a bad Mommy, usually in the form of an escalating scream that turns his head a lovely shade of aubergine until I distract him or give him what he wants.

I let him lounge in the tub a bit before I pull him out and get him ready for bed. The inflato-tub is fab - he doesn't bump his head if he falls over, it doesn't take much water to fill it up, and he has the option to kick back and relax if he's so inclined.

Usually a simple towel will do, but on this particular evening, he was inspired to don his robe and slippers that cousin Ashley got him and wind down a little more before retiring. He looked so cute that I didn't mind letting him stay up a few minutes later. He also begged me for a pipe and some good tobacco, but that's where I put my foot down.

Once he's done stalling around, I slather him from head to toe with a thick layer of Eucerin to keep his excema at bay (although, when paired with his forked tongue, scaly skin could only improve his sideshow act). It's hard enough to get his diaper and jammies on when he isn't oiled up like a greased pig, so it becomes a near impossibility at this point. After many frustrating moments, I am able to distract him with a toy long enough to keep him on his back and wrangle all of his flailing body parts into his jammies.

A bottle later and he is usually asleep before his head hits his mattress.


Quinn said...

Love, love, love all the pictures. Looks like you have a little caged up animal in that crib. I can't believe how big he is getting. What a pitiful little face he has when his wash cloth is taken away. And his little this is where their little looks begin to change once the teeth start coming in. Can't wait to see what he looks like with his pearly whites!

leah said...

I see the tooth!!! :-) And....tell Alex that if Im not in a side show with my eczema and lazy eye.......then he should have nothing to worry about!!!