Wah. Squishy is now 10 months old. 10 months sounds closer to toddlerhood than babyhood. And he’s acting more like a toddler than a baby these days. It’s happening way too fast! Flashback to the first few weeks of his life and I was a terrified new mom just staring at him coo on our bed. These days, he spends more time on the floor crawling, cruising, and WALKING. I can’t believe that we have a walker already! I thought he would begin to walk at around 12 months. He still prefers to crawl (especially when he wants to get somewhere fast), but he’ll gesture to ask to hold our hands more often now so that he can walk longer stretches. He can also take a few steps on his own when he’s using both his hands to hold up something. Just today, even when his hands were free, he took four unassisted steps to get to me from across his play mat. Oh, and he also knows how to climb stairs! He did it the first time he was allowed near the stairs in his Lola’s house. The first time he did it, he was cautious and slow. But after he did it once, he was fearless! 😱
Another thing that he really likes doing is army crawling. His co-sleeper/playpen has height extenders, so he can comfortably army crawl under it to retrieve toys. The first time he tried to do it, he wasn’t really army crawling, so he hit his head and he cried. But he figured it out the next time his ball rolled under it again. Sometimes we think that he does it on purpose because he actually likes army crawling.
He’s becoming more independent every day. This developing independence goes hand-in-hand with his increased awareness of others. If you ask him to share his toy with you, he will hand it to you—he doesn’t really let go yet, but it’s a start! He also likes to share his food with me and Mikey. When he’s eating and we open our mouths, he’ll put his food inside them. He also invites us to play with him. When I’m on the bed and he’s playing with Mikey on the floor, he’ll call out for me and kind of motion with his hands for me to come down. It kind of looks like he’s hailing a taxi. It’s so cute and very hard to resist.
This little boy kind of knows when he has a captive audience. He made friends with all the security personnel in our building. He waves at them when we see them. He will also initiate clapping after he does something he knows is “impressive”—like when he inserts a shape in the right hole or when he eats his food from a spoon.
One of the things we do now is we try to woo him by calling to him in a sweet way: Maaaxiiieee, we would say, with a big grin and inviting eyes. He loves it! When Mikey does it, he cackles and turns to me, and then he peeks back at him waiting to be called again. Mikey keeps going until he “catches” him, and then he traps him a tickle bear hug.
His play got a lot more complex this month! One day, he just started playing with his toys the way they’re meant to be played with. He has this dog walker thing where you can shoot balls into it’s mouth to make it talk. (It’s not as weird as it sounds.) (Mikey: It’s exactly as weird as it sounds.) I’ve been trying to get him to shoot the balls in for months but he seemed uninterested. And one day, he just cruised towards it and did it! And soon after, he started playing with his shape sorter toys and he’s been putting the simpler shapes (the ones you don’t have to really rotate, like the circle or the star) into the right holes. It’s amazing! He’s kind of obsessed with putting things inside other things this month. He has stacking cups that he doesn’t really stack yet (although I caught him trying to do it before getting frustrated), but he finds smaller toys to fit inside the cups. He also likes to get into his toy boxes. He’ll sit or stand in them and play.
He still primarily plays by himself, but he’s fascinated by other children, especially those just slightly older than him. It’s kind of sad though, because they don’t exactly feel the same way about him. So Max just ends up looking up with wonder at these slightly larger humans, most of whom are minding their own business. Mikey saw this the other day and started getting teary eyed.
We recently took him to Kidzooona. It’s this heavily padded baby-proofed play area where he can roam around freely. There’s a ball pit, slides, different play centers with manipulatives, a bouncy area, and these inflatable hamster wheels that you can run in. He loved it! We loved seeing him so free!
I think that he’s mastered object permanence already because he experiences separation anxiety from us. When either of us goes to the bathroom, he will cry and crawl to the bathroom door and pound on it until someone distracts him. He also looks for toys that rolls under our furniture. I’ve caught him prostrated while trying to reach for something under his little couches in his play area. It’s kind of funny because he grunts as he tries to stretch his arms to get the toy. He also expresses displeasure when he doesn’t get what he wants. It’s harder to distract him now that he remembers. Sometimes, he’ll kind of throw a fit—he’ll cry really hard and try to wiggle his way to whatever he wants.
Eating is still kind of a hit or miss thing with Squish. Sometimes he eats a lot, other times, he’ll take two or three bites and then he refuses to open his mouth for another bite. We’ve tried letting him feed himself, but he doesn’t eat as much and the food gets everywhere. But we noticed that he will eat more when we feed him using our hands. It’s very strange.
Breastfeeding is kind of sporadic now. Sometimes, he’ll just latch for a few seconds and then continue playing. And I noticed that he does this more when I leave him for a bit with other people at home. Or when there’s someone else in the play area with us. He’ll play with them and then return to me and get into my arms and get into the feeding position. Other times, he breastfeeds like a wild animal, which can hurt. He looks around while latched. He interacts with his surroundings while latched. And he stands up and sticks his butt out while latched. It can get very difficult, but it’s still the best way to put him to sleep, and he still likes to breastfeed after every meal. We’re considering mixed feeding when he turns 1 because he’s starting to undress and grab me in public already, like I’m some sort of vending machine. 😑
We’re horrible parents—we let him watch videos on our TV (we love our Chromecast). He loves Sesame Street, Hamilton, and music videos in general. It’s so useful when we need him to stay still, like when we’re changing a poopy diaper, nebulizing him, or when we’re too tired to entertain him in his carseat. We also use it when we’re out in a restaurant and we need him to sit in the high chair and eat so that we can eat too. But I have to admit that it’s really nice to sit on our couch and cuddle with him and watch TV as a family. I know, I know, it’s not good for him. But it helps us keep our sanity and surely having sane parents is an important thing.
I’m looking back at the last 10 months and I can’t recall an instance where I was bored. Having a baby really keeps you on your toes, and it makes everything zoom by insanely fast. I can’t believe we’re two months away from having a one year old!