The countdown to Squishy’s first birthday has begun! Squish is well on his way to toddlerhood and I can’t believe that we survived! I still remember our first few weeks at home where I would dread Mikey leaving and count the hours before Mikey’s return. Now, we’re still excited for Papa to come home, but the day goes by pretty quickly. I think the day goes by quicker because there’s so much that Squish can do already!
There’s no stopping our little walker! He is now allowed to roam around our room and living area unassisted. He can walk around the rest of the apartment, but someone has to watch him and hold his hand because we haven’t baby proofed everything yet. Squish really enjoys walking and it seems like he only crawls now when he’s tired (or when he wants to go really fast). He confidently (and seemingly drunk-ly) walks unassisted from the TV to the couch or from our bedroom door to his toy box.
He also LOVES climbing! He can climb the walls of his playpen (thank goodness he hasn’t jumped out yet), he can climb on and off the couch, and he can even safely get off our very tall bed (even though we don’t really let him do it independently yet). We’ve also caught him trying to climb a shelf after he removed all the books/CDs in them.
All of this activity means that he’s had a few bumps and bruises lately. He’s fallen off his mini chairs, tripped, hit furniture, and lost balance. At first it would really jar me and I had to really hold in my fear and surprise so that it doesn’t add to his distress. But now, we (the parents) handle it better. We pick him up and comfort him and tell him that he’s OK.
Whenever he gets hurt, he crawls to me (while crying) and gets into feeding position. I guess this is what they mean when they say that babies sometimes nurse for comfort. He’ll only latch on for a few seconds and then he’ll go back to playing. He’s pretty fair-skinned, so he gets red quickly when he falls! When the bump seems especially bad, I put a Kool Fever patch on it (in lieu of cold compress). My cousin taught me this hack! It’s really difficult to get babies to sit still to ice their potential bruises, so these cool patches are perfect because they stick on their skin so they can go about their business. We buy the baby friendly ones and so far, they’ve worked really well. I cut them up so that it only covers the spot where he got hurt. The only time Squishy noticed them was when he fell flat on his face and I tried to put one on his nose. He kept pulling it off and tried eating it, so he ended up being Rudolf for a few hours.
Now that he’s confidently walking, Squish is spending less times in his stroller or our arms when we’re out and about. He’ll really let you know when he wants to walk—he’ll squirm his way out of your arms! It’s pretty tough to hold him back. When there’s a large open space, we let him walk. But we still have to hold him when we’re in shops. Otherwise, he’ll pull everything out of the shelves.
We still spend most of our time at home, but I can tell that he really enjoys a change of scenery. When his Lola or Gwa-ma comes over to play with him, he’ll point to the door because he wants to go out. (He points at the things he wants now. Oh boy.) He loves going to new places and meeting new people. When we’re walking around the mall, he’ll wave at strangers and attempt to “talk” to other kids. He tries to play peek-a-boo with restaurant hostesses and sales ladies. He’ll also tug at our waiters when they serve us food. He may look like me, but he’s 100% his father’s son.
Walking in public means that we always have to bring shoes now. His Lola got him really nice rubber shoes, but rookie mistake: LACES. Oh my gosh, it’s so hard to get an excited baby to sit still while you put on his shoes and tie his laces. That’s why when it’s just us, we stick with his Crocs. So much easier to put on!
Max ends up eating more when we’re in restaurants because people-watching preoccupies him more than Sesame Street. He’s also added more to his list of staple favorite foods (Soups, XLBs, Tofu, Congee, and Bread): birthday spaghetti, ramen, and Mikey’s/Gordon Ramsay’s scrambled eggs (he only likes Mikey’s, not mine). He still doesn’t really like rice though. Whenever I give him some, he’ll just spit it out. But his love for noodles makes me so happy! We can now eat in Japanese and Italian Restaurants! Yay!
I think his developing sense of humor is the funniest thing! He giggles when we’re conversing (him babbling, me asking him questions). He laughs when his toys do something unexpected. And we caught him laughing while watching Full House a couple of times too! Usually when they say funny words or when the characters engage in slapstick humor. Also, he’s such a ham himself! He has a very detectable fake cry which breaks into a pa-cute smile when he knows we’re not going to give in. When I’m not paying attention (like when I’m on my phone or watching TV), he’ll come up to me, sit on my lap, and put his hands on my cheeks and sway my face from left to right while babbling. It’s like he’s saying: “Mama! Pay attention to me!”.
I’m trying to be a bit more deliberate with my use of language with him. Pointing out things and labeling them. He can say Mama now, but not on command. He usually says it when he’s in distress. Most of the time, he just babbles to himself while playing. Sometimes, he’ll babble WHILE nursing (very much like someone trying to talk with their mouth full). He also screams a lot when he’s excited. The first few times he walked unassisted, he did it with his hands in the air screaming like a banshee. Hopefully, the screaming is just a phase.
Squish cut his first tooth a day after his 10th month (July 14)! We were in the car with Gwa-ma and Lola Myrna when I noticed something white in his mouth. I thought that he had eaten some tissue, but when we looked closer it was a large tooth on top! It wasn’t there earlier that day, so it really seemed like it came from no where. I was watching out for his bottom teeth to emerge because those are usually the first ones to come out. A few weeks later, his other top tooth came out too. So now he has two top teeth and he looks like SpongeBob.
The doctor said that his lower gums were swollen too, so we may be getting more teeth soon. I think the teething it making him clingy and fussy. There are times when he isn’t sleepy, but he will cry if I put him down on the floor to play. He just reaches out and says MAMA over and over again until I pick him up. And then there’s the all night nursing! Gah. There was one night when he wasn’t nursing, but he just wanted to latch and sleep at the same time. Every time I unlatched him, he would wake up. And he wouldn’t take a pacifier. So he just slept on top of me, hugging my tummy and latched at the same time. It’s kind of like he’s a newborn again. It can’t be easy to grow teeth. I wish I could take all the discomfort away.
Squish went on his first road trip this month and while we started off a little bumpy, he had lots of fun in Baguio! He was pretty manageable in the car. I think the trick is to delay his nap until it’s time to hit the road. Hahaha. That way, he sleeps through most of the car ride. We hope to be able to go back up again soon! Or maybe we can take an international trip soon! ❤
I still feel like a newbie mom. I wonder if that feeling ever goes away?