Saturday, May 9, 2015


Baby Leopard is not a huge fan of the sun, as you can see from his scrunched up little faces.

He can twist his tongue!

Reflections from seven months in:

I'm feeling better and happier and more well-adjusted all the time. My aunt said that the first six months are the worst, and it seems that maybe she's right. (As an aside, people kept telling me when he was just born that this is nothing and the teenage years are much harder. Despite having never raised a teenager, I can tell you authoritatively that that is false. It is impossible for anything to be harder than this.)

Breastfeeding was harder than I ever imagined. It took 2-3 months to feel like Baby Leopard and I were getting the hang of it. It's much, much easier now, but pumping is still loads of work (minimum an hour out of my workday). My fb breastfeeding support group was immensely helpful, as was Jack Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment (known affectionately in breastfeeding circles as APNO).

I'm far crunchier than I ever anticipated I would be. I just bought a $20 infant probiotic powder that I dissolve in water and feed to Baby Leopard every afternoon. It nearly killed me to give him antibiotics for an ear infection (the only thing that convinced me was the fact that eardrums often pop without antibiotics). I don't believe in baby Tylenol unless there is zero way for the baby to sleep without it. I love babywearing (as long as my back can take it). And I am fiercely attached to breastfeeding (possibly because I worked pretty hard for it, and pretty hard to keep it up while at work). We do baby-led weaning. Etc. I became this hippy attachment-parent somehow, while Francisco got really attracted to scheduling. So, Ferber is on our coffee table.

When I first went back to work, I was blissfully happy because it was wonderful to see that who I was pre-Baby Leopard still existed. As time has passed, I am realizing that I don't feel most myself when I'm at  work--I feel myself at work, and myself at home. I am a more selfless, patient, sacrificing person than I ever could have imagined. I don't mean to toot my own horn (and Francisco can tell you I'm infinitely far away from sainthood). I mean to say, Tocqueville is right: family pulls you outside of yourself and connects you with other people in ways that I never could have anticipated. I am a different person than I was before Baby Leopard was born (the same is true of marrying Francisco, although it's easier to pretend that you're two independent individuals in a marriage; it simply isn't a farce you can keep up with regard to a baby: Baby Leopard couldn't survive without me, and I certainly couldn't survive without Francisco).

We get sick All. The. Time. Baby Leopard brings things home from daycare and shares them with the whole family: I don't remember what it feels like not to have a cold; we've had the stomach bug; the other week I had a week-long unidentified, super serious sickness. But I have to be careful about complaining too much, because if I do Francisco may gently point out that getting more sleep might be helpful, and maybe we should night-wean. And then I'll get defensive, because night-weaning means scheduling...

My notes on Baby Leopard:

7 months: He nods his head vigorously to the music now, a nascent form of dancing. He also has begun ever so slight forward motion--not to be confused with crawling. It's more of a swimming: he reaches one arm out as far as it can go, while rolling to the side, then he reaches the other arm out as far as it can go, while rolling to the other side. Somehow, he inches forward and can move a foot or more using this ridiculous looking method. 

He still has zero interest in sitting up. My mom says he's too fat, like his uncle #1tomatolover was when he was a baby; I say he can totally do it, he just doesn't feel like it. 

Watching him play is wonderful: he loves to play by himself--he can get to his basket full of toys and pull them out and explore them. This amount of independence was unimaginable just a couple of months ago. He has a favorite toy--one that plays music--and likes holding and chewing on books and even looks at the pages when you read to him. 

8 months: He just started sitting one day last week. He finally got the hang of it. 

Food has really clicked, too--he's way more interested in eating and actually swallows more food. In fact, he wants everything I eat and wants it right now. He gives his excited little, "ha-ha," when he sees food. 


Anonymous said...


Miss Self-Important said...

The tongue is out of control!

Gypsy said...

I love that scrunchy face! Oh my!