Friday, January 11, 2008

But he still won’t say my name

Did I mention something about a delayed separation anxiety? I did? Right. Yeah. We’re going through that at the moment. As far as I can remember, all the books say – and I feel I should break in here and say that I have not read a parenting book in about 10 months ever since I decided to chill the heck out and rock my baby to sleep if I damn well pleased – that babies typically go through separation anxiety around nine months, but all babies are different, yada yada yada, look for this behavior any time in the first 27 years of life.

So I am unconcerned that Jack has waited until 14 months to decide that it is unacceptable for me to go to the bathroom by myself even when his dad is right there in the kitchen singing and dancing and showering him with binks. Unconcerned but somewhat drained, because sometimes, a person likes to go to the bathroom all alone. Thankfully, once we are both in the bathroom, Jack is quite content to weigh himself, tell me how he’s not supposed to touch the diaper pail, and pull out every single thing from under the sink. (He’s usually looking for the tampons.)

So I shouldn’t complain. If this is as bad as it gets, I’m getting off pretty easy. Even middle-of-the-night wakings can be handled by Andrew if necessary, thanks to Jack’s penchant for throwing his bink on the floor in a fit of temper. See, he throws it on the floor and then gets really really mad that he doesn’t have a bink. When you give it back to him, he relaxes. Handy, no? Sometimes, babies aren’t so smart.

Speaking of middle-of-the-night wakings, Jack is still bizarre about crying once in his crib. Just last night he woke up soaking wet, and after I had changed him he asked if he could lie down with me on the couch. (Lest you become overly impressed, he “asked” by pointing to the door and whining.) So we did. We lay there on the couch for maybe 25 minutes and it was actually very nice and snuggly. I passed the time by pressing my cheek to his head and marveling at the fact that at this time last year, his entire body fit between my chin and pelvis and I could actually sleep while lying on the couch with him. Now, however, his much longer and heavier frame prevents any actual sleep on my part, and I finally had to return him to his own bed. He was not happy about this. He cried as I scavenged under his crib for extra binks. He wailed as I kissed him good night. He screamed as I left the room and pulled the door shut with a click, at which point he fell completely silent and made nary a peep for the rest of the night.

This sort of behavior makes it very difficult for me to decide on any given night whether to leave him crying in his crib or not. Sometimes he cries for anywhere from thirty seconds to twenty minutes. Other times he needs me to go in and comfort him. There is no way to tell which way it’s going to go. So what usually happens is that I shut the door and then lie awake watching the clock and thinking, “Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,” until he does or until I go back in there.

But on the upside, Jack is becoming more charming and personable every day. He says “thank you” in both sign language and verbally (it sounds like “Dah dah,” but with the correct intonation), and often without being prompted. He can now distinguish between a cookie (“keekee”) and a cracker (“go-kuh”). He instigates games. And last week when we were all sick, he saw me lying down on his floor after having given up trying to get him to take a nap, and he brought me his blanket.

You know what? It made me feel better.

1 comment:

Becca said...

What a sweet boy! Once I was sad about something and Charlie crawled over and patted me on the back. They can be surprisingly intuitive! He throws his pacifiers out of his crib too and if he's really mad he throws out his beloved elephant blanket. Not sure what to do about that one.