It’s official: Mr. Book is now more interested in having another child than I am. While I’ve been thinking a lot about how happy I am with Joey, and how maybe that means that I should be done, the Mister has been saying things like “when you hit a home run” you don’t just quit there, and about how handy it will be if/when we’re in California (looking very much like “when”) to have my parents to help with a new baby. I was pretty startled by his change of heart (from lukewarm to deeply enthusiastic), but perhaps I shouldn’t have been; when Joey was smaller than he is now, the Mister admitted to me that he’d had a pretty accurate idea of how hard it would be to parent a newborn, but that he hadn’t realized that it would be good, too.

And it is good. I try not to gush too much here, but I’m so happy with Joey that I could spit, and his dad is over the moon. We are both very lucky, and hyper aware of our luck in a way that we might not have been had Joey been our firstborn. So here’s a gushy list:

I know that words spoken without real comprehension don’t count, and that this one doesn’t count. BUT. I’ve been reading Watership Down to Joey, and the other day he said “El-ahrairah,” clear as day. He has a mobile of rabbits, all of whom are named after Watership Down characters, and one of them is El-ahrairah (the others, if you wondered, being Bigwig, Bluebell, Blackberry, and Dandelion)—so it’s a name he’s hearing on a semi-regular basis. I know it doesn’t count . . . but I want it to.

Sticking out his tongue and blowing raspberries have been his proudest recent achievements. Joey likes nothing better than to be able to stand (he needs us for balance, but supports his own weight) and give you a big, toothless grin before performing one or both of these tricks.

Some time ago, I got Joey a big stuffed horse that I wanted very much for him to like—so I decided that he wouldn’t like it and just put it away. We pulled it out a couple of weeks ago, and he appears to be in love with the plush creature, whom we have named Clancy.

Still no crawling. Joey just doesn’t want to crawl; he wants to walk. He wants to do just about every thing that he sees us do, although he seems comfortable doing things he enjoys that we definitely do not do (e.g., wrassling Clancy). I am totally okay with this, and don’t think I care if he never crawls.

I’ve been feeding him solid food for a few weeks now. I have a some guilt about it, since I’ve got this idea that the really good parents wait until at least six months (based mostly on one woman I know on the internet whose daughter at thirteen months still eats essentially no solid food), but it had gotten to the point where Joey was nursing every hour and seemingly discontented even though I have milk to spare and he was clearly getting plenty of it—so we tried some solid food, he took to it like a duck to water, and now he’s back to nursing only every couple of hours. Which is I guess still a lot, but I’m fine with it.

I got a call on the day before Mother’s Day, and Cricket wished me a “Happy Birthday Mother’s Day,” which is a sentiment I like better than the one he was actually coached to deliver. I also got Mother’s Day cards from my parents and my sister Kate, and my sister Tammy sent me a book. Buncha sweet people in my life.

Joey can lie now, sort of. He sometimes wants to get in position to nurse and then blow/hum against the nipple, making an apparently hilarious “burr, burr, burr” noise. After several minutes of this one afternoon, I closed up my blouse and announced that we were done. Joey tried making milkface at me: “No, mama, I need to nurse!” I tried again: “burr, burr, burr.” I made the “all done” sign and closed up shop again—then more milkface. When I told him that I wasn’t going for it, he tried his recent variation, solid food face. I think you can guess how that one went.

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10 thoughts on “

  1. >>I’ve got this idea that the really good parents wait until at least six months<<

    Pardon my bluntness, but screw this. Really good parents respond to their babies' needs. That's what you're doing.

    My kids both started solids right around 4 months, at their pediatrician's direction, because they'd pretty well maxed out their formula intake each day & were still hungry.

    xo

    • I’m definitely intimidated by the AP competition Dawn refers to—thanks for not explaining that you had a superior experience because your kids never ate purees and didn’t start self-feeding (the best feeding!) until, I don’t know, ten months or something. I admit to reading about AP online in a bit of an echo chamber.

  2. Watership Down is kind of my most favorite book ever. Bigwig/Fiver/Hazel (depending on my mood) were my first serious crushes after Speed Racer and Almanzo. How much do I love that Joey is saying El-ahrairah?????? THIS MUCH (my arms are so wide open I’m tipping backwards)!!!!!!!

  3. Oh and also the solid food thing? Because I was so excited about Watership Down that I commented before reading more. The AP-competitive-sphere is an ugly thing. I used to be very judgey about solid food stuff because I was an idiot and because Noah was a picky, sensory-avoidant eater and skinny to boot so I was insecure about it and defensive, which ended up fueling my judgeyness. Following babies’ leads is so much smarter than becoming insane about timetables. If only I knew then! Because of course now all our kids are pretty much fine and no one can tell which one ate what or when as babies.

    • Pete being super enthusiastic has certainly helped me keep the guilt down to a dull roar; he has gone from watching with interest when I eat to screaming with rage if I don’t share. D:

  4. It is adorable that Joey’s getting into Watership Down and saying El-ahrairah. I love how sweet and playful he is. You and Mr. Book sound so smitten.
    I’m glad you had a good Mother’s Day and that you got to talk to Cricket that weekend.

  5. Mara also wished everyone a “happy birthday!” a week ago Sunday, so I suspect Cricket’s other mom(s) may have gotten a hit of that too. I kind of like the phrase, though. Think “birthday mother” could catch on?

    We’re having the conversation about how could we risk another child when the current one is so incredible, but I know that’s what everyone goes through. You have time!

    • And to be clear, I don’t actually advocate “birthday mother” as a term. It just sounds about as ridiculous as some of the cutesy thing adoptive parents come up with (“tummy mummy” and its yucky cousins) but has the added benefit of sounding adorable in Cricket’s context.

      Since I’m adding more, I’ll add that our cat definitely said NO to the dog once and also for a while could do an ehhhh-oh sound that was just like Lee’s impression of a Cher impression. See, Joey already can talk better than my cat!

      • My previous favorite Joey “word” involved him rolling over after nursing with a contented sigh and a “wow.” That sounds more on par with your cat’s levels of English—and way ahead of our cat. We tell Joey “What does a kitty say? Meow!” “What does [our cat] say? AaaaAAAaaa!” There’s this supposed-to-be alluring tone to that yell that I can’t quite get across online, sadly.

  6. Is it okay to say the best part of reading this had almost nothing (well everything but nothing) to do with Joey’s incredible cuteness & so much to do with your obvious joyous besotted-mama-ness?
    LOVE that.

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