Growth: You weigh 22lbs 15oz (25%), up two pounds since your last appointment at twelve months. While I do pay close attention to what you eat and how much you drink, how much you weigh no longer holds my interest. It’s funny to hear the doctor say, “the only thing he’s below average in now is weight”. It sounds so harsh, like average is something one should be striving toward. You’ll be long and lanky like your parents, sorry. With that said you are above average in head circumference, 60%, and height, 60%. At this rate, you are predicted to be 5’11 and 160. Papa is about 6’1 and 175. I think you’ll hit quite a few more spurts along the way. You have 9 teeth, four top, four bottom, and one first molar on the top left.
Feeding: We started what I refer to as Operation Feed Hooper Different Foods and it’s worked. Mama had to redefine her goals and settle for a mere taste as a designated success, but at the end of the month I can say you have tasted and tried many new foods and several were even enjoyed. The happiness it brings to put together a meal and then have you enjoy it is indescribable. I think it’s innate, a transfer of the fulfillment from breastfeeding to filling you up with other good nutrients. I suppose that’s why woman are typically putting the food on the table. Whatever the case, you’ve tried new things. It’s the small victories…
You’ve taken to holding your own bottle. I’m not sure how, it seemed to happen overnight. It’s much easier now to hand you a bottle of milk and let you roam around leisurely with your cocktail as opposed to having to sit down and feed you. You are, however, quite keen on dumping your bottle upside down and leaving a milk trail wherever you go. You enjoy this even more when you notice Sarah following oh so close behind in anticipation of your spillage. At some point the bottle just becomes a toy and then I start to miss the days where I cradled you on the sofa as you gulped down your bottle. These days I have to follow you around and clean up and remind you “milk for Hooper, not Sarah” and prompt you to “put it in your mouth”, which are just the words sons want to hear from their mothers. Just as I’m writing this I had to get up and retrieve your bottle from the drawer of DVD’s you hid it in. You have me questioning if this bottle training was really a good idea and worrying about what the future of using a cup is going to be like. Not sure what we’d do without Sarah. Her attention to things on the floor is very much appreciated.
Sleeping: You’re still the sleep champion. You go to bed about 9pm, wake up about 7:30am. Then you nap from about 10am-12pm and again from about 3pm-5pm. You refuse to take much of a nap when you’re at your Nina’s house. Not sure why. All I know is that you conk right out as soon as you get home and we usually have to wake you for dinner. We still have the monitor in your room, I can’t seem to part with it. It feels like a life line.
Talking: Life just isn’t like the movies where things happen and there’s no debate or doubt about it. First steps are clearly first steps and first words are practically used in sentence form with the perfect meaning attached. With that said, you’ve said a lot of things. Not consistently and not always coherently. You said what we thought was “doggie” a while back, but I have yet to hear that again. Your Nina said she heard you say “cookie”a long time ago. I think I heard a version of cookie a couple days ago. You say baby and point to your belly. Baby is your first two syllable word. You also say “boom”. Sometimes I think you’re saying “broom”. It’s hard to know. But you did fall on your bum the other day and then proclaimed “boom”. You also took the broom out of the closet and said “broom” repeatedly, rolling your “r” like someone south of the boarder. So maybe you are saying both boom and broom. You refer to Sarah’s food dishes as “nay nay”. The only sense I can make of this is that every time you run toward that food dish we say “no no”. Any phone is referred to as “ma-ma”. Not sure if this is because you recognize me as ma ma and associate the phone with hearing my voice or if you just like to call the phone ma-ma. You say “papa”, but it’s pronounced as both a secret and a question. You try to repeat “Nina” when I mention you are going to Nina’s house. It comes out as “Nay Nay”, so I’m not sure you are trying to say Nina or if the dog bowl is all that’s on your mind. Maybe you can explain all your gibber gabber later. When I can tell you are poopin’ your pants I say “ca-ca” and you repeat “ca-ca” and grab your diaper. Perhaps potty training is in the not too distant future. You also say “ball”, “ca” for “calm”, “gone” after you throw things on the floor, and I swear you say “Was dis?” when you hear a strange noise, like the garbage man coming (Lisa, maybe you were right about Evan… haha).
Development: You have quite the sense of humor. You’re finding more things funny and are starting to repeat the things you get a kick out of. You like teasing Sarah and having her chase you. You break out into a big ol’ giggle session when she nips your little butt playfully. Not sure how this will pan out when you don’t wear diapers anymore. That may turn your giggles to tears. The difference between now and before is that before you found us funny, now you find yourself funny. You’re able to easily entertain yourself these days. You personality has grown exponentially. I was fairly certain you were right handed, but as of late, you’ve been using your spoon quite often with the left hand. You throw a ball with whatever hand has the ball in it. Again, more ambiguity. You are good at following direction. Your new trick is turning around. You think it’s funny when we say “turn around” and you make a 360 degree turn. You also like doing rolls. Yes, I’m teaching you forward rolls. You do so many in succession that you come up a little dizzy and I worry about you holding your food down. You can climb up your high chair like it’s a latter and love climbing onto my desk chair to move the mouse around and stare at the computer screen.
On Becoming a Big Brother: Clearly you have no ability to conceptualize the meaning of a baby growing inside me. What you do understand is that mama has a belly we refer to as “baby”. You like to pat your “baby” as well. You may not understand it all, but you certainly are intrigued by my belly and like to lift up my shirt and poke my belly button. Multiple times a day you prompt me to show you my belly and you proceed to give the baby unsolicited hugs and kisses which melt my heart instantly and make me think that while you are not old enough to “get it”, on some subconscious level the wheels are spinning. Your behavior appears totally innate and makes me question my overpowering logical side.