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Mommy and Me

My rapidly growing Kung Fu Panda has hit a new stage: the Velcro baby. Like a Velcro monkey, with its arms perpetually wrapped around another monkey, he wants to be on -- or near -- me constantly. Only a week or so ago, he was content to explore our living room, playing with his toys happily for 10-15 minutes at a time. Lately, he seems to need to be either right next to me, or grabbing at me. In particular, he seems drawn to the tray table I use for the laptop and tries to hang onto it to pull himself up or, other times, shake it.

Whereas before, I could breastfeed him and get a little typing done while he lay dozing on my lap afterward, now he's so alert that the minute he's done, he wants to zip away. But, of course, not too far.

To make matters worse, he no longer wants to spend any time in the bouncer, where he used to play happily -- and safely -- for up to 20 minutes at a time. He's too anxious to explore, and yet, even though I've essentially baby proofed the living room, he rarely seems happy lately unless he's right next to me.

I thought it was just me, but apparently, he's been doing the same thing when I leave him at the YMCA's Child Watch service. Today and yesterday, he refused to play with toys on the floor but, instead, just wanted to be held.

Since he seems to be over his cold, I'm not sure what's going on. I guess he's just going through a cuddly period. Or maybe, because he's becoming more and more aware of the outer world, he requires a little comforting, someone to tell him that, no matter how big the world is, he still has a safe base to retreat to. Another possibility suggested to me is that he's having more teething pain and needs soothing as a result.

As I began writing this, he was hanging off the tray table again, but then I managed to successfully move him onto the floor, where he's playing with an old computer keyboard a friend gave us to use as a distraction when he's fascinated by the computer. For now, it seems to be working. Let's hope!

BTW, if anyone has any tips on how to balance a writing career with a rambunctious 8-month-old, I'd love to hear it! Even though I've radically downsized my daily expectations, it's frequently a battle to get anything done. That is also, of course, why I've been so terrible about social networking lately. My apologies!

My little explorer is also a homebody.

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
This is really common for his age. Do you have an exersaucer? He might enjoy that for a while. Also, writing while he's sleeping is one of the big ways to do things. I don't really remember what it was like to have only one baby since there was only fourteen months between my first two so I can't remember how I entertained him - these days, I have siblings that will give the baby attention if he needs it and I can't be around. Another thing that might work would be a travel cot full of ball pit balls - they're quite amusing and interesting and ours liked that.

Other than that, lots of games like peekabo, things that get him used to the idea that if you go, you come back.
Mar. 1st, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
I've just started peekaboo with him (don't know why I didn't start it earlier), but he seems to like it. He definitely needs to begin to understand object performance.

Unfortunately, he is no longer interested in being in his bouncer, or in the exersaucer they have at Child Watch. I think it's because he's so mobile. They have a standing station with toys on it at Child Watch, and I'm thinking of seeing if I can find a used one. It seems to entertain him while allowing him to use his legs, which he seems to find important.

I was wondering how you manage with more than one kid, but I guess it helps to have them entertain each other!
Mar. 1st, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
Also after your first, you realise that if they complain a bit, it's actually OK. You're less stressed about running to them the second they make a wibble. So if Felix is grizzling a bit by himself and I'm in the middle of a nappy change, I don't beat myself up the way that I used to - OMGTHEBABYISCRYINGIMUSTDROPEVERYTHINGTOHELPHIM!!!!!!
Mar. 1st, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
"Wibble" is a great term for what he does sometimes. He gets whiney! Really, though, he's such a good-natured little guy that most of the time he's babbling happily, even if he's at my knee, trying to get me to stop typing!
Mar. 1st, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
I spent several such phases doing all my "stuff" with a child on one hip, going through life using only one hand to cook and clean. It does not ever last very long...only a few days or a few weeks -- then they are wanting to get back down to be racing off to their next adventure.
Mar. 1st, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
*nods* The one handed juggle is something to become very adept at. Today I helped one child use a pedalo in preparation for high wire work while carrying the baby in the other arm. Both were fine and happy.

Of course, if you have an ergonomic keyboard, one handed typing is HORRENDOUS but right now I'm using a laptop keyboard, which is much more comfortable if I have to use one hand.
Mar. 1st, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
I have never figured out WHY so many people like those ergonomic keyboards.
Mar. 1st, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
Because they're awesome! Getting one is what finally kicked my touchtyping up a gear. I love mine. It's just not that ergonomic when you're single handed, unfortunately.
Mar. 1st, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
Do you ever use a sling or baby carrier for babies this size? I've been wondering if I should look for something a little more multiuse than our Baby Bjorn. We also have a sling from the Dr. Sears site, but KFP never has warmed up to it. Then again, he has never seemed to like being in a carrier while I'm sitting, which is a problem. But lately, I can't even cook without him trailing along into the kitchen and then grabbing my pantleg!
Mar. 1st, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
The one that I use (baby trekker) in theory can be used on your back as well when they get too big. I never got the hang of that and I have a framed one for when their legs get in the way when they're on your front. I sling it up until they're about 18 months and then they move onto the buggy - by that point, I've always been too pregnant with the next one to really go for slings any more.
Mar. 1st, 2011 11:18 pm (UTC)
I'll check out the Baby Trekker. I've also heard the Ergo is good. It would be helpful when we're out, too, because sometimes he gets tired of the stroller.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
I have an ergo and loved it. My only complaint with the Ergo is that it comes lower on the child's back than I would have liked, which allows them more freedom of movement. Of course the infant attachment addresses that issue, but I wouldn't think you'd need it for an 8 month old unless they fell asleep.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hmm. He often falls asleep while being held. I've had a couple other varieties recommended, as well. I'll seek out reviews and such before making a decision. It would be nice to have for when we need it.
Mar. 1st, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
I do that sometimes, when it's possible. I have no problems typing with him lying on my lap, especially if he's napping. Most of the time, he's too mobile and wants to be twisting around, looking at the cat and such. I've considered taking the laptop down on the floor with him. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Naps are a wonderful thing. As is just carrying the baby around as much as possible while doing something else. I also admit that I didn't do a lot of stuff for myself until Maddy was out of that stage, too.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
Did you use a baby carrier of some type? There's a limit to what I can do one-handed
Mar. 3rd, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
I actually didn't use a carrier often, tho we had them. I found it a bit difficult to do things with Maddy strapped to my chest. I just got really good at doing some things one handed or putting it off until she napped. I also tried sitting her in my lap while I was at the computer, which led to some really cute baby IM chats at the time. :D
Mar. 3rd, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
I remember some of her LiveJournal posts. Most of the time I've been doing things the way you did. The problem is that, while he wants to be held, he's also an active curious little guy who twists around while I'm holding him so that he doesn't miss anything.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:02 am (UTC)
Separation anxiety, teething, and recovery from illness all sound like likely suspects.

Both of my children started to get really interested in blocks at this age. At first they're toys for banging, but eventually you stack them and they knock them down - a new game. Finally they start trying to build the towers. I can't remember which of those is the appropriate 8 month activity, but blocks were a huge hit in our house with both kids.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about getting some foam blocks, because he played with some at the library and really liked them. Until then, we have some nesting blocks from Baby Einstein that are laminated cardboard decorated with pictures and words. When I stack them up for him, he enjoys knocking them down. I also taught him to put a block on top of another and inside another.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Slings! I'm a huge advocate for babywearing. I could do nearly anything with my little ones in a sling.

Also, mine seemed to love the swing & johnny jump ups.
Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
My little Kung Fu Panda no longer has any patience for his bouncer; if you put him in it, he cries as if he's been put in solitary confinement. I tried using a sling today for a short while. He liked it, but he's really too big for it now. I'm going to look into other babywearing possibilities.
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Oh, I thought a bouncer was different than a johnny jump up. I thought you meant this:

I was thinking one of these, which is for older kids:

My kids had one of those once they were near-walking age with excess energy and would bounce themselves into a sleepy oblivion. It was awesome.
Mar. 3rd, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
He had a vibrating chair like that for a while, but he never really liked it, probably because he had to be strapped in.

Here's a video of him in his bouncer in happier times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEA8I6yr8fg

Now, unfortunately, he has decided it is akin to baby jail.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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