He's eight and a half months now, crawling like a madman, eating immersion-blended vegetables and the squishier parts of onion kugel and potato knish. He laughs his head off while playing with his big brothers, and admirably fulfills his role as baby brother by summarily destroying big-brother Lego structures on sight. He pulls up to standing on everything, including lots of things he shouldn't (glider rocker footstools...) and does a little bit of creeping from one piece of furniture to the next when he can. No signs of launching into space though--he can't stand independently yet.
He's sleeping, B"H, much better; he doesn't do much in the way of napping but he doesn't spend much of the day screaming either so I don't mind. His usual schedule right now is to go down in the pack and play in our room at around 6 and wake up somewhere between 9 and 11 for a late-night snack; he goes back to sleep until Abba or I go to bed, at which point he usually wakes up instantly. I swear that baby has sonar. No sooner have I swung the door silently open than he's scrabbling up the side of his pack and play, staggering out of sleep to let me know that he's HUNGRY AND ALL BY HIMSELF. That's when I nurse him again and transfer him to pack and play #2, in my office. I don't really like having him that far away but he's such, such, such a light sleeper it was the only way. Before I finally cracked and bought a second p & p for the office, MHH was sleeping on the couch, I was sleeping on the guest bed, and Avtalyon had the master bedroom all to himself. Then we realized that something was wrong with that picture. The back bedroom/office, unfortunately, is not only at the opposite end of our railroad-style apartment, but it's the only room with three external walls and it's really cold. He sleeps in two pairs of pajamas already--I think when it really does get cold out we're going to have to figure out a new arrangement.
Barak and Iyyar treat him like some kind of celebrity. It's really funny. Now that he has an obvious personality, but is still little and (mostly) harmless, they think he's a riot. Iyyar carols his name in a ridiculously funny pronunciation, and happily runs to get me diapers, pluggies, whatever. Oh, and speaking of diapers... I can't believe I didn't mention this first but seriously, Avtalyon is the pod baby. He's unnaturally strong. Okay, both Barak and Iyyar were kind of pipsqueaks and both of them have some unusual stomach muscle weakness (neither can do a sit up from lying on their back--they both roll over onto their stomachs first) but holy cow, Avtalyon is not normal! If I'm changing his diaper and he spies something he wants right above his left ear, in about three hundredths of a second he's flipped himself over, wrenched his feet out of my right hand, shot over to where it is and is happily playing with it, naked tushy stuck straight up in the air. He accomplishes all of this in less time than it takes me to reach for a wipe. If he really didn't want you to change his diaper, you'd have a really, really hard time doing it against his will--at least not without an extra pair of hands holding him down. I even have to keep my wits about me while nursing--no dozing off for me, because if he got interested in something he'd shoot right out of my lap before I could stop him.
No teeth yet, and he still hasn't mastered the pincer grip, which is okay by me. He's enough of a menace already--I can wait a little bit for him to be able to pick up tiny choking hazards off the floor on his own. (Yes, I do try to keep choking hazards far from babies in general, but with two older brothers around sometimes things appear.)
My current suspicion is that he's not going to nurse for as long as his brothers did. He just gets so distracted--granted, there is a lot more going on around him than there was around Barak at the same age, but Avtalyon just seems to want to leap into the fray much more. For the time being, though, he's still a baby--still little and soft and cuddly and sweet. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.