Wednesday, October 29, 2008


A friend's husband commented once that nine months is a significant milestone because it means more time out than in. For us, we passed that marker about a month ago, but never mind. Avtalyon is nine months old, and cut his first tooth this morning.

I've mentioned before that he's on a developmental track that has him doing almost everything a good three months ahead of his brothers. It's fun, and really different--it's also a little disconcerting sometimes (but in a good way) because he looks absolutely exactly like Barak--the pictures will be indistinguishable--but Barak, at this age, couldn't yet roll over both ways, didn't know his name, and couldn't reliably sit up on his own--pictures of him sitting up at ten months show lots and lots of pillows and soft bedding in the background, because he always fell over.

Avtalyon started saying "Abba" last week. I am "Mmmmm! Mmmmmmma! Ammmmmmmma!" I wasn't sure if he was really saying my name or just being hungry; speculation on this subject in Asnat's presence was met with the kind of look you can only manage if you're Israeli. It manages to convey "You are completely, totally, definitively out of your mind," without a single vowel or consonant. Pretty impressive, actually. Anyway, so, Asnat thinks he's saying my name. He also seems to be saying Barak and Iyyar's names; Barak is "Ah yah!" and his version of Iyyar's name is so close to Iyyar's actual name I don't think I'll post it.

He now waves at people regularly; if I'm holding him and there's someone new and I ask him to wave, even if I don't do it myself or hold his hand up as a hint, just the word is enough; he almost always waves, multiple times, and expects the courtesy returned. He's gotten interested in anything with a baby lock and has expressed ambitions in the area of emptying low-lying kitchen cupboards of their contents. Yesterday I made macaroni and cheese--the genuine article, with a Bechamel sauce and grated sharp cheddar, as opposed to just cheese melted on noodles--and he liked that. A lot.

What else? He doesn't really nap--an hourlong nap is a major accomplishmentl--but he spends most of the day happy so it's okay with me. He goes to sleep at around 6 PM and stays asleep until sometime around 6 or 7 am; he wakes up a few times in between, but usually before midnight. Everything's relative; to us, that's amazing sleeping for a nine-month-old.

The problem right now is finding a place for him to sleep. You wouldn't think this would be a problem in a five-room apartment, but it is; he's a very, very light sleeper, so really can't sleep with the boys, and if he sleeps in our room he's up nursing all night long. I tried putting a second pack and play in my office and moving him back here when I go to bed (and, inevitably, he wakes up); that worked fine for a few weeks but the problem is that now it's cold out and this room (three external walls) gets freezing cold at night--and even with two pairs of pajamas and a wool sweater in between he gets cold enough to wake up and cry. The current system involves the second pack and play in the living room, but besides obvious issues of not being able to go get the baby without being fully dressed (huge, huge picture window facing the street, we are on the first floor, and the curtains don't fully cover the windows), it's pretty cold there too. The only rooms in the house that are really warm at night are our bedroom and the boys' room. We might resort to sleeping in the guest room and letting the baby have our room till he outgrows the light sleeping or it gets warm, whichever comes first. We'll see how it goes.

The thing that's so funny about this whole developmental thing is that I'm just not used to so much going on with such a tiny baby. I mean, only nine months on planet earth! and he's already opening the garbage cans and pulling out the dirty diapers! and falling in love with the bath ducky! and escaping diaper changes with the stealth of Houdini and the courage of Tarzan! How'd he figure out all out so fast?

It's all pretty neat.

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