Yes, way past my bedtime...but I had to write a few words about Julian. All of a sudden, he's a little boy! He sits like a pro. He holds his toys delicately. He pets the dog nicely without having to uncontrollably grab and pull whatever dog part he touches. He pets me too, strokes my arms and my face gently. He can stay in a crawling position for a little while before he collapses into doing pushups. But really, I don't think he's going to be much of a Crawler. This boy's definitely a Walker.
He can totally support himself standing up, he just needs to hold my finger for balance. Today he took a few steps backwards and a few steps forwards while holding my fingers. He can pull himself up to standing from laying on his back, again using the ever-helpful Mama Fingers. He was doing that before, but now I don't really *pull* him up, I just let him use my fingers as a pull-up bar. This morning he was sitting on his potty and when he was done he grabbed my hand and stood up! I was amazed. And very glad that the potty didn't stick to his butt and dump on the floor.
He's so funny. He laughs all the time if you make the slightest attempt to entertain him, or tickle him. And always smiling his beatific smile, especially for the ladies. Julian LOVES the ladies. Dan caught him in action at Trader Joe's the other day. Someone must have told him that the supermarket is a great pick-up spot, because whenever I'm grocery shopping, he's scoping out the ladies, smiling at them and trying to catch their attention. He picks his victims one at a time. It's so funny. I wrote about this before...he smiles at someone until she feels his smile burning into her and *has* to look at him, then he REALLY turns on the charm. The eyebrows go up and down, the eyes crinkle up, little tooth nubs are revealed in his little semi-circle of a smiley mouth. Plus the Dennis the Menace hair sticking up in his perfect Little Boy hairdo. He's so cute, you have to wear protective glasses to even look at him or he'll burn out your retinas.
Not just a Walker, he's a Big Talker too. So much talking lately. I even got a note from Leela, his teacher at daycare. She gives me a little form every day that says what he did, how much he ate, whether he pooped or not, etc. One day I got a note that said, "Today Julian is talking too much in class. He is talking all day today." Busted for talking in class at 7 months old! He likes to talk when he's playing with toys, and when he's laying on his back in bed looking at the fan, and also when we go for a walk. Yesterday we were in Santa Cruz walking around down by the beach and he said, "Hola!" and "Oh God!", which cracked Dan and me up. OK, maybe he didn't say those things, but it sure sounded like it.
Another favorite sound is the Excited Surprised sound...I'm not sure how to describe it. It's sort of like a buzzing exhale. It was really, really hot the other day, and I had to clean my ultra-funky yoga mat that hadn't been washed, well...ever, so I took the mat outside on our tiled patio and set Julian on one end while I washed the other with soap and a brush. I misted us both with cool water, which felt nice. Then I let him hold the hose while it was spraying, and of course he had to put his other hand *into* the stream, which made the water spray back onto him. That definitely brought on the Excited Surprised sound. Then he went back in for more! We watered the garden and had more fun water play, and came back inside all cooled off.
I ordered a bunch of babyproofing items from One Step Ahead, and of course I had to get a few cool toys too. Like the Waterway Playset and the Sand and Water Kingdom. Yep, we're going to have a lot of fun. I can't wait! This is getting good... ;-)
I've noticed that kids never seem to mind cold water. What's with that? Does sheer excitement overcome the fact that the water is really, really cold? OK, the water on the patio wasn't very cold, and it was a hot day, but Julian was loving it, whereas I didn't exactly *soak* myself, if you know what I mean. I'm a total wuss about cold water though. Yesterday in Santa Cruz there were a zillion kids in the water at 6:00pm. Now that water is COLD. The ocean temperature reached a season high of 62 degrees F on Labor Day, OK? Brrrrrrr!!!! And at 6:00pm it wasn't really hot out. But the kids were still going nuts, jumping in and out of the waves and frolicking like seals. Most of the adults had wetsuits on. I've always wondered about that. Apparently cold and hot are sensations that have to be learned, especially cold. So have kids just not learned to dislike being cold? Or they really don't feel it? What's going on there?
Every day I have more questions about babies and children. I find myself doing a lot of reading on child development and human evolution, it's really fascinating. It makes me glad that I've just kind of gone with what felt right all along. Even the fact that I am sleeping with the baby and Dan sleeps with Bugs. That's probably weird in our culture. But Dan likes his uninterrupted sleep, he likes to sleep in, and Julian and I get up at 7:00am most mornings, we play, he talks and squeals. For now it works for us to sleep like that. When it doesn't, I guess we won't do it anymore. Anyway, I just read that a full 50% of the WORLD has the same sleeping arrangement. Mama with babies in one place, Daddy and older children sleeping somewhere else. So we're not so weird after all. We're actually average!
On that note, sleeping. I'm going to bed too late and then the 7:00am baby wake-up call (patting me gently, talking to me and smiling!) gets sort of painful. So off to bed for me.