Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

So, crap, Nate can crawl. He’s been on this planet for less than 5 and a half months. What the hell, right? At this pace, I’m going to have to teach him how to wear a condom when he’s six years old.

More later. I’m headed off to Home Depot to buy 300 feet of chicken wire.

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Nate will be 4 months old Monday.

According to What to Expect: The First Year, he . . .

. . . should be able to:

lift head up 90 degrees
laugh out loud
follow an object in an arc about 6 inches above the face for 180 degrees (from one side to the other)

. . . will probably be able to:

hold head steady when upright
on stomach, raise chest, supported by arms
grasp a rattle held to backs or tips of fingers
pay attention to an object as small as a raisin
reach for an object
squeal in delight

. . . may possibly be able to:

keep head level with body when pulled to sitting
roll over (one way)
turn in the direction of a voice, particularly mommy’s
say “ahh-goo” or similar vowel-consonant combination
razz (make a wet razzing sound)

. . . may even be able to:

bear some weight on legs when held upright
sit without support
object if you try to take a toy away
turn in the direction of a voice

Nate’s able to do every single one of these, even those from the “may even be able to” category, except . . . drum roll . . . laugh out loud. That’s right, of the 3 things Nate “should” be able to do, he can’t LOL. Leigh Ann has tried just about everything — funny faces, tickling, knock knock jokes. But the best we ever get from him is a little George W. Bush-esque snicker which, considering the voting records of his parent, is unfortunate.

In truth, I think it’s a good sign. We have a kid with a very discerning sense of humor. “You think you’re funny, Daddy? No, you’re not.” Yes, we’ll have to bring our A game at birthday parties and the like. But knowing Nate will never laugh at Two and a Half Men is the worth that effort and more.

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Over at PopMatters, Timothy Gabriele explores the similarities between ambient music and what babies hear in the womb. Of particular interest are his thoughts on the auditory development of his 6-month-old daughter:

. . . parents and caregivers responsible for the sound development of the infant have a big responsibility, even if they don’t know they’re taking on this task. The human’s first audio memories are stored in the limbic system, responsible for generating emotional responses, located adjacent to the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe. Any remembered sound therefore should automatically trigger an emotional response, however small, meaning that the parent’s provided sonic environment also has an impact on emotional development in the child (it’s thought that this is why music from adolescence, when emotion is at its most vibrant, generally triggers the strongest emotional response from its listeners).

I played Nate most of the songs referenced in Gabriele’s article and here are his two favorites:

The second one (Arp’s Pastoral Symphony) especially amazes him. When the bass kicks in around the 25 second mark, Nate’s eyes get real big, like something incredible is about to happen, and he studies my face for what that something might be. It would not be an exaggeration to say that music is becoming my version of breastfeeding. When Nate’s fussy or wants a change of pace, I usually pick up the ukulele or the guitar or the keyboard or some random percussive instrument (he’s got shakers, tambourines, bongos, etc.) and play Nate a tune. It’s like giving him Prozac in the key of C.

To the outside observer, it may appear that I am pulling an Earl Woods and that I desperately want my son to grow up to be a musician.

Could be. But I’ll settle for him just growing up to feel.

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Remember how I was finally getting some extended sleep? Like 5 or 6 hours at a time? Well, no more, my friends. Because a certain someone has taught himself to roll from his back to his stomach. Considering Nate’s not quite 12 weeks old, we thought it was a fluke the first time he did it. But he’s done it every night for a week now.

Instead of waking up after two hours, looking up at his monkey mobile, grunting a few times, then falling back asleep, Nate now wakes up after two hours, remembers, “Hey, I can roll over!,” turns onto his stomach, then starts screaming bloody murder.

Good morning, Vietnam!

His pediatrician tells us not to worry. He’s hitting his developmental milestones a little early, but he has good enough head control that sleeping on his stomach shouldn’t be a problem. Still, that doesn’t stop dear old Mom and Dad from glancing at the Wikipedia page for SIDS and seeing stuff like . . .

Among the theories supporting the Back to Sleep recommendation is the idea that small infants with little or no control of their heads may, while face down, inhale their exhaled breath (high in carbon dioxide) or smother themselves on their bedding—the brain-stem anomaly research (above) suggests that babies with that particular genetic makeup do not react “normally” by moving away from the pooled CO2, and thus smother. Another theory is that babies sleep more soundly when placed on their stomachs, and are unable to rouse themselves when they have an incidence of sleep apnea, which is thought to be common in infants.

Like I said, Nate has excellent head control for a 12 week old. But now I see why they say having kids makes you more conservative. Because who *doesn’t* want to play it safe when it’s your kid’s life on the line? Even if your doctor tells you it’s okay for your kid to sleep on his stomach, what happens when you wake up one morning and your kid is blue? Does that make you feel any better about it?

So, anyway, here’s what we’re going to do: 1) let Nate roll onto his stomach whenever he wants, but 2) install one of these:

Basically, it’s a pad you put under the mattress that monitors your tot’s movement and breathing. If it doesn’t detect any for 20 seconds, it emits an EAR-PIERCING SIREN sufficiently loud enough to warn your neighbors of an approaching nuclear holocaust.

Should give us some peace of mind, and it was surprisingly easy to set it up. Although, strangely, I could not find the enclosed Klonopin.

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If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s people bragging about how smart their kid is. “My kid scored 8,000,000 on his IQ test.” “My kid did a backflip.” “My kid cured cancer.” Blah blah blah. So predictable and annoying.

But guess what my kid did? Rolled over before his 6 week birthday!

Have a look:

(And, yes, I just got iMovie.)

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