So I finally started Tuco’s To Do List. You can read it here. It’s basically just a bunch of stuff I want to make sure Tuco experiences, and I expect the list to grow as I think of things. A lot of it is stuff I enjoyed as a kid, and some of it is stuff I wish I experienced earlier in my life. I haven’t included the obvious such as “support financially” and “guide through life.” I think that things like that are a given. The Tuco To Do List is merely a smattering of extras I hope Tuco will enjoy one day.
Monthly Archives: November 2011
1. Tuco is sprouting his two top front teeth. Somehow, these teeth buds have been materializing within his gums, and now they are ready to push through. It’s absolutely crazy that they are currently barely visible, but in a couple weeks, they will be bona fide teeth. Then he will have his two front chompers and delight in the art of Cheerio-eating. And I will fall to my knees and weep as I mourn the sweet toothless smile he once had.
2. Tuco can clap his hands. Sometimes he does it randomly, but sometimes he does it when he sees another person clap. It’s so cool to see him imitate what he sees. For months I have not known if Tuco understands what I’m saying or doing, so it is incredible to see him start clapping when I clap. It means synapses are connecting the neurons in his brain. Synapses. Connecting neurons. Neurons! In his brain. Am I the only one fascinated by this?
3. Tuco can wave. It’s more of a rotating of his hand as he raises his arm, but it’s definitely a wave. He waves at me when I come into a room, and when we pass by my husband working in his office, Tuco waves at him. And I’m not sure why, but he also waves at the ceiling fan when he sees it turning. Again, it’s a sign that he’s developing and it is delightful to see it happening before my eyes.
That’s all for now. You could say that I’m excited, and you’d be spot on in your description. I am in awe of actually witnessing these daily progressions. I hate to use the word amazing, but that’s what it is. It’s so much so that I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Tuco is developing just as every book I’ve read on a baby’s first year says he should develop. Science has this stuff down to a, uh, science. (High five for that last line? Anyone?)
As a postscript I would also like to state that I am grateful, grateful, grateful to see these developments happening.
Tuco’s doctor told me I could start teaching him how to drink water out of a sippy cup, so I went to the store to get him one. Once I found the sippy cup section–yes, there is a whole section for these things–I started reading labels and tried to make a decision. Drowning in sippy cup overload, I just chose a BPA free single cup. I don’t need to have a cupboard full of stage 1 sippy cups, do I? I will just have to suck it up and wash it after each use instead of watching a mountain of cups get taller and taller in my kitchen sink.
I also picked up some bottled water for him after a little agonizing over more choices. I read somewhere that nursery water was bad for babies (?) because there was too much fluoride in it, so I just got regular bottled water–regular bottled water that is somehow better than my tap water because the bottled water came from Pennsylvania (?). Go ahead and laugh, but reading all the info that’s out there about what is safe for your baby and what might not be could make you more likely to listen to your fears rather than logic.
Anyway, I was excited to try this new activity with Tuco. With an uplifting soundtrack of Ladysmith Black Mambazo playing in the background, I held the cup up to my mouth to show Tuco what he should do with it. At this point, I felt very motherly and teachery– as if this was a moment we would remember forever:
Future Me: “Hey Tuco, remember the time I taught you how to use your sippy cup? That was a great time, wasn’t it?”
Future Tuco: “Oh, it was awesome, mom. I totally think about it whenever I’m feeling blue.”
I gave Tuco the cup. He put the mouthpiece in his mouth and started chewing, as this is what he does with anything he can get to his mouth. I tried tilting the back of the cup up, to see if he would start drinking it like a bottle. He wouldn’t.
So I sat cross-legged on the floor and sat Tuco in my lap. I put his hands around the little yellow handles and helped him bring the cup to his mouth. This time he tried drinking. Immediately he started choking. The not-trying-to-be-a panicker part of me thought, Ok, wrong pipe. He’s fine. The coughing continued and the panicker part of me lifted him up quickly to pat his back and make sure he was ok. He was. I knew it, thought the non-panicker part of me.
After Tuco recovered, I sat him in my lap again. Up went the sippy cup to his mouth. He took a drink, and he threw up–all down his shirt, on his legs, and on the carpet. I sat him on the floor and got up to get a burp cloth that was just barely out of my reach to clean up the mess. Within those five seconds, Tuco rolled onto his stomach and stretched out his puke-laden hands onto some library books.
*There are two made up words in this post. Can you find them?**
**The word sippy doesn’t count.
I am two days late in writing my Tuco-is-seven-months-old post. On the 13th, we celebrated seven months by installing his new car seat because he is mammoth and has already outgrown his original one. Tuco and I also danced a jig around the living room to the Pogues‘ “Bottle of Smoke” that he enjoyed. It wasn’t the most child-friendly song though–if I had sung the song out loud to him, I would have had to pay $1.25 into the Al SwearenJar.
I have a few things to report about what Tuco is like at seven months old:
1. Tuco loves looking out his bedroom window. I don’t know what he finds so exciting, but we stop at the window whenever we’re in his room. Every time his face lights up with the sweetest, most innocent sense of wonder. This look on Tuco’s face is my new favorite thing about him.
2. Tuco is relentless in getting strangers to look at him. He stares at people as if to say, “Hello, I am here being cute and smiling at you.” If they don’t look at him, he starts making the sound “uh” and his gaze becomes more intent. If they still won’t look at him, he starts moving his arm up and down as he uhs. Ninety-nine percent of the time this tactic works. He seems to want to connect to these people so badly, and once he makes eye contact with them, his smile gets bigger, and that person is forced to smile back at him. Sometimes they even approach him to say hello. Tuco loves it when this happens.
3. Tuco has learned how to scream. His screams are not the dainty shrieks of yester-Tuco. These new screams are heavy duty. It’s like he’s screaming, “Look out, there’s a man in a mask with a machete!” He started doing this around the house, but now he’s taken up screaming in public. He has made me that parent you shoot annoyed looks at because I cannot keep my child from screaming whenever he wants.
There you go–my observations of Tuco at his current stage. All in all, he’s still the best. Not a bad way to spend seven months, if you ask me.
When Tuco was born, he received many generous gifts from friends and family. He is very grateful for each gift, and one of our favorites is a little something we like to call hat beard. It might not be the first thing most people choose when buying a baby gift, but really, it’s a great idea, and it looks hilarious.
Hat beard came from a good friend who purchased it from the ByLaura Design Etsy shop. Tuco’s head has finally grown enough so that it fits nicely into the hat, just in time for winter. I’m trying to get him used to hat beard by putting it on him from time to time. Sometimes he’s fine with it, and sometimes he’s not. One thing I know for sure is that he likes to put the little mustache part of hat beard in his mouth. Here’s some pictures to enjoy.
A few days ago as Tuco napped, I laid on the couch watching Mr. Mom, feeling exhausted and lacking any motivation to get up and tackle my long to-do list. Just like Mr. Mom himself, my brain was like oatmeal. If Tuco was old enough to color outside of the lines, I probably would have yelled at him for doing it.
It turns out this was the best movie I could have been watching because somehow it improved my state of mind.
At a pivotal point in the movie, Mr. Mom realizes that he’s let himself and the house go, and he has to pull it together. The theme from Rocky plays and Mr. Mom is shown shaving off his unkempt beard, fixing up things around the house, cleaning like a champ, whitewashing a fence, taming Jaws the vacuum cleaner, and exercising with his stay-at-home friends. All this leads to him becoming the master of his days at home. A super dad-husband combo. A Mr. Mom for the ages.
That’s when I realized I had to cut the crap and start hearing the theme from Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger” or some other song from the Rocky series and start working on my own montage where I kick a little ass and get things done.
Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with keeping up on the many day-to-day household tasks that need to be done, continuing projects/activities that I like to/should do for myself, and making sure that Tuco has what he needs to be continually learning and having fun and feeling cozy and developing independence and sharpening motor skills and a hundred other things I want to provide for him.
Yeah, Tuco’s the world’s greatest baby, and I want to do all I can for him. But getting so overwhelmed to the point of accomplishing nothing and worrying that I’m not doing enough doesn’t help Tuco or me. So what if I haven’t been as productive as I’d like? Big deal. It doesn’t mean I can’t get back into things and feel productive again. No one can do it all all the time. Even parents with two nannies and a maid can’t do it all either, hence the nannies and maid. We’re all just trying to do our best to handle whatever’s on our proverbial plates.
So thank you, Mr. Mom, for being an unlikely source of inspiration. Somehow, Mr. Mom became a mirror I looked into and I did not like what I saw. But don’t feel bad for me because Mr. Mom also helped me snap out of it and get back to work. And I don’t know exactly what it was–could it really be a simple as seeing a stay-at-home parent in a Rocky-esque montage? Whatever works, right?