Hootin' and Hollerin'

We've now crossed the three month point for little baby G, and he just keeps developing at a steady pace, surprising us almost daily with weird, cool, and cute new things he starts doing and phasing out other behaviors like old clothes. Speaking of clothes, he really is outgrowing them constantly. Every week we have to go through his sleepers and figure out which ones still fit him. My wife has a constant task of seeking out cheap, new clothes.

He's still got that baby super cuteness, though. I kind of wonder when he's going to lose that. I'll be really sad to see it go. Little kids are cute in their own way, but they're not baby-cute. Nothing but a baby is. Some people, like my wife, like to dress up babies in grown-up looking clothes, like a pair of pants and a onesie that looks like a polo shirt, so it looks like he's wearing a regular outfit, but I just think those look silly. His proportions are all wrong, and the clothes ride up and get bunched weirdly, so they just look sort of uncomfortable on him. I think babies look cutest when they're wearing a sleeper, which makes them look snuggly and soft (which they are).

I had this weird thought that it's interesting and unique having another human in the house with us. We've had a whole menagerie of pets, ranging from dogs and cats to snakes and tarantulas, for years, but never have we had a tiny person with us. All those critters have more or less "superhuman" powers: dogs can smell really well, cats can see in the dark, and so on. But this little guy is exactly like us, just not developed yet. He looks like us and has all these distinctly human tendendncies that our animals, as much as we love them, just don't have and never will. He is small and he depends on us for all his needs, so from an angle he has similarities to a pet, but he's fundamentally different.

So this update has some hooting in it and some hollering in it. Let's get the hollering out of the way first. I'm going to withhold a lot of details, but it's an important enough event in our own lives that I feel like I should write it down. Here it is: little baby G had to go to the emergency room the other day.

On one of my whole days with him on the weekend I thought he was grunting more than usual, like he was trying to push out a burp or a fart or something, but nothing came. The next day my wife had a premonition when she picked him up: she just instinctively felt like something was wrong with him, so she got him into the pediatrician that afternoon, and the doctor said he needs to go to the ER right away. So she called me at work and we both left in a hurry to meet at the hospital. The deathly calm in her voice freaked me out, but the doctor had said it was not life-threatening, just urgent. That took the edge off for me, at least.

At the hospital they were very quick to run some tests to rule out what the pediatrican was urgently worried about, but they found out the poor little guy had a urinary tract infection. I felt bad that it might have been some misstep in our care, but apparently babies just get them sometimes, and there's not much you can do about it. Many hours later (hospitals are always slow) they sent us home with a prescription for some antibiotics. This was probably the best possible outcome for him--just a day with a messed up schedule and some delayed feedings.

Within two days of taking the antibiotics he was back to normal. It was a pink liquid we squirted into his mouth with a topical syringe. He was really good about taking it most of the time. He kind of nom nom nommed on it like it tasted interesting. Occasionally he just wasn't in the mood for it, but we could trick him by inducing his sucking reflex with a pacifier, then pull the ol' switcheroo with the syringe. Mommy came up with that trick!

Enough about depressing things, though. He has started talking more and more lately. I vividly remember the day he started really hooting. He wasn't doing it in the morning, but when I called my wife in the afternoon I could hear him going "hoo hooooo hoo HOOO hoOOoo" in the background on the phone. He did this constantly, through the entire call. I was cracking up. She said he'd been doing it all day, like he just discovered how. From that day on he's started doing a lot of this hooting, especially when he's happy. I can really tell he's in a big hurry to talk with us, and I can't wait.

He's started trying to grab things with his hands a lot more. He hasn't fully dominated them yet, but now basically every feeding is a constant battle against his roving hands, which want to grab and hold the bottle, but can't quite manage. Still, he had one hand in a good position a couple nights ago, so he was able to hold his own bottle for a few seconds for the first time! Man, it'll be nice when we can just hand it to him and say, "here, drink on this, son". Obviously, that will come with all kinds of complications, but I can dream, right?

Another use for his hands is rubbing his face and eyes. Especially when he's a bit sleepy, he balls up his little fists and rubs his own face all over. If you pick him up, he'll rub his face on your shirt. A few times I've been left with dry skin residue on my sweatshirt (thanks, son). We still swaddle him, but it's now more or less impossible to pin his arms at his sides like we used to. Now he basically requires them to be clasped in front of his chest inside the swaddler. All right, guy, whatever you want.

With his somewhat better hand control, he's started trying to put more and more things into his mouth. For example, he tries to cram the neck of the swadddler into his mouth while getting to sleep. Sometimes the neck gets all wet after a nap and we have to change it. And anything he can hold goes right in. If he grasps a burp cloth, he'll try to wad that in. If he is holding a toy, he'll push it right up against his mouth and at least lick on it. I hear it might not be too long until he's teething. That will be an exciting adventure.

Finally (in terms of developmental stuff), he's on the verge of learning to laugh. The other day I got him really happy, and he started doing little coughs while making his happy sounds. I'm totally convinced that was an attempt to push out air for the "ha ha ha" sound, but he doesn't quite know how to control it yet. By the way, I got him really happy by giving him "little donks", which entails grabbing his fists and tapping them on his own forehead. I don't know why, but he really likes that. He also loves it when you put your face into his chest and snuffle around a bit.

We took him to his first soccer game the other day, since the soccer season has just started up and we've had season tickets for years. Since it's really loud there we have to put these big, goofy earmuffs on him to protect his delicate ears from the noise. I thought he'd hate them but he was okay with them.

I sat with him in the front carrier for half the game, then my wife held him for the second half. He was doing so well, but eventually got overwhelmed and overstimulated, so she had to walk around with him a bit. He hadn't had a good nap that day, which I'm sure didn't help matters. Next time we'll make sure he has a nice, restful day aside from the game, and hopefully it will go smoother.

That's pretty much all the new and exciting stuff I can think of for now, so I'll write again later.


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