Carter started crawling a week or so ago - real crawling, not the commando army-style business he'd been doing for ages - which was exciting unto itself. Then, not two days later he pushed himself to his feet and STOOD for the first time!
Alas, I was not there to see this. He'd stayed home with my husband last Friday so that Daddy could take him to an afternoon doctor's appointment, and my husband called me at work to excitedly inform me that Carter had just crawled over to his beloved little Russian table in the nursery (a gift from Babushka), grabbed it, pushed himself to his feet, and stared proudly at himself in the mirror (the boy loves a mirror - clearly he inherited mommy's vanity).
Since that day, all he wants to do is be on his feet. He'll crawl over to me and "climb Mount Mommy" as I call it, grappling his way up to my shoulders, pushing up on his little feet, wobbling excitedly about his accomplishment. He'll balance precariously against anything you set him in front of - sofa, chair, mirror - and is now trying to pull himself up on anything and everything. He will rarely allow us to set him down on his bottom, and will instead arch his back and kick his legs to try to stay upright.
Other recent developments include more teething. All the signs are there - every night for the past week he's begun waking at 3:30 again, wailing. I've been too delirious with exhaustion to let him cry it out, so I'll just take him into bed with us, feed him, and then put him back down. Last weekend was another nursing strike (just in time for Mother's Day - how festive!), with Carter breastfeeding only first thing in the morning and at bedtime. I found myself giving bottles all weekend, and even then he wasn't taking in nearly as many ounces as he normally does on a typical daycare day. On both Saturday and Sunday, I found myself away from the house (and therefore, from my pump), with a hungry baby who refused to nurse. What to do? Well, necessity is the mother of invention (literally - ha!), so each time I made like a dairy cow and (sorry for the TMI) hand-expressed until I had enough for a bottle. Let me just tell you, nothing says Mommy like milking yourself in the backseat of your car. After several days of night wakings and boob refusing, I finally reached into his mouth to discover a sharp edge of tooth on top. AH-HA! He hasn't let me reach in there since, but the advent of top teeth would certainly explain his recent shenanigans. Bring on the teething tabs, stat!
Last but most definitely not least - Carter finally said "mama" for the first time. A couple of days ago, he had a traumatic bath experience during a particularly trying evening. He hadn't slept well at school so he was already exhausted, but nonetheless eager to test out his newfound leg strength by attempting to stand up and climb out of his bathtub. As I held him upright and attempted to get him back on his bottom, he stepped up on the center ledge of the tub and his foot slipped. This scared him, and coupled with his exhaustion and crankiness at being made to sit on his bottom, it sent him into (very out of character for our mellow boy) a fullblown wail. I lifted him out of the tub and into his waiting towel, and he looked at me, flung his arms open and yelled "MMMMAAAAAMMMMAAAAAAAAAAA!" Then he clung tightly to my chest and started nursing. My husband and I looked at each other, and had a moment of "Did you just hear that??"
Despite the chaos, I was euphoric. He said my name! And he knew it meant ME! After weeks of endless "da-da-da-das" (to which my husband invariably replies "Yes, my son?" although - sorry, honey - I somewhat doubt the Roo Roo actually connects "da-da" with Daddy...though perhaps that's the green-eyed monster talking), Mama finally got some credit! My friend over at Little One Big World once said that her little one only said "mama" when she was upset, and in retrospect, the only time Carter would make the "m" sound was when he was fussing. I would wonder - Is he trying to say my name? Is Mama going to get a little shout-out one of these days? And I WAS RIGHT!
Thanks, kiddo. I mean, I DID carry you around inside me for 41 weeks and all. Sheesh.