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Monday, June 25, 2012

Where's The Off Switch?

Having now spent the weekend at home with my son, I have confirmed my worst fears:

My son has become a boy.

Up until recently, my son was "just" a baby.  He wanted what babies want, when they want them.  At somewhat predictable intervals to sleep, to be fed, to be changed, and to be mildly entertained.  That entertainment could come in the form of grasping almost any inanimate object, usually from a device he was strapped into or that otherwise restrained his movements.

I'd noticed along the way that he wasn't the cuddly type of creature my daughter was as an infant.  He would snuggle in to be fed a bottle, but as soon as the feeding was over, he didn't want to be rocked or held.  He wanted to be put in his bed.  "I'll take it from here, ma, and I'll see you on the flip side."

And as I've already mentioned, he's a terror to behold on a changing table

Now he's taken those tendencies -- which I chalk up to part-personality, part-gender -- and run with them.  With his crawling legs under him, he's scooching his way to new boy terrain.

He no longer sits still.  He is no longer easily distractible.  He is no longer peaceful.

At least one limb is in constant motion.  Something is always going into his mouth.  Nothing is safe from his exploring fingers.  His jaws are always chomping.  A sound -- usually a screech -- is always leaving his throat.  He shakes his head.  He claps his hands.  He kicks his feet.  He rolls this way.  He rolls that way.  He wants out of the swing.  He wants up the stairs.  He wants into the action.

He'll calm down if I pick him up, but only if I, in turn, get a move on.  To stand still is not an option.  And still, his pointer finger is either scraping my teeth, jamming into my eye, or clawing my ear.

I've concluded that the only time he isn't moving is when he is asleep. 

My husband agrees with my diagnosis of Boy to such an extent that I've started scoring hollow victories.  For a long time, I've been telling him how much our son loves the Johnny Jump Ups they have at day care.  These are the do-hickies you set up over a door frame or its equivalent, and a seat hangs down.  The baby sits in the seat and literally just jumps, at controlled heights.  For you visual learners:

My husband had always said he hated the contraptions.  I'm not sure exactly why he did, but it was an opinion he maintained and I let it go.

Well, after an hour of zone defense yesterday morning, my husband ran to Wal-Mart and came home with one of those suckers under his arm.  In the time it takes to yell "get that out of your mouth!", he had it set up.  And as soon as our son woke up from his morning nap, he was grinning contentedly as he jumped his heart out.

Which is great.  We have a new baby thing in our house that will buy us 5 minutes of diversion and hopeful-tiring.  But the Johnny Jump Up can't come to the grocery store or on a car ride or to the pool.  I'm either going to have to find an inflatable trampoline with walls or invest in one of those parachute things Olympic sprinters put on their back to train with added wind resistance.  Again, visual learners, picture this.  But with a baby.  Crawling.

The somewhat silver lining here is that my son's new dimension has single-handedly erased an entire repertoire of activities and options from my consideration.  Until he is ready for college, if he is involved, I don't think I will ever:

  • Travel by plane;
  • Sit down beside a body of water;
  • Purchase anything for my home that can't be fixed with glue, a needle and thread, or a dump truck;
  • Be near an open flame;
  • Stay awake past 9PM;
  • Leave a door open;
  • Leave a window open;
  • Go to places with parking lots;
  • Mock people that use child leashes.
Seriously, visual learners.  You haven't seen this at the mall to know immediately what I'm talking about?

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go buy noise reduction headphones.


  1. travelling with E&S on Saturday for 5 hours to new york... i feel your pain.

  2. You guys are so good about traveling with your babies x2. My heroes.