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Dubious milestones

In the past few days, Charlie has acquired several new skills. Oh, we do have fun!

  1. He has developed a flair for hitting himself in the head, hard. Gone are the days when his hands flailed entirely without coordination; now he is able to deliver a solid, well-aimed clout directly to the middle of his forehead. He'll do it with the back of his hand or with a tightly furled fist, but he already seems to recognize that it's much more painful, and therefore interesting, to knock himself upside the head with an implement. His Sassy teether — thank you, NSR — is his current weapon of choice. One end has a textured flower that is eminently clutchable by clumsy but determined hands, while the other sports a hard rubber ball just right for delivering the killing blow with an audible bonk. I am thinking of buying the Fisher Price My First Anvil® for when he inevitably decides that rubber cushioning and unfractured skulls are for babies. Either that or the Lamaze Musical Falling Safe™. It's so hard to choose, you know?

  2. He no longer requires encouragement to take a dump. Babies come equipped with this neat feature called the gastrocolic reflex. It's what signals the colon to send a load on through when food hits the stomach. It's why young babies empty their bowels while they nurse, and it's why little kids often have to leave the table during mealtimes. Only recently has Charlie begun to move his bowels on his own, without the stimulus of food, and without, I might add, parental authorization. It used to be that when we fed him, he'd strain obviously and deliver the goods with a grunt of triumph. It made it easy to know when a diaper change was necessary, and reduced collateral damage because he never sat in a dirty diaper for long. Now we never know what horrors might confront us as we pick him up after a nap or a stint in his bouncy seat — and since we have introduced solids into Charlie's diet, the horrors are horrific indeed. The increased nastiness of his issue coupled with his embrace of his newfound colonic autonomy have led me to scold him more than once, "Your duodenum is not a toy." (Note to Lamaze: stick with the falling safes.)

  3. For the last few nights, Charlie has obligingly slept for more than a 9-hour stretch. I hardly know what to say about this. Given the abruptness of this shift from two evenly spaced night wakings to one, and a very late one at that, I can't really account for it. Do you think maybe he's sustained one too many blows to his as-yet hairless head?