Eight months

This has definitely been the best month yet! I remember people telling us, when Hudson was a teeny newborn, that it just gets better and better; and now I can see how it’s true. He was so wonderful even before he could hold up his head, but he’s turning into this little boy with lots of personality and it’s such a thrill to see. I also think he’s so much happier now that he can get around on his own (and if he’s happy, we’re happy). This month brought crawling, quickly followed by standing and cruising.

Those new skills mean he’s into everything–though fortunately he hasn’t shown much interest in opening doors or (most) drawers yet. His first targets were the stroller wheels and our shoes: Yay. Probably the dirtiest spots in the room. He has since moved on and returns time and time again to a corner with a VCR (don’t ask) and a houseplant; or to check out the mini-fan on the floor by his crib. Sadly, there aren’t many places in our studio apartment where he can just be left to touch whatever he pleases, so we have had to start using the word “no.” He loves finding tunnels and positions himself under chairs or the dining table, and seems to create obstacles where he can. It’s clear that he knows our apartment well: whenever something new appears or a closet door is mistakenly left ajar, he spots it immediately and lets out little shrieks as he charges across the floor!

He’s gotten his first bruises and his chubby little knees are getting rougher. And just this week he slipped while crawling and got a swollen lip! He’s surprisingly resilient. He also has no fear. (These photos are becoming a two-man job.) Honestly, he rarely stops moving!

He started crawling pretty much at the same time he started getting his first teeth, so we’ll never know if one or the other disrupted his sleep. (I suppose we wouldn’t have anyway.) He definitely does lots of practicing in his crib. Sometimes he sits up and then falls right back to sleep doubled over, folded into a heap.

Once his two bottom teeth emerged, the top two followed right behind. We couldn’t believe it when, lo-and-behold, another spot appeared on his gums. One morning, while serving him some hard-boiled egg yolk, I heard what sounded like shell and suddenly worried I’d let some get into his bite. It was a new top tooth grinding against his bottom teeth! Now he has a whole new smile, as he tries to figure out to do with those chompers.

Sleep was so much better once we returned from St. Lucia. We’ve actually had quite a few 11-hour nights since then, and a fairly regular daytime schedule. There have been some setbacks, of course. I think we might have been in what one sleep book calls the “yuck zone” for a while: two naps were too few, three naps were too many. I think we have made it to two naps a day now, however. His sleep, the good and the bad, of course continues to be an all-consuming topic around here.

This month has also brought a lot more playdates, and playground meetups. With more of a daytime routine in place, we can plan things again! Hudson loves to watch other babies and children, and often observes from the sidelines at story times and sing-alongs (except when he doesn’t and instead tries to pull someone’s hair). He enjoys swinging (and kicks his feet and squeals at the thrill). He will crawl up steps and head for the slide if permitted, but usually I’m pulling him away from dirt and debris that has gathered in cracks. (I’m struggling to get used to letting my little baby get so dirty! And playgrounds covered in sand? I guess.) Taking him to the Y for sing-alongs on Wednesday afternoons is one of my favorite activities–especially when Nathan (who writes for Sesame Street and has a show opening on Broadway sometime soon!) gets all of the kids so excited. Hudson loves the guitar playing and is fascinated by the bubbles Nathan brings out, but he’s still not so sure about that parachute contraption.

We hear some babbling, but not too much yet (more gurgles, clicks, and squeals). He stares at my lips intently and is fascinated with my mouth (pulling on my lips and teeth whenever I’ll let him). When I find him studying my lips while I’m talking, I tend to try and come up with something really brilliant which leads instead to silence. Then I usually end up saying “mama mama MAma.”

Hudson continues to be a great eater and has yet to reject anything. (The closest thing was his disinterested reaction to a combo of black beans, banana, and quinoa. Not excited.) We have tried giving him some yogurt melts (little finger foods that are essentially a cheerio alternative), but he has not figured out the pincer grasp yet and pretty much ends up playing air hockey with them. I feel, however, like he’s eating all the time and do need to be better about sticking to a schedule.

One of my favorite things of all to happen was the first time he instigated a game with me. I’m the one who plays with him; I couldn’t believe it when I realized he was trying to play with me. I was putting him in his stroller at the bookstore and he started playing peekaboo by burying his face to one side, and then popping up and smiling. It’s clear that he thinks he’s hiding as long as he doesn’t see me, so he tosses his head back and forth or lowers his eyes so that I’m out of view and then all of the sudden he’ll stop and stare with a big grin.

Finally, Aron is home much earlier with his new rotation and we take turns putting our little boy to bed. I’m so happy that he falls asleep with either of us and that Aron gets to enjoy one of the sweetest moments of the day, when Hudson finally quiets his small body in my arms and rests his head on my shoulder, pressed against my neck, while I recite “Goodnight Moon.”

It’s been a wonderful month, baby Hudson!

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