As of two weeks ago, he's finally walking. We went over to a friend's house and suddenly Squeakles just got up and started walking all over their living room. Then when we got home, it was like our apartment was a whole new playground and Squeakles couldn't get enough of roaming all around, often going in circles around the island that separates the kitchen from the living room, just for the sake of walking.
Being able to walk, while exhilarating for Squeakles, is creating all sorts of new hazards. There are the obvious accidents-waiting-to-happen (falling down, crashing into things, etc.). We are now chasing him around the apartment pretty much all day long (except when we convince him to play in the Pack and Play).
He's also getting up at night - we hear him crying and find him either sitting up or standing up (!), often with his eyes still closed. We tried sleeping with him in our bed while we were visiting J's family last week, but we woke up once to find him trying to climb over J. The idea of leaving him in the bed for naps with pillows on either side of him no longer seemed like it would be particularly safe, so we decided to try to get him to sleep in the Pack and Play. I nursed him in the bed, but as soon as he fell asleep I moved him to the Pack and Play. This used to be a delicate mission, very much like carrying a grenade and trying to put it down soooo gently so that it wouldn't explode. (If Squeakles were a real grenade I would have been dead a million times over.) But now - now! - he just resettles (maybe with a slight whimper) and keeps on sleeping!! And then! When the pacifier falls out of his mouth or he wakes up, we just go in, replace the pacifier, or turn him over, or just shhhh him and within seconds he goes right back to sleep. Unbelievable. This happens even if I find him sitting or standing - I just have to lie him down first and then shush him back to sleep.
This week, back at home, we've been putting Squeakles to bed in the crib and it's been working out wonderfully. It's the same thing - he does wake up, but he can easily be resettled, so unlike in the past we're not spending hours holding him and rocking/bouncing him. On the first night he woke up several times throughout the night, but last night he woke up once at 11:30 and then again at 5:30, which is pretty tolerable. I think he might even like sleeping now.
Squeakles has also decided to say more than "digim" in the past couple of weeks. He does animal noises in response to questions:
- What does the cat say? meowmi
- What does the cow say? mooooooo (previously was mo, sounding like mo' money)
- What does the rooster say? co doo doo doo
- What does the duck say? gak gak
Okay, so he's not exactly saying them right, but it's very cute.
He's also figured out that questions should be followed by answers, so he responds to everything that sounds like a question with "da". (We don't even have to use real words in the question, it just has to have question inflection. "Squeakles, bi di wokki wo?" Squeakles will smile and then say confidently, "Da.")
Some of this makes me wonder what he's hearing when we talk. He's started doing this weird thing when we give him a phone (with someone talking to him). He sort of pushes sounds out emphatically, kind of like grunts. Is that what he thinks we sound like? He also starts all of his "sentences" with something that sounds like "I", which I would guess a lot of our sentences do. (Often it sounds like he's saying something "I do".)
Reading books at night is also becoming actually enjoyable. (Previously: I would attempt to read while Squeakles squirmed and whined and needed to be cajoled into paying attention with big sweeping movements of the book or pointing at things.) Our current books are "First Book of Sushi", "Big Dog, Little Dog" (which actually isn't the most exciting book ever, but it's working for now), "Monkey and Me" (a paper version of the book came with a box of Cheerios), and a beautiful alphabet book that my grandmother made (it is cloth and each page has a letter stitched on the page and an example of something that starts with that letter). Of course, I still do all kinds of pointing and hand movements to keep him interested. He's picking up on some of them, like when I pretend to pick up pieces of sushi from the book and feed them to him. I caught him the other day doing this by himself.
I give him his "Look Look" book while changing his diaper and he likes to do a lot of the movements I've done with this in the past. There's a page with a car on it, and I've said vroom vroom while moving the book back and forth. So whenever he gets to this page he says "booom boooom" and moves it back and forth. When he gets to the page with the cat on it, he says "meowmi". And when he sees the page with the hands, he puts his hands on it.
And finally, now that Squeakles can walk, J is teaching him to play soccer. (If you're reading this in a feed reader or email, you may need to click through to my blog to see the video.)