Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sound and Movement

Once the binky came into his life, G was a new baby. I think we should have bought stock in Gerber, though, because we bought so many of the NUK pacifiers we could have paid the CEO's salary ourselves. We never wanted to be without one because of how much it soothed our little man, and because they went EVERYWHERE with us, we were always losing them.
   I was often told I needed to take his pacifier away so he would start talking, but I didn't care. He made enough noise in the first five months of his life that I was okay with a minor speech delay(if indeed the pacifier would cause that) if it meant a happier boy and more peaceful home.
   At about 9 months, G decided he could break away from Mama every now and then, and he wanted to move. He, of course, would not be doing it in the conventional style. Instead he chose his own style of Army crawl. He'd stretch his arms out in front of him, dig his fingers into the carpet and pull himself forward with his legs swimming out to the sides and only the tips of his toes helping to propel himself forward. As a former nanny I had worked with a child with significant gross motor delays and did her occupational therapy work with her daily to help her learn to crawl(at 18 months), so I tried a bit of that on my G. He would have NONE of it. He did it his own way and anyone who tried to intervene would get screamed at through clenched teeth gripping his binky, or screamed at and bit if his binky was absent. As always, my boy did it his way and his way only.
The first of many big boo-boos by clumsiness
   About the time he turned 11 months old, my boy stood one day and walked. He did it with such confidence you'd have thought he'd been walking around his crib for months while everyone else slept. He wasn't particularly graceful, but what new walker is? He had this graceful way about his steps, though, always seeming to be tipping forward with most of his weight on the balls of his feet and his tippy-toes. This fancy style of ballet-walking, however, meant A LOT of boo-boos. He was forever losing his balance and falling head-long into SOMETHING. One particular evening I had the night off and was doing some cleaning in the kitchen while my husband was working on homework in the living room when we heard a blood-curdling scream come from our bedroom. We both sprinted to the sound and found our little guy kneeling at the end of our bed with blood pouring from his mouth. A wet washcloth helped us briefly see inside his mouth and found that his two front teeth on the right side were pushed in and twisted, and a gouge of flesh had been taken from between the two. At that time our apartment was across the street from the hospital so I put the washcloth on G's chin, grabbed my wallet with the insurance cards inside into my husband's pocket and he ran out the door with the screaming baby. Our daughter and I quickly packed a diaper bag and shortly followed in the car. From what we could tell it seemed he'd walked into our bedroom and done one of his famous trip-and-face-plants into our bed frame mouth-first. Several hours, and a melted ice pop in the emergency department later, the doctors decided that stitches would probably be far more traumatizing than helpful, and his incessant binky-sucking habit would keep the saliva flowing and his wound clean.
Enjoying a hike from his tight and secure wrap
   Aside from crying and laughing, however, my boy never said much. He didn't coo or babble. As long as he was happy he just seemed content to sit back and watch with his enormous brown eyes everything and everyone around him, rarely interacting with any of it. Wore him on my back in some type of baby carrier all the time because he hated strangers. ANYONE unfamiliar approaching him would get what we came to call his 'stranger alarm'- a loud "EEEH!" that sounded much like a buzzer. If they stranger did not heed his sound and step back(and they often did not), he would erupt into screams of terror. As he grew older all it took was eye contact from a stranger across the room, across the produce display at the store, etc, and he would begin to scream. He just seemed to have this enormous bubble that no one dare enter or else.
   About this time(11 months old) G started some behaviors that were not necessarily odd, but the frequency with which he did them was frightening. One of his favorites was to bash his head against the nearest hard surface when he was in any way upset. We would cringe as he would have his fingers pushed away from the oven door and he would collapse in screams and begin repeatedly bashing his head on the ceramic tile floor. Other times he'd seek out the hardest surface, appliance or nearest wall to smash his head against at the slightest upset. Surely it had to hurt. Surely he wouldn't be spared serious damage simply because he was barely a year old and it was self-inflicted. Once again we received the same message from everyone, doctors included: It's normal. He's a boy so he's more aggressive in his tantrums.

1 comment:

  1. ohhhh, lands.......This is gonna be so helpful megan...thanks so much for the candid way you're sharing :)


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