Very nearly! He’s going to be 10 months tomorrow, holy shizzle! Currently he is sitting in my lap watching me type, about to pounce, so this post will take a while but… yep, there he goes, he wants that mouse!
Well, that first bit was drafted nearly a month ago – yeesh, has it been that long? So this post is the “nearly 11 months” lumped in with the previous one. He’s going to be 11 months on Monday!
So, what’s happened since 9 months? So much! He is really mobile now and very vocal. The crawling is still an odd sort of crab-like variation of the cross-crawl, so his left leg is dragged under his body a bit and his right goes out at the side to plant his foot flat. He’s very fast though, and occasionally he’ll crawl a bit on all fours, with both feet flat, or alternatively he’ll crawl normally once or twice. I’ve been taking him to see a chiropractor to see if we can sort out his crawling, and it has helped a lot, but I very much doubt he’ll ever do a normal cross-crawl permanently before he walks. He stands very well now, and will let go and stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time, smiling to himself in triumph. His motor skills are good, and he can grab really tiny things between finger and thumb as well as larger things with both hands. Recently he acquired a rugby ball and has been throwing it around and chasing after it, it’s very cute. I remember about a month ago he discovered that his little soccer type ball makes a ‘boing’ noise when you throw it, and he was absolutely delighted! He’s had that ball since he was about four months, but he only just discovered the noise is associated with throwing the ball. It’s nice to see these little discoveries. He gets into every drawer and cupboard at his level to the extent that we’ve had to finally do some baby-proofing. I think I’ve probably bought every type of baby-proofing lock/latch/device on the market and we still haven’t gotten around to installing them all. So he opens the drawers and pulls out the wooden spoons and turkey baster and clingfilm and all sorts of random stuff. He’s also started putting things in places, so I’ve found his rugby ball has been deposited back into his toybox and random toys or his sippy cup have ended up in the bottom drawer in the kitchen. He unpacks the plastics cupboard on a daily basis. It’s all about emptying things at the moment, so if there are smaller containers or lids or other items in a larger container, his mission is accomplished as soon as it has been tipped out on the floor. I take him outside with me when I hang up washing and he sits at my feet and tips the pegs out of the plastic bucket. Endless entertainment!
I took the Dude to an anthroposophical doctor, mainly for his eczema, and we formulated a plan of attack. I got him an anthroposophical medicine (like homepathic only more refined) which he has three times daily, plus some calcium compound morning and night, to help his teeth. In addition, if it’s an imbalance in the gut, I’ve given him a course of probiotics daily in his porridge. I’ve got the most amazing cream, made by Graham’s, with colloidal oatmeal as the active ingredient, as well as some other creams like goats milk and rescue remedy. I haven’t really been eating much dairy, not drunk milk in a long time, and I think that’s helped both me and him. So his skin has improved amazingly, it’s such a relief! It’s still itchy unfortunately, but it’s under control now, which is great. And of course taking to the chiropractor regularly has had an impact I’m sure.
Another big milestone was reached a few weeks ago. He had his first fever! It was due to teething, his eighth tooth coming through, and it only got to 38.2, but still, I was impressed. I could see his body just going through the motions, so efficiently processing, the fever just doing its job. For a whole day he didn’t really want to play and just fed and whinged and slept and cried and whinged and was generally annoying, but because he was so hot I could easily forgive him. I knew it wouldn’t last long, so I just gave him homepathics and fed him when he wanted and spent a lot of time lying down with him. At first I was resentful that Mr Chewbacca went out (it was a Saturday night, St Patrick’s Day, good friend’s birthday and other good friend doing World’s Greatest Shave), but later I was very glad as he was too drunk to be woken when Dude woke and cried three times during the night. In fact at one point Dude was crying loudly right next to Mr Chewbacca’s face and he didn’t even stir. It was annoying at one point when Mr Chewbacca decided to snore loudly, just as Dude was drifting back off to sleep, so I had one hand on Dude and was hitting Mr Chewbacca in the face, holding his nose and twisting his head from side to side with the other. Now I know what you’re thinking, who co-sleeps with a drunkard, right? Yeah, probably technically against the guidelines, but I seriously didn’t think he was affected, he seemed fine when he came home, and the Dude sleeps next to me anyway. He has been so dead tired recently, not getting enough sleep, due partly to his own crazy body clock but also to the fact that Dude is waking up earlier. Anyway, the fever was gone less than 24 hours later and when we woke the next morning, everything seemed back to normal and the tooth had come through.
And yes, the inevitable has happened, no more sleeping in for us, Dude is getting up early like normal kids! He is waking around 7 these days, and I’m trying to get him in bed by 7 at night as I know he’ll sleep 12 hours given the opportunity, but it’s been a real chore to get him to sleep recently. The feeding to sleep is getting really tiresome, mainly because the majority of the time he doesn’t really want it, but it’s the only way he can go to sleep. He squirms around, makes grunting noises and is always too full. So then he turns over and comes off the boob, and then sits up and chats and crawls into his cot and all over me, going everywhere head first as he is so dead tired his head just wants to make him lie down. He fights sleep til the bitter end! Some nights this week it’s taken me well over an hour to get him down. But the good news is, once he’s down, he (touch wood!!) hasn’t been waking, or has been going a good couple of hours before waking. And when he does wake and go in to get him back down again, he goes down again very fast, definitely ready to be asleep. So things are shifting, vaguely closer to normal/happy.
He suddenly wants to eat a lot more, which is great. I’m doing a fair bit of spoon-feeding, mainly because the baby-led solids are so difficult to do without totally trashing the floor. I still give him chunks of food, rice cakes, fruit and veg, other snacks and things, but I’ve been cooking up just simple pasta and two vegies and freezing it in portions. He’s also been having some millet porridge for breakfast which he’s been eating all of for just the last week or so, since his big fever transition. I’m getting a bit more lax with what I let him eat, so he has had the teensiest taste of my yoghurt, which he loved, and I usually give him a couple of crusts of my morning toast, if he’s awake when I’m eating it, which he also loves. I figure if there’s a trace of butter or vegemite on it, it’s not really bad, and it’s good that he gets used to more variety in taste. I made some humous the other week and put a little too much garlic in it, but I let him try some and he really liked it, I was so surprised! I still haven’t given him any meat or cheese or egg or other types of full on protein, mainly because I don’t think his body really needs to deal with foods that complex yet, but I would like to give him some actual protein, so I’ve bought some chick peas and lentils and will work out what to do with them at some point.
The other big thing that’s happened with the Dude recently is that the holes in his teeth (have I mentioned them before?) have gotten bigger and then just a week ago he chipped one! The enamel/structure of those teeth is obviously compromised and I’m suspecting that’s the cause of the decay more than anything, as the chip just goes straight into the spot of decay. The fact that the spots are slap bang in the centre of each front tooth says to me there’s something weak about their structure as well. I wondered whether all my prenatal nutrition had done something bad to them, and I shuddered thinking all that icecream and chocolate and dodgy food I ate when pregnant might have had an effect. Not to say I didn’t eat healthily most of the time – if anything I ate healthier when pregnant than any other time in my life, mainly because anything with acid or dairy or sugar gave me shocking reflux and I had these bizarre cravings for steamed vegies and salads, especially in the first trimester. So yeah, it’s hard to believe something as simple as nutrition could be the only contributing factor to his teeth being compromised. When he chipped it, we realised it was time to find a dentist. Mr Chewbacca was saying just take him the first place you can find, although preferably a children’s dentist. I, in typical fashion, secretly sought out a holistic dentist and booked him in. As luck would have it, they had an appointment on the Monday, which was the soonest we could get him into a regular dentist anyway.
So on Monday, despite having no money at all, I took the Dude along to this holistic dentist in Neutral Bay. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’d read up online so I was hoping for the best. I knew they’d say my feeding him to sleep was a bad thing as the milk would be staying on the teeth all night and breastmilk does have lots of sugar in it. We saw the loveliest female dentist who he took a shine to (he rarely doesn’t take a shine to people though) and she did agree with me about the feeding to sleep. She said there’s not a lot to be done as it’s impossible to get him to keep his mouth open and keep still for enough time for her to drill away the decay and seal off what’s left of his teeth. She gave me a referral to a paediatric dentist but warned me that although they are great, they are mainstream, and will probably recommend a general anaesthetic to do the drilling and stuff. She said she personally wouldn’t subject her children to that at this age, and I said I doubt I would allow it either. She said the decay is quite soft and probably going to get worse. There were a raft of questions about other influences, vaccinations, nutrition, the pregnancy, the birth, illnesses, medications, but of course I haven’t done any bad stuff in respect to all that. Needless to say she was impressed! I will take him back there in about six months, as she said he should be able to sit still enough by then for her to do something, if needed.
Just as we were finishing up, another male dentist walked past and she called him in to ask his opinion. Turns out this guy is something of an expert in holistic dentistry and been around for quite a long time. I connected with him immediately. He was serious but kind, and he immediately began to do some cranial stuff to Dude who is used to all that by now. He asked me a few questions about the pregnancy, specifically how my relationship was during that time. I said fine, if anything, better than at any other time. So he asked me if I’d had any other stresses during early pregnancy. And then it dawned on me. I had the most stressful job of my life in the first trimester, and experienced probably one of the most traumatic, emotional situations of my life at work. It still upsets me now when I think about it. He asked if I’d been treated for that, and I looked at him like he had two heads. Treated? What kind of treatment would you recommend? Homepathics, kinesiology, he said. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered this before. The first trimester and early second is when much of the tooth formation takes place apparently, so those stresses could have really affected things. The good news is that his adult teeth will be great as they are being formed now, so whatever we’re doing now will be instrumental in forming his adult teeth.
Anyway, I’ve decided to seriously look into the treatment. The dentist recommended someone and as soon as we can afford it, I’ll make an appointment. As I was waiting to pay, the male dentist made a point of coming up to me. He said out of the blue how strong Dude’s energy is, and mine too, and that I should get back into meditation as when I calm down, he will. Wise words. Just got to find the time!