The ninth month

I’ve been encouraging you to bite things and it looks like you have gotten the idea with hilarious effects. You guys look like puppies learning to chew on toys. I once watched Tobias chase a ball to gnaw on it. He’s also bitten ducky and someone chewed part of the book cover off. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was Liam because he’s obsessed with books.

There’s a little bit of frustration sometimes because neither of you have great motor control skills yet. But you are both getting there – Tobias can sit up by himself, Liam can reach for things and pull them to him, both of you have learnt to move forward. Tobias seems to be much more good natured about things and will smile at everything when he is in a good mood. Liam seemed to have lost a bit of his patience when his eczema flared up. He would scream and scream in a falsetto that sounds more like an alarm than a demanding cry. The doctor said it’s extremely itchy and a bit painful and that you are a very good baby for not being fussier. There was no choice but to start you on antibiotics because the cream wasn’t working. It was both funny and heartbreaking to see you trying to scratch the itch because you would rub it against the mattress in a waving motion. It half looked like you had ants in your sleeve. But the antibiotics worked and everything went away in days and you’ve been sweeter than ever. There’s no more tantrums, just adorable little noises to get our attention or to entertain yourself.

What’s worrying is that you seem to be getting night terrors. I don’t mind the comforting bit because I get to snuggle you but sometimes you don’t stop crying until I distract you by showing you your reflection or bringing you out of the room. Parenting articles written by Westerners say that I should let you be but that doesn’t sound right. You cry so badly there’s tears and snot everywhere. They say that this is to prevent dependency but if you can’t regulate your emotions, I’m not going to throw you off into the deep end and deal with your night terrors.

As you can see, we make up parenting as we go along. There’s rule book, and there isn’t a one size fits all approach. We tailor our parenting based on the baby and our own preferences. We decide what we are comfortable with and we work within our boundaries. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong as long as you have a valid justification for doing it your way. If you want to build a castle, don’t let anyone talk you into building a wall. You don’t need anyone’s permission but your own to do things you way. It’s your life, after all.

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The eighth month

You are beginning to get more vocal and make a fuss when you get stuck. You guys can sit without assistance now and it’s hilarious because neither of you can do it well, especially Liam. Tobias is so much more excited about moving around, we found him under daddy’s chair, under the tv table and trying to stand when we pull him up into sitting position.

Liam’s much more content on his back and when he sits he looks like Winnie the Pooh – hands and legs splayed. He falls back like a plushie, too. My little Pooh bear, always ready with a smile but if I play too rough, you get bewildered and respond with a cry. You’re much more sensitive than Tobias is which is so cool because it looks like you can read our expressions. Where Tobias just smiles at anything, you seem to assess us first.

We delayed your vaccination due to the Covid19 situation but you needed the final Hep B jab and we didn’t want to wait any longer. The clinic was filled with precautions and they took our temperature at every doorway as if we could have contracted a fever in the span of 5 seconds. I didn’t have surgical masks for either of you so I draped you in your muslin blankets instead which made it look like I was carrying around a pile of laundry. Liam cried before, during and after the jab and Tobias gave one cry of disapproval after.

Liam grew his first tooth and Tobias followed with four – his two front teeth made him super goofy. I’m going to miss your toothless gummy smiles… but this means we can start solids!!

I was really stubborn about wanting to set you guys on the path of BLW but it just wasn’t working out – neither of you were inclined to put things into your mouths. But that’s okay. Sometimes things don’t go according to your plan and you bend if you can. I didn’t mind being flexible because the alternative was to have a a frustrated mama with two frustrated babies. I don’t want to make eating such a challenge, I don’t want parenting to be so hard, so purees it is! You make such disgusted faces at the food but still you reach for more. For now it’s baby puffs and puree and Liam is surprisingly good as feeding himself the puffs whereas Tobias learnt to hold his own bottle in the dead of the night. He started doing it for his midnight feeds and refusing to do it in the daytime but he’s gotten the hang of it now.

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