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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