Friday, November 17, 2006

Isaiah Robot

My secret plan that I have had ever since Michael and I started dating is now coming to fruition. I absolutely love cats, and I have always wanted to own a cat as an adult, maybe even two. Michael, however, is allergic to cats and consequently doesn't care for them that much. Despite all of my many schemes and different ways of pleading he has yet to concede and buy a cat for me, so I have been counting on my future children to help out. My secret plan is that they will all love cats as much as I do, and with the group of us begging and giving Michael puppydog-eye looks, he will give in and get a cat. Luckily for me, I didn't even have to train Isaiah to like cats, he inherited my love for them right from the get go. Our friends, the Goldbergs, have two cats Isaiah has interacted with a few times. He is fascinated by their whiskers, their tails, their eyes, everything. Those cats are so patient with him, too. One of them even docilely laid down next to Isaiah while Isaiah pulled on his fur. Then, on Sesame Street, Elmo did a little special on cats. Isaiah grinned the whole time and squealed at the T.V. He waved his arms and kicked his legs, and made me such a happy mom. Look out Michael, you're outnumbered!

A small part of me has wanted that irobot Roomba for quite a while. It's the tiny vacuum cleaner that scoots around on its own and vacuums without you having to lift a finger. Isaiah must have sensed my desire for one of these because he has become my own little Roomba. He crawls around on the carpet and diligently finds every tiny piece of lint or spilled popcorn or dirt and picks them up for me. Unfortunately, he then eats whatever he finds, so I find myself slowly crawling after him much of the day, constantly picking tiny pieces of garbage out of his fingers before he can get them into his mouth. I don't even get much respite if I vacuum more often and have dirt-free carpets, because Isaiah has learned to pick out actual pieces of the carpet and pop them into his mouth when I'm not looking.

Isaiah is now an expert at pulling himself up on furniture and standing. He doesn't even need a piece of furniture every time. He will sometimes just put his hands on the floor and then straighten his legs out until his tiny little bottom is sticking up high in the air. Then he slowly moves his hands closer to his body until he can get to the point where he pulls up with his upper body into a standing position. Then he immediately falls because he had no balance. Still, it's pretty impressive to watch. His favorite thing to use as a standing support is an upside down laundry basket, but he can also easily use a dining room chair I have covered in padding and blankets, or the couch, or even my leg. The cutest thing is that when he stands up, he nods his head up and down like a little rockstar. It's wonderful to see how proud he is of himself. Yesterday, he even stood for a few seconds without support by the powers of his own balance. His downfall was when he decided to wildly wave his arms back and forth just for the fun of it.

I have discovered that Isaiah is now fascinated with little spaces. Most kids are, but I didn't realize it began this early. He loves to be in little caves that I make out of blankets, or under and upside-down laundry basket. His goal for the past few days has been to fit himself under the couch. Unfortunately, he can't even fit his head under the couch, but he keeps trying. He's certain there is a wondrous, magical world under there, so he's not giving up. The other day I made a little blanket cave for him on his bed right before nap time. We read stories under the blankets, and I pretended to not be able to find him until he shouted out to me. It was a blast. It got me excited for future blanket forts in the living room and games of hide-and-go-seek. Sometimes I forget that I don't just have a baby - I have a fun little boy waiting to grow up and share years of play with me.

Michael and I are trying to get Isaiah to go to sleep in new and exciting ways. Mainly, not nursing to sleep. I don't really mind nursing him to sleep 90% of the time. But it would be nice to have another option once in a while. Also, it would be nice for Michael to experience Isaiah falling asleep for him. So, a few evenings when Isaiah was very, very tired, Michael put on the sling and walked around with Isaiah in the dark listening to Baby Einstein Lullaby Classics. The first time he tried it, Isaiah fell asleep in his arms like a little angel, but we haven't had the same success again. I know it takes a lot of work and consistency, but I also know how frustrating and sad it must be for Michael to hold the baby he loves so much and listen to him cry because he just wants to nurse to sleep. I'm so thankful for how involved Michael is with Isaiah, though. Right now I can hear him upstairs singing in a ridiculous falsetto voice to Isaiah, and he's been giving Isaiah baths almost exclusively lately. He's so good at playing with his son and comforting him and feeding him and giving me a good, long break when I've had a rough day. The other night, while he was squirting Isaiah in the bathtub with his rubber ducky, Michael said he couldn't understand why some fathers wouldn't want to be involved in their kids' lives. "I mean, don't get me wrong, you're a lot of work, buddy," he said to Isaiah, "but what else could I spend my time on that's as good as you?"

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