Sunday, November 12, 2006

Milk please



Isaiah can talk! No really - he can say something in sign language, and I'll give you one guess as to what it is. It's his absolute favorite thing in the world - milk. He signs "milk" so expertly, opening and closing his fist just like milking a cow. I've learned some very important things from Isaiah just through his ability to say this single word. Namely, I've learned that Isaiah thinks about milk more than I had ever imagined. One afternoon Isaiah was napping when I heard him stir on the baby monitor, so I hurried into the room to get there before he woke up completely. Before he even opened his eyes or began to call out to let me know he was awake, his little chubby fist shot up into the air, and he began to sign "milk." He also signs "milk" while he is drinking milk, when he wants to be drinking milk, when he has finished drinking milk, when milk is on his mind, when he is happy which reminds him of drinking milk, and when he thinks milk might be a good conversation starter with a stranger.

I also thought Isaiah had signed "potty" the other night. I was trying and trying to get him to sleep, but he wouldn't submit. Suddenly, he sat right up in bed and started patting his diaper, our sign for "potty." At first, I was bewildered as to what he was doing, but then I realized it was the potty sign and excitedly took him into the bathroom. As soon as he sat down on the toilet seat, he started crying angrily at me (I guess it was pretty cold compared the his warm pajamas) and looked at me as if to say, "Mom - why would you bring me into the cold bathroom and sit me on this cold toilet for no good reason." Apparently, he was just signing "I'm awake, Mommy, and there's no way you can make me go to sleep." I guess I didn't realize that looked remarkably like the sign for "potty."

Isaiah also says a few verbal words, such as "hi" and "dada" even a "mama" once in a while. I like to pretend he knows what he is saying even though it's pretty apparently he doesn't. He often impresses strangers by saying "hi," though. "Hi!" Isaiah will brightly say to ladies at the supermarket. "Well hello," they reply, waving their fingers in response. "Milk!" Isaiah signs back at them. This makes Isaiah look exceptionally smart and me a very impressive looking mom, so I don't tell them he is talking about milk and not waving. I just let them be impressed.

Even though Isaiah usually doesn't say "dada" in Daddy related contexts, he definitely knows why Michael is. When Michael gets home from work and I hear the back door opening. I get Isaiah ready by standing on the couch so we can see Michael the first second he comes into the living room. Then, when he pops his head in the doorway, Isaiah shrieks in delight, waves his arms, and jumps up and down while smiling and laughing. There is no better way to elevate your self esteem than seeing the pure joy from you baby at seeing you.

Speaking of Michael's job, he just accepted a great new job as a full time designer with a company he loves. We went out Friday night to Olive Garden to celebrate the good news. Isaiah was very well behaved and spent much of the evening turning many waitresses into puddles of baby love. He got so much attention in the restaurant, I was very thankful he is too young to let it go to his head. We were seated near a table of ladies who watched him all night, and another couple came over to tell us how adorable he is. I have to say, he did look pretty cute that night. I had packed baby food for him, which he enjoyed, but the waitress also brought a plate of fettuccine without any sauce for him to play with and nibble on. Let me tell you, Isaiah with a piece of fettuccine hanging out of his mouth is a sight worth seeing.

Isaiah has begun pulling himself up to a stand on pieces of furniture. It's so exciting and nerve wracking to watch him use all the strength in his pudgy arms and shaky legs to wobbly stand, knowing that he has a better chance of falling than balancing, and to nervously watch his tender head bob dangerously close to sharp corners of chairs and tables. I hold my breath every time he tries, ready to run up to him in case his smacks his chin on the chair leg or plops too hard onto the hardwood floors. When he actually makes it, though, and stands on his own. He is so proud of himself, and he lights up because he knows he has just accomplished something very neat. He usually wiggles so much in delight that he falls right down again, but it's a good start.

As we sat in Olive Garden, I noticed a few older women who I'm sure were mothers, and possibly even grandmothers looking at Isaiah and at me. The look on their faces was one I have seen so many times since Isaiah was born. Enjoy it. They silently tell me. Enjoy every moment with your baby. So often I have been told that "it just flies by," "they grow up too fast," and "it seems like yesterday." It's easy to let each new admonishment to enjoy the present slip by as a cliche. But I know already that he has grown so quickly, and while I enjoy every new day, I miss yesterday. I want to cut out all of the unnecessary busy work in my life, and all of the buzzing distractions so I can slow down and concentrate on my baby. Everything he does is so amazing, every green speck in his blue eyes is so dazzling, every step he takes away from me is so exciting and heartbreaking, and so I try to enjoy every moment. I know I will one day be one of those older mothers, and hopefully even an older grandmother, telling new moms to enjoy it.

Isaiah woke up with a cold in the middle of the night Friday night/Saturday morning around 4 a.m. At first, I didn't understand why he insisted on nursing at that time of night and why he wouldn't be consoled, and I was rather frustrated at being awakened at such an awful time. As soon as I heard his sniffles and choked breathing, though, I felt terrible for even being frustrated. We walked around the house a while until the mucus was bounced out of his throat, then I nursed him while sitting up in bed so his could sleep in an upright position. That seemed to help a lot. The next day, he was very pleasant even though I know he didn't feel good at all. He's such a good sport when he's sick. He makes me look like a cry baby in comparison. How did such a tough and mellow baby come from me? I'm pretty blessed.