Friday, October 8, 2010
Attack of the 18 pound peanut
Babies. Babies are sweet and snuggly and warm. You want to cuddle them and love on them. One of your greatest fears going into parenthood is possibly hurting this delicate creature. What you don't worry about is them hurting you.
Approaching 7 months, Alex is a strong little dude. He's been very active since he was in the belly; kicking, stretching, tumbling. In the outside world, he's also proven to be very very strong. He's been able to bear weight on his legs from 2 months, and held his head pretty steady between 4 and 6 weeks. In being this active, his strength has turned out to be a bit of a hazard for poor old mommy. I first felt the brunt of this when rocking him to sleep at about 3 months. In his between dream and waking state, he would pull back his head and let it drop on my face. Or in the middle of my throat. It was like getting hit with a 5 pound duck-pin ball at about 5 miles per hour. That may not sound painful, but at point blank range to the face, it'll make you see stars!
One of the other weapons in his baby arsenal are his fingernails. I make a very concerted effort to keep them trimmed down (which is no easy feat as some of you may know) but despite that, they are paper thin and therefore as sharp as razors. He got me the other day while we were out to dinner right on the end of my nose. I looked at my dad and asked if I was bleeding. I wasn't at the time but apparently he took out a big enough chunk to leave a scab, and I walked around for a week with a raw scraped nose.
Now that he's bigger (18 pounds to be exact) the challenge is really on. He insists upon standing most of the time, which he has neither the balance nor the stamina to do alone. So I "spot" him as he holds onto the couch or pulls himself up on his big playhouse. I walk him around the house with him holding my fingers. The kid wants to skip crawling and go straight to running. While I find his advanced physicality exciting, my 5'9" frame was not built to be stooped over a 2' little man for hours at a time.
Along with this heft and strength comes new mommy injuries. He's still pulling the head plow maneuver when he's falling asleep, but now he's added turning his head back and forth, alternately popping me in the jugular or into my already damaged cheekbone. Add to this his need to be picked up only to push away from me to be put down, and you've got a pretty tired me. He's strong enough that when he does this, it's all I can do to keep him from tumbling from my grasp.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a "poor me" pity party. I'm tough, I can handle him. And I love the fact that he's so healthy and strong. This is more a cautionary tale to those without little peanuts so they understand that while babies are fragile in a certain sense, they can hold their own in the tough category!