Friday, March 30, 2007

Baby Steps

Although I haven't written much about the little one lately, he's actually been really busy. Right around the time we moved into the apartment he started pulling himself up to stand. Now he does it whenever he encounters an object that is taller than himself. Unfortunately several of the objects he has picked proved not to be as supportive as he hoped, leading to a few slips and falls. I try to be right there with him when he is exploring and pulling up, but I do not always foresee the hazards or react appropriately, so I haven't been able to prevent all the falls. I wouldn't want to prevent all the mishaps anyway, as some of that is part of learning, but, of course, I don't want him to get hurt.

He has also gotten really good at opening cabinet doors and drawers, but not so good at getting his fingers out of the way when he closes them, so, in addition to the bumps, he has been getting a few pinched fingers. Sometimes when his fingers get stuck because one hand is holding the top of the drawer and the other hand is pushing it closed I can see him stop and think about what's happening and how to extricate his fingers, other times, of course, he just cries. But it is neat to see his problem-solving skills developing.

Finally he is getting pretty good at picking up smaller things. He has not quite developed the pincer grasp yet, but he is getting close. This has opened up new possibilities for meal times -- I have been introducing a few finger foods, like teething biscuits and baby pancakes -- but it also means he now notices, and tries to pick up and put in his mouth, every little crumb, or bit of paper, or whatever, that he sees.

So, while all of this is exciting, because I love seeing him learning new things and developing new skills and just having more opportunities, it is a lot harder to keep him out of trouble. The minute I put him down on the floor he is off to try to pull the cat's tail or stick his hands in the dog's water bowl or pull on the electrical cords, and those kinds of hazards are everywhere, and baby proofing can't really solve all the problems.

Sometimes when I get tired of chasing him around we just go in his bedroom and close the door and play in there for a while, but even in there there are cords he can pull and the diaper pail and drawers. The safest, most baby-friendly area is the 4' square area created by the corner sofa on two sides and the entertainment center on one side. This is also a convenient play area because I can watch TV while he plays, but we don't have an easy way to block off the fourth side, as there would be nowhere to attach a gate. What has worked best is taking the cushions off the couch and stacking them up on the fourth side, but I'm sure that it won't be long before he can climb over those, and we will be chasing him around the apartment again.

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