Of course, we knew it would be like this. John and I agreed some time ago that, while he is an easy baby, he will be quite a handful later, once he learns to crawl. He's very good-natured and good-tempered, but he is also interested in everything. He wants to discover things and to get around. Snuggling simply does not cut it for him. Hold him with his head on your shoulder and immediately that little head pops up to look around. I tried and tried to rock him down for a nap yesterday and just couldn't get him to hold still enough to sleep! Even when he was nursing (which used to be the magic knock-out drug) his little legs were kicking and his arms were flailing. That kid has energy!
Up till last week or so, he hardly ever cried. Now he's discovered crying-as-communication, and gives a loud, angry cry when I do something he doesn't want -- like offering nursing when he is not hungry or putting him down on the floor when he wants to be in his bouncy seat. On the upside, at least I know what he wants. I'm not dealing with a passive lump of wiggles anymore; I'm dealing with an interactive kid who has wants as well as needs. On the downside, I do not much like being yelled at by my own child -- and I have no delusions that this is going to go away anytime soon!
He's also a stubborn little guy. You may think he would forget things quickly, but he doesn't. Up till last week he was using this little plastic shield to nurse. (Oh how I hated the thing! They gave it to me in the hospital without telling me of all the trouble it was going to cause.) I tried and tried to get him to nurse without it, and he adamantly refused. Wouldn't do it. Wouldn't even try. Then one day last week, he started refusing the shield. Wouldn't nurse with it. Wasn't too good at nursing without it, but absolutely wouldn't give up. It was quite a struggle for a couple days, as we had to kind of re-learn the whole nursing thing, but we succeeded, and it was entirely due to his stubbornness! I couldn't have gotten him to do it unless he had first made up his own mind to do it.
He's very talkative when he knows he's got your attention. And he'll get pretty annoyed if you stop paying attention to what he's got to say! However, that doesn't happen often because his babbles and smiles are so utterly adorable it's hard to pay attention to anything else anyway.
He likes to be tickled. He likes to go outside, even if it's a scorcher out. If he's in a good mood, he likes his carseat, but if he's sleepy or grumpy, forget about it. He likes his dad, I think better than me. (But that's okay.) He likes strangers. He loves his bath. He wants to put his face underwater and to eat the washcloth. He likes to look in the mirror. He likes to be carried around, but he absolutely must be able to see what's going on.
He still isn't into toys. He's good in church, even though he no longer sleeps the whole time. He drools a lot. He's 24 inches long and weighs a ton -- I don't know how much, but he's definitely gaining. He's grown out of his newborn clothes and mostly wears 3-6 month clothes. He has (as he always has had) an insanely expressive face. He can raise one eyebrow. He looks more like his dad every day.
I call him Marko because he seems too little for a big, grown-up name like Mark. No one else seems to have this problem though. And yet 90% of the time he goes by endearments anyway: little man, little guy, buddy, little mister, baby-san, man-boy, young one.
He requires a lot more of me than he used to. Gone are the days where I could just park on the couch and nurse him all day. But I wouldn't trade it. He is so much fun these days, and I love to watch him grow.