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Well, well, well. After all those months of saying “any day now!” Tuck took it into his head to just...start walking two weeks ago, right around 14.5 months. He’d been teasing us with those little two or three step jaunts, but that day he took off. First at home, in his room, from me to his ottoman, to the bookshelf, to me. Then we went to my friend Lauren’s house and he was striding across her big long living room like a pro. And then we went to music class, where he wandered around the room, threw balls, danced and generally carried on like he’d been walking for months.
Ever since it’s been a matter of keeping him from running. This child moves FAST. It’s been so fun, though. I couldn’t wait for him to start walking, and people kept saying “No! It’s so much harder!” I think that’s probably true if you have an early walker, but almost all of Tuck’s little friends have been walking for a while now, and it was annoying to have him crawling around in the wood chips at the playground, especially on wet days. Plus he is much less frustrated now (not that he’s not still tantruming, but it’s not as bad). It’s fun to let him walk part of the way when we’re headed somewhere, though he really doesn’t want to follow the rules and hold my hand! He’s really steady, and even his falls are quite controlled (knock wood that it stays that way), so I think I’ve skipped a lot of the stress of him tumbling down constantly.
Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing around here. We are on at least week three of working on his second set of molars, and they’re wreaked havoc on the poor guy. He doesn’t care for any teething sticks or anything, so we’ve just been muddling through with Motrin. And cold season has started, with one cough/runny nose beginning to resolve, only to be faced with the next one. Oh, Nosefrida, we love you so. Over the weekend he spiked a high fever and was sicker than I’d seen him yet—totally miserable, just crying and crying and then passing out in our arms. It was so sad. Today he woke up fever-free but with a nasty rash on his face: I’m 99.9% sure he has trusty old hand, foot and mouth, a viral infection that goes around groups of kids faster than you can say “don’t lick that.” I just hope he feels better as the week goes on; we’re headed to Long Island tomorrow for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving...it makes me think of meals. I’m struggling with what to feed my little pseudo-vegetarian. He’s not a fan of our trusty old meatballs anymore, and won’t really eat any meat. He’s subsisting on cheese and bread in various forms: Toasted, grilled, quesadillas... He likes pineapple (?!), loves raisins, and still adores his old Plum Organics pouches. I’ve been giving him a lot of the organic baby oatmeal, which is enriched with iron. I mix it with prunes in the morning or with plain yogurt and jam or honey. I figure that’s at least getting iron into his diet, and the pouches are full of vitamins from vegetables. It’s just so weird! He was loving peas and then suddenly stopped eating them. He likes squash and sweet potato most days but sometimes they go right on the floor. Mysterious.
I keep reminding myself of Ellen Satter’s advice in “Child of Mine,” her seminal book about feeding kids. She says that as a parent you can control what you offer, when you offer it, and where your child eats. The child controls how much they eat, and fighting it/trying to force them to eat more of something will only turn it into a battle. I will just keep offering Tuck new things, and hopefully he’ll eat some of them. Of course, at the moment he’s barely eating at all, because this lovely virus makes it painful to eat. Poor thing.
When I asked for things you wanted to read about a while ago, my friend Brooke suggested shoes. Around Tuck’s birthday we loved a pair of Tom’s he received as a gift—they were really easy to get on and very, very flexible. Eventually those started coming off too easily, and we started using a pair of tiny Converse (also a birthday gift), which lace up and are thus really hard for him to remove. Love those. And then we picked up a pair of Kenneth Cole Unlisted velcro shoes at a sale recently, and have enjoyed how easy they are to pop on his feet. He doesn’t usually take them off, either. (It’s really cute; he’s been trying to help get dressed lately, draping a sock over his foot or pushing the shoe on it, or putting his shirt on top of his head. He also tries to help pull his pants up.) The key is ease of putting on and difficulty of them taking it off. Laces that you can double knot are great in terms of them escaping, but it’s definitely way easier to get him into the Kenneth Cole’s vs. the Converse. Aw-factor? Tom’s or Converse by a long shot.
One product note: My friends over at Bébé au Lait have a new kids’ line, Lille, with really cute patterned bath towels, bibs, etc. They sent over a couple items, including the hooded towel in the “fishies boy” pattern. Ben misses the longer end on the baby towel we had, but I like how this is a rectangle, like an adult towel with a hood in the middle. Now that Tuck is walking he could wrap up in this and not have anything to trip over. Plus the towel part is really thick and soft, and the edge fabric is adorable.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday with your families.
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Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.