The Busy Boy

Six Months, 4 Weeks.

tucker on sassy playmat blog article.jpg

Short one this week—I don't have much time left in this nap! (Speaking of naps, they've lengthened. The mornings, anyway. More if they stay consistent...)

We've been so busy! Stuff going on every day. We started a music class on Tuesday mornings, which is great fun. Tucker was fascinated by the older kids dancing around and by the guy with the guitar. He liked patting rubber balls and shaking maracas and tambourines.

A few times over the last couple months we've gotten calls from Developmental Studies labs at Harvard and Children's Hospital here in Boston. Apparently the labs get birth information from city hall; we got letters from several after Tucker was born. I figured that participating in studies would be fun, so I signed up, and it's been a hoot. We go in and Tucker looked at videos of people talking or making faces and they observe his reactions for various experiments (figuring out how babies react to various differences in people or music, etc.) He gets to pick out a toy at the end, and I'm just really interested in all these studies. They use normally-developing children to provide a baseline, and hopefully our contribution will help with future research on autism and other developmental issues. This week at Children's Tucker got to wear one of those nets of sensors that measure brain activity—he looked hilarious. If you live near a research hospital or university it's worth seeing if you can get involved!

The prize he picked out (I'm not making that up; we walked into the toy closet, he grabbed it and tried to put it in his mouth, and I figured that was a good sign) is from a new "Earth Brights" collection of wooden toys from Sassy. It's a very abstract cherry tree with a bird in it, and he spent about 45 minutes yesterday playing with it—sucking on the knotted cord, chewing on the leaves, hitting it on the floor to make noise, and using it as a tool to pull other stuff closer to him!

He's been all over the place lately, rolling to and fro and really getting into things. He'd really outgrown the crib comforter I used on the floor as a play space, and was ending up puling a lot of fuzz out of the carpet when he rolled off. We have a big open space on the wood floor in the living room, and the nice people at Skip Hop were kind enough to send us a set of their PlatSpot floor tiles to try out. I'd been concerned about that recall on puzzle mats due to a chemical off-gas called formamide, and a local parenting-class-and-kids-store queried a few manufacturers and Skip Hop was the only one that had a really satisfactory answer, with tests showing that the levels of formamide were the lowest possible reading.

The tiles are great. We're currently using 12 of the 20 and the space is plenty big, but it would be easy to add on the other four when friends come over. Tucker likes hitting his hand on the tiles, too--they make a satisfying sound. The middle dots are interchangeable, so you can make the pattern more subtle or more fun—we're going with subtle for now.

Speaking of rolling around, he's started flipping in his crib and then getting furious and refusing to roll himself back over. I've had to go flip him back to his back a few times. Do they outgrow it as the novelty wears off? He also scoots all over the crib, and it scrunched into the lower corner when I go in to get him after a nap or in the morning. Plus he's gotten more aggressive about tossing the pacifier and his little doll overboard, always on the wall side so I have to move the crib out, climb into it, and reach alllll the way down to fish them back out. Thanks, sweetheart! Nicely done!

Kate Flaim is a freelance journalist and food blogger based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.