Feed on

Simon is developing by leaps and bounds these days, clearly behaving as and hitting the milestones for “the older baby”, as all books seem to term babies over six months old. But I don’t like the word “older” in reference to Simon, so after a line in the book I Kissed the Baby! I prefer to call him my Very Own Amazing Baby (VOAB).

His accelerated development began three weeks ago in Oakland, when I realized that Simon’s drooling was the result of teething-a hunch that was verified when he first munched on my shoulder and then tested out his emerging choppers at the end of a nursing session (ouch!) . He now has two quite visible lower front teeth and is drooling away as he works on the next ones. Alas, my baby’s adorable gummy smile is becoming a thing of the past. I’ll miss it.

At about the same time, we noticed that Simon’s manual dexterity was advancing quickly. He has developed a crude pincer grasp and uses it to grab at anything he can. My hair and necklaces are great favorites right now, as are books, magazines, balls, the cats, and any food within grabbing distance. This last bit is proving to be a real hazard, as Simon has gotten precariously close to eating queso and spicy lentils well before his time.

On the gross motor skill front, Simon has been able to reach his feet for some time now, and Friday he managed to get a foot into his mouth for the first time. He’s also starting to prop his chest up and reach for things when you give him tummy time these days-a new and welcome advance over his previous routine of flopping down and shrieking.

But the thing that really blows my mind is that Simon now does a fair job of standing in our laps. He needs some support, but we can tell that he’s working on his balance and will be pulling himself up to a stand soon enough. Simon’s first good stand came Thursday night at his Uncle Dan’s new condo. Saturday he stood even better, and-adorably-did his best to clap along when we applauded him for his efforts. That’s my VOAB.

I have mixed feelings about all of this. For the most part, I’m delighted to see Simon growing up on track and mastering new skills. Saturday he played in a baby pool for the first time over at his Grandma and Grandpa’s, and I had a fabulous time watching him splash around in the pool, reach for toys, and really explore all his senses at once.

On the other hand, this all means that my little baby won’t be my little baby for much longer. I worried about the first few months speeding by, but I don’t miss them now because Simon is so much more fun and social then he was then. I also worried about months 3-6 speeding by since Simon was so content and smiley, but I discovered to my happy surprise that Simon at 7 months is just as happy as he was at 5, and only marginally more mobile.

But I have a hunch, a strong hunch, that soon enough Simon will be getting into everything and distancing himself from me as he learns to be independent. I know as an absolute certainty that when that day comes, I will think back to Saturday-the day my baby splashed happily in his pool for the first time and loved me above all others-and will miss that baby desperately. Because honesty, it’s hard to imagine it getting any better than this.

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