Ryder will turn 8 months old this weekend.
It’s time to tell you a few things that make me laugh daily. And this kid does make me laugh all day, despite my sleep-deprived state. He still wakes up during the night. He can go back to sleep by himself, a lot of the time, but it still wakes me up when he cries. So I only get a few hours of sleep at a time. Roughest part about being a mom for me, but it’s worth it.
* He aggressively grabs his bottle by both hands when he wants to eat, but holds it up with his feet while he drinks.
* He says “Dada” for everything. I suspect sometimes he’s also saying “Mama” when he yells the “N” sound, but his dada is clear and consistent. Sometimes he just whispers it. Sometimes, he just mouths it. Jacob always says “Hi Dada” when he greets Ryder, and I tell Jacob he’s giving Ryder identity confusion.
* He likes to hold my hair lightly while breastfeeding and then start yanking it like crazy. In fact, he likes to gently probe and then wildly yank just about anything, including my lower lip.
* It always makes him laugh to put his hand inside my mouth and then have me bite on his finger. Every single time.
* If he hears anyone, and I mean anyone laughing, he courtesy laughs with them. There’s a difference between his spontaneous laugh and his courtesy laugh.
* He tends to avoid the toys I set out for him and go for any tiny speck of dirt on the floor he sees. One time, I saw him chasing ants. As soon as he gets something in his hand, he maneuvers it into his mouth. We’re lucky the honeybee I found in his mouth did not sting him.
* The little guy loves people, and he especially loves strangers. He’s happiest when someone’s holding him, and if that someone is a new face to poke at, so much the better.
This family gave us a tour of the island.
* He loves to give me wet willies on my shoulder.
* He loves, the little goofball, to get his nails clipped. It’s about the only time he will hold perfectly still, and stare in fascination.
* He loves to head butt me.
* He clenches his fists, in and out, to show he wants to be picked up.
* He rears up on all fours now and tries to crash out of his bed to get our attention.
* He crawls with only his arms, like an army crawl (and like my dog Mellie.)
* He dives his head down to get his milk in a sudden burst like a beast heading for his prey. And while he eats, one of his hands always bumps behind him. If I’m trying to read my iPad at the same time as feeding him, for example, his hand will be behind him bumping and grabbing it. He’s quite the little multi tasker.
* He is an impossibly wiggly little worm. He flails, kicks and twists with the happiest expression on his face—his joie de vivre is to be able to move.
* His favorite toy besides small pieces of trash is our badminton racket. He likes to ride it like a Quidditch broomstick.
I like to try and see what his personality is looking to be like. Everybody always compliments him, saying he is “sage” (well-behaved in French) and easy-going, but what they don’t know is he much less fussy when he’s out and about than at home. When at home, he begs to be held and entertained much more.
I can’t help but see a little wackiness in him, which means he might have a little of me in him after all I taught him to yell into tubes like a microphone, and he does a lot of that now.
He seems mischievous and sweet already. He heads straight for what he shouldn’t every morning (the outlet where the cords are plugged in) and every time I catch him as he pulls himself along, quickly, with his arms, and he turns back to see if I’m watching, he grins a huge grin and pulls himself toward it even faster. He is tough—if he falls and hurts himself he doesn’t cry at all, or not long, before moving on. He is self-assured—there’s something about the way he approaches the world and looks around that seems to say, “I know I’m an important person.”
Jacob and I both chose the same description to sum him up in one word: curious.
He is our fearless, confident, social little fella. He’s his daddy’s son.
At the Robert WAN Pearl Museum in Papeete