William's Firsts

William has had a lot of new "firsts" in just the past few days!

I took him in the shower with me on Friday, so he had his first shower. That worked out reasonably well, it was more expedient than giving him a bath. I wore my loofah gloves so I wouldn't drop him when he got wet and slippery, and he tolerated the water raining down on him surprisingly well. I think it's good to get him used to it early, so it will be an option for us when we don't feel like filling up the sink to bathe him.

Today he turned the pages in one of his board books! I was reading him the "brown bear brown bear what do you see" book, and the second time through I noticed he was reaching out for the book. So I held it closer so he could reach it, and he turned the pages! He wasn't precise or anything, but he did bat the pages with his hand enough to turn them. I was impressed.

Yesterday he had his first successful potty-alert. Since his head control has improved, I've started putting him on his little pot when I think he'll need to go. Usually, he'll fuss when he wets his diaper, or when he's got gas I'll hear it, then I take off his dirty diaper and let him finish his business on the pot. But yesterday was the first day he started fussing BEFORE he went in his diaper. I was able to take him to the bathroom and sit him on his pot in time to take off his diaper while it was still clean, help him go in the pot, and re-diaper him in the clean diaper when he was done. This is a really timely milestone, since we've been running out of diapers in less than 24 hours, so we couldn't just wash them all at the end of the day anymore. But now with William alerting us before he dirties a diaper, we've got a much better chance of not running out. I think he is really starting to understand the whole potty concept. With me, he'll wait until I've taken him into the bathroom, removed his diaper, and positioned him over the pot until he starts to pee. I suspect Terry isn't quite as quick getting his diaper off and positioning him over the pot, since he's reported that William pees before Terry puts him in place, so he's got to catch the stream with a diaper to try to keep it from going all over the bathroom. Hopefully Terry will get quicker, since at only 9 weeks old, I don't think William can be expected to hold it in longer.

I'm actually finding it a little easier to catch his pees than his poops. I suspect it's because he pees more often, and that I'm probably catching the same percentage of each, but it's just a higher count with the pee. Regardless, it's nice since his pee is no longer odorless, and I don't like to smell it in his diaper, or the accumulation of it in the diapers wet in the pail. So getting it into the pot (or occasionally right into the toilet if I have time to get to that side of the room) is much better.

He's also got his stepping reflex back! We read that babies only SEEM to lose their stepping reflex after a few weeks. What really happens is that the retain the reflex, but they can't exhibit it since they tend to gain weight in their legs faster than their muscles can strengthen to lift them. But we've been exercising William to build up his muscle strength, and today he was able to walk three steps.

He wasn't walking on his own, he can't even stand without help (his legs aren't THAT strong at 2 months!!), but he does so with our help. We hold his torso under his arms, and support most of his body weight. But just enough so he can still feel what it's like to support his own weight while standing. We help him jump, too (he now knows that if he bends his legs and pushes up while we're holding him like that, he'll jump up high in the air, which he thinks is fun so it keeps him exercising). We don't wear him out, since my arms get tired about the same speed as his legs get tired, and I stop so we both can rest. Anyway, when we got him standing today, we noticed he picked up one of his legs, then the other. We put him on the floor to see if he'd continue, and the few times we tried this, he was able to pick one foot up and put it down in front of him and alternate with the other three times before he started crying. We notice he starts to cry when he's learning something new. It's not like he seems upset about it, it's more like he's overwhelmed and not sure how to handle the information overload. So we don't push it, we wait at least three hours but usually until the next day to try it again. I'm eager to see if he'll "walk" more than three steps tomorrow, once he's had time to sleep on it.

Tonight was his first time with a sitter at home-- Terry's mother babysat while we went out to dinner on the other side of the county. Both William and Morag did very well, their evening passed relatively uneventfully. A tiny bit of drama when William finished his second bottle and wanted a third, and yelled about it while Morag heated one up from the refrigerator (we didn't think he'd need three, so she only took out two to start with). But then he calmed down as soon as it was ready, and was fine the rest of the evening.