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I guess I can't call him a baby anymore

Podling crawling, preserved for posterity.

At ten months of age (two days ago, at the time of this writing), Theron is now firmly toddling. He still crawls when he wants to get somewhere quickly, but he is showing a definite preference for walking upright. So, in the interest of full documentation, I got some footage of Theron crawling. He's soon going to give that up entirely.

The ability to walk has given Theron access to a whole new world. He can pull things off the tops of tables, for example. He can make a valiant effort to reach his father's keyboard. And, of course, he can fall down in new and creative ways.

So, Theron is officially not a baby anymore.

Now he's a toddler.

Get that thing out of my mouth
Theron has also reached an intriguing new stage in terms of feeding: he won't let us. Formerly, we would mix up some rice cereal (or oatmeal, or whatever), maybe add some blended vegetables, stir it all together, and scoop it up with the baby spoon. Then we'd proceed to smear it all over his face, stick bits of it up his nose, drop spoonfuls in his lap, and spill mush on his chair (and sometimes the floor). This activity would continue until we thought we'd gotten some reasonable amount of food into his mouth.

Recently, Theron has started grabbing the spoon. This has increased the amount of food that winds up on his hands, face, hair, clothing, and surroundings. More to the point, it has radically decreased the amount of food that winds up in his mouth. I wouldn't mind so much if he would grab the spoon and then use it to feed himself: it might be messy, but at least the job would get done. Unfortunately, he wants to grab the end that has the food on it, with the result that his fist immediately becomes a pudgy little explosion of slime.

Then, of course, he doesn't want to give the spoon back. This would be fine if I could pick up a second spoon and continue to feed him, but it turns out that he has a very skillful parry (at least in spoon vs. spoon combat). His riposte isn't bad, either. A well-placed motion can keep my spoon out of his mouth while using his own spoon to cover the back of my hand with blended carrots at the same time.

So... the Podling's new diet now consists of milk and Cheerios. If you give him a supply of Cheerios, he will pick them up and eat them - apparently he doesn't mind eating, as long as he gets to do it himself. The milk, of course, comes from his mother.

Did he just learn to smooch?
I managed to be sick through most of March, and parts of February and April as well. This has been no fun at all; every time I thought I was recovering, I'd come down with something else. Even worse is the fact that the Podling and the Beautiful Woman were sick, too. If one of us is sick, that's a problem - things don't get done, the healthy person gets to do all the baby wrangling, and the sick one is forbidden to breathe on everyone else. If both of us are sick, then there's nobody left to take care of the sick ones. And when the baby is sick, none of us gets any sleep either. That closes the circle: without sleep, none of us get better.

In order to watch the baby while we were sick - this would have been a bit over a week ago - I put him in the corral and settled in there with him. So I was basically lying on a rubber pad on the floor, under a sleeping bag, with my head on a couch cushion. Theron was playing with his toys, and at some point the Beautiful Woman came in and joined us.

Theron toddled over to me and sat down, then bent forward and put his lips on my cheek. He sat back up, and the Beautiful Woman asked, "Did he just...?" I said, "Yeah, I think he did."

Evidently wanting the matter to be settled, Theron bent back down and smooched my cheek again. So, I got the baby's first smooches. You know what that means, right?

It means that I win.

Night Terrors
Somewhere around 3:00 a.m., my wife sat bolt upright and said, "No!" (Or something like that.) Apparently she had dropped the baby, at least in her dream. I reassured her that the baby was fine, nobody had dropped anybody, and everybody could safely go back to sleep.

I did not tell her about my dream from earlier in the evening, which featured a baby-impersonating demon-ghost. It was probably better for her not to know about that one.

So, I've come up with a new slogan for us: "Night Terrors: They're not just for babies anymore."

Toddlers in the Flowers (Like Gorillas in the Mist, but different)
My wife had the opportunity to take Theron out to a bluebonnet patch last week. This was not so much for the purpose of educating the Podling or broadening his horizons. It was basically just an opportunity for the parents to take pictures while the kids ate the flowers. I'm not sure why we need a plan to take pictures - it's not as if the baby would be unphotographed if we didn't - but the results were hard to argue with: