Notes from nine months

swinging awayAnother quarter of the year gone already? I think three month intervals of babydom come as more of a shock mostly because they are associated with sizes of clothing (0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 12 months). And while the clothing sizing and age correlation has as much correlation with reality as a Donald Trump speech (why would it be so hard to label baby clothes sizes with lengths? You must measure these things to manufacture the clothes, baby clothes-makers! Label them with lengths like they do in Europe! But I digress per usual.), the nine month age signifies that you are rapidly approaching that landmark time of having survived your first year as a parent.

Recent updates in our house include, but are not limited to:

  • Sitting up from a lying position without assistance. Note: this has actually only happened once and it happened while my friend was in town for a few hours and while both my husband and I were looking away. It has not happened since.
  • More food. I can safely say that Connor prefers Brie to Camembert cheese, and there is positively no humanly way to say, “my baby prefers Brie to Camembert” without sounding like a total douchebag
  • Silence becoming the single most terrifying sound known to man as it typically indicates the baby has found something so profoundly dangerous it has captivated his attention for a very prolonged period of time. All my friends with older children postulate this “silence is terrifying” thing lasts until adulthood. Phenomenal.

And other than that, life has been going on. Living in a large city continues to be the best choice we could have made for ourselves and our family as demonstrated by the fact that most of our pictures are still unhung because we keep going out and having too much fun around Chicago because there is so much to do. It’s a quality problem to have.

In between naps, though, I have managed to jot down my thoughts on the ever-astounding 9 month mark. Enjoy!

Childproofing is easy

Please note all the toys behind this ungrateful child. But no. Ragged dog bone.

Please note all the toys behind this ungrateful child.

No, really! If you’re willing to take an iterative approach it’s easy to figure out what to do to make your home safer for baby.

First, set out some toys for your baby. Next, place your baby in front of the toys. Your baby will immediately turn away from the toys and head exactly toward the single most dangerous item/place in your house. The toys simply act as a divining rod to turn your child in the exact opposite direction of their location. You may then babyproof whatever it is your baby finds.

This approach works every time.


Literally every child's reaction to a box full of dang lids.

Literally every child’s reaction to a box full of dang lids.

I went to a mommy meetup recently. I had a lot of fun and saw a distant future of what it’s like to actually have a two-year-old running around and what kinds of toys children actually like. Spoiler alert: it’s the toy that the other child has.

However, when the host mom brought out a box full of jar lids (salsa jar lids, baby jar lids, olive jar lids, etc.) it was like she was the second coming of the damn toy messiah. Every child ages 6 months to 3 years flocked to this box of lids and played with them like they were the second coming of Christmas.

Lids, people.


If you want to make a child’s day, hand them a box of lids and never look back. This will be especially infuriating fun when your child is surrounded by every toy imaginable you have painstakingly played with like a fool in the toy shops/Target/Buy Buy Baby. It is a perfect reminder (because you need so many) that you know nothing, Jon Snow.

Your child’s future résumé does not include baby milestones.

No, he didn't pull himself up. He will eventually. I think he's okay, though.

No, he didn’t pull himself up. He will eventually. I think he’s okay, though.

In order to preserve some level of credibility on this point I conducted a thorough interview (emailed quickly) with a good friend who works in HR. What I confirmed was simple: while there are many things that might go on your résumé/CV as an adult, the dates you achieved your baby milestones are never among them.

(It might be worth mentioning this is in a day and age where “artisanal cheese enthusiast”* and “food iPhonographer” are legitimate résumé excerpts that have been found on actual résumés.)

There seems to be a lot of pressure on parents about their children achieving milestones (i.e., sitting, pulling up, teeth, laughing, talking, walking, etc.) “early” as if what Princeton is looking for is a candidate who walked at 10.5 months instead of 1 year old. “Milly just sat by herself at 4.5 months, honey! Grab that application to Harvard, quick! She’s a shoo-in now!”

Milestone charts are helpful for your pediatrician to be able to tell you if there might be a problem. And that’s it. Babies are people. Small people, but people. People are all different. It can then be inferred that babies are all different. Your child might be “early” on some things and “later” on others. No matter what the case is, it’s not going on their résumé once it’s achieved.

I have responded to your text. In my head.

I’m sorry about that. Forever, I am sorry about that.

I needed to get that out there.

There is a foolproof way to get your child down for a nap

"Oh, you need to move the car for street sweeping, Mom? Cool."

“Oh, you need to move the car for street sweeping, Mom? Cool.”

I bet I heard a bunch of neck snaps to attention with that one! Are you ready? It’s a two-step process. Here we go:

  1. Schedule yourself to be somewhere at a very specific time and place.
  2. Watch your child effortlessly fall into a deep, perfect slumber fifteen minutes before you need to leave.

It. Never. Fails. 


It just keeps getting better.

Fine, everyone with kids. It does go so quickly. Yeah yeah yeah, all of you moms and dads out there. It does keep getting more fun. You got me already, lady on the bus whose status of children I have no idea, it is so much fun.

And so, so, so worth it.

*Um, duh? Isn’t that the equivalent of saying, “sentient being who breathes”?