We took our son to the pediatrician recently for his nine-month check-up. First the good news. His height was 28 inches, and his weight was 19 lbs., 6 oz. That puts him pretty much exactly in the 50th percentile for height and around the 35th percentile for weight. He used to be closer to 50th for weight, too, but I suspect he might have inherited my body type. (I was taller and even thinner at this age, according to my mom, who checked my baby book. What will I have to check when I have grandkids? I suppose we can all hope WordPress still exists when Henry’s 36….) Also, he’s two months premature, so I suspect if you look at his gestational age cohort, he’s sort of a giant.
I don’t remember the measurement for his head circumference, because it was in centimeters, but that was actually slightly above the 50th percentile. So… genius baby!!!
There was, however, some slightly bad news. His hemoglobin count was low. Apparently 11 or above is what you want, and he was around 8.5. “Baby is very pale,” noted the pediatrician, who was Armenian, so if you can imagine someone saying “Baby is very pale” in a Count Dracula sort of accent, you can get a sense of the kind of vampire-posing-as-a-pediatrician jokes I later made at her expense. Hello, casual racism! (It’s okay — I’m American. That’s what we do.)
We were instructed to give him Fer-In-Sol, which is an iron supplement manufactured by Enfamil, a.k.a. Mead Johnson, which makes approximately 52% of the baby formula on the U.S. market and has apparently also basically cornered the vitamin and iron supplement market as well, since you can’t find any other brands at a normal grocery store and “Fer-In-Sol” has become the defacto name for the product in the same way that “Kleenex” became a defacto name for facial tissues and “Xerox” became synonymous with “copier.” Except, of course, that you can still buy other kinds of tissue and copiers.
I bring this up only because Fer-In-Sol appears to make our son vomit. Copiously.
After the “baby is very pale” visit, we naturally started giving Henry iron drops, because we are loving parents and also because the faces he makes are pretty hilarious. (No questioning the kid’s taste; I tried a little, and it’s like chewing on pennies.) But the vomiting didn’t happen while he was taking the drops — it happened an hour and a half later in the laundromat.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been holding someone who, in a public place with no obvious bathroom facilities, suddenly starts pouring forth half-digested milk from his mouth. But if you ever do, remember — putting your hand under his chin only results in a hand full of vomit and does not actually keep the vomit from reaching the floor.
Anyway, we tried a half-dose again a few days later. Same thing — 90-minute vomit clock. (Only this time he was in our bed trying to go down for a nap. So… yeah. But at least there was a towel nearby.)
Until we can find a decent substitute, then, it’s liver and egg yolks for everyone!
Mostly him. Because of the iron thing.
Also, here are some movies of our bear doing bear things.
This is probably my favorite, because it contains an example of him problem-solving. Watch how he works out using multiple objects to help him stand up, between 1:30 and 1:50.
Here’s another one about problem-solving. He gets his hand caught in some yarn that’s tied to one of his toys. Then he gets it out again. (No, I do not let him play with yarn when he’s by himself. But this was pretty cool.)
Then there’s this one, which is a sort of locomotion tour-de-force. (Quite long, though — nobody will be offended if you don’t watch all of it.)
Here’s a much shorter one that shows off many of the same skills.
Finally, here’s one of him eating hummus. Just because. (The color balance is weird and blue. Sorry. I’m not Haskell Wexler here.)
One final note. Here is a picture of two things Henry loves and one thing he, uh, doesn’t that much.
The bottom book is ABC: A Child’s First Alphabet Book by Alison Jay, a splendidly illustrated book my friend Chris got for us. The top book is First Book Of Sushi, by Amy Wilson Sanger. (I can’t remember who got us that, but whoever it is — you are loved.) These two books are his favorites, inasmuch as he likes his books qua books, rather than as snacks/drums. The ABC book is very large and has lots of distinct things to look at, and also it’s alphabetical, which babies are into. The sushi book has splashy, colorful graphics, and the text is somewhat sing-song, which I think matters when it’s read aloud.
So those are huge hits. The third item, though — the Skwish, by Manhattan Toy — is the kind of award-winning toy that adults love and babies are completely indifferent to. According to one site,
The original Skwish has won numerous awards, Canadian Toy Testing Council 3-Star Award , Child Care Supplies Solutions, BOSS Gold Star Awards , Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys, Good Toy Guide’s Highly Recommended Toys, NAPPA Gold Award, Parenting Magazine Toy Hall of Fame and Parents’ Choice Honors Seal.
Doesn’t matter. Our child could not care less. He will more happily play with a straw or a napkin or a belt than with the award-winning toy. When we hand it to him to play with, he chucks it to the side and looks around for something more interesting. Such as his own hand, or nothing at all.
BABY TOY CRITIC IS ABOVE YOUR BOURGEOIS “AWARDS.” BABY TOY CRITIC IS LOYAL ONLY TO HIS OWN TASTE.