At 8 months, Jack is meeting most of the milestones listed in What to Expect the First Year. He loves to stand up, usually holding onto our hands or fingers, but in the last few days, he’s also been standing holding onto our legs, the stair rail (don’t worry, we measured and his head can’t get through), and his crib. When we try to sit him down on the floor, he first stands, bearing his weight for as long as we’ll let him. He’s getting more and more stable. If the timetable for him sitting applies, then he should be standing on his own at about 9 months.
Jack loves to grab and pick up anything he can find, then usually puts it in his mouth. He will try to get what he wants, even if it’s far away. Indeed, he will sometime push or throw toys away just to try and get them. He will not crawl, though he can and does roll onto his tummy and lifts himself up. Of course, once he sees us watching, he rolls back over onto his side. I should add that he does “schooch” – moves his body and leg and turns around, and he also does the “roll and schooch” – gets himself facing in the proper direction, then rolls over to whatever he wants. Ingenious!
He has also become fascinated with Mommy’s earrings. One day, he was on my hip and turned to look over my shoulder. He then did a doubletake, and craned his neck to stare at my earrings. They still surprise him, and every day he must look at them and feel them. Also, Mommy’s ever-present ponytail now serves as a way for Jack to hold on to keep standing. And if the ponytail isn’t there?!?!? Yay! Fun with Mommy’s hair time. Daddy has the same issues with his glasses.
Jack does not yet respond to his name, but does respond to new voices and looks for mommy or daddy when he hears our voices specifically. Jack has recently discovered separation anxiety, so the sling he hated as a newborn he enjoys as a very heavy 8 month old.
On August 6, Mommy peered into his mouth and saw: TEETH! Two pearly whites sticking out of his little red puffy gums. They continue to grow. On September 16, the upper left front tooth started popping out. Jack is now an official drool bucket, and chews on anything he can. At this point, he enjoys our fingers encased in clean socks as well as any type of cloth. Jack is beginning to like “solid” food. He currently enjoys carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, and pears. The jury is still out on peaches and yogurt. His dislike of peas may be genetic. He also enjoys eating paper, which, while we don’t particularly mind this, it can get very messy, so we try to keep it away. We are also trying to tell him that books are not for eating.
Having sat by himself for the first time on July 3, and mastering it by July 10, Jack is still working on his ab crunches, trying to get up to sitting from lying down. He has amazing abdominal muscles already!
Sassy and Jack have an odd relationship. Jack will follow Sassy with his eyes, leaning or peeking over our shoulders if necessary. As long as we help him pet her, they are usually fine together. Sassy will even come up to Jack sometimes, or purposefully come to the side of me that has Jack to look at him. She has purred once or twice while he’s petting her. However, if left to his own devices for even a moment, Jack will try to grab and pull Sassy’s fur, tail, or ears. We then separate Jack from Sassy. Grandma & Grandpa bought him a book, Tails Are Not For Pulling, which we read to Jack on a regular basis. We prefer that neither small mammal get bitten.
He still sleeps well at night, going to bed between 8 and 9pm and waking up between 5:30 and 7am. Naps continue to be a challenge. We thought we had him on a schedule, then the teething pain came. Then, we thought we had another schedule, but we covered three time zones in five days. We’re still working on those naps!
Jack’s adoption was finalized on August 25, 2006, in Kansas City, MO. The following day, we went to Pittsburgh, PA to see Grandma and meet Grandpa. Great-Grandma was there, and Great Aunt Pam, as well as the entire neighborhood, past and present, Max’s former Scout Master and his wife, and two sets of college friends of ours. It was an amazing open house, and Jack entertained us all day, without much protest. He impressed us all!