Aurick Virgil is nine months old. (He has been for a little while, now.)
He starts his day around 5:30 a.m. This is intentional on my part; it is a practice I have made a habit since Elvie was a baby. Have I mentioned it before? We employ an eat-wake-sleep routine with all of our babies, and part of the arrangement of the routine is to have a first morning wake-up time that is twelve hours removed from bedtime. So if the baby is waking up for the day at 8 a.m., then their ideal bedtime would be 8 p.m., etc. Thus Aurick gets up at 5:30 a.m. because he goes to bed at 5:30 p.m. And he goes to bed at 5:30 p.m. so that I am able to make dinner without needing to worry about a clingy baby (why are they always so fussy at that time of day?)
When we wake up I nurse him, then we lie in bed for a bit and talk to one another. He tells me things like “Da-da-da-da-da-da” and I say “Oh, really?” and “Is that so!” Then we go into the kitchen.
I set him down on the floor to play. He’s sitting up beautifully, but I still use a boppy for him because I’m paranoid. He shows no interest in crawling, but he slightly scoot himself forward on his butt sometimes. If he ends up never crawling (like both Clive and Anselm never did) I will surely laugh and laugh. He likes to sit on the floor and sort through my bowl of saved jar lids. They make a lovely clanging sound as one digs into the pile. While he plays, I boil water for our coffee and his oatmeal.
He likes his oaties (as we call it) with mashed-up bananas in it. I start the french press steeping and bring his oatmeal to feed him. Seven children, and we haven’t had a high chair for the last two babies. I don’t know why. He sees me coming and starts flapping his arms in excitement. I sit in front of him on the floor and begin to give him spoonfuls of “oaties”.
He is a good eater, but easily distractible. We are mid-bite when Daddy walks in, and Aurick wiggles with sudden joy and ends up with oaties on his nose. Then halfway through the bowl he suddenly loses interest and starts clanging the jar lids together again. He generally finishes by the time our coffee is ready to pour.
Aurick is back down for his first nap when the other kids wake up. He wakes again just as we’ve finished breakfast and Bible, and when I bring him out to the colloquium to see them they greet him with much happiness and excitement. The baby adores his siblings; he loves Beatrice and all attention she can and does lavish upon him. Eldore and Elvie fascinate him with their antics and noise. He watches Clive closely to see what he will do. And Anselm and Ephraim are hilarious–endlessly funny–and he will scream with laughter when they play with him.
He has two and a half naps total during the day (and sometimes only two–we’re about that age, you know.) In between the naps he eats and sits and plays with everybody; he has officially moved into the “whatever’s available” stage of eating–meaning if you’re eating it, he wants a bite too–and he can make short work of most things even though he hasn’t any teeth yet. He sits on my hip as I teach school (he’d rather be there than anyplace else.) Aurick loves to play peek-a-boo and to listen to himself crow and shriek. Sometimes we go outside and take a walk through the garden to see what is growing.
As we get closer to bedtime he gets clingier–less and less happy to sit and play, less and less interested in what his siblings are up to, and more and more wanting Mama to just hold him and let him see the world from the vantage point of her side. And at about 5 p.m. we get his blanket and his pacifier and go nurse one last time, then I lay him down in his crib. I can always tell he’s ready for bed when he pulls his blanket up over his face as soon as he lies down. He goes to sleep without a sound.