Teddy is working on standing up. He can pull himself up (he uses the edge of the moses basket that holds his toys, or my leg, or anything else available), and then let go of first one hand and then the other (note: he invented this game on his own -- don't blame me!). He topples after a few seconds (Roland says he's made it to a half a minute for him this evening), then starts over again. This looks exhausting, but is apparently endlessly interesting. Until he gets hungry or exhausted, at any rate.
After seeing this, I hauled out the Pediatricians Book which is my source for Mainstream Parenting Information. According to it, this whole standing up thing is not supposed to be happening for a couple more months. Ha ha. So I took a look at the fine motor skills and verbal stuff for the same time frame and concluded that Teddy is Least Ahead in verbal stuff. I then commented on this to child care today, who said (this is the punchline): "But that's what you would expect, because you and Roland are such active people." Ha ha! I think child care is the only person I spend time with whose judgment I respect enormously who would ever say this about us. I am, of course, hugely flattered, but in no way deluded in to believing that my physical skills are anything like my fine motor skills, much less my verbal ability.
In addition to reaching for and crawling towards what he wants, Teddy has taken to saying what sounds damn like Ma Ma Me Me when he wants to see me (when I'm not there) or nurse (when I am there, but not holding him). This makes it much simpler to figure out what he wants.
When I buzzed child care in today, I popped Teddy up on my shoulders and walked towards the elevator to meet him. I think I have now figured out how to minimize hair pulling (hold the kid's hands). I have not, unfortunately, been able to get him to stop leaning hard onto my head, which is exhausting for my neck. I figure another month or two, maybe.
We still aren't even remotely consistent about sign language. However, Teddy-devised communication now includes a useful repertoire of mouth/finger "words": if you stick a knuckle in his mouth (if you put the tip of your finger in, he'll do something unwise with the finger nail, hurt his gum and then cry), he'll suck if he's hungry, gnaw if his gums hurt and he'd like some Tylenol, close his lips and blow if he's happy and enjoying being with you, and just slackly ignore it if he's okay, and has nothing in particular to express. Good basic needs check. Oh, and he's blowing raspberries more and more often, more and more effectively. It's so cute when he does it on my upper arm and gets a good sound.
In case I failed to mention it, last Friday, Teddy crawled about 10 feet (first time making it a significant distance, and quickly). Since then, he's used rocking to improve his technique so he no longer bellies down for rests, but alternates cleanly. If you leave him in the living room (well, if I leave him in the living room) and go to the kitchen, he'll follow. Closing doors has become much more important. Nice work for a week.