The average school year is 36 weeks, which is a little over 8 months, and Popeye turned 36 weeks yesterday (at 2:32AM to be precise). The only thing these two events seemingly have in common is that they are the same length of time. Normally I would totes agree, but I decided that a nice tie-in was to grade our parenting skills thus far. Also, you try thinking of things to write about week after week, while trying to take care of a baby who is hellbent on complete and utter destruction.
While it seems unfair to grade oneself, Popeye is in no position to hand out marks (his hand writing is atrocious and his penmanship is uninspired), so I tried to be as fair as possible. Plus, companies are into self-assessments – though I totally think that’s only because human resource departments are trying to do less and less. Most of them already outsource payroll, health benefits and even hiring, so eventually they will have no responsibilities except for over-dressing and under-performing. A pretty sweet deal for everyone, except for the poor employee who wants to find out why their health spending account doesn’t actually cover anything that CVS sells.
But I digress…
Here are the grades in the 6 subjects that make up our 8 month parenting report card:
While we’ve been really good about taking videos and documenting his growth, we have been absolutely horrendous about keeping up with his baby book. I can sit there and go through endless video clips of a baby doing baby things, but the second I try to write something in his baby book? Nothing. When it comes to photos, we take a ton. Both of our Facebook and Instagram accounts are overflowing with Popeye pics and this website is stuffed to the brim with the little dude. The only problem there is that we are rarely in the photos. A stranger might assume that the tyke is an orphan.
Subject: Language Arts
While it’s probably wrong to take credit for Popeye’s “talking” ability, I’m going to totally give it a shot. We’ve made a conscious attempt to limit the baby talk and to communicate in fully-functional sentences. That doesn’t mean we don’t change pitches to keep the little man amused, we just try to limit both the goo-goo’s and the ga-ga’s (though we don’t limit how much he dances when he listens to the Goo Goo Dolls or Lady Gaga – the dude can boogie). We also try to use sign language since most babies can learn signs before they learn to talk. We have a pretty firm grasp on the signs for milk, more and all done. By ‘we’ I mean mama. I often forget and Popeye is still getting a hang of how hands work.
Subject: Physical Education
Popeye is ridiculously active. The boy moves in his sleep and literally covers every square inch of his crib each and every night (both awake and asleep). I have very little baby experience (36 weeks to be exact), so I don’t have anything to really compare this to, but it seems quite excessive. He tried standing at an early age and continues to do his drunken sailor imitation on a daily basis, though he’s looking less drunk lately…
Subject: Home Ec
We started baby-led weaning at 6 months and 10 weeks later he’s just now starting to lead us to the wean (I’m positive that’s a thing). In the beginning, he got 99% of the food on everything but his mouth. Now he is getting at least 40% of the food into his mouth. The progress is slow-going and the messes are gargantuan, but I’ve heard that he will be a more adventurous eater because of it. I think that means he will dip his chicken fingers in chipotle ranch sauce instead of ketchup. Fingers and toes crossed!
We have been incredibly fortunate when it comes to toys. Between very giving grandparents and friends with older kids, who generously offer up slightly used toys (I was going to say new to him, but isn’t everything new to him?), we have enough toys to fill up every room in our house. Yes, that also includes the bathroom – you do what you have to do when nature comes a-knockin’. Unfortunately, most of these toys use batteries and have the annoying habit of continuing to interact with you, long after you accidentally stepped on it, on the way to the kitchen for a snikkitty-snack.
Subject: Study Hall
I kept putting this one off, but I knew that it had to be included since roughly 25% of the posts on this site are about it. What am I talking about? Those in the know say it with me: SLEEP. Whether it’s our fault, the way he is built or a combination of the two, sleeping is the Waterloo of our parenting empire. Just as Waterloo took down Napoleon, sleep deprivation may lead to our demise. Fun fact: Austin, where we live, was originally called Waterloo. Is it ironic? Ask Alanis Morissette while we scoop that fly out of our chardonnay.
Time for a snikkitty-snack.