Our little boy keeps me hopping.
One of the biggest reasons I haven't posted much lately is that poor little T has developed eczema. Eczema, aka the itch that rashes. It first started showing up at about 4 months and at about 6 months became lots worse. I'll just boil it down to say that instead of learning to sleep through the night, little T began waking up more and more.
Scratching and crying, scratching and crying. The more he scratches, the worse it gets.
It has been a learning experience to educate myself on this condition. It seems that there is no cure and it can be very difficult to pinpoint what triggers the breakouts. There are things we can do to control the symptoms, but I've found what works well for a few weeks will gradually stop working and I have to find something else. There are many creams, lotions, oils and ointments out there that promise to take away the irritation. The ones I've used are all good products, but none are a magic cure. Here is a partial list of the products I've been using: Eucerin, Aquaphor, hydrocortisone, CamoCare, emu oil, Vitamin E oil, Gentle Naturals, Noxema, bag balm, Vaseline, Baby Aveeno, prescription ointment, Xema Balm and Natralia products.
All this lotion-applying (which he hates) and soothing (which he needs extra of) takes lots of time. I've found that I really can't let up in applying the various gunks, because approximately one day after taking it easy, we pay the price. It's so frustrating.
But what a lovable little guy T is. He is a good-natured baby, fairly easy going. I love the way kisses and cuddles make him happy and smiley.
However, distressing skin condition aside, little T has also demonstrated an alarming tendency toward close shaves.
It started shortly after he first began sleeping in his crib. One night he managed to pull down an entire blanket I had (securely and out of his reach, I thought) fastened over one side to protect him from window drafts. How could one so tiny be so strong? When I checked on him later, I found he had somehow completely rolled himself up in the blanket. He did not stir as I yanked the blanket off him and I was terrified something horrible had happened. I was deeply grateful to find he was merely fast asleep. What a beautiful thing to hold a sleeping baby in your arms.
Then, as he learned to crawl, he quickly became fascinated by electrical cords. He liked to pounce on one, then roll over to examine it. One time I was horrified to discover that he had found a loose cord, rolled over a couple times and the cord was wrapped around his head and neck.
And let's see, I also got to call poison control after he got into one of the houseplants, he's taken more than one tumble down the three-step stairs by the laundry room and he loves to put things waaay into his mouth. I know babies put everything into their mouths, but little T seems to always investigate so hard that the item seems likely to disappear for good. I didn't realize K had so many tinyish toys. I have watch them like a hawk. But then again, I have to watch little T like a hawk at all times.
I know I have some readers with sons. Tell me, are all these near-accidents a boy thing? Or has little T inherited his dad's talent for getting himself into scrapes? He's going to give me white hair in five years at this rate.
And to top it all off, little T had a bad allergic reaction to one of the baby foods I gave him as I began introducing solids. It was brown rice cereal and within seconds of eating his first mouthful, he began breaking out in hives, his eye began to swell shut and as he cried, his voice became more and more hoarse. It was so frightening. B held him while I made phone calls to find out how much of the Children's Benedryl we had was safe to give him. Long story short, a pharmacist was finally able to tell me that half a teaspoonful is safe for babies. After this adventure, I was scared to give him any solids at all for several weeks. He's just now finally getting interested in solids as a source of nourishment rather than an interesting novelty, and thankfully, he's had no more allergic reactions.
So this post is my excuse for posting so rarely in recent weeks. But I really can't complain. I think of my friend Jennie and know that when it comes to caring for infants, life can be many times more difficult than what I am dealing with. And when his skin isn't torturing him, little T really is pretty laid back. He doesn't even get all that upset when K snatches toys from him.
This picture is of little T in his balaclava. I got this from Purely Organic Bebe (thanks, Mom!). We've discovered that anything with polyester sets off the itchies, so we got this little hood to protect his head and neck from the polyester lining in his coat and to wear under hats. I wasn't sure how he would like wearing something that covers his head like that, but he doesn't even seem to notice he has it on!