Habits can be easy to start (unless of course, it involves exercise or dieting) and so very difficult to break. We’ve been spending a lot of time with Walker trying to replace some habits with new ones and in the process, we’ve noticed some changes in our own habits.
As for Walker, it’s hard to think that such a young boy can have such deeply ingrained habits. But how many of us can say we’ve been doing something consistently since the day we were born. I mean, take waking up in the middle of the night. If you had been waking up every few hours each night since you first entered the world, I suppose you’d find it hard to try something different. Change is hard. Change can be scary. Even if it involves something as nice and peaceful as, well, sleep. So Walker and I have spent some time working as a team to experience a few nights with extended hours of uninterrupted sleep. It took almost a week but eventually Walker slept more than five hours straight. OK, so he had a bit of a relapse this weekend. It can take some time to really settle in to new habits.
While Walker and I were working on his sleep, Daddy developed a new habit — he STOPPED sleeping through the night! Awakened by Walker and feeling under the weather, Daddy found it difficult to go back to sleep. So he’d pop in a STAR TREK DVD and watch a few episodes before returning to blissful slumber. After a few nights of this, and before Daddy knew it, he was waking up all by himself needing a Captain Kirk fix. Didn’t take long to start but could take awhile to break. Hope we have enough DVDs.
As for me, I’ve had a habit that it was near impossible to break. College didn’t do it (actually made it worse). Grad school didn’t do it. My parents couldn’t do it. It took a little guy who doesn’t even talk to break me of a habit I’ve had since I was a young girl. What habit could it be? Watching TV. A few months ago, I could have told you a lot about what was happening in pop culture. Now, I have no idea what’s going on in the world of the TUBE (unless Larry tells me about it). OK. So there was a writer’s strike. But that didn’t stop the TODAY show. Or the news. And there’s always good stuff on HBO On Demand or the Discovery network channels. But all those shows go unwatched. Why the change? Walker is a very observant child and we noticed he was RIVETED every time he was around the TV. He’d sit transfixed by the people on the screen. He wouldn’t move. I don’t even know if he blinked. And if you got between him and the picture, he’d move around to try to see around you. So Larry and I figured it was not a good idea to provide that kind of sensory input as his little brain develops. I get an hour or two of TV a night but most evenings I’m working or cooking or blogging while the TV plays in the background. It does make it more precious when I can sit and snuggle with Larry in front of a show. We make time for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (Shabbat Shalom), LOST and the fantastic JOHN ADAMS HBO mini-series. It’s some of the best, most relaxing time I have and what I used to take for granted, I appreciate so much more. So there goes my habit. Thanks Walker. You probably saved Mommy’s eyesight.
Every week Walker discovers more and more new things. He started clapping last week and now he’s a clap-aholic. EVERYTHING makes him happy enough to clap. Or, clapping makes him happy. Either way, he seems to revel in the satisfying noises he’s able to make as his fat little palms slap together. (You see, when he started clapping, there was a muted sound but now that he’s been practicing, he makes a loud SMACK, so he starts clapping the minute he wakes up and keeps going until just before he falls asleep.) He’s also been waving but it’s more of an arm flap. He’s kept hand frozen, sometimes open, sometimes closed, and he flaps his arm up and down. But this morning, as we were eating, he did a big boy wave. He looked at me and concentrated. He brought up his hand and open and closed his fist a few times. I was SO proud. I clapped my hands and gave him a big hug. He hasn’t done it again but if he’s consistent, he’ll be waving AND clapping all day long.
I’ve noticed his hands are becoming much more important in his communication. In the picture above, he was jabbering away and gesturing. Probably he’s seen Mommy talk this way. I guess we’ll need to be careful about what we do as the little guy is impressionable.