Dear Baby Genius,
Today, you are four months old. How is that possible? You are growing and changing so quickly right before our eyes, and at times like this, I wish that I could stop time for just a little while. But that isn’t going to happen, so we savor each moment with you as you move past tiny, helpless infancy and turn into this really cool big baby with tons of personality.
This past month brought us your first Winter Solstice, your first Christmas, and your first new year. We took a quick trip to your grandma and grandpa’s house for an early Christmas celebration with your aunts, uncle, cousin, and grandparents, and we learned that you will soon have another cousin just eleven months younger than you. Next year, you will be the toddler pointing at the newborn saying, “Baby!” over and over, just as your cousin does now. You did very well on this trip, son. You slept well in the car, played with your toys, and when we were there, you enjoyed the family quite a bit. You’re really starting to love staring at other kids, so your cousin B was way less scary and way more interesting this time. Of course, you slept through the opening of gifts, but that is to be expected.
The real fun started when we got home, for your Mama and I got to settle in with you for our family’s first holiday season together. We made candles and cookies, hung out by our tree, took oodles of photos of you, and simply enjoyed the time we had together. You also learned a little about opening gifts, and you successfully tore tissue paper off of some new books. You also promptly tried to eat it.
In fact, these days anything you like must be eaten, whether that’s your fist, a toy, wrapping paper, or a mom’s face. When you see something you like, you gather it between your hands, and you pull it toward your mouth. Because you are still working on accuracy, this often just results in a mouthfull of your fists, but when you’re lucky, you get to eat your toes, your toys, and, yes, your moms’ faces.
You discovered sitting this month, and while you don’t do it without help, you do it regularly. In fact, you would far rather sit than lie down anymore, and if someone places you in a prone position, you lift your head as high as you can in an effort to either sit up on your own or to let the nearest mom know that it’s time to sit up. When you would first sit, your head would bob around, and you looked so proud of yourself. Now, you sit like an old pro–still with our help–but your balance is getting better and better. The books all say that you’re supposed to start rolling any time now, but you’re not so interested in that. Sitting is your thing. We know you’ll roll eventually, and we want you to have the ability to do so, so you’ve been spending more time on the floor on your belly. You tolerate this for awhile, but mostly you find it frustrating and annoying that you can’t easily roll over. You’ll get it soon; just keep trying.
This month has brought us a much more vocal boy too. You have graduated from your early favorite word, “a-goo,” and are on to all kinds of other sounds. In fact, you make a lot more noise these days. Each week, you seem to find a new sound that you enjoy, and you make it over and over again. The highlight of the month was learning to blow raspberries. You spend a lot of time doing that, and you have even woken me up in the middle of the night, blowing and blowing and blowing. It’s adorable, although a bit spitty.
You’re still thriving. You keep growing and growing, and you’re a great eater. You love to nurse, and while you have always communicated when you want to eat quite effectively, you have a new way of doing this. Now when you’re hungry, you pull on the shirt of whomever is holding you and proceed to open your mouth as wide as you can. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your 88-year-old great-grandmother, your grandfather, or me; you let us know by yanking on our shirts. I find this quite cute, although I’m fairly certain all of my shirts are now stretched beyond any reasonable shape.
You are also starting to express some real interest in food. You watch your Mama and I eat, and it is utterly fascinating to you. One day last week, Mama and I were sitting at the dining table eating some soup, and Mama was holding you. You watched as she spooned a bit of soup into her mouth. You watched over and over again, and then you tried to grab the bowl to have some for yourself. We have a feeling you’re going to be a good eater. Unfortunately, you’ve got a little while to wait yet before you have your own solid foods. Just to make sure that you’re ready, though, Mama has been using your new tractor spoon to pretend to feed you. You seem to know just what to do with the spoon too.
We still haven’t figured out what is causing your gastrointestinal issues, baby boy, but we’re working at it. Fortunately, you don’t seem to be in any discomfort; the only evidence that anything is wrong at all is in your diapers. I have now stopped eating all dairy products, soy products, and beef. What I’ll eliminate next, I do not know, but I’m convinced that we’ll find the answer soon.
Our only other complaint this month has been your sleep habits. Suddenly, now that you aren’t sleeping in your moses basket at night, you have become a terrible sleeper. There have been many nights in the last few weeks when you have woken up every hour. It’s hard for us, but then we see that adorable little face of yours, and somehow it’s all okay. We would love it if you would go back to your old sleep habits though because your moms are quite exhausted. For now, we do what we can to get you to sleep. We let you sleep on us for at least one nap a day, and I also wear you in your SleepyWrap quite a bit. In fact, sometimes, this is the only way to get you to sleep.
One night this month, we all bundled up, put you in the wrap, and walked around our apartment complex for 45 minutes, and it was only in the last ten minutes of this walk that you actually went to sleep. Maybe you just think there’s too much you would miss if you were to sleep the day and night away. I don’t know, but if we make a promise to save the fun for your waking hours, do you think you might succumb to slumber from time to time?
I suppose the greatest thing this month has been seeing you emerge. You interact with the world so much now. You watch your moms move around the house. You notice the cats. You smile and giggle all the time. You play with the books we read you, and you love your toys. When you sit in your bouncy seat now, you have a great time swatting at the toys, pulling them to your mouth, and yelling at them. It is such a joy seeing the little boy you are becoming. You needn’t grow up any faster than you currently are, but Mama and I certainly look forward to what next month will bring.
I love you, sweet boy.