Dear Baby Genius,
Your five-month birthday passed in a flurry of sniffles and coughs. You have finally recovered from your very first cold, and you did so with quite a bit of grace. It was so sad for Mama and I to see you so sad and sick, but you nursed and nursed and rested like a champ, and now you’re back to your smiley self. In fact, you’re even better.
It is so hard to believe that you are five months old. You are getting so big! You have nearly outgrown your infant car seat, so we’re going to have to buy you a big boy convertible seat soon. We think you’ll enjoy it, but at the same time, you’re growing much faster than we ever expected, and sometimes it’s a little shocking to us. It would be okay with us if you slowed down just a little.
This month has shown us more and more of your personality. You have begun to give kisses. You take my face in both of your hands, pull it toward you, and plant this huge open-mouthed sloppy kiss wherever you happen to land. You do this several times in a row, and it’s the sweetest, albeit messiest, little thing that you do.
You are showing a great interest in food now. We often let you watch us eat, and you will study each bite of food as it goes from plate to mouth, often mimicking chewing motions or reaching for whatever it is we are eating. You are so ready to eat, and we are really looking forward to feeding you. Unfortunately, we still have to wait until your six month birthday because your digestive system is still wonky. For now, until you’ve gone to see your new specialist, you’ll have to settle for watching us eat and practicing using your spoon, which you do quite expertly. Fortunately, you’re also very happy to continue nursing, and you’re a pro at it. We have a secret though: I let you taste the apple I was eating yesterday while you were nursing. You had stopped eating to watch me eat, and you all but grabbed a slice out of my hand. I couldn’t help but let you experience it. As you placed it in your mouth, your eyes grew as big as planets, and a huge smile spread across your face. You loved it. After a few minutes, I took the apple away–before you could do much of anything but lick it–but you were delighted to have experienced that flavor. And then you happily resumed nursing. It won’t be long, baby boy, until you get to experience all sorts of flavors, and like pretty much everything else with you, it’s going to be great fun.
You’re figuring a lot of things out now, and you like to pay attention to how things work. For several months, you have enjoyed your swing, but the bunny and owl that hang on the bar above it have annoyed you for some time because you haven’t been able to reach them.
Then one day, you figured out that you could pull the bar out of its slot and bring the whole thing closer to you. You can imagine my shock when I saw you with the bunny and owl in your mouth, but I replaced the bar, and not three seconds later, you had it out again, swinging bunny and owl back and forth and pulling them to your mouth.
This was a huge triumph, and now when we put you in your swing, you immediately look for the bar to be placed so that you can promptly pull it right out. When you are done with your swing, you have another new trick. You lift your arms, letting us know you want out. This is something about which Mama is particularly proud, since this is something she has been showing you since you were less than two months old.
Along with figuring out your swing, you have begun to learn how your body works. You can easily grab your toes now, and you enjoy putting them in your mouth whenever they are free. When they aren’t, you pull off your socks and chew on those until they are soaked. You started rolling to your sides earlier in the month, but in the past week or so, you have started rolling from your tummy to your back, and you do it with quite a bit of grace. I think you’re pretty relieved to have figured this one out because you were really sick of tummy time, and now you get to decide when it’s over. Your sitting is going pretty well too. You can’t sit on your own, but you love to sit propped up, and you also like to stand with assistance. Mama and I are fully aware that you are going to be very mobile before we know it. It scares us a little, but we can’t help but be delighted that you are figuring out how your body works.
One of the problems with making so many big changes is that it seems to give you trouble sleeping, and this month brought us the most difficulty we’ve had so far. You spent a couple of weeks hardly sleeping at all, and as a result, Mama and I didn’t sleep either. We were a cranky bunch. Fortunately, you’ve decided that sleep isn’t so bad after all, and even though you still aren’t much of a napper, you are sleeping far better at night.
Your laughter is really the best thing about you right now. You laugh a lot, and you love to do it. You seem to look for things to laugh at, and at times, we can’t figure out what it was that was so funny. Mama and I will do just about anything to hear that laughter though, and it really doesn’t matter who is watching or how ridiculous we may look. It’s all worth it. One recent favorite game involved practicing your sounds. I would say “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm….MARSUPIAL! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….MADAGASCAR!” and you would laugh and laugh with each new “m” word I came up with. You also starting saying “Mmmmmmmmm” along with me. You can imagine that made me endlessly proud. But now your babbling has come on in full force, and you “talk” almost nonstop throughout the day. It’s saddest when you do this when you’re upset, but mostly you do it when you’re playing. I happen to have caught you on video today:
I can’t believe it’s been over five months since you were with me all the time in my belly, my son. There are times when I wish you would slow down a little and let us savor each stage a little longer. But then you go and do something really fantastic like waking up and stroking my face, and I realize that each day with you brings more of you to me. Oh how I love this little boy who is emerging. No, you’re not that tiny little helpless newborn anymore, but I can handle that when I think about who you are now, knowing that as each day and month goes by, you’re going to show me new sides of the wonderful boy you are. I feel luckier than ever to be your mommy.
I love you, my sweet baby boy.