You are four months old, now, and I’m finally getting the hang of this whole parenting-two-children thing. Or so I tell myself.
I honestly don’t know how I would do all that I’ve managed to do with any other baby but you. You are so pleasant to be around, and you don’t mind being put down for awhile when your brother needs me, in fact, you often seem to prefer your independence. You talk to yourself, you grab toys and blankets and just watch the world around you with those big baby blues of yours. You still fuss when you’re wet, but it’s often more like this attention-getting remark than an actual cry, like, “Hey, are any of you tall people going to do anything about my bottom over here?” Except for the times that you’re screaming about it like it’s the end of life as we know it.
You watch your brother and his big-kid friends with intent focus and wild flailing arms and kicking legs. When we put you on the floor, you can roll from back to front and front to back over and over again. You can spin like a compass dial, and I can see it won’t be long before M’s going to have to be way more careful about where he plays with his tiny Lego blocks.
Because everything goes in your mouth. You will fixate on an object, stare it down and reach. Your fingers close and automatically pull in toward your open lips. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re actually able to grasp the thing. Fingers, clothes, blankets, toys. It’s all fair game. You’ve even started grabbing your toes, too. Your brother finds this hilarious, that you want to suck on your own feet, and more, that you easily could.
I love your laugh and your baby babbling. I swear that you have already said several words, including, “Hi,” “Hello,” and “I love you.” Your brother has also been teaching you how to call him by name. Right now, it’s pretty much an “Mmmm” followed by some raspberries, but we’ll take it. You get mad when you have no one to talk to, and I often find myself wishing I had more time to sit and listen. Because these early expressions of language are fascinating to me, and I feel like I can actually understand what’s in your head based on nothing more than the way you’re holding your eyebrows and the inflection of your gurgles.
This month, you met a bunch more people who love you. You took your first airplane ride, and slept peacefully pretty much the entire time it took us to fly to Wisconsin and then back again. Your grandparents couldn’t believe how much you’d grown since you last saw them, how strong you are, and how happy. You melt us all with your laugh, that smile with the dimple showing, those eyes that just radiate your own love and awe. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by so many good people, and you made sure to let them know by offering lots of smiles and hugs and cuddles all around.
Every night, you get pretty cranky. And every night, you eventually fall asleep with me on the couch. I enjoy my snuggles with you more than you can possibly know, because at the end of a long day of spreading my attention thin, I get to curl up around you and feel you safe in my arms. You relax, you let go, you get me to do the same. This won’t last forever, this time we have when you’re so small and needy, for all the good and the bad of it. This won’t last forever.