Five months and counting

Dear Jackie,

A week and a bit ago, you turned five months old.  I would have written sooner, but you have been keeping me busy!  For starters, I had to order a new car seat last week.  You are huge — 18lb, 2oz as of two days ago.  You are 28.5″ long, which is great except that the car seat limit is 29″.  Hmmm…  hopefully you don’t grow the next 1/2″ before Sunday, when your Grandpa John will hopefully help me install the new carseat…

Good lord, little man — where do I start?  You have pulled out all kinds of new tricks since I last wrote.  Let’s see if I can remember a few of them.

1. You roll.  Seriously, we know you can do it — rolling was your special gift to us on Christmas morning.  Sure you had rolled before (such as off the couch), but those rolls could always be explained away by gravity assist, or by a helping hand to get your arms organized.  Christmas rolling was all you — yay Jack!  Incidentally, you have only rolled back to front and show no interest in rolling front to back.  AND you haven’t rolled a heck of a lot since Christmas… but that’s ok.  We know you’ll get there in good time — probably sooner than we’re banking on.  Which reminds me — time to shop for a baby gate, ’cause I would hate to time that wrong. 

2.  You kiss!  For the first little while, I thought this was just random baby slimings, but no — you give open-mouthed cheek-kisses and they are awesome (if sticky).  With all the kisses you receive, it should come as no surprise that you have picked up on this trick early.  You are a happy, loving little guy and it is a privilege to hang out with you every day.

3.  You jump.  You like to stand on our laps and you jump with joy.  I felt both feet leave the ground lap yesterday! We have an exersaucer from our neighbours and you LOVE it.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be a Jolly Jumper, but you don’t let that detail stop you from bouncing away in it.  You’re a very physical boy: you love to be pulled to a stand and thank goodness you don’t have the strength to do this on your own.  You can just about sit up on your own though only for a few or ten seconds before you slowly topple onto your face.  Fortunately you like this, or any other motion that involves diving forward, preferably onto pointy and/or impossibly hard and/or insecure surfaces. 

4. Speaking of diving, you have started to lunge at things you like.  Just like those first few days of breastfeeding, when you would dive onto the boob like a petite animal, grunting and snorting with hunger, you dive onto things you want.  You have dove onto your dad’s lap, Sophie la Giraffe, my boob, the couch, a book, Sarah, and anything you think we are eating.

5. Ah, yes — the eating.  I had determined to be a good little devotee and make you wait until six months before starting solids.  I know they have good reasons for this, and I respect their knowledge.  However, I read Dr. Jack Newman‘s opinion that some babies are developmentally ready for solids before six months, and watch the baby, not the calendar.  Since I also have huge respect for Dr. Newman, and Jack was watching me eat yoghurt with a look of wonder like I was performing magic, I offered him a little bit on the spoon – jackpot!  You were SO HAPPY and made ‘put a worm in HERE’ birdie faces frantically, I fed you some more little bits, which you continued to be SO HAPPY with. 

Since then, you have tried plain yoghurt (you liked this a lot), banana (not so happy with) and egg yolk at Bon’s Off Broadway (more enthralled with the eggy spoon than actual eggs).  I want to do Baby Led Weaning and will be trying to offer more of the finger-style foods than spoon-foods, but I guess I’m just not that organized… well, that and you were wildly uninterested in picking up banana than picking up a spoon. 

This list does not include all the items which you would like to have eaten which I didn’t let you, including but not limited to ham, Thai red curry, miniwheats, Steve’s homemade bread with honey, tea, lemonade, cow’s milk, and chocolate milk. 

Ah yes, the chocolate milk.  Every so often (ok pretty often), I buy chocolate milk in those little one litre jugs.  I know Jack has seen me drink from one, but not recently (as in, not in the past week or two).  I had one last night for a co-op meeting which Jack and I were attending (where I go, my breastfed baby goeth also), and I put it down on the table while I was taking Jack’s coat off.  As soon as his little arms were free, he launched himself at the table, grabbing the jug handle while making enormous birdie faces.  If I hadn’t snatched it away, I swear he would have ripped off the lid and started chugging.  I felt badly drinking it in front of him, so I didn’t get to have any until he fell asleep and I was able to lay him on the couch.  In the meantime, however, he had figured out that people were drinking from cans (we don’t have many cans in our house) and practically mugged my neighbour for her lemonade.  Silly baby!  Fortunately you are adorable and nobody minded.

Speaking of meetings — thank you!  You were so good last night, I suspect people think I drugged you.  You played with Sophie, then your moose, then the keys.  You stood on my lap and talked happily to my neighbour (trying to convince her to let you have some lemonade), you fussed a tiny bit but then you had a snack and a nap, you woke up happy and then hung out and ate Sophie some more.  Amazing!  You show more patience in a co-op meeting than many of the Board members do :- )

You are talking up a storm, by the way.  You tell us stories with perfect sincerity and obvious belief that we understand every word.  You crow, and laugh, and turn your head when you hear your name.  You are amazingly responsive and you love just about everyone.  We’re still waiting to see you ‘make strange’ but other than occasionally needing your mama, you seem to be just a happy little person. 

Except for the teeth.  While no pearly whites have appeared above the gumline, baby Tylenol and homeopathic teething drops are your friends.  It is a testament to your good temper that we are completely surprised when you suddenly burst out crying; on the upside, when this happens we know exactly what the problem is. 

After five months, we finally have the hang of nursing lying down.  My back hates it a little, but I love — seriously, I LOVE — waking up with you all snuggled up to me.  Maybe we are more tired, maybe you are less noisy and flail-y than you were when you were new, but now we all sleep pretty well when I bring you to our bed in the wee hours and nurse us back to sleep in the soft dark of our bedroom.

Small fry, you are the best baby ever and you are turning into a little boy right before our eyes.  You are growing so fast it is crazy!  I need to go through your clothes and pack up the six-month sleepers and wash all the nine-month ones, and I need to remember every step of this amazing journey we are traveling as a family. 

Right this minute though, it is late, and I need to go upstairs and check on you as you sleep.  In a few hours, I will collect you from the crib and bring you to sleep safely between your father and I, surrounded by love.  And the cat.

With love always,