Oh baby boy. You have stolen my heart. You do the sweetest little things now that I believe are your ways of starting to show us how much you love us or at least show how excited you are to see us. Last month you started holding my arm while I change your diaper. These past couple of weeks, you’ve started going down much easier for sleep, although we’re still working on getting you to fall asleep on your own again. While I wish this would happen soon for all of our sleeps’ sake, it is really sweet how right before you give in, you nuzzle your head on our chest. And you’re either getting more familiar with the routine or we’re just getting the timing better, but you do this almost immediately most times. And now that your arm is out of the swaddle, it feels like a hug. What used to be a tiring and frustrating time for the both of us (I assume this for you given how you’d cry sometimes), it can now be some of the sweetest moments in my day.
In October we moved you rather successfully to your crib for all sleeps, naps and bedtime, and the transition was pretty painless. And just as easily as you fell in love with napping in your swing, you fell out of love with it after napping just a couple days in your crib. You even slept through the night for the first time on only your second night in the crib. You’ve only done it a handful of times though and we blame teething most of the time. You’ve also started taking at least one long nap about every other day or so. While we love these moments for selfish reasons, we also love them because you wake up so happy and smiley that you obviously love them, too. So now we just have to figure out how to encourage you to do it all the time, even when you act like you don’t want to, because we know you’ll love it once you’ve done it.
We’re having somewhat of a hard time getting you to belly laugh again like your Grandpa Cooney did in October (although your daddy has pretty good success almost every night when he blows strawberries on your belly and neck while changing you for bed), but your big smiles and sighs of elations and giggles fill our lives daily. For instance, as I type at the dining room table after dinner, you are still sitting in your swing trying your best to squeal over and over again and flailing your arms and shooting smiles my way. I just hope you’re not giggling because you take yourself too seriously like your mommy and that it’s just a matter of you not realizing you can do it. Like you’re doing as I type, you’ve always started making new noises in a similar pattern: you make a new noise, it sometimes surprises you, and then you make it over and over again, one right after the other, until you’ve figured it out. And then it could be days or weeks before you “accidently” make that noise again, until you realize you can make it and then do so all the time. For the longest time, before you really started talking, this process started with the hiccups. Almost always. Now you don’t hiccup as much (you used to several times a day, just like your mommy) so noises show up surprisingly while you’re playing.
Speaking of playing, good grief kid you are excited all the time now when you play. In fact, you’re excited most of the time in general. Which is a delight. You get excited when you see your friends, on your playmat or on your bouncy chair. And nowadays you’re starting to get excited about pretty much any of your toys or when we pick you up. I swear you’ve even reached for me a couple times, too. And your bottle, oh my goodness. I think you get more excited about that now instead of your friends, and that is hard to top.
But it isn’t delightful to see just because you’re adorable. It’s a delight to see because it’s another piece of evidence that you are growing. You recognize things. And then your feet kick and kick and kick. And your flail your arms up and down in almost a flapping motion, like you could fly if you had wings. And then your mouth. Oh sweetheart, this is a new face and it is so new and so different than your others that you almost look like a different kid. Or maybe a better way to describe it is you look more like your own self. You pucker your lips in an “o” shape that could be a cross between a surprised face and a fish face and it is a face all of your own. You are mostly such a happy baby, and lately we’ve even marveled at the fact that we can go a couple days in a row without you ever really crying.
There needs to be a word besides love that describes how I feel about you. Oh we’ve had our doozy of a days these days thanks to teething, feeding, your schedule in the process of changing, your first cold, and mommy just hitting a rut. But in the midst of a crazy travel schedule on top of all of that, you have shined. Our first car ride this go around wasn’t the best, but once we decided to help you sleep in the car and take our time rather than trying to force things, it got easier again like before. And you’ve been at some of your happiest times, too, during these trips. In three weeks you traveled to Indiana to visit friends, Georgia to visit daddy’s work and Illinois for Thanksgiving. You always seemed to like visitors when you were small, but in Indiana and Georgia you met lots of new people and were quite the ham. And your happy times are priceless.
As of the day after Thanksgiving, you are six months old. Happy six months sweet boy. I read somewhere about a parent thinking their child was the biggest display of grace in your life and it so resonated with me. You are by far the biggest display of grace in my life. I definitely have not done anything to be worthy of a gift like you nor do I even come close to being qualified. But you are mine and “I could eat you up, I love you so.”*
*Quote from Where The Wild Things Are