Sunday, August 20, 2006

4 Months Old

Dearest Hatchling,

Friday you turned four months old. Your daddy and I had brought you up to Grandma and Grampa's house so they could watch you while we went to a wedding, so it was a busy weekend. I think your grampa had his hands full with you (evidence: he put your diaper on backwards), but the mere fact that we could make such a trip shows how you've grown over the past month. I used to think that there was a vast right-wing conspiracy among experienced parents to hide how much the first three months of baby rearing can SUCK IT UP, but now I'm beginning to suspect that the months that come after are good enough to make people forget the hell that comes before.


Because you're getting so fun now! It's like your little mind is waking up and you're just noticing more of the world. Bright colors and lights fascinate you, as do your own fingers and toes. In fact, they fascinate you so much that I've developed a new theory of child development: I think the first year of being a baby is probably like being on a major trip from some killer weed. Sure, there are the occasional moments of paranoia ("Where the hell have my keepers gone? What the hell is going on!?!") but mostly it's just, like, whoooooaaaaa, dude. HANDS. And then you get major munchies and need some boob.

Mmmmm, yummy elephant

Being so fascinated with the world makes it much easier to keep you entertained. I mean, you can actually ride in your carseat now for over ten minutes without screaming! Even when you're awake! This is major stuff, kid. You're not so big on lying down these days, but if you can sit or stand and look around you're good to go. You're also getting smilier and smilier with each passing day, and you'll flash those gums at just about anyone (random old guy on the sidewalk) or anything (the striped curtains in the living room) that tickles your funny bone.

So many toys!

What's even more amazing about this transformation is that it's happening in the face of some hurdles. Apparently no one told you that babies aren't supposed to teeth or get separation anxiety until around month 6, because you've gone ahead and started both things now. Oh, your gums hurt so much sometimes! You chomp on your little fists or our fingers as if your life depended on it, and drool like it's your personal mission to coat the world in viscous baby saliva. Tylenol and Anbesol help a lot, but you still end up being manic depressive baby some days - giving us huge grins one moment and making the saddest face ever the next. We sure will be happy when those little buds start pushing through.

Mmm, hands are tasty

The separation anxiety is a little rough, too. You used to be so good about letting your hordes of adoring relatives and friends hold you and play with you, but alas, no longer. You'll still go to other people, but you need a half an hour to warm up to them, and even then it still helps if you can see me in the room. Woe betide the well-meaning person who greets you by getting right up in your face and saying hello or blowing a raspberry at you: they're more likely to get a storm of insta-screams than one of your killer smiles. This makes it a little more heartrending for us to leave you with babysitters, but we keep doing it just the same, in hopes that you'll eventually figure out that other people are not necessarily the devil.

Must be nap time

But really, these are just small obstacles to navigating through your little baby world. Every day you're more and more engaged with the people and things around you, and every week you learn a new trick or find a new talent. Best of all, and I hesitate to even mention this for fear of jinxing it, you're starting to sleep like a real person. This last week you've actually taken a 90 minute nap every morning, and another one most afternoons. You can even soothe yourself back to sleep sometimes when you wake up at night. Honestly, for a while there I thought you were going to go all Einstein on us and only ever sleep in 40 minute increments for the rest of your life. Maybe this new pattern means you'll never resolve any major questions in quantum physics, but frankly I'm willing to sacrifice any potential Nobels for a good night's sleep. Let's make it a date, shall we?

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