As I write this, you are asleep upstairs and I wait with bated breath to see how the rest of your day goes--whether I will be soothing an unbelievably fussy baby or if I will have my normal happy guy around. See, we're just back from your four month check up and based on your last reaction to shots, I'm scared as all get out. Five hours of nonstop screaming doesn't sound like a good time for either of us (though your father faces this possibility MUCH too nonchalantly as he is at work and will not have to deal with an apoplectic baby).
Here I am a couple hours later and yes, you had a big crying jag, but you also had a nap. Your little thighs are tender where the shots went in, you're a bit warm, and you hurt somewhere inside, but you're nowhere near as inconsolable as last time. It's a sign of how much you've changed in the past month--your ability to express what you need is so much more developed, as is your comprehension of people and objects around you. This time, distractions like kisses from mommy and playing with your image in the mirror help to sooth you a little.
As the day goes on, I hope this trend continues, because it would be a shame to welcome your fifth month of life with pain and crying.
What a month! Here are just a few of the major developmental leaps you've made:
- First (assisted) steps--one minute you could just barely pick up your feet and the next you were scooting around the kitchen
- Rolling from your back to your stomach without help
- Putting objects (not just fist holding object) into mouth
- Pulling knees under you (closer to crawling position)
- Sitting up with little assistance
- Coos, goos, and GIGGLES!
- Responding to tickling, zerberts, and being held upside down with smiles and laughs
- Taking an interest in EVERYTHING--spoons, cats, phones, plants--if you see it you want to put it in your mouth
All of these changes make me see your rapidly approaching mobility, and it scares the hell out of me. Already, you try to leap out of my arms to reach for anything of interest, you squirm away during diaper changes, and you fling yourself forward whenever you can get a good footing--always heedless your destination or the possibility of a safe landing.
Luckily, I'm there to catch you. Yet I worry about the moment I'm too slow or too far away. Baby books with ominous warnings to never ever walk away from a baby on the changing table--no, don't even take your hand off the kid!--come rushing to mind. In my mind's eye, I see you pulling yourself up on precariously balanced furniture, drooling into outlets, poking forks into your eyes. Is this my future? To constantly be rescuing you from yourself?
Ah, well. That time is not far off, but it's not here yet. And I am really enjoying where you are right now.
Let me tell you the two things I hear most often from strangers:
"Wow. Is he always this happy/well-behaved/friendly?"
"He's only four months old?! He's so big/strong/alert!"
Yes, you have a beautiful temperament. You smile readily at anyone who smiles at you and will play with anyone who shows an interest. You aren't the least clingy to your parents, and seem to enjoy a variety of faces.
At the same time, you are very intuitive, and can tell when someone is uncomfortable holding you. You sense their unease and immediately want out of their arms.
And as for your size, yes you are a big big boy. We discovered today that you are in the 90th percentile for height and weight. That means you are bigger than 90% of the boys your age. Do you have similarly heightened muscle tone? I suspect yes. Your ability to stand and take steps is pretty advanced for your age (from what I gather from other mothers).
So you're friendly and big and strong. It's silly to find pride in these things at your age, but I can't help it--I'm your mother. I love you, and everything I see in you confirms that you're the most beautiful, amazing boy in the world. Do you think I'm biased?
This month has been good for your father and I, particularly since we've started working out some better sleep arrangements. You are no longer waking up every two hours during the night, and it is entirely the result of your father and I switching sides of the bed. I don't know if it's because your dad is a heavier sleeper than me (and doesn't wake at every one of your squirms and wiggles) or because you can't smell me, but you now go for four hours between feedings. This has helped me retain my sanity in ways you can't even imagine, and your dad no longer has to fear me going nuts and attacking him with a spork in the middle of the night.
Just between you and me, I might do that just for fun (but don't tell him that).
I love you my amazing little boy. Don't grow up too fast!