Wednesday, September 30, 2015
this has been a banner month for you, full of many firsts, all of which you embraced enthusiastically. for starters, this month saw the first time you slept through the night, which i embraced enthusiastically, and you have continued to do intermittently. otherwise, you wake up once a night for a quick nursing session before going back down again.
i wish i can take all the credit, but there was no magical sleep training or baby whispering going on. truth is you have been a good sleeper since birth. if i have done anything to help encourage it, it's not scooping you out of your crib for every whimper or grunt. i've become more comfortable letting you fuss for a few minutes to gauge whether you are hell bent on waking up or just making noises until settling down and returning to sleep on your own, which is often the case.
of course, if you are crying hysterically, i will scoop you up immediately, as i've never become comfortable with the idea of the "cry it out" method, which lets a baby cry himself to sleep. but who am i kidding? if you were still waking up five times a night, i'd likely get comfortable with it real fast as we both need our sleep, kid, me especially since returning to work full-time.
that is another first you handled well, certainly better than i did, though it wasn't as awful as i thought it would be. i endured the weepy, sad phase a week before returning, a time when i smelled and smothered you constantly, so much so that you started pushing my face away in an effort to tell me, ENOUGH, WOMAN. I NEED MY SPACE.
the first few days back at work, people would stop by my desk to socialize, always asking me if i was OK or needed tissues, and i almost felt like i needed to produce a waterworks show for them to prove my mettle as a mother, but instead i just pointed to the photos of you i put up around my desk and repeated the answer to the burning question everyone seemed to have, "where is he now?"
i was tempted to say, "in my car in the parking lot, hopefully asleep," but i settled for the boring truth: that you were at your grandparents' house, Camp Grandma, as i've named it, where you have a crib, clothes, the baby channel and more toys than you do at home. i know i'm beyond lucky to have this arrangement and i take none of it for granted, especially the part where i get daily text message updates and photos of how your days are progressing.
you are lucky, too, to be surrounded by so much love, to have your baba and dyeda doting on you all day, who were incredible parents to me and are thrilled for the opportunity to do it again now that they are retired, noting that they can finally focus on the good parts instead of having to splinter their energies among their various responsibilities like your father and i have to now. they seem overjoyed to spend their days trying to make you laugh and catering to your every whim despite my request that they treat you like their son, not their grandson, so you don't become spoiled. (yeah, right.)
Camp Grandma also has a pool, where you took your first swim (more like a dip). considering your love of bath time, i thought you would readily love the pool as well but you seemed very cautious about this large body of water, almost suspicious, even as you kicked your legs and wiggled your arms reflexively.
i'm beginning to think this seriousness is an emerging personality trait that shows up whenever you are confronted with new experiences that you have not yet figured out. still, i will consider this first time a success as you didn't poop in the pool nor have any big crying fits. you saved the crying for your third time in and now start wailing hysterically every time you are carried anywhere near the pool. but i will keep trying, because no son of mine will be a crying sissy afraid of water, so nut up, little soldier.
at your last checkup, you were in the 50th percentile for height, 80th for weight, with head circumference still measuring in the 90th. your pediatrician jokingly asked if he could measure my head, too, saying head circumference was genetic and, sure enough, my noggin also measured in the 90th percentile.
i asked -- or perhaps insisted -- that a big head indicated higher intelligence and he confirmed that they sometimes go together, adding, at least in my oversized mind, that you were guaranteed a scholarship to Harvard despite the fact that i couldn't even get into UC Berkeley. this is why it's so important for you to do well in school, my dear, so i may live my dreams vicariously through you. thank you for complying.
your big noggin has cocked to the left since birth, causing concerns about torticollis. to remedy this, my physical therapist showed me stretching exercises that i have been doing with you regularly in an attempt to straighten your head and strengthen your neck, which is hiding underneath your many chins.
your big body is also causing you much frustration every time you roll over, which you have all but abandoned since your arm would get pinned underneath your torso and you couldn't wiggle it free. i'm hoping you grow into all your michelin tire rolls soon enough so you can become more adept at using your bulky body and reaching your physical milestones. because, right now, you are a cave baby of grunts, huffs and brute force.
at your checkup, the pediatrician also gave us the all clear on starting you on solids, which i had read should happen closer to the 6-month mark, though given the curious stares you'd give me when i would shovel food down my gullet in between diaper changes and nursing sessions, i figured we could get started a little early.
your first taste of the good stuff was watermelon, which you sucked on suspiciously at first, per your nature, and then eagerly. a few weeks later, you sampled mashed avocado like a proper california baby. again, suspicion, then eagerness. a week after that, you tasted banana, the food i craved most when i was pregnant. not surprisingly, you LOVED banana, no suspicion, and whimpered each time you finished a bite and another wasn't placed into your mouth quickly enough.
patience does not seem to be your virtue, but smiling is, thankfully. and that gummy deliciousness still reduces me (and your father) to a slushy puddle at your feet. even better are the full-bodied giggles you are bestowing on us regularly, which your father is a champ at evoking, usually by kissing your belly or neck. whenever i hear a giggling spree underway, i will drop everything i'm doing and walk over to watch.
i could watch it all day.