Dear Lil’ Man,
I am in utter disbelief right now. How can you already be 5 months old? This last month has flown by faster than any of the others. Perhaps we are finally used to each other and how we fit into each others’ lives.
I do feel as though we’ve grown closer this last month. I feel very in synch and in touch with all of your little needs and desires. I think it’s because you are not afraid to communicate what it is you need– you have a distinctive “hungry” cry, which stops and starts frantically, a teething cry which breaks Mommy’s heart because it’s more of a whimper, a scared cry which starts in your eyes and works its way down to the corners of your mouth, and the “CPS SCREAM”, which is when you are Mad As Hell. Usually, once you get to this point, you are so upset that nothing can make you stop. We just have to wait it out. The cries are so guttural, Mommy thinks you sound possessed. You also have “shrieks of joy”, that are your attempt at letting the whole world know just how excited you are!
But we really have grown closer, you and I. When something frightens you, I love that you immediately glance over to me, as though you’re asking if you should be scared. If I can make eye contact and laugh, you usually brush it off. But if I’m not convincing enough, or if I’m not in the room, you will usually dissolve into pitiful crying. It is so sad to watch, and even sadder to be the cause of. One of my piano moms blew a raspberry on your tummy, and the sound was really scary for you! She felt awful for making you cry. Other things that scare you: rustling chips bags, loud sneezes and coughs, Claire’s barking and any loud “boo!”s. Daddy’s startled you on more than one occasion, but only because his voice is so much deeper than Mommy’s.
You are also looking to me for comfort in so many other ways than just food. One night, when you were teething, the only way I could get you to sleep through the pain was if you were right next to me, my cheek touching yours. Whenever Mommy’s hand or cheek is touching yours, you get so much calmer. One of the nights when you were sick with your chest cold, Mommy held you the entire night, afraid that you would stop breathing. It was so painful to watch you struggling to breathe through all the “gunk”– definitely the most helpless Mommy’s felt in a very long time.
You’ve really made leaps and bounds in your accomplishments this month. For some reason, you woke up one morning and decided not only to roll over, but also inch forward on your hands and knees. The latter looks more like someone without legs, dragging just their torso along the ground. Lately, Mommy’s been having a hard time keeping you ON your tummy during tummy time– you’ve discovered that once you roll over, there are toys dangling above your head to play with! It took Mommy at least a dozen tries to get a picture of you on your tummy before you rolled over. Just this morning, Daddy put you next to Mommy on the bed and returned a minute later to find that you had rolled a few feet! We’re going to have to be more careful now, that’s for sure! We’ve tried standing you next to furniture, and you’re doing quite well. Your sitting position doesn’t quite transition into all fours just yet– it looks more like a face plant!
You’re still Mommy’s “go everywhere” baby, although she’s trying to make sure you at least get 2 long naps in your own crib. You have about 4 piano homes that you frequent while Mommy gives lessons. You have girlfriends all over Southlake– certain students of Mommy’s who you pay extra special attention to with lots of giggles and smiles. One girl has taken to serenading you with her recorder for the whole hour! Mommy calls her the “Pied Piper”.
Although you remain pretty small for your age (you barely fit into just a few of your narrower 3-6 month clothes, although the legs and feet on your 0-3s have become very very tight!), your face has grown drastically this past month. Your reddish/blond hair has really come in, making it look less and less like your trademark “mohawk/mullet”. And those eyes…not only do people stop me wherever I go to say, “what a CUTE baby that is!!”, but they always comment on how pretty your big blues eyes are. Strawberry blond hair with blue eyes…those girls better watch out!
You LOVE to play, mostly in the mornings. Daddy has taken to getting up early with you on Wednesdays and Thursdays, both so that Mommy can get a few extra hours of sleep and so that he can have some one-on-one play time with you. Sometimes, you guys are out there cackling and giggling so loud, it wakes Mommy up! You love to pull his face towards you and play with his beard.
Bath Time has become a little odd. You are either actively trying to use the sink faucet and counter to climb OUT of the bath, or you sit there, legs high up in fetal/froggy position. You have yet to really “relax” and play. Not the “spa” type 🙂
You are incredibly stubborn. Never does this come out more than when we are trying to put you to bed. When you decide that you will ONLY fall asleep while being held, we know that you are actually quite comfortable and COULD go to sleep, if you chose. We’ve agreed to try small amounts of “crying it out”, mostly for only 5 minutes at a time (and only after you’ve JUST been fed and diapered). It’s hit or miss, at this point– you’ll either immediately decide to fall asleep by self-soothing, or you’ll get SO MAD you break out of your swaddle and even your sleeper! Mommy comes back in after just a few minutes, and you are almost completely naked. You sweat so much when you’re angry that your clothes and swaddle are DRENCHED, and there is a huge puddle of sweat underneath your head.
But we are getting on a better sleep schedule. You still go down to sleep between 9-10, sleep for 4-5 hours, eat for a few minutes, sleep for another 4 hours, and then it’s up every 2-3. During the day, you usually have 2 long naps, accompanied by plenty of short half hour cat-naps. Mommy hopes that this month she can regulate your nap cycles even more– you’re just such a different boy once you’ve had enough sleep!
We are also working on having you sleep full time in your crib. For the first few months, Mommy just felt that it was cruel to both of you to have you sleep by yourself in another room, seeing as you were both together for 10 months! Going from a nice, warm womb to a cold dark lonely room was too much for her to bear 🙂 Now, however, she sees sleeping in your own room as a sign of your growing independence. Mommy definitely wants her alone time every now and then– and that’s definitely what she needs at night in order to be a good mommy throughout the day.
You spent one week this month with Mommy visiting family in California. It was so nice to have 3 aunts, 1 cousin, 1 uncle and 4 Grandparents to hold you, not to mention countless friends. Your Aunt Brooke and Emily, along with Cousin Rachel and Grandpa Cone all babysat you one night so that Mommy could go on a “date” with her best friend, Tess. Cousin Rachel really stepped up– she knew EXACTLY how to handle you once you got upset, getting out your teething medicine and undressing you (for some reason, getting you naked almost always calms you down!). You hardly had any alone time– someone was always entertaining or loving on you. Your Aunt Julie in Texas has also continued to be a huge help. She watched you while Mommy and Daddy got coffee and listened to live music at Bon Giorno. She also helps fill in on occasional Saturday mornings, when both Mommy and Daddy have to work for a few hours. Daddy says, however, that he really looks forward to having you all to himself on Saturdays while Mommy teaches, so we try not to have a substitute babysitter unless really necessary.
While it sometimes seems like you are just being difficult out of spite, you quickly remind Mommy of what a sweet and loving heart you have, from your cuddles and baby kisses in the morning, to the adorable baby talk/singing you are always engaging in. It gives Mommy some of the greatest joy she’s ever known when you wake up from your naps, such a smiling ball of sunshine.
Keep it up, little guy. We fall in love with you more and more every day!