Friday, April 6, 2012

5 months

 Dear Torbjørn,

The cliché is hard to avoid. Time passes so quickly! I can't believe you are already 5 months old. And yet, it seems you've always been here, part of our family, making us laugh and wonder at your antics. I delight in the new 5 month old you and mourn the 2 month old you I can hardly remember. Babies keep us tethered to the hear and the now, no matter how hard we try to record and remember the past moments.

This month you have become a social creature. You love to keep an eye on the world from your vantage over my left shoulder, flirting with strangers and friends, flashing them your stunning gummy grin. Your open, curious, delighted glance catches the attention of your would-be baby consort, but it's your sparkly cerulean eyes that reel them in. They are like wells of life-giving water for drought-stricken souls (especially mine). Oh, the delights of a baby! Pudgy, sweet, unconditional charms that regularly veer us off a productivity track and into the timeless, dreamy wonderland of the here and now.

Making friends at the park

These days we can reliably make you laugh and anticipate what will make you cry. Your Ba can make you laugh just by being in the room. There is something you find inherently ridiculous about your dear Papa. Is it the beard? The glasses? The goofy expressions? The chicken jokes? The silly songs? Your big brother can get you going into full-body ecstasies of giggles like no one else can. You delight in his presence and give him big smiley love when he comes into view. 

You seem to be officially past the colicky, nonspecific crying of your first 3 months and it's such a relief for all of us, but I imagine especially for you. You've been off and on teething for the past several weeks, producing gallons of high quality drool, and you find it most unpleasant. But your teething crying is a more pointed, fretting sort of cry. It's specific and communicative in a way that the colicky business just wasn't. Because the crying has changed, I wonder if your experience of the pain has also changed. Is it because you now have some sense of time? You know it won't last forever? Is your pain more specific and less generalized than it used to be? It is less intense? The mysteries of the baby mind I will never know! However, on the subject of crying, you've hung on to the habit of crying yourself to sleep for nearly every nap and frequently at night, too. I don't get it, but I'm hoping you'll grow out of that like the colic. It seems like an exhausting way to put yourself to sleep. 

You've developed more hand-eye coordination this month. You used to wave your hand in front of your face and wait until your movement brought hands in chomping distance of your mouth before you could commence finger or thumb sucking (a favorite pastime). But now you can deliberately put your own fingers or thumbs in your mouth nearly any time you want. You still practice daily "baby foo" hand meditation and all the hard work seems to be paying off. You're also getting more sophisticated with your baby gym toy. You grab the rings and bat at the gymnast figurine with new deliberation. On occasion, you hold onto a graspable object or toy for a short while, but you don't have use for toys yet. I suspect that is coming soon. My favorite hand-eye trick is when you knit with me. You sit in my lap and grab the yarn, shaking it furiously up and down and side to side, inevitably getting us both into a tangled mess.

You've now officially found your feet. In the evenings when I'm getting you dressed for bed (still your favorite time of day), you roll your hips straight up toward the ceiling, heft the sizable weight of your chubby legs into the air, and use your capable fingers to grab your toes. Sometimes in the excitement of grabbing your toes, the curve of your back makes you roll to one side and I see a preview of your upcoming talent of rolling over. The feet-grabbing trick makes you squeal with pure delight, which causes your brother to come running up the stairs and I see you cock your head and perk your ears in anticipation, and this — the anticipation — is really one of your best tricks so far. I imagine I'm peering through a window to your developing brain; you can now remember experiences and start to have expectations. And, so far, because your life is good, anticipation is delicious and your whole face glows, your body tense with the expectation of wonderfulness.

We've gotten a little better this month at predicting when you need to go potty. Poops are frequently preceded by noisy farting. Pee is announced with squawks of discomfort. We still change lots of soiled diapers, but we're getting a little better at getting more of your potty business in the potty. Yay team!

Potty with a view

You are a dedicated observer of your world, and especially the people in it. You've been watching carefully when we eat. I suspect you're noticing interesting smells and appear to think it's fascinating all this stuff we're always putting in our mouths, but you don't seem to have the slightest interest in putting that same stuff in your mouth yet. So far, your own fingers and hands satisfy your baby appetites for chewing and milk is your only desire for food. Your observation skills are especially tuned toward people. The other day at our house, James was 15 feet across the room in the middle of a project when we arrived. He hadn't yet looked toward us, but amongst all the visual clutter of the room you zeroed in on his person-ness and watched him carefully. When he finally turned around, your face lit up and you smiled and flirted, trying to catch his attention. Clever boy. Your ploys were a success and he was smitten.

Sharing secrets at the ski resort

We, your family, are so in love with you, little boy. We can't get enough of your giggles, your funny expressions, your surprise, your yummy chubby limbs, your smooth soft skin, your intoxicating smell. We are all head over heels.

Your Mama

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