David is four months old today.
After spending so much time waiting and wishing for the big three month milestone, it seems four months came in a flash. Is this what moms talk about when they say babies grow up too fast?
Or maybe it’s just the Christmas season. Yes, that must be it.
He’s certainly growing with wild abandon. He now weighs in at 17lbs and 10oz, putting him squarely in the heavyweight division for babies. At this rate he will weigh 300 pounds when he is 10 years old.
The nurse said, “Well, it looks like we have a little linebacker on our hands.”
It was nice and all, but we all know the outlook for David’s career as a linebacker isn’t good.
This is what happened last time mommy tried to play football.
This past month has been a personality explosion. He laughs and smiles and wants to be in the center of the action. His best days are when there are lots of people around and interesting places to go. It seems we have a little extrovert on our hands. Yesterday the doctor told us that his sleep problems were more temperament than physical. He doesn’t necessarily need to eat, he just wants to hang out with mommy. I’m flattered, really. No one has ever wanted to hang out with me so much they started screaming from the other room. The doctor told us that, when we’re ready, we can start sleep training. Cue the funeral dirge.
In addition to rolling, he’s grabbing things now. But he’s still not very good at it, so it’s more “Look how sweet! The baby’s grabbing Daddy’s iPhone” than “STOP THAT BABY! He just broke the TV and set the house on fire with his grip!”
He grabs toys or mommy’s hands and slowly brings them to his mouth. As soon as he has something in his grip he opens his mouth and every ounce of focus he can muster is funneled into trying to get the object into his mouth. Usually he misses, though, and ends up sucking his own fist. While he’s nursing he reaches up and feels my face, exploring my mouth, nose and chin. He’s a multitask-er.
He’s also stopped doing some things. He used to stretch constantly. Before sleep, after sleep. While nursing, while playing. He was a stretching fool. But he doesn’t stretch quite so much anymore.
I took this stretching photo a full month ago, back when he was a baby.
Looking at his “old” photos already sort of freaks me out.
How did this happen? Where did this big boy come from?
The drool has reached an unmanageable level. When we went to Smith Mountain Lake we just held him over the water every morning to get the water level back up to full pond.
David looooves experimenting with his vocal chords. He went through a coughing phase, but gave that up when he discovered the joys of grunting. This is different from the newborn grunt. This is more deliberate and forceful. When the grunt doesn’t get him what he wants, he’s learned turn his body into a plank and hold his breath until he turns bright red WHILE he grunts. Charming.
Every evening I put him in his bouncy seat in the kitchen while I make dinner. This entertains him for about 4 minutes; that’s when he starts the “mom this is sooooo BORING” grunts. Usually I also have music playing in the background. Music I like, not the kitty-bunny-sunshine song his seat plays. So one day the stars aligned. By that I mean: David started grunting and Mariah Carey’s “Always be my Baby” started playing. I did what any self-respecting parent would do…I danced.
And guess what?
David loved it.
So now we dance everyday. I thought it was just the dancing he liked, but my baby has preferences. He did NOT like my interpretation of “Bodies” by Smashing Pumpkins, but he is all about Jimmy Eat World’s “Praise Chorus” and Miley Cyrus’s Hoedown Throwdown. (I have never regretted learning that dance for my wedding. It is the gift that keeps on giving.)
I’m the first to admit: I look like a crazy person. Most of my dancing involves snapping and twirling and throwing my hands in the air. When Tom gets involved we really look insane. But David loves it, he laughs and grins and wiggles his whole body with excitement.
And when daddy plays guitar? It’s all over when daddy plays guitar because David CANNOT imagine anything more amazing. Daddy? Music? Come on, mommy! Start dancing, let’s make this a party!
Yesterday David got his four-month check-up, which included another round of vaccines. Last time he got vaccines he spent all day in bed. This time he slept for a while, woke up to socialize (Lindsay, Steve and cousin Caleb came for dinner. He could NOT miss the fun) and then started screaming. He screamed for an hour. It was the kind of scream where he gets purple and we start to worry that his ears are going to pop off and face is going to turn inside out.
We played guitar, sang, tried to nurse, and eventually I just held him and rocked him until he fell asleep.
It was a new milestone for me as a mommy. I didn’t feel annoyed or exasperated holding my screaming baby. He was in pain, and there was nothing I would rather do than hold him, sing to him, and help him know everything would be ok.
I can’t believe how fast you’re growing. Suddenly I feel like I need to memorize everything about you. The way your foot fits in my hand, your chubby thighs and cheeks, the fuzz on your sweet bald head, your grip on my finger.
You’re four months old but it feels like you were born eight years ago. I don’t even remember what my life was like before you.
When you’re crying or sad or hurting, like you were last night, I’ll always hold you and rock you and even dance like a maniac if it helps. Because you’re my little doodlebug, and mommy still has a few dance moves you haven’t seen.