I think Thomas has hit the cutest baby stage.
But I thought that last month, too. I thought, “No way this baby could get more adorable IT IS NOT POSSIBLE!”
But then he nuzzled his head under my chin and giggled as if to say, “You thought I was cute before? Watch this, Ma!”
He is all smiles, laughs, cuddles, slobber and chub. All of that, plus he doesn’t scream the whole way to preschool because the reflection off the other cars is too bright for his sensitive, princess eyes. Adorable.
Thomas is starting to fall into a schedule. Or, he would if I wasn’t always dragging him to the park or a playdate. Thomas is laid back about all these schedule interruptions. When we are home and he seems a little on edge, I look at the clock and wonder, “Maybe he needs a nap?”
But, really, your guess is as good as mine, and looking at the clock is only a reflex because I have no idea when he last ate or slept or checked his Instagram account.
So when he fusses I put him down and if that doesn’t work I maybe try to feed him and if that doesn’t work I reheat my coffee, and if that doesn’t work I do a quick Google search to find out whether Blake Shelton just divorced Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert. And by then it’s time to broker a peace deal between Mary Virginia and David, who cannot seem to sit on the couch at the same time without touching each other with at least one annoying little sister toe.
And by then it’s time to try a nap again.
So, no, he’s not actually on a schedule.
He’s also not sleeping through the night, either, thanks for asking, and thanks for telling me about your child who is sleeping through the night, we’re doing just fine, yes, thank you.
In fact, Thomas is sleeping worse than he was a few months ago. He wakes up at least twice, but usually three times. He eats like it’s his last meal, then goes straight back to sleep. It’s fine. Because if I’ve learned anything in the past four years it’s that even the worst sleeper will eventually sleep.
Thomas isn’t sleeping, but he is laughing. He has the greatest, fullest laugh. The best thing about it is how easy it is to get him to dissolve into a ball of giggles. He is ticklish on every part of his body, and he thinks I’m the most hilarious person in the world.
But the thing is, I’m not funny. All I have to do is lift my eyebrows or make a bizarre noise, or look at him and say “HI THOMAS!” And he cannot handle it. And I am a person who does not need to be egged on. All I need is one laugh and suddenly I’m the chick at the party who’s telling the same story, just a little louder this time, even though only one person is laughing, and everyone else is glaring at that person like, DO NOT ENCOURAGE HER!
That’s Thomas. He’s the guy who laughs at all my jokes.
Thomas is getting much better at grabbing toys and playing with them. It still takes his full concentration, absolute quiet and extreme focus.
Then as soon as he finally gets his teddy bear’s foot in his mouth, Mary Virginia walks by and snatches it, saying, “No, Thomas! Mommy! Thomas was eating the bear! We don’t eat bears! Silly Thomas!”
Thomas finally, finally rolled this month. I’ve been waiting impatiently for him to accomplish this milestone. My older two kids both rolled when they were three months, and so when Thomas turned three months, and then four months, I felt on edge.
I talked to the doctor about it on his 4-month check up and he said that only 50 percent of babies roll by three months, and that Thomas was perfectly fine so don’t worry, Mama.
But I worried.
We do a lot of tummy time. In fact, we do so much tummy time that Mary Virginia even makes her dolls do tummy time. We do so much tummy time that David came up with a tummy time nickname for Thomas — Tummy Tommy!
He still didn’t roll and I reminded myself that all kids are different, and I tried to remember what the doctor said and I tried to remember that Thomas is just chubby and content — which he is. But not once did I think, “This is ok. This is just another reminder to trust God with this baby. This baby who He formed in His own image and breathed life into and counted the hairs on his head. This baby who God loves.
And then he rolled! Just a few days before he turned five months. I exhaled for just a moment, texted Tom, and then I tried to get him to roll again. Which he didn’t. How fickle am I? It wasn’t enough for him to achieve the milestone, I wanted him to roll over, perform a Grande Jeté and then make a quick run to Starbucks to get Mama a Frappuccino.
This month we will continue to practice rolling, and we will use tummy time as a chance for Thomas to strengthen his arms, neck and back, and for me to remember that God has a plan for my baby boy.
I almost don’t want to write this here because I don’t want to be misunderstood. Not by you, not by anyone. But here goes anyway: My time with you in the middle of the night is, perhaps, my favorite time of day.
See, there you go, you’re reading into it. You think I’m implying that I want you to keep waking up. You think I’m implying that I’m not desperate for you to sleep through the night. I do, I want sleep, but in the meantime, while you’re still waking up, it’s the sweetest time of day.
It’s the only time that we aren’t distracted and I can just hold you, just you. And you grasp my finger and I make sure your foot still fits perfectly in my hand. When you’re done eating and I hold you up to pat your back, and you rest your sleepy head on my shoulder. I hold you for just a bit longer before I put you in bed because you don’t do that anymore — fall asleep on my shoulder. No, that phase is already gone. You’re much too big to sleep in Mommy’s arms. You’re on to much bigger things, like rolling, and playing with toys.
I’m enjoying those quiet, sleepy moments together — just you and me.
But if you decide to start sleeping more it’s totally fine; I’ll figure something out.