What an amazing age our little J has reached! We are past many of the major milestones that spring from a tiny, precious wrinkled infant to a wriggling baby investigating all with his mouth. Our son is surprising us in other ways; I’ll begin by sharing the “macro” changes, then, the “micro” changes, the little things only my husband and I know from spending so many hours watching in awe and wonder.
Anyone within a 50 miles radius of our home is certainly familiar with his recent battle cries. He has discovered his voice, its many ranges and its (shocking) volume potential. Still charming us with his little baby coos, chirps, raspberries and squeals, he can also let loose with some wild screams, varying from Lord of the Flies-warrior, to nails on the chalkboard, to an uproarious yet congenial, “eh!”, most ending with a proud, satisfied smile. My personal favorite, however, is his “mum mum mum mum mum” babble.
We continue to be surprised with his easy-going attitude towards solids. He has now welcomed peas to his repertoire, but has bid adieu to peaches, which give him rashes and gas—a bad combination. I’ve been trying a couple of different concoctions. (See “Baby Custard”, left.) He is so very open to whatever we give him, that he seems to grow right before our eyes. Our little baby, only seven pounds when he was born almost 7.75 months ago, is constantly mistaken for a year-old. He’s tall, he’s solid, he’s a BIG boy!
He is still ready with a smile for most any smiling stranger. He questions the presence of some males, but is always pleased to meet the ladies.
He hasn’t performed what one may describe as the classic “crawl”, but he does rock back and forth on his hands and knees, and he can inchworm his way around to get to the places he thinks he should go. He can, however, stand with all his weight on his legs for long periods of time. We’re so proud of him!
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The little things: our son has the most unusual, charming little means of exploration. Given something new to touch and discover, he will make a little fist, and gently stroke it with the very edge of his thumb. Weird. But so tender and cute! Past the days of just grabbing and grasping, Baby J likes to investigate on the minute level, experiencing an exact part of this big world with just the edge of his thumb. Those items that meet with his approval are then strummed like a guitar.
As everyone knows, when a child is given a new toy, the box it came in proves most intriguing. True to form, our baby loves the tags of his stuffed animals—yes, the tag—the white piece of fabric with plain Helvetica text about material content and manufacturing origin. Certainly, it melts our hearts to watch him hug Kittycat, Glacier or Terrence close at naptime, but truly, the tags are what matter.
Daddy Joseph’s appearance home from work each day is rewarded with a huge smile and joyful kicking of legs. An endless source of entertainment for our son, he makes Baby J laugh and laugh. I love to see them play together and enjoy one another so much.
Getting close to eight months, most babies go through issues with separation. Certainly, Baby J doesn’t like to be put down, he refuses to go to his crib at night, and would be thrilled if I would hold and carry him all hours of the day (did I mention how heavy he’s gotten?) When played with and entertained by our friends and family, however, I love the intimacy in our shared gazes to one another, each of us going about our business separately, but keeping an eye out, exchanging glances. Daddy Joseph noticed that he shares that bond with, of all family members, the cat. Yesterday, he caught Baby J smiling at our kitty, and the cat, issuing a silent meow in return.
Sweetest of all, the very thing that brings a smile to lips in the wee, wee hours, are his little hands, outstretched on either side, one resting on the cheek of Daddy, and the other on my shoulder, we three connected. The word “family” becomes reinvented in my heart and mind, and I thank God for giving me more than I could ever hope for or deserve.