Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Baby James: Seven Months

My darling boy,

You are seven months old little man, and you are a delightful, challenging bundle of mercurial moods.  You weigh in at 17 lb, 3 oz. and are cruising the 25th percentile line nicely. This past week has been especially challenging as you've picked up a doozy of a cold.  You spent a few days emitting a piercing squeal that would put the shrieking eels to shame, and then suddenly all that came out of your mouth in that register was a breathy kind of squeak.  I was relieved at the respite until I realised that you may simply have lost your voice and these squeals could return at any moment.  I live in fear, my boy, because those shrieks are truly horrible.  The one thing that staved them off was putting you in the carrier, calling to mind your early months when I held you pretty much all your waking moments.  Fortunately, given your growing weight, we have perfected the back carry and you are remarkably content back there while I get on with my day, doing household chores and chasing after your sister.

The illness messed with your sleep as well, causing you to wake about once every 60-90 minutes and sometimes you won't even be pacified by the magic boobs.  This is a new and disturbing pattern for a boy that has always liked his sleep and hardly ever kept me awake in the night for more than a few minutes, even if you have always woken several times overnight.

But as ever, your charming grin is always lurking, ready to appear for anyone stopping by to say hello.  And I can pretty much forgive you anything when you flash that smile.  You reserve your best giggles for your sister, whom you adore and find hilarious. She comes up to you and places her face inches from yours, then says your name over and over in as many different tones and volumes as she can think of and you laugh and laugh.  Sometimes she combines this little trick with a cuddle that looks an awful lot like squashing, and yet you chuckle away, endlessly amused and not at all bothered.  There is nothing funnier to you than watching your sister walk down the stairs behind us, but pretty much any attention she pays you absolutely makes your day.

This month you began your adventure with food, as per the guidelines of those in the know. I was not looking forward to this, though having already raised one extremely picky eater, I thought I knew the pitfalls and hoped to have a more adventurous gastrophile this time.  Boy, was I wrong.  After the first couple days it was clear you had no interest and so we left it for another 10 days or so and tried again.  This time you were quite happy to chomp on toast, breadsticks, rice cakes, or french fries and either just about tolerate or gobble up baby cereal and apple and pear puree, depending on your mood.  But you do. not. like. vegetables.  You make this abundantly clear by puking up anything you don't like the taste of.  I steamed some carrots for you to try and feed yourself, and you visibly flinched each time you brought one to your lips, and thereon it will not pass. Sigh.

Your other big accomplishment this month, by the skin of your not-yet-visible teeth, was rolling over back to front.  You managed it for the first time the day before you turned seven months.  I put you on your play mat and left the room, so I wasn't even there to see it.  The next day you dialed in the rolling thing and did it like you've been rolling your whole life.  I put you on your change mat and left the room for a new nappy, returning not 30 seconds later to find you were completely missing.  It was utterly disconcerting.  Turns out you had rolled across the floor and tucked yourself up by the sofa.  Oh well, we had a nice long run of time when I could put you down and expect you to stay where I left you.  But in the entire parenting journey, nothing stays the same but change and it is my job to celebrate these accomplishments that represent the steps you will constantly, incrementally, inexorably take to move away from me over the next couple of decades, even if each one breaks my heart a little.

These days are flying by, and I reach the end of them absolutely exhausted, breathing a sigh of relief that we have all made it through another one largely intact.  However, I have realised that nothing quite crystalises how quickly these baby days pass than experiencing them for the final time.  You will always be my baby, little one, but you won't be a baby for much longer.  Your infancy will pass in the space of a breath, in the moment of a sigh, and it's the quiet moments that I try hardest to capture and keep in my heart forever.  Because when you're sleeping, one could be forgiven for believing you an angel.

I love you with all my heart,