Holy crap, little boy, you’re point-five.
It’s a hot, sunny morning in July, very different from the horrible winter into which you were born. You’re asleep, which is pretty great; everybody’s been sleeping better now that you’re in your crib. The whole “through the night” thing is still iffy, but we’re working on it, and one of these nights you’re just going to have to cry for a while.
I’d prefer not to think about that. It’s going to require some fortitude, possibly some sort of grain alcohol (for me, not you; what kind of mother do you think I am?), and maybe a set of earplugs. Which I would wear in my sleeping bag. In a tent in the backyard. Someone else’s backyard, across town. I’m sure your dad can handle any emergencies that might arise. I just can’t stand the thought of my baby crying for me and denying him some Mommy Love.
Mommy Love is what we call it when you’re just plain sad about something and the only thing that will work is for me to pick you up and hold you on my shoulder. You snuggle in for a bit, and when you start to feel better, you pick your head up and slowly acclimate to being a regular guy again.
One piece of bad news: if regular guys crawl, you may never be regular. We thought you were really making progress in that area; when we put you on your tummy, you’d wiggle and scootch and really try to move forward. That is, until a few days ago, when you discovered the delight of rolling over. I’m glad you’ve made it to that milestone, plus it’s really cute to see you flopping around like a little pink fish, but now it’s all you want to do as soon as you get onto your tummy. Unless you learn to crawl on your back, which would be very weird and reminds me of that scene from the version of The Exorcist they re-released some years ago where Regan scrambles down the stairs in a crabwalk, you’re going to have to rediscover the love of the tummy.
Maybe you don’t like being on your tummy lately because it’s so full. We started you on solids, and that’s been quite an adventure. You’ve had rice cereal, peas, and bananas so far; I also picked up some organic, unsweetened applesauce, green beans, and a sweet potato for you to try down the road. The biggest challenge there is keeping up with the dishes. You seem to think that the spoon actually generates the food, because you grab it out of my hand, stuff it into your mouth, and won’t let go. One time you shoved it in so far that you gagged yourself, which sent a giant cascade of milk and pea purée all over the place. It reminded me of your Uncle Tyler’s childhood response to green beans. Let’s hope you take those a little better.
You’ve been just plain fun to be around lately. You laugh all the time, you don’t cry much, and you’re doing all kinds of hilarious things, most of which involve shoving stuff in your mouth. We knew you were ready for food because you couldn’t keep you hands off our items at the table. Sometimes we let you have sips of water out of our glasses, which you like, even when icy cold water splashes down your front. This is the advantage to you reaching this age during warm weather: there’s no big rush to get you changed. You just happily bounce around until you dry out.
I would be remiss not to mention the Floods of ’08, which happened during your sixth month. Iowa City and other parts of Iowa were severely damaged by rivers and reservoirs overflowing their banks. We were lucky that our home and neighborhood weren’t affected, but many homes and businesses were destroyed. We spent the worst of it in Ames at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house, mostly to not be a strain on the already taxed Iowa City resources. Unfortunately, MSG were already scheduled to go on vacation that week, so we didn’t see them as much as we would have under other circumstances. We still had fun, though, swinging in their hammock and playing in their cool back yard.
Yes, you are getting more advanced by the day. Sometimes I look at you and I can see a glimpse of the kid you’re going to become. We went to a Fourth of July party that had lots of kids running around, and it wasn’t too hard to imagine you being one of them in not too long. You’ll have skinned knees and rumpled hair and your little cheeks will be sticky with s’more goop. I’m excited to hear what you have to say about the world.
I do miss sleeping with you, though. Yesterday morning you were getting ready for your nap, and instead of putting you in your crib, we went into the guest bedroom and I cuddled up next to you. I thought we could have a mommy/Miles snooze, just like old times. I lay on my left side and you were on your right side, facing me. We both had our legs curled up, so you slipped right into the little pocket of my lap. I wasn’t all that sleepy, so I just watched your eyeballs dart around in REM sleep and wondered what was going on in your dreams.
Then you kicked me in the stomach. It was like being reverse-pregnant—so well I remember those same little feet and knees slamming around in my ribs and belly. But unlike six months ago, this time I could kiss you, stand up, and let you nap on your own like a big boy.
Well, maybe like a very tiny big boy.