It’s nice that so far, I don’t have to do any math to figure out how many months old you are. You’re still my sweet little boy whose months are countable on one hand.
You’re doing the normal things babies do, which are wonderful: cooing and gurgling, smiling at me and your dad and your brother, pooping and peeing a lot, and growing. You weigh almost 12 pounds now, which seems gigantic to me, but it’s just 60th percentile. You’re still a good sleeper, reliably giving me 3- and 4-hour stretches of sleep each night. As I told your dad this evening as we tag-teamed walking around a restaurant with you while the other ate, I can forgive a lot because of that sleep you let me have.
You’re still a pretty sweet-natured guy. You do have a grumpy period most evenings, which coincided with our dinner at Mekong tonight, but overall you’re full of sunshine. Our mornings together are so nice. You don’t mind diaper changes at all—in fact you seem to enjoy the fresh breezes. In the morning, when your brother is at preschool, I often let you linger on the changing table while I hover over you, saying silly things and making silly faces. You always blast me with smiles, and the other day I swear you mimicked me when I said, “I love you.” It sounded like “I uh oo,” and I know I’m delusional, but I still liked it.
You’re starting to have favorites and express your preference for them. You like this weird t-shirt your Uncle Tyler gave your daddy, which I wore the other day. It’s black with a lot of white designs on it, and it really attracted your attention. You’re also starting to enjoy the kid art on the nursery walls, and you still like to look at the grown-up art on the living room walls. You’ve learned to sit up in the Bumbo chair for short times.
You really enjoy long walks in the stroller. We’ve had a lovely fall, so you and I have walked a lot. We often walk to pick up your brother at school, and people always remark on how calm and sweet you are. I just smile and say, “Yes, he sure is.”
You do have your moments sometimes, mostly at night while your dad is trying desperately to keep you calm while I’m putting your brother to bed or getting some sleep myself. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the sure-fire Tobin-pleasers that I do (I store them in my shirt). Sometimes Miles and I hear some pretty funny things up through the vents. Your daddy sings some really crazy, loud songs. His effort is truly impressive.
You like to be held, which probably all babies do, but I don’t have the kind of free time to just sit around cuddling you like you’d prefer. Thus, you spend a lot of time in the Baby Bjorn, which works pretty well. The other night, Miles got really excited about the University of Iowa Homecoming parade. That’s not the kind of thing your dad or or I would typically have any desire to attend, but having kids means feigning interest in a lot of things (see also: Spongebob Squarepants). We decided to take the bus to avoid all the insane traffic and parking issues. That was great in theory, but the bus was half an hour late, and everybody except you was getting antsy. Finally it arrived, and we made our way downtown. We stood around and watched enough of the parade that your brother was satisfied, then we got some dinner and took the bus back home. You snuggled and snoozed in the Bjorn almost the whole time. You only got cranky once, very briefly, and my magical calming powers settled you right down.
I would like to once again state how awesome breastfeeding is. I understand that some women can’t make it work, mostly because of how unsupportive so many workplaces are, but man do I think it’s great. I love the fact that I can make your trajectory go happy-happy-happy-grumpy-fed-happy-happy no matter where we are, without having to carry any supplies, heat anything up, or clean anything afterward. The long-range benefits for both of us are important too, but right now, it’s the convenience that’s making me very happy.
You may have noticed that this is getting published 2 days late. I’m afraid that’s going to happen more and more often as the months progress. I just don’t have the time to sit down and write these things uninterrupted anymore, so I have to do them in several short bursts. That might also take its toll on the narrative continuity. If it makes you feel any better, I’m sure your brother’s memos will suffer the same fate. My goal is blog every month for each of your first five years. Then, once you and your brother are both in school, maybe I’ll have time and energy to think about some other things and perhaps even blog about them.
In the meantime, you’re pretty great subject matter. Keep on learning and growing, little Tobin. I can’t wait to find out how your story unfolds.