The Callum Chronicle #8

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:01 pm

My little Cal-Pal,

Well, look who’s eight months.  Actually you’ve been eight months old for over a week, but the thing about having three children who are in an increasing number of evening activities means I have less and less time to sit down and write these things.  That’s yet another reason we’re done having kids.  If we had a fourth, the poor baby would barely get any documentation.  Also, you guys would have to draw straws to figure out who could go to college.

I’m doing my best to keep up with you.  The increasing quality of cell phone cameras helps.  I remember those leisurely days of Miles’s first year, which actually weren’t leisurely at all in terms of stress level.  I spent a lot of time looking at websites about what developmental milestone my baby should be reaching by whatever month and being worried about whether Miles was right on schedule (spoiler alert:  he was, mostly).  I also had more time to stage photo shoots with the DSLR when the light was coming into the bedroom just right.  Nowadays I’m much more likely to snap a quick shot of you with my phone.  The other side of that is that when you accomplish a milestone, I may or may not have a chance to look on the chart on the website, and when I do, I think, “Oh, okay, yeah, that’s about right.”  I’m certainly more busy, but I’m also way less freaked out.

That’s pretty much you.  You’re busy—we sometimes struggle to keep up with all the tasks we have to complete, but we usually get things done.  You’re also not very freaked out.  You do your thing with aplomb.

The biggest news of the month is that you have teeth.  You’ve gotten the two bottom center and two top center incisors, and you’re doing pretty well with them.  You haven’t bitten me much, and you’re fully enjoying the world of chewing.  You like to chew on magazines, other people’s fingers, toys, shoes, Dixie cups, the spoons I use to give you your food, and towels.  The one thing you won’t chew is poofs, those little snack things most babies like so much.  I keep trying to give them to you, but you just pick them up and play with them.  If one happens to end up in your mouth, you gag and hate it so much that I end up fishing it out.  I noticed that the main ingredient is rice, which is our lead suspect in what may have caused those puking incidents a couple of months ago.  I was hoping you’d outgrow that, but maybe rice just doesn’t sit well with you.

You still spit up more than I would expect a baby your age to.  Since I stopped giving you rice cereal, you haven’t had any of those big, heaving vomit sessions (thank goodness; those were nasty).  Still, you don’t hold your stomach contents very well.  I hope you get over that soon, because I’m tired of always smelling vaguely of rotten milk.

You’ve made big progress in the locomotion arena.  While you don’t yet meet the textbook definition of crawling, you’re an accomplished roller and scootcher.  For a while there you were doing this funny thing where you’d lie on your back and push off from your heels.  It looked really cute, but you got a rug burn on the back of your neck.  Now you usually prefer to do a more traditional tummy-down scootch, pulling yourself on your forearms and pushing off with your toes.  We’re going to have to get you some shoes soon, because it won’t be long before you’re ready to do some walking.

Speaking of walking, now that Tobin is back in preschool in the mornings, we’ve been able to resume our long morning walks.  Technically I’m the only one walking, since you ride in the stroller, but it’s a much more pleasurable form of exercise than running on the treadmill.  You usually either look at the scenery contentedly or sleep, both of which are a nice way to spend an hour or so together in the morning.

You are pretty accustomed to being hauled around.  You still have a very sweet, calm personality, which is very useful, because getting done all the things we need to get done would be a whole lot harder if you were being a jerk.  You still get crabby in the evenings, which is hard because that’s exactly when I need to be helping your brothers with homework and piano practice and bedtime prep.  Normally you’re fine with anyone holding you, but you consistently reject your dad at those times.  I know you love him.  You always get a huge, excited grin on your face when you see him through the window walking toward our house from the bus stop.  You definitely know your brothers, too.  They can both make you smile and laugh more than anyone.  Sometimes Tobin gets a little too rough with you, by my estimation, and I tell him to cool it.  “But he likes it!” Tobin says, and I have to admit, you’re never as upset about Tobin’s squeezes and man-handles as I am.

I recently had the opportunity to take a part-time job.  The place looking to hire me was willing to be very flexible, including letting me bring you to the office because we don’t have any child care lined up.  It was tempting—I do plan to have some kind of employment again one day, and the extra income would have been nice.  I hemmed and hawed about it for a while, but in the end, I decided it just wasn’t worth the stress it would bring to our family.  I really like being able to dedicate my mornings to you, and I don’t feel like I have the kind of free time during the afternoons to do the remote work I would have needed to.  In the end I declined, and I feel good about that for the time being.  Money will come, a job will come, but you’re not going to be my little guy for very long.

Thanks for all you do for me, sweet Callum.  May you have a respite from teething, a respite from snotty noses, and an anti-respite from being your friendly, funny, laid-back self.



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