Oh my sweet boy,
How many times this past month have I hugged you tight and memorized your wild giggles and squishy cheeks? So many. So many times.
I feel like each month we settle into our new normal more than the month before and I just can’t get enough of you. The other day I was snuggling with you, singing our favorite song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, and actually teared up thinking that someday you’re going to go to school, then college, get married, have children of your own. The reality that you’re not always going to be my little baby is so harsh and I’m absolutely treasuring these days with you right now, my little one.
You’re growing right along at your own pace. You move to the beat of your own drum and we love that. You are sitting on your own quite solidly and your grandma says you are like your great grandma “Candy Grandma”, who always sat with a straight spine even when she was 98 years old. You’re not making any moves to crawl or stand up, but I know you’ll do that on your own time as well.
You recently started kissing. And by “kissing”, I mean a very sloppy, open-mouthed mess. Of course, I’m your mama so I have to say that it’s wonderful, but if I’m real, the wetness kind of grosses me out. (Three things I’ll never get used to: snot, poop, and slobber. Bodily fluids aren’t my strong point.) But the part that I love is that you take my face between your little hands. It’s so sweet, those chubby little fingers on my cheeks.
You love to sleep on your side with your little hands tucked under your head. It’s the sweetest thing and if your room wasn’t so dark, I’d have an entire book dedicated to your sweet sleeping face. (You’re welcome I don’t because also that would be creepy.)
Your favorite time of the day (and mine too) is when Daddy comes home from work. Your face lights up like the Eiffel Tower at night and your smile fills the room. I love how expressive you are with your joy. You become so animated and [very, very] talkative. You love when he lays down on the floor next to you and you grab his hair (or ears) with both hands and just talk and talk.
The same thing happens at bedtime. You’ll nearly fall asleep when you’re drinking your bottle, but then we take you upstairs and you perk up, kicking and laughing and smiling and jabbering. I can’t tell if you’re just that excited about going to bed or if you just have one last rush of energy and happiness to work off. Regardless, you’re so adorable and it makes us laugh every night.
You had your first 4th of July this month and it was very anti-climactic. The only thing that made it a different day for you was that we all walked to the city park for a picnic in the evening. You ate your pureed vegetables and we ate a greasy funnel cake. We got home in time for bath and bed and then while you slept peacefully through the booming, your daddy and I roasted marshmallows for s’mores outside and watched the fireworks. Maybe next year, child.
I have always had a thing for English grammar so it shouldn’t have surprised me to realize just a few weeks ago that I never refer to myself in the third person, thus meaning that even though I know I’m your mama and you know I’m your mama, you don’t know to call me “mama”. You only hear me talk about myself as “I” or “me”. I’ve been trying really hard to say things like, “Mama loves you.” and “Look at mama.” but it feels so weird to say that! I’ve never been big into baby talk and this feels like major baby talk to me so it’s hard for me to make myself say it even though I want you to learn to say “mama”. Usually the only time I remember to use third-person is when I’m laying you down in your crib and I’ll say, “I love you…I mean, mama loves you. Mama, that’s me.” And then it usually just gets frustrating so I kiss you goodnight and let you fall asleep knowing that someone loves you, whether first- or third-person.
I’m a typical first-time parent in that I’m super paranoid about you choking on food. I know that you can chew things up with your strong little gums (no teeth yet), but I’m still terrified. I joked the other day that I’ll still be feeding you pureed foods when you’re twelve. Or was it a joke??? I discovered that you love fruit, specifically honeydew and watermelon. The watermelon is soft enough that I can give you small pieces of that, but the honeydew is (in my opinion) harder to chew. You throw a little tiny fit though if I take it away from you and don’t let you chew down an entire slice. My remedy was to get those little mesh bags that look kind of like a pacifier and put the fruit in there and let you chew away on it. The only problem, which I hadn’t thought of beforehand, is that the mesh has it’s own interesting texture so it’s hard for you to get past the mesh to realize that your favorite fruit is inside. It took only a couple of tries before you understood the sippy cup and, for the record, water is your favorite thing in the world. You currently think it’s candy.
You had your first fever just a few days ago. We’ve been blessed with health and we are so very grateful for that! Last Friday all was normal and fine until I woke you up at 4:30 like usual from your afternoon nap. You typically stretch and smile when you wake up, happy as a little lark. But when I woke you up, you seemed confused and when I picked you up, you started sobbing. You were hot to the touch and I thought maybe, just maybe you were extra warm and cozy from your nap. I gave you your bottle and you hardly drank any of it, then threw up most of the little bit you drank. I took your temperature and it was somewhere over 101. I tried giving you Tylenol, but you gagged and threw that up before it even hit your throat. Of course, by this time, it was 5:01 and the doctor’s office was closed. You hadn’t stopped crying yet and I was feeling anxious going into the weekend with a sick little miserable boy. Also, since I had never had to deal with this before, I felt so inadequately prepared and had no idea what to do. I ended up taking you to urgent care. Your one ear was showing slight pinkness, but since your fever hadn’t been around for long and there was no strong infection (and the doctor clearly thought I was over-reacting, bless his heart), we were sent home with instructions to give you ibuprofen and wait it out (while watching for dehydration). Because of your gag reflux to the medicine, I learned a little trick to get you to swallow it; put a little on the inside of your cheek and then blow gently and quickly on your face. It forces you to take a breath and swallow. Worked like a charm and within an hour, your temperature had dropped and you were—while still a little fussy—clearly feeling better. By the next morning, you were absolutely back to your cheery little self and we were so thankful to see your smiling and jabbering again.
The pool, oh man, we have conquered the pool. I bought an inflatable pool for the patio and it’s the easiest, quickest thing to plop you in there for some fun when it’s hot out. I learned from the previous/first experience to put hot water in there (or, now that it’s 102 outside, just let the water heat up all morning in the sun) and that has resolved your shrieking over the ice water. We have also made several trips to the public pool which brings about it’s own set of fun. It’s a lot of work (for me, not you) to get everything organized, haul all the stuff in, set up camp, and splash in the water, but it’s worth it because a) I get to hang out with my friends, b) you get to hang out with your friends, and c) you especially like when I take you into the deeper water and you feel that weightlessness as I’m helping you float around or, better yet, jump.
I’m absolutely loving all of these experiences with you, Henry. People always say the cliche, “treasure these moments; they go so fast” and I can honestly say that I am treasuring the moments. They are already going so fast, but I’m not taking the days for granted.
You are my favorite little boy. I’ll love you always and forever. I read once that children don’t have to do anything to deserve love—in fact, most of the time, they are hard work and require a lot of patience and it’s exhausting and frustrating—but the beautiful thing about a parent-child relationship is that nothing is required of the child. All you have to do is show up. You are born, and therefore, you are loved.
I love you, my little Henry Pie.