This past weekend, as I was packing up the newborn, 3-month, 6-month and some 9-month clothes that you have completely outgrown, I was feeling very weepy.
My little baby Henry ... you are growing much too fast.
Within the past month, you have outgrown a size 3 diaper. Since every dirty diaper that you were producing required a complete outfit change - and often times an impromptu bath - I bumped you up to a size 4 and in doing so, marveled that it took your siblings a solid 18 months to reach a diaper size that you fill in just under five months time.
The circumference of your thighs are greater than your three year old sisters and will soon, exceed those of your older brother. You have little fat rolls on the back of your neck and your whole body, from your fingers to your toes, is absolutely squeezable.
You have dimples on your elbows and knees. And I've noticed a little dimple in your cheeks, that you probably inherited from me.
When you are nursing and awake - you love to flirt. Every so often, you'll look up and when our eyes connect, you'll laugh. Not a giggle laugh. A beautiful baby belly laugh. The kind that shakes your body and causes a little stream of milk to run down your cheek. The kind that rattles my heart and makes me want to freeze this moment in time. Forever.
When you are nursing and asleep - your little hands will splay out which tells me you are positively content. You give off deep sighs and will continue to suckle long after your feeding source has been removed.
When I pull you from the bath I cannot stop myself from smothering you head to toe in kisses. Whenever I do this, you will chortle and squeal with delight. You will also arch your back and twist which makes diapering and dressing a little more challenging.
Just two days ago, we gave you your first taste of solids. They came in the way of Nature's Best Organic Peas. For every one spoonful that I put in your mouth, two wound up all over your clothes, hands, hair and face.
I plan to expand your diet to include vegetables and rice cereal at least once a day, in addition to nursing. I've tried having your father give you expressed breast milk in a bottle, but because of your unwillingness to accept milk from anything other than me ... I've decided to send your father on our date night alone.
One day you might read this and may judge my decision to skip a date night with your dad, but the cooking class won't allow babies. And now that I've tried, I've decided I don't want for you to take a bottle. It gives me more joy than you could possibly imagine that we share such a strong bond. My days of nursing you are short-lived, although - I might extend them indefinitely since I can eat pretty much anything I want. So why do I need to mess with a good thing? For the sake of Joe-Joe's, why?
There has been more crying this month than before. It is my desire that you nap in your crib as opposed to my chest, and you are not happy, one single bit, with this decision. Some times, you will promptly fall to sleep when I put you down in a semi-drowsy state but most times, you will jerk awake and wail for a solid 30 minutes before falling asleep. Hearing you cry is pure torture for me. But I know that if you don't learn to fall asleep on your own now, it will only get more and more difficult as you grow older. Please forgive me. I'm never more than a few steps away and it takes everything I have to not run in and scoop you up. When I check on you after you have fallen asleep, it always brings a tear to my eye to see you shudder in your sleep. Learning to fall asleep on your own is by far the worst injustice you have faced while on this planet.
Your brother and sister completely crushing your baby gym is a close second.
You are doing a little better sleeping at night, but not by much. Most nights, I'll put you in your crib by no later than 8 PM. For the past few nights, you have slept soundly until 2:00 AM. Last week out of pure exhaustion, I thought maybe we'd try letting you cry and see if perhaps we couldn't break the wake-up cycle.
After you cried on and off for an hour and a half, your father ran to fetch you and I slept curled up with you in my arms for the next four hours.
Now when you cry at night, you are promptly brought in to our bed where I will nurse you, before transferring you in to the playpen at the foot of our bed.
This month, you have begun to develop a bit of stranger anxiety. Although the sight of our neighbor makes you cry, you are mesmerized by your siblings. You will watch them run and play and will laugh whenever they come over and put their faces down by yours.
They love being near you, except for when your flailing little arms or legs strike them. I have had to break up several brawls this past month because your siblings insist that you are THEIRS.
You have rolled over from tummy to back twice, have discovered your hands and are starting to reach for things.
The mass exitus of hair from my head has kicked in to high this month. There are strands of long hair all through the house that have required me to vacuum at least five times a week. I attribute this phenomenon in part to the hormonal realignment following pregnancy, but also, the fistfuls of hair that you grab whenever I pick you up.
But oh, how I love to pick you up!! Especially when you wrap your chubby little arms around my neck and suck on my face.
You are divine. You are heavenly.
You are mine and I love you completely.