To commemorate your five months of life, I’ve made a list of my five favorite things from this month. It was difficult to choose just five, since there are probably five things every day that I don’t want to forget. Like the morning that I picked you up out of bed and, I swear, your hair and eyelashes had turned brown overnight; the time you rolled over (which is still the only time) and only daddy got to see it; the day you started reaching straight up for things like your activity gym or the toys on your car seat, first grabbing and shaking them and then looking for the one with the tag to pinch and pull into your mouth; the evening you started grabbing your feet, albeit rather unenthusiastically, as if trying to show me that this really isn’t a big deal; the morning I walked into your room and you had twisted around onto your side and into a backbend so you could watch the doorway; the day that we were leaving a coffee date and a friendly dog licked your toes for the first time and your face lit up and I looked at you and thought, yes, just like mama.
One tooth has made its grand entrance, and I think the second is close behind. You’ve been working on those teeth for so long that the appearance was pretty exciting. Of course, it also now means that chewing on my finger is much more precarious than before.
Two little feet have regularly escaped their footsie jammies lately. This is no surprise, given how much time you spend practicing your kicks. It’s still unclear whether you accidentally break loose in the course of wrestling against your swaddle or whether you need to get your feet out because you’re just like me and want your feet out when you’re sleeping.
You seem to be growing aware of cause and effect, especially in three areas: bottle time, food time, and bath time. You get a big smile on your face when you see your bottle coming together; when I hold up your spoon, you open your mouth and eyes wide; and you seem to know that dark outside plus getting naked plus bath time song means it’s time to get in the tub. You are also running into cause and should-be effect — that is to say, the way that certain objects should behave and bend to your will. When they don’t, you get frustrated, which is yet another mark of our shared genes. At least for me, this is characteristic of the creative mind: envisioning things that are difficult to bring to life in the fullness of your imagination.
(Can we stop for just a moment and talk about those little thigh rolls? Also, thank you for helping with your diaper, but can you help me put it on instead of taking it off?)
That tiny spoon that you already recognize has introduced you to four foods: sweet potato, avocado, egg, and apple. Unsurprisingly, you are a very enthusiastic eater and already trying to feed yourself. I was very conflicted over when to start giving you real food; I found it hard to trust my instincts in the face of very passionate, adamant proponents of the six month rule. But I’m so glad that we decided to start when we did. It brings you such joy, and brings out so many happy squeaks and squeals.
Five a.m. is the time at which you would like to start your day, but some of us (meaning all of us except for you) aren’t quite ready. Instead, we have mama-Eva snuggles — sometimes an hour, sometimes two — in the early morning not-quite-light. You nestle your head in the crook of my arm and I listen to your sleepy breathing, and I try to imprint every bit of it deep within myself because it won’t be long before I look back and ache with longing for this time.
This week, I was reading a fellow mom’s letter to her son on his third birthday in which she tells him that she loves him with her whole heart. And that’s exactly what this is, loving you with parts of my heart that I didn’t even know were there, or that I didn’t know were capable of this.
Eva Joy, I love you with my whole heart. Happy five month birthday.