Today, as of 11:51am, Max will have been with us for four whole months.
Four months, people. A third of a year. An entire season. Er, can someone please tell me who I need to speak to about having time slowed down a bit, because seriously, that hackneyed old phrase about how the days are long but the years are short? It’s 100% true. And so, today I find myself the mother of a four month old, and in honour of the occasion, I thought it was probably time I started actually writing those monthly updates I keep promising myself I’ll get round to, rather than just thinking about writing them, and then finding something else to do instead.
Actually, to be totally honest, before Max was born, the plan was to do WEEKLY updates, rather than monthly ones: I thought it would be a bit like a continuation of my pregnancy diary, but on parenting instead. Haha! Pre-Max me was funny, wasn’t she? She genuinely thought she’d be spending her time happily tapping away on the laptop, while the baby slept peacefully at her side! The fact is, though, I’m barely managing to get ANY blogging done at all right now, let alone starting up a weekly ANYTHING. I really want to record this time, though – for me, more than anything else: and, of course, for Max, when he’s older – so here we go: a quick update on four months of Max…
Honestly, this month has been a pretty good one, all things considered. He’d already been treating us to lots of smiles and giggles before then, but this was the month when everything started to seem hilarious to him, and my phone filled up with videos like this:
It’s just so easy to make him laugh these days, and, as I mentioned in this post, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for how amazing that would be. One day a couple of weeks ago, for instance, I’d put him in his Baby Bjorn next to my desk, while I attempted to quickly answer some emails, and every time I glanced around, I saw this:
He was just sitting there watching me and smiling – and as soon as he saw me turn round, he started laughing in delight. It made it pretty hard to get on with those emails, to be honest, but seriously: this is a little person who smiles and laughs just because he can see me. Not since Rubin died have I been so utterly fascinating to someone, and, OK, he also smiles just because he’s having his nappy changed, or can hear someone sneezing (Sneezes are the absolute height of comedy this month, apparently…), but regardless of why he does it, it’s just heart-meltingly awesome. I mean, look at that smile!
And that hair! Pretty much everyone who sees him comments on the hair (After they’ve earnestly informed me that he looks just like Terry, obviously: I really need to work on my acting skills so I can continue to pretend I hadn’t noticed, or that no one’s ever made that observation before…), which is totally out of control. I mean, this is a baby who gets bedhead, folks. And hat hair. And here was I thinking that the fact I was having a boy would mean I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to style someone else’s hair!
While he’s generally a happy little soul, though, he does has his moments. Here, for instance, is the latest version of his patented Emoji Mouth:
Don’t be fooled, though: he might look sad here, but he was really just playing us:
That giant bib, by the way, is his outfit approximately 98% of the time, thanks to the reflux that continues to be our biggest issue. We’ve kind of accepted now that this is probably more or less how it’ll be until he’s weaned: thankfully, it doesn’t seem to bother Max at all, and he’s still gaining weight exactly as he should be, so it’s really just an inconvenience for us, more than anything. In a bid to try to cut down on the laundry, we bought a couple of packs of these bibs (Which only seem to come in hideous, garish patterns, unfortunately: this one is the best of a bad lot!), which cover most of his body, and which he has to wear almost all the time when he’s awake. Unfortunately, though, they’re so wide in the neck that when it comes to actually feeding him, he has to be “double-bibbed”, with one of these as the bottom layer, and a regular bib on top. It means that the laundry basket is still always filled to the brim, and while he’s being fed, Max is basically just a bundle of damp rags, but hey – at least we don’t have to keep changing his clothes all the time, so small victories, people: small victories!
When he’s not fully bibbed-up, though, I’ve been having way too much fun dressing him:
The shoes, you guys! The shoes!
He looks SO big to me in these photos, and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly he’s changing and growing. He’s now in size 3 nappies, and age 3-6 month clothes (Although he still has some 0 – 3 stuff that fits: baby sizing remains a mystery to me…), and I have to bite back tears every time I pack away another little outfit that fit him fine last week, but which is, all of a sudden, much too short today. He’s definitely not a tiny newborn any more, and, as proof of that, this week we noticed his very first tooth starting to peek through his gum.
A tooth, people. We have a freaking TOOTH.
Honestly, I can’t even. I am SO not prepared for him to be growing this fast, but as well as the tooth (Which doesn’t seem to be hurting him so far: we’re well stocked up on teething toys and gel, though!), this month he’s also been working on his neck/back strength, and his hand-eye co-ordination. He obviously can’t sit up unsupported yet, but he’s having a crack at it anyway, and has also started “playing” (By which I mean “hitting” and “grabbbing”) with some of his toys, which is lots of fun to watch.
(He also loves the bath now – and is super-cute in it…)
For us, the most useful development has been in his sleep. He’s now more-or-less sleeping through the night – by which I mean he normally falls asleep by around 10pm-ish, and will sleep right through until about 7:45am the next morning, with one feed at around midnight. Terry still stays up to do that midnight feed, while I get up to do the next one, so we’re both getting a decent amount of sleep (Well, sort of: Terry generally stays up for a couple of hours once he’s put Max to bed, to do some work, and I’m so alert to any sound he makes that I’m constantly waking up to check on him. It’s still WAY better than those dreaded 3 – 4 am feeds that we had to contend with in the first few weeks, though, so I’m definitely not complaining…) and no one has to get out of bed in the middle of the night any more so it’s all good. When he wakes in the morning, I feed and change him, then we normally come up to the nursery, where I’ll read him stories, or do tummy time/play with his toys until Terry wakes up. It’s all a far cry from those early days, when I felt totally overwhelmed with everything, and was terrified to be left alone with him: I mean, I don’t think I’ll ever love early starts, and there are days when I’d happily sell my soul for a lie in (Anyone in the market for one used soul? Anyone at all?), but it’s light now by the time I get up, and I’ve actually come to appreciate that quiet time in the morning when it’s just me and Max, so, yeah, we’ve come a long way, baby…
Of course, he’s still not keen on napping during the day, and will generally only do it if one of us is holding him (Er, my dressing gown IS actually clean in this photo, I promise – and I was only wearing it because he’d just spit up on my top, and was too cranky to let me go and select a new one, so I just threw on whatever was closest…), which is a bit of a challenge. We still feel a bit like we’re playing Pass the Parcel most of the time, and this month work has been really busy for both of us, so we’ve been relying on my parents more and more to babysit for a few hours, just so we can get some stuff done. I’ve already written quite a bit about the lack of time, and how stressful I find it to be constantly doing everything in a rush, so I won’t repeat myself, other that to say that hopefully it’ll turn out to be just one more phase, like everyone keeps telling us. The “everything is a phase,” line is another one that’s repeated ad infinitude when you have a new baby, but like the “long days/short years” things, it’s because it’s also totally true.
Max is changing so much right now that monthly updates aren’t really enough to record all of the little changes he’s going through (And I’m quickly running out of time to finish this one before I have to go and pick him up from his gran and grandad’s!) but so often when I look at him right now I’m struck by the thought that he’s growing so quickly, and that one day this time that feels so vivid and REAL to us will be something that happened 20-odd years ago. So I want to remember the hideous bibs, the tiny little shoes, and the way his face lights up when he laughs. I want to remember the early mornings, the favourite toys, and his bottom lip protruding in a sulk. I want to remember all of these things and more – and I know I can never hope to capture them all, but at least it’s a start : so happy 4 month birthday, Max: just please don’t grow too fast…