Well, May, I have to hand it to you – you’ve been all kinds of amazing, really.
Seriously, guys, standing ovation for May, please: we might never see its like again. In fact, I’m pretty sure that, many years from now, we’ll all be looking back, going, “Ah, I remember the long, hot summer of ’18! May, it was. Never had one like it since!” Or I will, anyway. And Max will just be all, “God, mum, not the ‘May 2018’ story again! Change the record, will ya?”
Except he won’t say that at all, will he? He probably won’t even know what a record IS, in fact, because, in May 2018, oh glorious summer it was, Max was just about to turn five months old, and was busy being the cutest baby you ever did see:
And, I mean, OK, I get that I’m possibly just a little bit biased here, but seriously, would you look at that smile?
May was the month Max found his feet: literally…
It was also the month he discovered that tummy time – which had previously always left him a little bit nonplussed, really – was actually pretty cool, really…
…and that bathtime wasn’t just a pleasant, if slightly confusing, ritual that we like to put him through, but actually a really good opportunity to SPLASH:
Overall, I’d say his activity/mobility has been the biggest change this month: he’s not sitting up on his own yet, but he’s trying REALLY hard, and one night Terry and I were watching TV, with Max sleeping in his Sleepyhead next to us, when he suddenly rose up out of it, a bit like Dracula rising out of his coffin. Since then we’ve been referring to it as his “Dracula” move, and he practices it at every available opportunity – which certainly makes nappy changes interesting, especially when combined with his new interest in grabbing both his feet!
May was also the month of teething: he got his first tooth just before my last monthly roundup, so we’ve basically spent the past few weeks cycling through every teething toy in existence. So far, he still only has the one tooth, but we think a few more are getting ready to erupt, so there’s been a lot of drooling and biting (Basically anything that gets within his reach goes into his mouth. Last week I bent over to kiss him on the cheek, and he immediately grabbed my nose and tried to bite it. Thanks, Max!), as well as a few crying jags when it’s all gotten a bit much for him. I think we’ve been quite lucky (so far!) in that he hasn’t been crying during the night or anything like that, but, well, as I said, it’s just the one tooth so far, so who knows what the next few weeks will bring? Er, other than MOAR teething toys, presumably?
Other than the teething, though, he’s still generally a pretty happy little guy, who still laughs at pretty much anything – coins jingling in your hand, Terry whispering in his ear, um, my face as I push him in his pram… A couple of weeks ago, I was pushing him around the supermarket, and he just shrieked with laughter the whole time – to the point where people at the other end of the aisle were looking around, like, “WTF is that? A monkey, mebbe?” He’s done that quite a few times now, and honestly, I know I mention this a lot, but there’s really nothing quite like a laughing baby to put a smile on your face, is there? All you have to do to start it off is to give him a big, open-mouthed smile, and, embarrassingly, I’ve started to catch myself giving this smile to random babies I see in the street, and – on more than one occasion – to the camera lens, when Terry’s pointing it at me. Which is awkward, really, because that exaggerated, open-mouthed smile? NOT a good look on me. Actually, I think I’ve just this second realised why Max thinks my face is hilarious sometimes. BRB, just burning the camera with fire…
This month we’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and trying to get out and about as much as possible. Max had his first trip to the seaside, and I’ve been spending most of my days worrying about whether he’s too hot, too cold, or that the sun might sneak past all of muslin cloths I’ve carefully draped over the pram to protect him from it. Still, it’s good to be able to let him experience the great outdoors after spending the first few months of his life snowed in, so it’s all good.
And other than that, not much has changed since last month, really. He’s still sleeping through the night, and generally wakes up for the day around 8am, which is fantastic, really, and just in the last week or so, he’s also started to have a couple of long-ish naps during the day, which is even better: up until then he’d been sleeping well at night, but he’d basically been having ALL of his sleep at night, which made it pretty hard for us to get anything done during the daytime. To be honest, we’re still struggling a bit in that respect, because although he has started napping more reliably, he still prefers to sleep on us, and the second we try to put him down, he’ll wake up and that’ll be that. So we’re both still finding it really hard to keep up with work, and all of the other things we need to do during the day, and the fact that May was a really busy month for us work-wise has made it all a bit stressful, really. With that said, yesterday afternoon he napped for an hour in his cot for the first time ever (And would probably have gone longer if we’d tried putting him in it sooner…), so we’re delirious with joy about that – let’s just hope it continues!
As for his reflux, meanwhile… yeah. THAT. We actually thought we’d had a bit of a breakthrough with it at the start of the month, when we decided to try him on a different brand of formula (HiPP Organic, just in case you’re interested…), purely because it was the only thing we HADN’T tried at that point, and we were honestly at our wits end. At first it seemed to work out really well – there was even one memorable morning when I got him up, gave him his first feed of the day, and then removed a TOTALLY DRY sleepsuit and bib from him, and dressed him in clothes which he KEPT ON ALL DAY LONG, OMG! – but for the last couple of weeks, the spit-up has been as bad as ever, so, yeah, no idea what that was about. Maybe just the universe’s idea of a cruel joke or something? Who knows.
Anyway, he does seem to like this milk better than the last brand, so we’ve kept him on it, but I think unfortunately the reflux is something we’re just going to have to live with, as we’re all out of options, basically. I’d actually considered doing a separate post on this, because dealing with it pretty much dominates our days right now, but then I realised that absolutely nothing we’ve tried has been particularly successful, so it would really just be me whining about it, so, you know, maybe not.
Speaking of whining, though, I feel like it would be wrong of me to end this post without saying that, while May has been a good month for lots of different reasons, it’s also been a really hard one for me, too. As I said, it was a really busy month for work, and it’s been pretty stressful trying to fit everything in when looking after the baby takes up so much of my time/energy, so it’s been partly that, and partly the ongoing issues with the reflux. Whatever the reason, though, I’ve felt pretty overwhelmed a lot of the time – and then guilty for feeling like that, when I know I have so much to be grateful for. I don’t want to dwell on any of this, because I wanted these monthly updates to be about Max, rather than me, but I also didn’t want to just give the impression that it’s been all sunny days and baby smiles, when the reality is never quite that simple.
With that said, we’re still finding our way and learning as we go, and, it has to be said, the sight of this little face makes everything worth it:
(Oh! This was also the month his eyes started to change from the dark blue he was born with to a kind of greeny-blue that’s still quite hard to pin down. I’m not sure what colour they’ll finally land on, and they still look blue in some of his photos, but so far it looks like they might be green: we shall see!)
And honestly, even now, five months on, his very existence is still completely amazing to me. A few days ago I took him into my dressing room for a look round (Er, that might sound like an odd thing to do, but all of the different colours and textures in there are totally fascinating to him right now: I mean, who needs to go to the Baby Sensory room at the community centre when we have one of our very own at home, right?), and he wanted to touch a particular pair of shoes with a gold, glittery bow on the front. (What can I say, boy obviously has taste!) As I stood there holding him, I had this sudden little flashback to the day I found those shoes, in a random TJ Maxx in Miami. I could clearly remember standing in front of the shoe rack, turning them over in my hand, and wondering if I should buy them, and I thought how freaky it would be if those little memory flashes worked the other way around, and my (slightly) younger self could’ve had a glimpse of those chubby little baby hands reaching out to grasp the bow. It would have totally blown her mind – and honestly, it still does.
So while parenthood is harder than I would ever have imagined, and there have been plenty of times this month when I’ve felt totally overwhelmed with it all, I’m still looking forward to the month to come – and just hoping it doesn’t fly by as fast as this one has…