May 21, 2009

The Z Files: Month Four

Dear Zane,

Here we are. Month four. You are one third of the way through your first year. And it bears repeating that it is all still going by way too fast for your mama here.

There were more than a dozen moments this month where I caught myself laughing at myself for my big speech to you in last month's letter about how "it's ok to cry", etc. etc. Sadly, you showed us this month that you are perfectly aware of that fact and you know exactly when and under what circumstances you feel crying should commence. In fact, as I was doing some final editing of last month's letter, you began teething in earnest and I was afraid my happy, laughing little munchkin had all but disappeared.

Thankfully, that was not the case. You have had more than a few fussy nights due to teething and gas and possibly being ready for something a bit more substantial than breast milk (more on this later) - but you still dazzle us daily with your smile and you save a few tears up for those laughs that literally make your eyes water.

You have also cried a few times when confronted by a loud noise, a deep voice, or your own sad face in the mirror (you had just bonked your head on your swing). Your cries are mercifully short, but nonetheless heart wrenching. So I am glad to report that you are seemingly moving back into a more jovial season as your fourth month comes to a close.

New this month: rolling over! Here's the thing though. You mastered the art of rolling over in one day, did it multiple times in a row as we cheered you on, and then? Eh, not so much. You have not rolled over again. You seem to be over rolling and instead moving on to the fine art of the pre-crawl "scootch". Yes, you are already moving arms and legs in a determined fashion, scootching across a blanket on the floor to reach a treasured toy. Leaving your mama and papa in wide mouthed amazement, I should add.

Speaking of toys. You have discovered toys this month. To be fair though, anything within grabbing distance has become a possible "toy". Today you grabbed a pen right out of my hand as I was writing. Your favorite toy is probably your stuffed puppy rattle. You like to nurse on its nose and clasp it tightly to your chest. You also shake it and toss it and I gladly fetch it and return it to you.

You also love your doorway jumper. You stand in it, bounce in it, and walk yourself in circles in it. Today you stood in it and stared in amazement as the dogs laid just out of your reach. But you still tried reaching for them and walked yourself in their direction as far as you could, calling out to them. It was really sweet to watch. I think it might be the first time you really noticed them as other beings you could relate to.

Things no longer in your favor? Bottles, and to a lesser extent, pacifiers. Yep. We let you go too long without a bottle feeding and you have officially decided you are done with them. This has been really distressing for your daddy. He puts you to bed on Wednesday nights while I am out and you have just completely rejected his attempts to bottle-feed you. This results in one very stressed out papa and you going to bed hungry. I even went out and bought you a fancy bottle made to resemble a breast. Nope. There is no fooling you. So, I decided skip the bottle altogether. I dug out a sippy-cup we received as a gift when you were born, filled it with breast milk, and voila! You aren't exactly gulping it down, but you are willing to take several sips from it which seems to satiate your hunger just enough to allow you and Daddy to have a peaceful and enjoyable night together and I am not worrying about you going to bed hungry. You are also just about done with pacifiers as well, which is not as big of an issue but makes me a little sad for some reason. You just seem to be growing up so fast little man!

You are waking up a lot at night lately and it seems to be just hunger that is waking you. You generally wake, eat, and drift back to sleep. Although there have been a couple rare nights when your face lit up in the middle of the night and you decided it was party-time! For the most part, you are just eating a lot, all day, all night. Which, paired with the teething, the rejection of the bottle and acceptance of the sippy cup, the grabbing, the fascination you have with anything we are eating these days, and the fact that you are one big kiddo (18 pounds last time I checked) leads me to thinking it may be time to start you on something more substantial - like FOOD. Yikes! I swore I would wait till 6 months to start you on solids, because I have a pretty significant food sensitivity. But, once again - being your mama means letting go of my own preconceived ideas about how things "should" go. My instincts are telling me to feed you. I think I have to listen to that.

So, next month's letter will probably be all about eating and food, and what you like to eat and what you hate to eat, and what babyfood looks like splattered all over our dining room walls. I sort of can't wait!

Last but not least, we took you on your first official road trip this month!!! Your daddy's birthday and Mother's Day fell on the same weekend, so we packed up and headed down to one of our favorite places on earth: Taos, NM. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast and you so charmed the owners that they offered us free babysitting if we would just bring you back. It was a bit of a long trip, too long I think - but you handled it like a champ and I think you even slept better there than you do at home! Of course you got to sleep in your favorite spot, between Mama and Papa, all night long, so that may have had something to do with it. I loved introducing you to this special place for us and I can't wait to bring you back when you get a little older. I also really loved getting that time away, just the three of us, a family. There were no chores to be argued over, no "to do lists" to make, just us enjoying being together, resting, reconnecting, finding our own ways. It was magical and it made me want to run away somewhere with you and your daddy. I am already looking forward to our next family trip.

What else can I say? You continue to be an incredible source of joy and wonder in our lives. I am a better person because you are here, I love being your mother and cannot think of anywhere I would rather be than where I am at right now. I love you with more of my heart than I ever knew existed and I just fall more in love each day. Thank you again for making me a mother, your mother. Thank you for being our son. Our sun.

With love as deep as the ocean,

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