Our fourth trimester is over! Welcome to official babyhood. Everyone says that the fourth month is our reward for dealing with the first three months, but I can honestly say the first three months with you have been a blast.
I always thought that the newborn time would be a time to just get through, in anticipation of better times to come. But with minor exceptions, I have thoroughly enjoyed our first three months together.
Even though it's hard to see the changes in you, day to day, it's so obvious how far you've come from when you were born. We went from exulting over a glimpse of your eyes when we were in the the hospital with you, to coaxing a smile, to now pushing you to laugh. Everyone remarks on how intent and alert you are; when you're awake, you really look at everything around you. When you first started looking around, you'd pass right over my face and stare at the paintings on the wall or the light of the lamp. Now you stare mostly at people instead of things.
The best part about making eye contact with you these days? Your huge grins. You smile so much of the time; I am really hoping it means that you'll be graced with a happy heart even when you're older. But even if it's just for today, your smiles make everything happy for me.
Guess when you smile the most? When we hold you up so you can see yourself in the mirror. You grin, coo, and flirt like crazy. You are quite pleased with how you look, as am I.
For as much as you smile and are happy, you're also very intense and serious at times. When you stare at something, you stare. So many people have called you "intense" that I finally had to ask them if it was a compliment or not! (it was)
You had your first Thanksgiving! You were the center of attention, sweet Nate. Your cousins Natalie, Staige, and Lucy were there. Cousins Elaine & Charlie, and Sam & Claudia, too. Great-uncle Jerry, Aunt Susan, Uncle Johnny, Grandma Jill, and Grandpa Rich. Aunt Deborah, obviously. You were on best behavior, and charmed the pants off of everyone. Later this month you have your first Chanukah and your first Christmas!
You are clearly ticklish, but you haven't started laughing yet. You chuckled once the other night - we caught it on video - but you aren't officially laughing. When I tickle your chest, you smile and squirm.
I can almost always get a few minutes to cook dinner or pay bills by putting you into your vibrating chair. I don't use the vibrating part, but the top panel bubbles and you love staring at it. It plays this weird, weird music, but if you're happy, I'm happy.
You talk to me a lot these days. Cooing and squeaking and other funny noises. Today I started singing to you, and you started cooing back at me. It was our first conversation!
You are incredibly strong. Whenever someone holds both of your hands, you start pulling yourself up. If I pull you straight forward, you come to a sitting position. If I keep pulling, you flex your knees and stand right up on your own! You're happy to stay that way for quite a while. According to the books, you're way ahead of yourself with this standing up business. Showoff!
You're starting to get some control of your hands. When you're sleepy, you rub your eyes with the backs of your hands. I've been danging toys in front of you for a while, and now you're starting to bring your hands together to grab them.
You can't hold on for long, and I don't think you even notice that you're holding anything, but it's another step! You're still on the ever-elusive thumb hunt, but you're showing your usual dedication and perseverence.
This will embarass you when you're older, but I must write it down: when you're finally put on the breast after being very hungry, your cries taper off while you're sucking, and your eyes roll right back into your head. It's the very picture of "relief." I love feeling so useful to you! Daddy and I get a chuckle out of your tapering cries while you're eating - you wind down slowly. You're softly grunting by the end, sucking away.
We are really getting the hang of each other. You're sleeping much better at night - a few nights ago you went 9 hours straight! Usually I get a few nights of 6+ hours in a row, and then a few nights where you stlil wake up 2 or 3 times. It seems to depend on how well I swaddle you the night before. I let Daddy swaddle you last night, and you were up 3 times. Tonight, I will swaddle you myself. For sure.
While I type this, Daddy is giving you your nightly bath. He's baby-talking, and making up another silly song for you. I know you'll never remember this when you're older, but I hope that it lodges somewhere back in your subconscious mind.
You'll never remember any of this, I know. And since I hope to give you a brother or a sister sometime in the next few years, you'll probably never remember being an only child. That's okay. I'll remember all of it for both of us. I'll tell you how you were sucking on my wrist while I was typing this very paragraph.
In all seriousness, I couldn't love you more than I do. You're my funny serious man, and I can't wait to see what you're all about. Whatever you do, you'll do it with my support. Except Dungeons & Dragons. Or being a Trekkie. Or a Renaissance Faire fanatic. Other than that, anything.
I love you, Nate.