This marks the first month that you have been punished. You are grounded, son, and you will be until you give me more than 3 hours sleep in a row. As Dr. Phil explains: you are the one who got yourself grounded, and you can un-ground yourself if you want to. Why are you choosing to be grounded, Nate? Why are you choosing to torment me? (If you're reading this in 20 years, Dr. Phil is all about personal responsibility and the choices we make. We choose to be unhappy or to be fat or to be whatever. You're choosing to be hungry in the middle of the night four times a night. Like clockwork. I have some issues with your choices.)
It all started innocuously enough, with the happy celebration of your three-month birthday. All of the books tell us that our babies go from being horrible newborns to lovely, well-behaved babies at 3 months! 3 months will be wonderful! 3 months is when all of the bad stuff turns good! Either they're lying to keep us from smothering our newborns, or you're just ornery like your parents. Because you went from sleeping 7, 8, or even 9 hours a night to being up 7, 8 or even 9 times (I'm exaggerating a little. It was more like 4, 5, and 6 times. Like that's much better!)
After four or five days, I called the pediatrician for help. Heidi said that growth-spurts are common at 3 months, and after a week you'd return to normal. Well, it's a month later and you're still torturing me. Every 2.5 - 3 hours, you're up like clockwork eating. I cannot fathom it. Be glad you're still alive, son.
And simultaneously, people are nudging me and implying that you're a little too skinny! (Except great-grandma Nanny who wonders if I should be putting you on a diet. You can't bother all of the people all of the time in the same way.)
The truth is that I think you're perfect. Not too skinny, not too chubby. Except your cheeks, which are so chubby that when you smile, your face is wider than it is tall. It's absolutely adorable.
Here are some of the good things you've been doing:
You turned from front to back a few times, and once from back to front. You haven't done it since a few weeks ago, but I know you could if you really wanted to.
You could also grow hair if you wanted to. You just don't want to. Actually, you've got this blond fuzz, and I think it's growing a little bit! You still have your monk's hairline along the back - totally hairless where the back of your head rubs on the mattress, with a thin layer of hair below. And don't forget your blonde cowlick that stands straight up. You're all over the place!
You're starting to laugh a little bit. I can sometimes force one out of you, and force is the operative word. You laugh in spurts, like I'm punching you in the stomach. You've giggled out loud a few other times, and that's just music to our ears. I got you laughing in the bath the other night, and Daddy could hear it all the way downstairs. You're ticklish under the chin now, and Daddy can get you to grin when he tickles the bottom of your feet and your ribs. Your cousins call your Daddy "the best tickler ever" so I suspect you're in for a lifetime of being tickled.
You're starting to love the big-kid stuff now - roughhousing with me on the bed, being thrown up in the air, and being flown through the air. I hold you in my arms, and "drop" you a few inches, and you grin from ear to ear. You're even starting to anticipate our next moves - if I throw you up in the air a few times, and then look at you, you're clearly waiting for me to do it again. Pretty smart baby!
Your personality is just starting to show itself, and you already have one quality that I really like and admire: you are fearless. When we do something that startles you, like making a loud noise or flying you through the air, your eyes get big and wide. And then you grin. And we do it again, and you grin again. That's a great quality, and I hope it stays with you.
You are also recognizing the songs I sing to you. Your two favorites are You Are My Sunshine, and Let's Go Fly a Kite. I sing other songs to you and you sit and listen patiently, but when I sing one of those two songs you grin when I'm only a few words in. Hopefully you'll get your Daddy's beautiful singing voice, but I have my fingers crossed that you'll be able to remember the words like me. Your Daddy can't remember the words to anything! But it's fun when he's singing, because he just makes up the words as he goes along.
You celebrated your first Chanukah and your first Christmas this past month. Everyone was so happy to spend time with you - Gigi and Grandpa, Grandma and Pepaw, and all of your Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. The showered you with gifts!
Your hands are still in fists a lot of the time, and you really like to hold on to things. Anytime my hands are near you, you grip onto one of my fingers. I love it when you do this - your hands are so warm and soft.
I took you to ger your eyes checked when you were just past three months, and the doctor said that you were the strongest three-month old she'd ever examined. You still love standing, and we barely need to support you!
We found out a few days ago that you're going to need a little operation on your hand to take out a bump. This is what being your Mom and Dad is all about - handling the big stuff as well as we can. All of our friends are thinking about you right now, and sending good thoughts our way. I can only hope that when I'm writing your five-month newsletter, everything has gone perfectly and you are well and whole.
I can't wait to see what the next month brings for you, Nate.