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Feb 1, 2009

Four Months

Colin is four months old and the kid checks off milestones as he whizzes by them like James Bond blows things up and seduces women. In other words, my son is the American baby version of the cool and accomplished. There is nothing left on his four month milestone checklist; he left it in the dust long ago.

Take, for example, rolling over. Done. Sitting straight when propped. No problem! Reaching for a rattle, then putting it directly into the mouth. Check! See?

Rattle smirk

And what great strides he has taken in other arenas of the toy world! The exersaucer has evolved from a prison of brightly colored and incomprehensible plastic things to a wonderland of possibilities. This happened almost overnight. As it happened, he was terrified of the thing as long as he couldn’t touch the bottom. Once his foot found the saucer, he found he could twirl himself around, fling himself back and forth, and touch things that then made sounds. Suddenly, the exersaucer was preferable to his mother. Stupid exersaucer.

This month marked the end of nursing and the beginning of a whole new and independent phase for Colin. This change coincided with the switch from a pacifier to his thumb, which is not only great on the self-soothing front, but is also signals the onset of snuggly baby time. So whenever Colin starts working on finding his thumb, I snatch him away from whoever is holding him and monopolize the snuggles, as they have become quite rare in these bold new days of relative autonomy.


I have no doubt that some of this liberty also lies in his beginning day care. I have no idea how we got so lucky in this department, but Colin loves his babysitter and she loves him. The other kids squeal with delight when Colin gets there in the morning and Colin breaks out into a huge grin when they surround his carrier and babble to him. Interestingly, I have felt rather little guilt about taking him to day care simply because he seems to love it so much. Sometimes I am saddened by how much less time I spend with him now than before, but this feeling is always short-lived when I remember how low quality that time was, how run down and depleted I felt, how much I wanted to play with him but couldn’t find the energy. Now I count the minutes until we all get home and we laugh and play and read and talk and do all the fun things I had wanted to do before but couldn’t. I am so, so grateful that I live in a time and in a situation where day care is possible, because I know that my relationship with Colin is better because of it.

Bubble baby

Colin and I each survived illnesses this month and are the stronger for it. I think (though have no medical confirmation) that Colin had the dreaded RSV, manifested, as usual, as a wet cough and thick, green nasal discharge. It may have simply been a bad cold, but I remain convinced it was RSV and, thus, remain relieved and grateful that he cleared it and is fine, meaning he probably has a normal immune system. Just when I thought I had worried my worry away, and was glad of his better mood and clear nose and chest, I got sick. The worst moment I have ever had was kissing Colin goodbye when I went to the hospital. I remember saying, “I love you. I’ll see you… later.” Though I was fairly certain what was wrong with me and that it wasn’t a major issue and that I was almost definitely going to be totally fine, I was terrified that this would be my last moment with him. My little Colin, who was so innocent, so sweet, so blissfully unaware of the absolute agony of that moment for his mother, opened his whole mouth in a toothless smile of epic proportions. It is probably good that I was in too much pain to draw that moment out; my heart nearly tore itself out of my chest as it was.

I had hoped that when the crisis had passed, I would return to feeling the old level of painfully deep love for Colin. Instead, with every day that goes by, that love burrows deeper, gracefully mutilating my world and reshaping it entirely. What results is a newly formed perspective with Colin right at the heart of everything. It isn’t that my life is all about him now, it’s that nothing else could ever compare to the impact he has on every part of my life. And to my utter shock, I could not be happier about the change.

looking up

4 Readers rock!:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you and Colin are both feeling better. He really is the most adorable baby in the world.

Tiff said...

That was a really nice post. It made me a little teary-eyed reading those last two paragraphs.

Apryl said...

It looks like you are both doing well now. I'm glad to hear that you are loving being a mom and cherishing every moment spent with him. They go by toooooooo fast! As for his milestones...of course he's soared through them...he's the son of two doctors! It's in the genes :) He's adorable Katie!

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

You really do have the most adorable baby ever. That last paragraph is especially lovely.