A big day

Yesterday was a big day.

The groom to be with his bridegift
The groom to be with his bridegift

First, let me announce the engagement of my son Grey to Tamisha. The wedding will take place once Grey is “big”. Tamisha will wear, according to the groom, “A beautiful pink dress”. (Note: Tamisha really is lovely and would look beautiful in a pink dress.) Sadly, the nuptials will be interrupted by an attack of monsters, from which Grey will be forced to rescue his bride with “Fire and Ice!”

I will attempt to get a picture of Tamisha. She’s a really sweet young lady. She’ll be headed to kindergarten next year. But there is something very sweet about that first love. Actually, when I was 4 or 5, I was engaged to a boy named Gregory. It didn’t occur to me until my son was much older to wonder if I have always had a positive association with the name due to that early romance. (In perhaps another telling sign of things to come, one of the things I remember doing with Greg was playing board games.)

The next piece of critical news regards my youngest. Oh, my bright bonny boy. What a joy he is. Every time I think of him my heart wells up. He is so consistently joyful and cheerful. He burbles and talks with such good nature.

Anyway.

Last night was bath night. (I would pretend my kids get baths more than twice a week, but why bother? They get baths twice a week.) I had Thane getting some preciously scarce naked time on a towel while I washed Grey’s hair. While I watched, Thane rolled onto his side aaaaaand …. ROLLED OVER! Back to front! He uses his legs extensively in this feat, so I think it helped that he was unencumbered by clothing. He came really close to doing so clothed earlier in the evening. But I think when he’s all dressed for night, he is less likely to be able to roll.

But still! My big boy!

Also, I’ve taken to doing the “Baby food torment”. For those of you unfamiliar with the ritual, babies learn to eat better when they watch you eat. I’m preparing Thane for solid foods. So last night, I made sure he watched me eat my entire dinner, with sort of the exaggerated “yum yum!” faces you made at your siblings when YOU got Mac and Cheese and THEY had to eat the leftover corned beef hash. Thane attempted to stuff everything he could find into his mouth. Toys, fingers, his brother’s hand… He looked at me wide-eyed, with the puppy dog look that asked how I could be so CRUEL as to eat in front of him when he was STARVING and didn’t I know that those fat rolls around his thighs were actually STARVATION BLOAT?!?!?

So I take back what I said before. He is getting ready. I think I’ll wait until my mother in law comes out in a fortnight to make the introduction. Mostly because it will take me that long to assemble: disposable bibs (world’s greatest invention!), baby spoons, baby bowls (ok, disposable plastic containers), some baby food (I already have rice cereal), locate my baby food mill (for show — I think I used it once?), and a blast shield.

How fast the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that Grey was the one finger-painting with rice cereal.

Thane babyroller, the hungry child
Thane babyroller, the hungry child

Thane at four months

Ask not for whom the baby smiles; he smiles for you
Ask not for whom the baby smiles; he smiles for you

I brought Thane to the doctor for his four month checkup this morning. Statistically, he is doing wonderfully. He’s holding steady, percentage-wise. Thane is 14 pounds and 15 ounces (50th percentile), and 25 3/4 inches long (75th percentile).

At his four month checkup Grey, whom I always considered to be a bonny big boy, clocked in at 13 pounds 13 ounces.

Grey was also born at a pound heavier than Thane.

So to sum up, Thane has grown a LOT in 4 months.

Thane passed his checkup with flying colors. The doctor remarked on how very strong he was. He can stand on his own (if you provide the balance) holding on to your hands in a vise-like grip. He rolls over easily front to back, and frankly is very very close to rolling over back to front. He’s gotten 90% of the way there several times and simply stopped trying when he was on his side. When placed on his belly, he can move by scootching, although there’s no intent on his part to move somewhere. On his back, he moves in circles like the hands of some baby-clock ticking away the brief moments of infanthood. He kicks up his legs and then brings them down to the side. He repeats. Yesterday he turned 180 degrees using this method.

Thane’s gripping and playing is going very well. He isn’t a huge fan of pacifiers, although they will sometimes help when he’s unhappy. But he loves to play with and hold toys. Sometimes in his attempt to reach for something, he’ll knock it onto the floor several times. (Helpful brother Grey will often restore it.) If he can grasp it well, it immediately goes to the mouth. He will hold strongly onto an object once he’s gotten it.

We are still nursing all the time. My pediatrician has given the green light to start adding in solid foods, but there’s no rush. Thane hasn’t started giving me the puppy dog eyes as he watches me eat dinner. He’s clearly thriving on breast milk. Instead of looking forward to each milestone hit, I find myself not wishing Thane any older or bigger or stronger than he is. Already, I miss the little tiny baby. (15 pounds is NOT a little tiny baby.)

Thane’s sleeping is a bit of the good and a bit of the bad. On the good side, when it’s time for bed I go through our bedtime routine of two stories, nurse while mom sings, and placing him in his crib awake. I walk out the door as he watches his mobile and I don’t hear from him again for 5 hours. He goes to sleep like a dream (ha! Get it?!) He stays asleep during the night, waking at reasonable intervals for a bit of a snack and immediately going back to sleep. The other day, we put him to bed at 7:30 and he didn’t wake up for the day until TEN. That’s fantastic! Fabulous! Amazing!

The flip side, though, is that the child DOES NOT NAP. He gets tireder and tireder as the day goes on, but he won’t nap in his crib, or in his swing, or while mom holds him. And towards the evening, he gets understandably cranky. I’d rather put him to bed at 8 or 8:30, but he just can’t be happy being awake then. And he doesn’t sleep unless we do good-night ritual above. All told, I think this is likely a phase and I’ll get him to nap eventually, but it does seem like he lumps all the sleep together. This is less pronounced when he goes to daycare because he sleeps well in the car, so he gets a nap going to and coming from daycare.

Personality-wise, I continue to find Thane a joy. He’s incredibly social, smiling incandescently at everyone he meets. He LOVES to watch other children play. He very reliably only cries when something is wrong (hungry, dirty or tired) OR if he can’t see anyone. He’s extremely good-natured. He “talks” a lot, this happy baby babble that delights my heart. He seems very sweet and good-natured, and possibly a bit less mercurial than his brother.

He already loves to read. Even in the middle of his exhausted evening fuss, he quiets down and pays attention when it is time to read. You can almost watch him drink in the bright pictures, trying to figure out his world.

He does not like loud noises, especially when he is eating. If I speak loudly while I’m feeding him, he pulls off and gives me this accusatory stare. Rubertina at daycare reports the same thing. Also, I am now remembering why I weaned Grey at 7 months. The squirming and thrashing is painful enough in his gummy state. I suspect it was unendurable with opposing biting teeth.

He laughs when you blow on his belly.

Thane is a lovely child. His eyes remain a few shades darker blue than Grey’s. His cheeks are winter-rosy. His skin is exceptionally soft. His birth-hair has mostly fallen out, and after a while of psuedo-baldness, his first real hair is starting to come in, a bit darker than Grey’s. His gaze is arresting — clear and knowing. His smile lights up the world around him.