Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Casper, Month 4

Dear Casper,

You are our little Goofball; our little Disaster; our Doodler. The Grossest Baby in the World.

Even though you are only 4 months old I can no longer remember having a newborn. At Mommy/Baby Yoga I marvel at the 7 and 8 weeks olds and then I marvel at how I could forget so quickly. But surely you were never so tiny! You are solid. You have lost all of your newborn floppiness. We are no longer afraid of breaking you. We joke about how fat you are but despite your copious rolls you’re still well below the 50th percentile for weight. You’re above the 50th percentile for height so we’re hoping some Wundrow genes snuck into our baby and someday you’ll tower over mom and dad.

When dad and I left the hospital with you we were given a pamphlet on all the ways not to shake your baby and we had followed the rules up until this month. Shake the baby is suddenly a fun game. I hogtie your ankles and wrists in my hands and roll your body back and forth. I grab you by your hips and shake your little bum. Dad rolls you up in a towel and lets you fight your way out. You love being roughhoused. Your dry skin defies all “baby soft” cliches so in the evening your dad and I strip you down to lather you up with coconut oil and Aquaphor. We call this “the four hand massage” and we like to joke about the day in preschool when we get a call about your propositioning 2 other kids for the same treatment. (“First I get naked and then Sally puts the oil on my balls!”). Afterwards we let you squirm around naked on our bed. Nothing makes you happier. You’re twisting your hips and pushing your butt up off of the bed and will soon be rolling over from back to belly. For now you make do with mom and dad forcefully flipping you over which you find hilarious.

You’re so active that it seems even when asleep or nursing you can’t quite calm down. My chest is covered with tiny baby scratches from your hands grabbing, kneading and clawing me during all meals. At night I hear you across the room beating your legs against the mattress. We’ve been waking up to your flailing arms escaped from the swaddle, and fear the day we can no longer lock you down for the night as our little Casperito. You’re a master grabber with a singular goal: put this in my mouth. My fingers, burp clothes, your entire fist, my nursing pads and all of your toys seem equally delicious.

You have lots to say. You’ve discovered babbling and screaming. In the morning, after a 10 hour rest, you’re in your best mood. You wake us to the happy coos of you chatting with your baby friend (aka the mirror in your crib). When I walk over to your crib, I get a big smile followed by my own verbal update on your night. After I free you from your swaddle you use both of your hands to grab my cheeks and begin making out with my face. Your little tongue vigorously spelling out “FEED ME!” over and over on my skin. I try to get the boob in your mouth before you decide you’re starving to death and the screams begin. After a couple of minutes of panicked nursing you pull off with the biggest grin, ready for our morning conversation. You goo and gaa, oooh and aww, squeal and squeak. It goes on and on punctuated by quick sucks. It’s endlessly adorable but I feel like a bit of fool sitting there with my bare boob hanging out in the morning air getting cold.

I am a less sappy mama this month as you and I do more playing and less gazing at one another. You are becoming the fun, silly baby I was looking forward to while pregnant and though I am sad to have said goodbye to the newborn you I am thrilled with our new games. With less time to contemplate the magnitude of motherhood and more time spent giggling I am left with no pithy yet touching ending for this post. We are laughing too hard to be poignant.

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