September 29, 2012
(To Owen on his 4 month birthday, plus a belated 3 month letter)
It seems we’ve skipped your three-month letter, which makes me fear for what I will record and remember of your younger siblings, since there’s only one of you right now and I still somehow missed it.
But here we are. Four months. You have been alive through an entire season, and fall is beginning in earnest. In recent weeks, eight new babies have been born in our life, and compared to them, you are by no means any longer a newborn. Not only have you grown…you recently weighed in at over 16 pounds at three months, three weeks…but you are taking in the fact that the world exists, one exciting discovery at a time.
You now know, beyond any uncertainty, that you have hands. They are constantly in your mouth, as you alternate between chewing on your thumb and your fingers and attemps to stick your entire fist in your mouth. You have moved beyond the childish ways of sucking on your fingers (not to mention that you have no use for a pacifier anymore), and now instead, you chew with a vengeance on anything – your hands, your clothes, a toy, our chins – you will gnaw on anything. You are not unlike a small puppy: chewing on everything, drooling all over the house and our clothes, and pooping at inopportune moments.
You are growing in dexterity. You reach out to touch the yellowing leaves on the maple tree in front of our house, the spatula on the kitchen counter as you sit and watch me cook from the vantage point of the bumbo seat, in which you now sit up like a champ. You grab the hair at the top of my neck and sometimes pull it out with surprising strength. You hold onto toys swinging in front of you on your playmat. You stare at your feet in wonder before grabbing them too, bringing them ever closer to your mouth.
We are always calling you our “strong boy.” You love to sit up, and in the last two weeks, you started to do mini-crunches and pull your head and neck up, whether we’re helping you or not. You enjoy being on your feet. When we put you on your stomach, you pull your head up and hold it there…and sometimes you even push your booty up in the air, and I think you might start crawling next week. You rolled from your stomach to your back for the first time at three months and four weeks old…and have done it just a few more times since.
You love people. You love being talked to. You look at people’s faces, and your default is to smile. All I have to do is look your direction, and as soon as we make eye contact, your face breaks into a gummy grin that lights up your eyes. Your eyes show such delight, and I spend inordinate amounts of time trying to make you think I’m funny.
You had your first legitimate laugh on September 26…you were laying on the couch, and I was tickling your rib cage and your neck, and you finally had a sustained giggle, as a smile completely hijacked your face. You’ve been toying with the idea of laughing for weeks…as we play “this is the way the lady rides” and you’d start smiling even before I got to my low-voiced “this is the way the farmer rides…hobbledy-ho, hobbledy-ho.” You squeal and smile when we “fly” you through the air on our knees, humming the Star Wars theme song. You love music…when your dad plays guitar, or when we sing to you…and you think the songs “We are Marching in the Light of God,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and “Our God is So Big” are hilarious, as we contort your body to do the appropriate motions.
As of last week, you were introduced and fell in love with the Exer-Saucer that your Grandma and Grandpa Berget gave you. It makes you look so old, as you “stand” in the center of the saucer (still propped up by a few blankets), reaching out and legitimately playing with the primary-colored toys surrounding you.
Around three months, you started getting pretty verbal. In fact, you began expressing more than just shrieks while we visited Grandma and Grandpa Kurtz, and we all joked that of course, you would start to get loud and chatty while with my side of the family. You make all sorts of sounds, and what’s funny to me is that you get more and more “talkative” the unhappier you get…I have a feeling that we will have no problems knowing what’s on your mind as you grow up.
Things you love: your giraffe/moose cloth toy (it is constantly brittle with saliva), Sophie the Giraffe chew toy, sitting up, “standing,” baths (getting ever splashier), grabbing anything, playing “This is the Way the Lady Rides,” music, when we sing to you, car rides, getting your fingers caught up in your interlocking rings, your new exer-saucer, running water, being naked, loud noises (like the rattle falling out of your hands and onto the table)
Things you hate: getting clothes put on you (squirm fest 2012), getting in your car seat (you arch your back like a limbo champ), being left to play on your own, getting your hair brushed, being still
Words cannot express how much we delight in you.
PS – You got your first haircut on October 1, 2012. It was really hard to keep you still and not make you look like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber.