Friday, April 10, 2015

A Letter to Rowan, 5 Months (a bit late).

Dear Rowan,

How are you five months already? Well, five months and a week because your mom was late on the letter but I digress...

I think this every month but this age is my very favorite. Your little personality is really shining through and, boy, it's a good one. I know everyone thinks their kid is the cutest and has the best temperament but I'm right when I say it. You throw one to two really good tantrums a day, but other than that? You are the most chill, happy baby I could have ever asked for. You are happy to run errands with me for a few hours, go on small road trips together, and you love to play. You and I spend a couple hours in your room every evening reading books and playing with your toys. I used to really have to run the show there but now you are content to pick up your toys and examine each one before putting it right in your mouth.

We recently went on a play date with mommy's friend Nikki and your buddy Erik and I realized then just how social you are. When we held the two of you up so you could see one another you smiled and kicked and cooed and did anything to get his attention that you could. An older woman came up to our table to comment on how cute the two of you were playing together and you turned your show on for her--cooing and swatting and whipping your rattle around while laughing. You don't mind being passed around a room full of friends and family and you love having visitors over. I think you'll be a little clown when you're older, similar to how I was as a kid.You love hanging out with people but you definitely have moments where you only want Mom. I don't mind it at all.

You had your first Easter! We colored eggs with Jackie and Charlie. Your Nana Carolyn flew all the way across the country to spend the weekend with you and I think she fell in love a little bit. The whole weekend was packed with fun and family and you were such a good boy. The Easter Bunny brought you books and a big ship-shaped kite and lots of toys. You got to spend time with both sides of your family and when your cousin Tyler held you I realized how HUGE you've gotten! You used to fit in the crook of his arm and now you take up his entire torso.

You are a little ball of wonder, you know that? I feel like, more than ever, you are changing and learning and developing a new skill every few minutes. I was flipping through photos of you from November and I can't believe how much you've changed physically. Your hair was so much darker and now you seem to be inheriting my strawberry blonde locks (I call you my little ginger boy, your redheaded Uncle Eddie told me that is not funny). You have filled out and you look like a perfect mix of Daddy and me. Developmentally you are a rock star, too. You are an old pro at rolling over and you pivot like a champ (I will put you in your crib to relax and come back to find you with your head at the other end of the bed). You have become a huge fan of your exersaucer and love to jump around in it. You also LOVE sitting up like a big boy in your Bumbo and will play for a long time with small toys and stuffed animals on your tray. Your favorite toy right now is a dog that sings "If You're Happy and You Know It" while its ears flap up and down but you don't pass up a good crinkle book.

Everyone in our village knows that you are the Captain of Team No Nap. A few weeks ago we hit a bout of sleep regression and my former bed time all-star has become a late-night partier. You have decided your platform is "No Naps Ever" and fight each one with vigor. Nursing and swaddling and shushing no longer work. Daddy jokes that you have finally outsmarted us. Most days it now takes about an hour to get you to nap but we're working on it. Bedtime used to be a breeze but we've hit a roadblock there, too. You now take much longer to put down and you wake up often. When I rock you now you are much more interested in swatting at my glasses or pulling on my hair or just staring at me. Some say it's the usual 5 month regression, some speculate that you are teething. Either way, we spend a lot of late nights together. It's times like these that I wish I could know what you were thinking. As tired as I am, it also breaks my heart that you are tossing and turning and having trouble finding sleep. It helps to have you near, most nights I reach over and rub your back until you fall asleep again. Sometimes I scoop you up and rock you with your head on my chest. I had said that at six months I was moving you to your own room and now I find myself clinging to you. "Maybe at 7 months...or 8? I think a year would be okay to get him into his own room and out of the crib in our room..." I promise you'll be in your own room by the time you leave for college. Maybe.

Since I quit my job and went back to freelancing to spend more time with you, I've wondered if I made the right choice. This week I was up with you most of the night and in the morning laid in bed and rubbed your back while you slept in. I knew I had made the right choice for our little family. I feel so lucky that I spend 95% of my day with you by my side. It doesn't go unrecognized to me how lucky I am that I can take you for a long walk in your stroller at 1pm on a Tuesday or that we can head over to visit GG at work on a Friday afternoon or that I can simply wrap you up in a blanket and snuggle you for hours when you refuse to nap. Even on the most trying and whiny days, I'm grateful that your dad and I get to spend the amount of time with you that we do. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so we can go on more adventures together. Someday when you are very grown up and have babies of your own, you'll know what I'm saying when I say "the days are long but the years are short." I want to make sure I make the most of this time since I've learned already that it goes by in a flash. I can't believe it's been five months since I held you in my arms for the first time.

To another month of changes, adventures, and really good snuggles. I love you, Bear.