I have no idea how to wrap my head around that.
It means, among other things, that I've been sadly lacking when it comes to keeping this blog updated. Originally I imagined that I'd put something new up here every few days as he did some little new thing or I learned some little new lesson.
The truth is, though, that it's all so simultaneously gradual and fast that you can really miss realizing there's anything to say if you're not careful. It's exactly the reason we've been doing a photo of him every week, but I wanted to keep this up to date as well.
So let me give something of an overarching look at the boy's life so far.
I'll try to do it in 2 posts over the next few days.
When he was just a few months old he wasn't particularly active but he still managed to be a little bit of a handful; he came home from the hospital rather small, but filled out pretty quickly and soon made a habit of using the weight of his head to move his body around.
By "using the weight of his head" I mean "flinging his head around, seemingly at random."
For the first stretch, Veronica and tried to work out a system whereby she could get a good chunk of sleep even though she was feeding him roughly every three or four hours. My approach to this was making her go to bed around 8, taking care of him until midnight or so, getting him in bed when I was sure he was totally out, and then getting up to take a morning shift so she could get a little extra shut-eye.
That worked alright, but she still ended up getting less sleep than me because I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and am difficult to wake up.
Eventually the schedule changed as the baby began sleeping for longer, and it wasn't very long before we gave Michael a bed-time; he'd get a bath or little scrub-down, a new diaper with PJs, some food, and then we'd try to get him to sleep.
This is, pretty much, the system we're using now and it's gotten to the point we can put him down when he's still mostly awake with the expectation he'll go to sleep shortly after.
Well, sometimes anyway.
During the day our boy was learning to grab things and laugh, see shapes, and go on walks with his parents. It's been noted by a few people that he's a very smiley and good-natured little boy, something that we can't take complete credit for at this point but which we have tried to encourage. When he cries or is upset we do our best not to necessarily placate (though there is some of that), but to chatter at him him in a calm and conversational way; it's not like we're reasoning with him, or even that he can hear us at all when he's really going, but often it seems to draw out a smile even when he's trying loudly to let us know that he's got a bit of gas or is hungry earlier than he should be.
That's enough, sometimes, and it helps to keep mom and dad calm in the midst of the storm because we can talk about what's going on without getting swept up too much in his reaction. Because, honestly, it's easy to let his distress feed into my frustration or worry if I'm not being careful.
So, yes, he's been a mostly happy and rather calm baby most of the time.
He does seem to have lost the common "all of you people are crazy" and "what was that?!?" looks that were so prevalent early on, such as the one he gave the entire church when he was being shown around by the priest after his christening. There are similar looks, but those were something special and they're far less common now.
One interesting note is that our dog seemed a little unsure of what to do around the baby; if the kid was on his blanket or stretched out in his little bouncy recliner there wasn't a problem (he'd even sit near, protectively, or sniff him curiously), but if either of us picked Michael up the dog would get some distance as if he didn't want anything to do with what might happen next. He acted like we were going to throw the baby at him, or use the baby as a bat or something.
The dog's calmed down a little bit, but you can still see the reaction at times.
I'll give some more next time.