Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thoughts From A Four Month Old

A Day In the Life of a Baby

Night Time: Family Sleep

Throughout the night my mommy and daddy toss and turn sending ripples over the bed. I rise and fall to their movements—kind of like inside mama those nine months—a roller coaster of good times! I’m only four months old, so I can’t sit-up or even rollover just yet, but I do try. I tell you, it is so nice to be able to feel my parents' loving warmth as I go in and out of dreamland throughout the night. My mama is always there to feed me her milk when I feel like a snack.

How does that thumb taste?

Morning Time

When my parents get up out of bed for the day, I like to just lie there, like a lazy lout, watching their movements and listening to their conversation. I can’t understand a word but it’s fascinating to watch their lips, facial expressions and hand movements. With the help of body movments and the tone of their voices, I feel like I understand somehow. When papa leans over to nestle his face into my belly, I can’t help but squeal in delight. But sometimes I get a bit zealous and grab his hair
I'm on my elbows! 
which causes him to say, “Hey, Anna, don’t pull daddy’s hair, please. He hasn’t got much left as it is.” I smile and begrudgingly let go, with prodding from dad’s finger. We play a lot of grab and let go games since I can’t do much else—except kick!

Mama soon carries me into my room for a new diaper. She will often sing songs, like “Mary had a little Lamb” or “Do-Re-Mi.” Soon, I’m being given a ride into the living room floor where I watch all the morning commotion. If I lose sight of mom and dad at the same time, I look around the living room and study light reflections, pictures on the wall, and movement outside the window. But, sometimes I cry out for my parents, which brings them back into view quick enough, or they just call out my name in a sing-song way, “Yes, Anna-banana, we hear you. We’ll be there soon after we finish up here.” Seeing them causes me to kick my legs and wave my arms in delight. I’ve just begun to emit joyous shrieks, which seem to create big smiles and laughter not just from my parents, but also any adult. I’ll admit it brings me great pleasure when I see others look at me with affection.

When I learn to roll over, watch out people!

Yes, everything I can get my fingers around goes into my mouth soon after…my tongue is very busy distinguishing tastes and textures of pretty much anything—sometimes mama will pull an object out of my mouth before I’ve had a chance to explore it. She seems to think I may hurt myself, and I guess she knows best. Dad is a bit more patient with me when it comes to tasting things, like when he made a burrito and let me taste the salsa. Wow! That was a hot burn on my lips. My face contorted in such a way that Dad and his two friends laughed. I didn’t mind, though—I was born to experiment—to be a scientist. Mom’s milk in a bottle was all I needed to alleviate the sting. I enjoy exploring with my eyes, hands and mouth—just wait until I can roll over and begin crawling—bonanza!

Day With Dad

Mom leaves for work after breakfast—I miss her, but Dad stays with me. I have work, too, you know. My work, at this stage in my life—four months—is to take in everything around me—everything life offers me. Dad likes to take me outside strapped onto his chest facing out—a front row seat to our walks through the neighborhood. We live downtown in a small city and the streets are pretty busy with cars and busses. The sidewalks have plenty of interesting people to see as we walk along.

Did we forget my shades, dad?
There are trees, bushes, birds and squirrels to keep an eye on also. My dad points out things that he sees like a particular type of car or dog that gets him excited. Today he exclaims, “Look, Anna, that’s a German Shepard. One of the most famous canine movie stars was a German Shepard named Rin Tin Tin.” I reach out to touch the dog. Pops stops and lets me intently look at the dog. The owner of "Rin Tin Tin" sees us and walks closer. Dad says hello, and kneels down next to the doggie. The dog sniffs my hand and then gives it a quick lick. I giggle as it tickles. Dad and the other man say goodbye and we're on our way.

We always stop at our small city park where I watch the other children playing. My dad takes me off his chest and lays me on the grass facing the jungle gym. Other moms and dads stop by to smile at me and say crazy things like, “Look how big she has gotten.” I like the attention and when another adult picks me up and swings me around, I open my mouth wide and let go a belly laugh.  

Papa, why do you have four eyes?

There are all ages of children and it’s fascinating to see them running around. Sometimes one will yell in an angry voice—sometimes one cries after a fall. I take it all in.  I also like to look up at the sky and trees, feel the grass and dirt while listening to the confluence of noises that create the entire dynamic playground scene. Papa picks me up and wraps me snugly onto his chest. We walk to the library, dad returns five books and a music CD and picks out five new books and two music CDs. He says to me, “Anna, when you get to be a little older, you’ll be able to find and check out books and music with your own library card, but I’ll take care of it today.” When I coo loudly, a young boy looks up at me so we stare at each other. As Dad walks back outside, I begin to get a bit sleepy, and by the time we arrive home I am fast asleep.

Pumpkin or squash this time, pops?

I wake up hungry, and papa feeds me some soft vegetables from a jar. They are mushy and I swirl them around my tongue often pushing them back out. But my dad is patient and keeps scooping the goop off my cheeks and chin and back into my mouth. He changes me while singing a song I’m pretty sure he made up. There is a rhyme and it seems to amuse him more than me, but that’s okay. Dad then raises me up into the air proclaiming, “Story time, Anna!”

Papa is a fungi! (fun guy--get it? Ha ha!
He carries me to the soft sofa and sits me on his lap and reads one book after another.  His voice changes with the different characters in the book and that is so cool! I also like when he points out different objects in the pictures—I know those words are not written on the page but I like to hear their names over and over again—sometimes I’ll see that object in the real world outside and emit an extra loud coo!

Papa may sit me into a rocker and play some music while he reads on his laptop. He and mom seem to like a variety of classical, baroque, folk, and country. Dad must have read something about Johann Bach’s music being good for a baby’s brain because he usually plays that for me while we both relax a bit. I do enjoy the melodies.

Evening With Mama

Mom comes home late afternoon to our mutual happiness. We all hug each other—mom and dad kiss. Pops now starts to get ready for work—not every night. I miss him but now I have Mama to hang out with—and enjoy milk straight from her breast. We have lots of visitors.  My Mom’s parents—my grandma and grandpa—come over for dinner a couple nights a week.  Sometimes my mom's friends visit with us.

Mom, your milk is the breast, I mean best...ha!

It’s never boring in my home—just the way I want it—lots of activity. Tonight, mom puts on a lively CD while she makes dinner while I lie down listening to mom singing. I babble along while wiggling like a funny conductor! Mom gives me a wooden rattle to shake which I do until I fling it to the blanket—we try this over and over again. Soon, Mom nurses me while she eats her dinner. She and I look into each other’s eyes and share some quiet peacefulness. Then, she gives me a warm bath in the sink—I’m still too small for the tub—while telling me about her day. I give her just enough feedback to show her that I’m listening.

What, no bubbles tonight?

After splashing around in the soapy water my pajamas feel so soft and comfortable. It’s bedtime story time! Mama lets me touch the different textures on the pages of the book. Then, she sings a lullaby. I yawn and shut my eyes soon with my hand on Mama’s arm. She gently holds my head and kisses my cheek.

When Papa gets home, I am thankful to feel both my parents roll into bed with me for another night of comfy slumber.

May every child have good days and nights,

Papa Green Bean