I cannot believe you have the nerve to go right ahead to the last quarter of your babyhood. Don’t you have a mother to consider? As your older brother looms over me with apoplectic shouty agony because I GAVE HIM THE WRONG CEREAL BAR, I feel an intense need to wrap you tight in my arms. You are still so blissfully unfussed to be held and squeezed and hugged and smooched. And you never argue with me. Unless I am not shoveling food into your mouth fast enough.
You still have no teeth and yet you have an intense appetite for foods you must chew. You grab everything with your impressive pincer grasp and you do so well with just your gums that I can’t help sometimes envisioning you as an elderly person non-chew chewing a piece of bread to death. It gives me hope for my future nursing home days.
Obsessed as a word does not do justice to your fanatical need to put everything into your mouth. But your favorite is paper menus. You do it often and it doesn’t bother us. In fact, it buys us a little time in a restaurant as you’re so happy chewing away. When your NeNe was here visiting we were out for lunch and you were eating some menu or kids’ coloring placemat or something and we were chatting away. When it started to turn into a gummy mess, I finally took it away from you. You seemed so content though and so we carried on with our conversation while you played with more appropriate toys. About a half hour later something I did made you laugh and you leaned back with that wide open grin of yours in hysterical delight. It was that millisecond that we saw the roof of your mouth had a perfectly plastered piece of colorful text and images on it. Who knows how long we might have gone with your internal paper mache. It eventually digests, right?
You don’t just sleep on your tummy. You basically wake up and one second later you are trying to pull yourself into a stand. I don’t know if you understand Simon, that you are about a year ahead of your brother on everything. I am getting whiplash with your milestones. Because we are negligent parents, almost your entire life you have been sleeping in a Pack & Play travel cot. It was meant to be temporary but Jonah kept hogging the real crib for himself and we were in no hurry to move him into a bed. It wasn’t until friends of ours came to visit and we needed to reconfigure some things that we finally bequeathed the real crib to you. And that’s when we actually looked at your travel crib. The flimsy mattress had a permanent body indentation in it and the board underneath had warped into a U. I don’t know if we have caused you permanent physical damage from sleeping in such dire conditions but it makes sense now why you were teaching yourself at such a young age how to escape. We’ll probably have to practice the sign language sign soon for “proper spine alignment”.
You still have no freckles. And your skin is so olive in tone. Your hair parts perfectly on your left-hand side and when we slick it down you are the handsomest baby in the whole universe. Usually though your hair looks like a mohawk toupee with static cling. When that happens, you’re still the handsomest baby in the universe but in a universe where everyone is a mad professor.
Just recently you started to crawl. Well, I think. You always do it when I’m not looking. But you get from Point A to Point B. Point B is always something dangerous and inappropriate like a self-closing drawer or plugged-in hairdryer.
Simon, you bounce a lot and you smile a lot. You are basically happiness incarnate. You make everyone around you happy, especially me. Being your mommy is happiness. I love you and I’m proud of you and both of those truths will be true for all time.
And for your milestone birthday, I’ve got some edible paper with your name on it.
the one who had you