Is any mother ready for the speed at which her baby grows and learns? It feels like only yesterday that we brought Fig home from the hospital, plonked his car seat in the middle of the living room and looked at each other – what now? He was so tiny, so fragile, so helpless, it was enough to make you weep: he couldn’t focus his eyes on anything, couldn’t hold his head up, didn’t understand anything that was happening to him. His world was a sea of noises, smells, lights and sensations, some of which were comforting and some of which were unpleasant. And now, four months on, he’s…he’s THIS.
He’s a little boy now, our little man. He laughs often and long. He ‘talks’ to us, and smiles when we talk back. He is interested in everything – how do mummy and daddy know which things to take off the shelves in the shop? Who is that bebe in the mirror? What is that? And that? What does that do? Does this taste nice? What’s THAT? He loves tummy time now, because he can lift his head right up and look around the room, and he grins with pleasure and/or pride (can babies feel pride?) when he’s done.
He doesn’t cry as much as he did when he was a tiny baby, because he has other ways of communicating (at the moment, it’s a very high pitched scream which has forced the neighbours to move down south), and ways of distracting himself. He is becoming harder to feed, because he follows people around the room with his eyes, and therefore his head, or tries to see what’s going on over his shoulder. Result? Milk everywhere. He can play on his mat on his own, happily chewing his elefuddle or strangling his monkey while mummy takes ten minutes to ‘clean’ (wipe) the bathroom.
Everything goes in his moof, from daddy’s thumb to muslins and, occasionally, things that are supposed to go in his moof, like Sophie la Girafe. Every now and again, when he drops his dum-dum, he picks it up and puts it back in his moof unaided, but I suspect that might be more by good luck than good management. He wants to sit up unsupported so badly, and he takes his full weight on his legs when he tries to stand. He’s even, finally, growing some hair, if you really, really look hard – by summer, when he stops wearing woolly hats, it may actually be obvious.
He still hates bedtime, although he doesn’t wail quite as much when he goes in his Gro-bag as he used to, and his favourite bedtime story is Meg and Mog (he likes the picture of Mog when Meg treads on his tail. I know this because he kicks like crazy and does duckface when we come to that bit). And he still loves bathtime. Usually.
Fig is more than the sum of his parts, way more, but his parts are pretty darn special too. I can spend hours just looking at his tiny fingers, feeling the soft fluff on his head, kissing his little toesies and squeezing those chubby thighs.
He is astonishing, beautiful, and so loved my heart could explode with it. Here’s to the next month and another bunch of surprises.