Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Time Flies! He's Already Four (Months)

Sorry for the absence. Life's been particularly busy of late and when the priorities start to bottleneck something has to give. Recently, that's meant a lot less blogging and a lot more of, well, other things.

Toward the top of the list, I started a new job. That's right! After much deliberation I "decided to take my talents to Southeast Madison."

I won't bore you with the details, I'll just say that I'm excited and so far it's lived up to my expectations.

In the midst of this welcomed upheaval, we wedged a family vacation into our lives too.

I'll have more on that adventure soon but for now, I need to acknowledge the importance of today's date.

Yes, it's eight days until St. Patrick's Day, which is important — though less so because it falls on a weekday this year. At my advanced age I require a full day of recovery if I consume more than three beers. So that leaves Friday and Saturday as my designated celebration days.

More importantly, today, March 9, also marks exactly four months since Mrs. Blackwell, The Boy and I, welcomed The New Boy into the world.

You might remember that he tipped the scales at an even nine pounds and about 21 inches long. He was a big boy then and, as babies often do, he's kept growing ever since.

His head remains formidable in its heft. And his limbs remain long, though not lanky. 

But he's also at the point now where it's not just his physical attributes that define him. Nope. Our little guy is developing a personality.

First, he's a smiler. He's got the bright, mouth-stretching, eyes wide, ode-to-joy smile that fills a room and makes the rest of the world disappear.

One of the great things about this grin is that I can usually coax it out of him. It might take a bit of work, but he almost always delivers.

It's usually just a matter of laying him flat on my lap, letting him grab onto my thumbs and then pulling him to a standing position.

When he reaches the apex of this ascent I greet him with a big grin of my own and an exclamation of pleasant surprise. After about two or three of these I usually get the great, big grin that I'm after.

Then he's got this other grin. It's funny and it probably says more about me than him but, this is one of those side-mouth grins that says "happy" but it's unmistakably sly. It's as if he's in on a joke with you and might know what the punch line means better than you do.

Wouldn't be the first time someone else got the joke better than I did and I still found myself dimly smiling right along.

When he's not smiling, he's often talking. Baby talking, but talking nonetheless. When we put him down on a blanket for tummy time, we're often met with a steady stream of exclamations as he struggles to make his way across the floor.

He's already got excellent taste in colleges. 
Which brings me to my next attribute — the New Boy likes to move. He's been rolling over for weeks now and trying to crawl for just as long.

He digs his toes into the ground and pushes off as hard as he can. And with each mighty thrust he usually moves about two inches.

That said, occasionally he'll catch lightning in a bottle and get about four inches in a single push. It might not sound like much but those little pushes add up quick and mean that you need to keep your eyes on him.

For now, the movement doesn't match the effort and his frustration is obvious.

That said, he moves and provides his own squawking narration as he does. Which brings me to my next attribute.

The new boy is not shy. If he's not happy, we know about it.

He's not a stoic, which is good because I'm not great with subtlety. While Mrs. Blackwell has a preternatural intuition when it comes to both the boys, I do not.

So, if you need something, screaming or crying about it works just fine — for now.

But while I'm no fan of crying babies, I'm in no rush for him to grow up.

One thing I try to be good at is stopping to savor the good in life. Since The Boy was first born, I've had many people tell me that this all goes by quickly.

Meanwhile, The Boy is now into off roading with his buddies
in his spare time. Yes, they do grow up quickly. 
They're born, they're in school and then they're off having kids of their own. So, slow down and enjoy it.

After hearing that sentiment a few hundred times, it started to sink in and I think I'm doing that.

I suppose I won't really know for a few years how successful I've been at this. However, I need look no further than the Boy for evidence of how true this sentiment is.

It does go by fast. All of it.

The little milestones accumulate quickly. Rolling over turns into crawling, which turns into walking, which turns into running. Day care turns into preschool, which turns into elementary school, then high school and then college.

A little over four months ago, this little smiling, crawling, yelping, growing bundle of love wasn't here. Now he is and, even though the time has flown, it's tough to remember life without him.

Happy (four-month) birthday buddy.

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