Dear Little Mister:
On Monday, we returned from a two week trip to Maryland. This was your first Thanksgiving and also your first time around so many people. We had a large Thanksgiving celebration and a pretty packed social calendar. While you hate the car seat and cried for the first 10 minutes of each leg of our road trip, you traveled like a champ. You napped until you were hungry and then would start crying. I got a lot of practice with feeding you in the car; I never quite figured out how to make it less awkward and we both got milk on our clothes which was messy, but I am thankful that you did not go hungry.
From watching your reaction to things at your grandparents house, I learned that you are actually quite social and enjoy being around a lot of people. The phone seems to ring almost constantly and your grandmother's voice echoes through the house as she exchanges pleasantries, shares gossip, participates in work meetings, problem solves issues at the office, and figures out logistics for parties. Both she and your grandfather loved talking and singing to you while holding you or watching you on your play mat. You started smiling and making a noise that sounds almost like a laugh. Your sister started a daily ritual of wanting to hold you, hug you, and give you kisses to which you responded with more smiles and intent stares. These rituals melted my heart and increased the number of pictures on my phone by a lot.
While we were in MD, we decided to get some professional pictures taken. We were not sure how you would do with our request that you sit still and look cute while lots of clicks and flashes happen. You surpassed our expectations as you stared right into the camera and only cried when you were tired. As soon as you were swaddled, you fell asleep and we got some cute sleeping pictures. We splurged and got you a fancy outfit which was basically a baby tuxedo, complete with a bow tie. One of my favorite pictures from that session is of you with your grandfather, uncle, and daddy-- all of you look so fancy and cute with the matching bow ties.
Each time someone new came to the house, they would want to hold you and snuggle you. If you were sleeping or eating, we would hold them off. If you were awake, you would often intently study the person holding you as if you were trying to figure things out. From watching other people interact with you, I felt so lucky to learn more about the ways you like to be held, songs that you enjoy, and some moves for how to get you to burp and poop.
During the past few weeks, but especially during the trip to MD, your personality has come out. You are babbling as if you are having a conversation. You laugh as people make funny noises. When you get tired or bored of tummy time, you have figured out how to roll out of it and on to your back. You have started grabbing and hitting at toys from your play mat. You like to be facing outwards when you are on our laps. If we have left you alone for too long, you cry out to remind us to include you.
In those blurry few weeks, I vowed to treasure each stage and to try to enjoy the time I have with you. Even as I try to savor all of these moments, it is all still going so quickly. Your babbling warms my heart. Your smile makes me smile. I am so glad that you are part of our family.