Dear Baby Boy,
You turned seven months old a week and a half ago. Mama is a little late writing your newsletter this month, because you (and your sisters, and even Mama and Daddy) have been sick lately, and it’s been hard to get anything done, what with the fevers and the fussiness and the medicating and the inability to sleep through the night. We’ve all had a rough few weeks, Baby Boy.
You’re already starting to show signs of being an overachiever. The day you turned seven months we found out you had an ear infection…but not JUST an ear infection – a DOUBLE ear infection. This was your very first ear infection, and you apparently decided to go for bonus points by having BOTH ears infected. Bless your little heart; that certainly was a valid explanation for why you’d been so fussy and feverish. Our Baby Boy was hurting. You finished your ten-day round of Amoxycillin this past Monday, but yesterday your pediatrician said both ears are still infected. So ten more days of a stronger antibiotic…and, hopefully, you’ll let that infection move out and move on with its life. It’s been camped out at your place way too long already.
A few days after you were initially diagnosed with the double ear infection, we were BACK at the doctor’s office because you were fussy and running fever again, and you had started wheezing. That wheezing was so scary to Mama, because I knew right away that it probably meant you had RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Miss Attitude had RSV when she was a baby, and she ended up with asthma; and I’m just scared to death the same thing might happen to you. The doctor said yes, it probably was RSV, and put you on an oral steroid (which you took with little complaint, you’re such a good-natured thing) and nebulizer treatments (which you really didn’t like, ’cause Mom, why CAN’T I eat that mask you keep putting in my face?). Yesterday the doctor said your breathing sounds better, so we’ll keep doing your breathing treatments through the end of the week, and hope and pray you recover completely, without any chronic complications.
Baby Boy, when you were at your sickest, running high fever and feeling just awful, you were like a totally different kid. Gone was the even-tempered, sweet-natured baby boy we knew so well; in his place was an alien life form who wouldn’t eat or sleep, and whose only form of communication was uncontrollable (and LOUD) whimpering and sobbing. You were just pitiful, and our hearts broke for you. Daddy and I took turns holding and rocking you, waiting for your fever to break and your breathing to slow to a more comfortable rhythm.
You seem to be feeling better today, since you started the stronger antibiotic last night. This afternoon you were once again bounce-bounce-bouncing in your bouncy car. You just love your car. And I love it, too, ’cause I can sometimes get a few things done while you play. I’ll check on you or play peek-a-boo around the corner, and you’ll grin at me……Baby Boy, that grin…..I swear, you smile with the light of the sun, warming everyone around you, right down to the soul. I love that smile. It’s the icing on the cake on the good days, and my reason to keep going on the bad days. Add to that your big, beautiful, baby blue eyes, and Sweetie, you’re just plain irresistible. People stop us in the grocery store and comment on how big and gorgeous your eyes are. You’re such a handsome boy.
You’ve been rolling a lot more this month. I’ve started using laundry baskets to block off part of the living room, so you can roll freely, without rolling into the kitchen or under the computer table. You roll over-and-over-and-over until you hit an obstacle, then you either fuss for someone to come and reset your position, or you figure out to just roll back the other way. You’re discovering that rolling is not a very precise method of getting where you want to go, and I’ve noticed you trying to scoot sometimes. It’s usually when you’re reaching for one of your toys — or some non-toy that we let you play with, even though you think you’re getting away with playing with stuff you’re not supposed to have — and you’ll reeeeeeach out for it, and, if you can’t quite get it, you’ll use your elbows to scoot yourself a little. Looks like you’re on your way to scooting and crawling, Little One. You’ve also been practicing sitting up without support, but you’re still working on your balance.
You’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables. So far, you’ve tried green beans, sweet peas, lima beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, pears and apples. You like the fruit and the orange vegetables better than the green veggies (of course you do. I believe this means you’re normal.), but you’ll eat just about any green veggie, if we just mix it with the carrots or sweet potatoes. You’ve got a very healthy appetite, and you’re now eating solids three times a day…just like a big boy! The downside to your new menu is the havoc it is wreaking on your diaper situation. You now have actual human waste leaving your body, rather than those harmless little breastmilk poops you had before. And Mama wouldn’t have such a hard time getting past the nasty stuff if it didn’t look EXACTLY LIKE what I just fed you thirty minutes ago! Good grief, Child! Isn’t your lower intestine supposed to do something with all that food, perhaps modify the color and texture, perhaps an artist’s rendering of “The Thinker”? Or SOMETHING?
[It occurs to me now that I’ve probably spent too much time talking about your poop. It also occurs to me that this newsletter will be just the thing to set the tone for your first date.]
You started babbling this month. The babbling is our favorite new trick of yours. We all just LOVE to listen to you “talk.” Whenever you start your babbling, we all get really quiet and listen to your wonderful baby ramblings before we start responding in kind. You sound something like this: “Ga-ga-ga-ga-da-da-da-buh-buh-buh-buh-gla-gla-gla-gla…” (I’ve been impressed by your early use of the complicated “gl” blend) “…-geh-geh-geh-da-da-da-da.” Yes, you’ve been making the “Da-da” sounds, and your daddy couldn’t be happier. I’ve been sulking over this a bit, since BOTH of your sisters said “Da-da” before they said “Ma-ma,” and hey, never mind me, I only GAVE BIRTH TO YOU IS ALL. But hey…WHATEVER. (I’m not bitter. Not one bit. No sir.)
I suppose I can live without your first word being “Ma-ma,” as long as you keep hugging me the way you do. When you hug me – especially if I’ve been away from you for a while – you just grab around my neck as tight as your little arms will hold, and you SQUEEEEEEEEZE me with every ounce of your being. You bury your face in my neck or my shoulder and squeeze some more, then you do a little “buh-buh-buh” kissing thing by bouncing your mouth off of my shoulder. I haven’t seen you hug anyone else the way you hug me, and you can’t imagine how wonderful your sweet hugs make me feel. So Baby Boy, even if you never say “Ma-ma,” I’ll be happy as long as you keep hugging me like that. (But you WILL say Mama, won’t you, Sweetie? Eventually?)
Baby Boy, this last month has been pretty tough. You’ve been to the pediatrician four times in the last two weeks, and you have to go back in another week and a half for a follow-up on your ear infection. Your sleep habits have been totally messed up, and we’ve all been pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired. I certainly hope things will get better from here, and our lives can return to normal (whatever “normal” is) in a few days…especially the sleeping part. Yeah. Sleep. Can we do some more of that?
I love you so very much, my Sweet Boy, my Little Man, Mama’s Baby Boy.