I’m starting to notice that Xander looks so much more like a little boy than a baby these days. He’s longer and leaner, the dimpled baby joints giving way to gangly boy limbs. Not all the way. Not yet. His hands still look like little star fish. His face is still round. His belly still spills out of shirts. But still. It’s happening.
I didn’t have my camera with me today, so I tried to take mental snapshots to hang on to on those nights I’m waiting up for him, swearing that next time, I’ll REALLY enforce curfew (is that still a thing? curfew?).
- Wake up time: He’s singing and babbling in his crib. When he sees JS come in to scoop him up, he flips over onto his belly, pretending to still be asleep – complete with fake snores.
- Breakfast: Initial cheerfulness has given way to body shuddering sobs at the horror of being changed. He stumbles into the kitchen. “Xander, do you want milk?” I ask, holding out his morning cup of milk/kefir. “NO!” He sobs, launching himself forward onto the floor, balling his fists. “What do you want, buds?” “UP. UP UP UP UP,” he pleads. In my arms, he signs for milk.
- In a jogging stroller, while I run with a friend: “Ball! Fofo! Shoe! Buh! Daddy! Doggy! Fofo!” Turning around to smile at me through the plastic window.
- Nap time: Reaching eagerly for pacifier, hugging blankie to his chest, his head snuggling against my chin while we read about Thomas. Again. “Choo choo?” He points. We read it again and he squirms while he giggles. “Choo choo.” I sing “You Are My Sunshine” and lower him down into the crib. He cracks a sleepy eye and claps.
- Dinner: We eat early, before JS gets home. He spoons rice into his mouth faster than he can chew. “Mmmm!” He digs through the bowl, finding all of the vegetables, winging them at the dog’s head. “Uh-OH!” He gulps his water down. “Ahhh!….Cookie?”
- After dinner: we play a puzzle game on the iPad. He misses and misses and misses and finally gets it right. He stands, points to himself, and claps. He dances around the room, clapping. I dance and clap with him.
- Before bed: JS is home, Xander sprints up and down the hall, chanting “do do do doop! do do doop!” while JS tosses the ball for him to chase.
- He throws his arms around my neck, his grasp surprisingly strong. He lays his cheek against mine, then presses his wet lips to my ear. “Mama,” he breathes.
These days are so very long. By the time 730 rolls around, I’m all but ready for bed myself. But they’re so sweet, so great. I hope I remember the good, more than the bad.