Happy New Year! Have you all survived the holiday season? A friend of ours who also recently had a baby said that this was the first holiday season that they were glad to have over with. Would I be a curmudgeon if I admitted I was inclined to agree? Don’t get me wrong–there were tons of really sweet and wonderful moments. They blossomed out in between the madness, in spite of all the hiccups in our routine. And really, the holidays were only part of what kept us so busy. December marked the end of the third year we’ve lived in Thailand and all the things that we did to set up life here (Toby’s visa, driving licenses, lease agreements, et cetera, et cetera) all came up for renewal at the same time. Plus we had to get Cy’s American paperwork in order. Each thing required several steps of bureaucracy, each squeezed in between Christmas shopping, work, house maintenance, and taking care of Cy.
Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. Really, I wanted to talk about the eggnog party we hosted at our house, the first party I finally got to host here with my proper dishware shipped from the States, instead of the plastic plates we’ve been using in the meantime. I wanted to talk about how, the night before the party, Cy woke up at 2:00 a.m. and just would not go back to sleep. I tried everything: nursing him, rocking him, changing his diaper (three times). The boy was wide awake. So, out of desperation, I made him do tummy time, determined to wear him out. And you know what he did? He rolled over for the first time! Twice! Apparently, he decided 2:30 a.m. was an appropriate time to hit a developmental milestone. He did go back to sleep after that…
I didn’t have time on Christmas Eve to make my especially spiked eggnog (since we had to spend that day at immigration), so on the Sunday before New Years’, I had a little eggnog party with appetizers–cheese tray, nuts, and whatnot, served only because we needed something with which we could absorb all that liquor. Everybody ate so much (and drank so much) at the party, we all skipped dinner and were in bed by 7:30 that night, and fully asleep an hour later.
I slept until Cy woke up to nurse at 1:30 a.m. I came downstairs to make sure we had locked up for the night, and discovered that Toby hadn’t been asleep that whole time at all. He woke up at some point to come down, wash all the dishes from the party, clean up, and go back to bed. I fell in love with that man all over again.
I think parenting has brought Toby and me together in deeper, maybe unexpected ways–despite the fact that we don’t have nearly so much time to talk to each other any more. Our best conversations–like a back and forth about The Beatles’ and what songs or Beatle we love best and their place in social history, sparked by Cy being such a Beatles fan and us singing the canon to him all the time–tend to come in pieces spread out over stolen moments over several days. Or in the car, as the one time Cy doesn’t need to be entertained for long stretches of time, and we don’t have to be quiet as he sleeps. The other day, we went to lunch at a restaurant in the mall, and I got Cy down to sleep in my arms (and felt like such a mama rockstar for this piece of jiujitsu) and we actually got to eat together and talk, a rare treat. I guess sharing the challenge of raising a baby together makes us a team in more ways than we were before, and the connections we make in unexpected moments like that are all the more precious now for being more rare.
Cy turns four months old next week. How did that happen? It seems like just a week ago we were slogging through the first month of newborn, and now suddenly, Cy’s new favorite thing to do is to try to stand. He still doesn’t have a habit of rolling over or trying to crawl. He’s just skipped straight to wanting to sit and stand (with our help). His legs aren’t strong enough yet to hold him up for more than a few minutes at a time, and that frustrates him. We tell him “Baby steps, Cy. Baby steps.”
I’m also about 80% sure he’s teething. It’s on the early side, but he’s showing all the signs of it, and there are a couple of white bumps in his gums that I think are teeth, but I won’t call it for sure until I actually see some pearlies pushing through. It’s the saddest thing in the world when his gums bother him though. He makes this cry I’ve never heard him make before: a sad mewling sound, like a lost kitten. Perfectly calibrated to break a mama’s heart, and so hard to not be able to do much to help.
But when his gums aren’t plaguing him, he’s just a treasure. He’s more interactive now, which means he just loves to chat with us, especially in the mornings as we’re rousing from bed. He loves to be tickled, and I’m always happy to oblige. He has a little polar bear stuffed animal whose snout he loves to eat. And he thinks getting washed under the armpits is just tops.
Thing I Love About Cy Today: His little head on my shoulder. Whenever I carry him on my shoulder or burp him, I peek over at the back of his little head, the way it bobbles a little uncertainly. The curve of his ear. The tufts of soft, downy hair. Something about it looks so sweet and vulnerable, and makes me want to protect it forever. I suddenly realized just how big he’s getting when I went to burp him and he stood up on my leg. That little head won’t stay so little for long.