To everyone’s surprise, he was a big baby from the start. Off the charts for height and weight at birth, and still trending in the top percentiles at 4 months. No waking him to feed at night. No worrying if he might be getting enough milk. Despite our fears of getting another non-sleeper, this one is capable of sleeping for more than an hour at a time. Just as well – lifting his weight hourly each night is not an attractive idea. A sling is a necessity to hold him for more than a few minutes at all. He easily dwarfs other babies twice his age. All chubby thighs and cheeks and arms in motion. Toes poking holes in babygros that claim to fit a baby well past a year old. Not this monster.
A strong baby. Almost lifting himself from lying to sitting with those rock hard abs of his. Holding tight to my clothing with a death-grip I can barely release. Stray smacks to the face reveal his strength even before he clumsily grabs your hand and squeezes. Wrestling me while feeding with the strength of a toddler disguised as a baby.
He’s a brash and loud baby – unafraid to make himself heard. The tell-tale quiver of his lip blossoms into a sad pout just before he screws up his face and bursts into angry tears at whatever is currently causing offence. At 4 months old as he starts to explore his world in earnest he’s already developing a personality that is totally different to his brother. He’s either wildly happy and content watching the world go past, or he’s ferociously straining to evict the wind that is always building somewhere in that unreliable digestive system of his. A sputtering sound eventually emerges from one end accompanied by a sickly smell, then as soon as a fresh set of clothing is fastened he looks to one side and discreetly vomits a spray of acidic curdled white milk down his side – necessitating yet another wardrobe change for both of you. He grunts in satisfaction and innocently smiles back at your frown.
He’s a fearless explorer who assumes he can do anything. Constantly attempting to throw himself off my lap and chase after his brother. At 4 months and 4 days old he rolled onto his tummy and this is now his staple party trick. Immediately followed by grunts of frustration and disgust that his strong limbs aren’t up to the task of commando crawling quite yet – but maybe next week?! Meanwhile his hands reach out to pat whatever appears to be in his range and explore the new textures. Anything attractive is destined for a slobbery mouth, if he can only manage to get his aim right. Tap, tap, scrape, scrape… he’s on a mission to explore everything in sight.
He’s full of joy. A beautiful baby with a sunny smile that completely lights up his face. He wakes from naps with a quizzical expression, wide-eyed and confused about what’s going on. Looks into my eyes and a slow smile spreads as he registers the presence. Cackling as he rolls about on his back, grabbing his toes and giving them a tentative chew. He attracts the attention of strangers – “Hello you!”, says yet another lady passing by. He responds with his trademark sheepish smile whilst cuddling in close, as if embarrassed at all the attention. He bats his long eyelashes at shop staff, and once more I’m asked how old she is.
How could you resist those baby-blue eyes and cheeky grin? Kiss his cheek and he responds with a smile in his sleep. He does a happy dance at the drop of a hat. Snorting giggles at anything that amuses him. He stuffs a fist in his mouth and chews while intently watching what’s going on around him. Catch his eye and he beams cheerfully, jiggling up and down excitedly. So full of exuberance. I can’t wait to see what he thinks of the wider world he has yet to see.
Big, Bold and Beautiful. My second born, my youngest son. We’ve only just begun getting to know each other.