Joshua: 5 Months

Dear Joshua,

There’s not much more I need to say after these pictures stand for themselves. You are completely delightful, and you’re a ridiculously easy baby. Today you were a page (all the pages, even) out of Marc Weissbluth’s book on healthy sleep: After going to bed last night at 6:30, you woke once at 2:30 to eat and then again about 7:00 a.m. Then you took two very long naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and then one more short one at 4:15, waking for a short evening before being ready to go back to bed again.

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You can’t make this stuff up. Well, you could if you were just pretending that your baby was actually a textbook baby. Or if he actually was and you weren’t pretending at all. You cry when you want to be left alone. When you are especially tired you flail and scream until we put you in your crib and then you roll onto your side, snuggle your blanket, and put your thumb in your mouth. This behavior is RIDICULOUS. Speaking of ridiculous, the other day I went to check on you while you slept and I find you not just sucking your thumb, which apparently after two non-thumb-sucking babies I find to be the cutest thing in the world, but you were sucking your thumb through a hole in your blanket. Unbelievable. I think there are laws against cuteness levels of this magnitude.

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I love taking upside down pictures of you, as you will see. I love how your mouth and your eyes are these three perfect half-moons all arranged perfectly into one smiley circle of a face. You want to be left alone to wiggle and squirm on the floor whenever you’ve been held too much. You still get pretty annoyed at the insult of your carseat, though you can be consoled and distracted now, and when you’re rested you take it in stride pretty peacefully.

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You spend a lot of time on your tummy these days. You giggle at your siblings and watch them with concentrated interest. You grab toys and eat them. You study your fingers and play with your feet. You roll over if it’s worth the trouble, though it usually isn’t. And you plant your feet while you’re lying on your back and scooch yourself all kinds of places. You can travel some real distance. And when I go find you in your crib I never know which direction you’ll be pointing.

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You’re maybe only days away from your first tooth or two. You were 16 pounds even at your 4mo well-check, which was just two weeks ago, and that places you squarely in the middle of the growth charts. Here you started out packing it on faster than even your big brother did and I was sure you’d be 30 pounds by your birthday. Thanks for sparing me that back ache.

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You spend all your time on your play mat, in your bouncy chair, or sitting in the bumbo chair while we are cooking or eating. (I mean unless I’m holding you or you’re sleeping.) It’s your tiny little world, and it’s a good world. You know Jacob and Merry will always be good for entertainment, and you just take everything in. Sometimes you venture all the way down to the basement and watch Daddy and me keep chipping away at the renovation work down there, our ridiculous excuse for a “date night” these days.

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You are increasingly rowdy in church, and I have to spend much of the first half of the service standing in the back because as long as I’m standing with you in the Moby you’re 60% quiet but if I dare to sit down you’re immediately 60% loud again. So the last two weeks you’ve been getting dumped in the nursery for part of each service at Church #2 so that I can sit in peace, since after one service wrangling three small children I feel just a little entitled to sitting still and being a for-real grown-up.

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You had two separate sets of spider bites on your tiny, precious, soft, sweet skin this month, and I was crazy-mad when I found them on two separate mornings after your night in your crib. The first set was on your legs, the second on your head about a week later. I looked for that bugger, but no luck. But you didn’t seem to mind.

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By the way, somewhere in this past month Daddy started calling you his “Big Joshua,” and it’s stuck. He loves you to pieces. Also, and unrelated, I feel like I have a right to record the fact that after basically never pooping for a solid week you have had three blow-outs and a couple more impressive diapers besides since yesterday morning. What is up with that?

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I just still cannot get enough of you. I just want to be with you all the time. It’s only compounded by all the solitary time you’re spending in your crib, so in your awake times I’m pretty fixated on you. I love that you genuinely sit on my lap these days and you even almost sort of let me read you a little board book the other day.

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My favorite thing is how you know your nursery and you love it. How you smile when you see it and how eager you are to be in your crib when you’ve been deprived of it by a morning running errands. It makes me happy to see you happy at home, and it inspires me for this whole enterprise I’m engaged in – creating a place where all five of us can hang our hats. I want this to be our very favorite place, the place we come back to like Bilbo comes back to Bag End (I’ve just begun reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time since I was 14.) at the end of an adventure. I want it to be a place of true beauty, goodness, kindness, welcome, happiness. I want it to be defined by and created out of a sum of all our loves and pleasures so we can genuinely long for it, and individually and collectively feel like we belong here at the end of the day. I think we’re off to a good start, and this makes me grin.

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I love you, baby.

Love,
Mommy

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