I was holding Ezra over my left shoulder the other day, my favorite way to hold him, and I noticed something: he was standing, pushing himself up with his feet in my lap. When did he get tall enough to reach my lap? When did he get strong enough to push himself up? Cue Sunrise, Sunset, you guys. My baby’s all growed up.
In the last few weeks, we’ve noticed that if we sit him up, he can actually hold up the weight of his head, instead of always collapsing his face down into a mushy cavalcade of triple chins. Under his potbelly, his abs are apparently of steel, which he shows off by doing crunches where he lifts his whole head up from the bed or bouncy seat. Suddenly during tummy time, he isn’t just flipping his head from side to side, wiping his nose on the mat, but is pushing up, holding his head off the blanket and looking from side to side.
It’s not just his head and neck that amaze us this month. He’s quickly outgrowing his bassinet, not exactly because he’s so much taller, but because he’s no longer sleeping with his legs all curled up. He flops them out, stretching to his full 24 inches, filling the rest of the space with his long arms if I forget to swaddle him.
He’s alert in a completely different way than he was in his first month, and his eyes focus better. When he’s on his play mat, he gazes up at the crazy sun/star contraption that plays tinny too-fast Mozart while flashing lights at him, smiling and giggling like it’s telling him jokes. On our camping trip, I hung a blanket printed with sheep over his stroller to try to encourage a nap, and 10 minutes later peeked inside to find him cheerfully chatting with his new sheep friends.
He loves to smile, and we spend hours of every day coming up with little games to coax those amazing smiles out of him. We both do the same thing with him in the bouncy chair, holding his hands and using his outstretched arms to bounce the seat up and down, though we each make a different crazy noise to go along with it (I contend this game is called Motorcycle, while Sandy thinks it should be called Machine Gun).
There’s one huge challenge for me with all this growth and development, though. I’ve always been quite a weakling, and I was counting on a nice, slow-growing 7 lb baby so I could build up my hand, arm, and back strength slowly. No such luck. He’s already over 15 lb, and there are groggy late nights when I look down on him in his bassinet and wonder if I really have it in me to scoop him up. I knew someday he’d be bigger than me, but I’m starting to think that day is coming sooner than I expected.