Thursday, March 22, 2007

5th month letter

The baby books don’t lie when they describe the 4th and 5th months as golden—a magical time when your little one is interactive but not mobile. The last few weeks with Miguel have been incredible. When we swooned at his fleeting 2 month smiles, now we understand why people said, “Just wait until he smiles with his heart, not his digestive system!”

He greets each day with happy babble, content to let us sleep in a few extra minutes while he entertains himself with vocal experiments. “Ah goo” is a sign of relaxation; “ah ging gee!” is the signal of distress. We’re also hearing some l’s and b’s.

Everything’s bigger: smiles, cheeks, poops, screams and eyes—eager to take in every detail. And where his eyes land, his hands follow. He’s grasping and grabbing and trying to shove as many things as he can into his mouth. One of his favorite tricks is to rub his gums with his thumb through the fabric of his sleeves. We won’t be done dressing him, and already there will be a wet spot on his shirt. He looks up like, “Yeah, Daddy, you gotta roll my sleeve down faster than that! Heh, heh, heh!” He’s also gnawing on the ears of stuffed animals, sucking on frozen washcloths and chomping on people’s fingers. His biggest oral fixation is a brightly colored atomic looking rattle. It’s easy for him to pick up with one or two hands, and there are plenty of noodley surfaces for him to clamp his mouth around.

Not all of his handwork is geared towards the gums. He’s also into making noises. Any toy that has crinkly paper inside is a hit. He loves to rustle the newspaper, especially while Mom is reading the sports section. So many things make him laugh: dabbing his chin with a burp cloth, sweeping hair across his face, blowing on his belly, sucking air through his knuckles, making goofy sounds, repeating words, imitating his facial expressions. . . We went through a hilarious lip smacking stage a few days ago.

He adores his jungle themed bouncer. It combines many of his favorite things—making noise, bouncing, and touching. He is less enthusiastic about tummy time, but he tolerates it. We suspect he’s not yet rolling over on his own because his mellow personality leads him to be fairly content wherever he is.

We’ve been seeing a physical therapist every week or so to monitor his development. The flat spot on the right side of his head we noticed at 4 months is nearly gone, but he still prefers looking to the right. She has taught us stretches and exercises to help balance his neck muscles—he often protests, so we have to be sneaky about it. She’s also given us tips on helping him develop the muscles (and the desire!) to roll over.

Miguel is still a member of the jet-set. In mid-March we visited snowy mountains in Colorado for a reunion of Gin’s family. Her aunts, uncles and cousins were delighted to finally meet him and to learn more about the miraculous way our family was formed. . .

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