My joyful boy,
This is the first month I haven’t posted this letter on time. I have a good excuse – we’ve been visiting Kate and her new baby boy, Carter, in South Carolina!
I feel like we learned a lot about each other on this trip, which we took without Dad. One day, when you’re a parent, you’ll read that last sentence and think, “Are you INSANE?” Ashleigh and Savannah joined us, but there was only so much help we could offer each other during the trip. My sore arms are a testament to my deeper realization of just how mobile you need to be. It was quite the struggle being trapped in an airplane seat.
Ash and I couldn’t sit in the same row, so I put my seatmates to work. It’s a good thing you are so freaking adorable because no one minded you alls up in their biz. On the long flight home, we sat among a group of middle school students returning from a trip to D.C. They went crazy over you – I guarantee there are pictures and video of you all over Facebook. At one point, you lunged out of my arms and crawled ON TOP of the two tray tables next to us over to the window.
It was striking to spend so much time with babies at different stages of development. Savannah is entering her twos, so she can be a challenging volcano of emotions. But she’s also demure, sensitive, and very content (at times) to sit on her mother’s lap reading a book or playing baby apps on the iPad. She never strays far from her mama. Carter is a bit more wobbly. He’s just starting to sit and he spends a lot of time staring. You put him down and he’s still there when you come back! I can’t remember you ever being that immobile.
You, on the other hand, have zero inhibitions and are in constant motion. At the park a few weeks back, you sprinted 40 feet from us with no intention of stopping before your Dad shouted, “Hey, Cortez. Come back!” Here is a video of you in the bath with Savannah and Carter in South Carolina. Per usual, you are the center of activity and can’t stop moving.
You want to climb on EVERYTHING. At Kate’s, you scaled her stairs a dozen times or more, but never quite realized why you couldn’t nosedive back down. Major kudos to the Nashville Airport for providing the most amazing children’s play area, directly across from our gate during a layover. You climbed for hours!
(Side note: I gave myself A LOT of grief for not being able to nurse you, but I’m coming to the realization that you probably never would have liked it. You came out of the womb ready to move, and you’ve always hated any feeling of confinement.)
You actually had a pretty tough month otherwise. You’d just recovered from another cold when your fever spiked to 103 and you began coughing like a barking seal, so much that you threw up. We rushed you to Children’s Hospital, where doctors told us you had croup. You received a steroid to open up your throat and spent the next few days slowly recovering. Baby, you were so miserable; it broke my heart! You resisted swallowing pain medicine and you barely ate anything for several days. You even fell asleep on me, a sure sign that you were not the same healthy baby.
At the hospital, you weighed 22 lbs, 11 ounces. Since then, your appetite has returned and I bet you’ve exceeded 23 lbs. You’re still too top heavy to walk or even stand on your own, although you’re pushing off furniture for a few seconds and balancing. I couldn’t help but laugh when our friend Justin tried to plop you on your feet at the park and you toppled over like a falling tree. “Um…he can’t stand yet.” Justin was appropriately chagrined.
In addition to balancing, you’ve begun clapping again. You also love to play “Arms Up!,” where we throw our arms into the air whenever you do, and you mimic us when we stick our tongues out. You can now throw books off the third row of bookshelves. This weekend, Ashleigh started teaching you how to high five.
You pull on your grandpa’s whiskers, and the other day I heard him call you his “Garbanzo Bean.” You sleep scrunched up, with your butt in the air.
Charlie, you are not only the light of our lives; you bring so much joy to others. When we’re out in public, your Dad and I refer to the “CFC” – or “Charlie Fan Club” – because people stop us constantly to interact with you and tell us how wonderful you are. We glimpsed an elderly man dance a jig for you at a restaurant when he caught you looking his way.
I can’t believe that in less than a month I will be writing your 12-month letter.
I’m so excited.