Months 3 and 4

Sigh.  So far behind already.

Things that have happened in the last two months!

1. Dominic discovered his hands.  Month three: fists were still mostly clenched, but he would wave his little fist in front of his face or hold it out straight in front of him with a frowny, intent expression, like a miniature dictator or rabble-rouser.  Month four: he started getting better at grabbing things, though he still hasn’t quite figured out the most effective arrangement of fingers yet.

2. He finally learned how to laugh!  Now he gives great belly laughs and giggles at the drop of a hat.  Occasionally he laughs at nothing at all.  Usually, his laughing fits end with him gleefully grabbing fistfuls of mommy’s hair and trying to stuff them in his mouth.

3. This baby’s coos will be my undoing.  He has a tiny little breathy coo that he makes when he’s just sort of talking to himself — or singing to the ceiling fan.  On some mornings, we’ll wake up to the sound of a little sotto voce “awah, oooooh, oooh, awooo” over the monitor.  Melts me into a puddle without fail.

4. Spitting.  His father taught him how to blow raspberries recently, though Dominic has taken them in a wholly unintended direction.  For a while, it was his favorite game to get our attention by blowing a series of short, explosive (and wet) raspberries, then waiting for us to smile and respond in kind.  He did this in the middle of Mass once, sitting in his car seat on the pew in front of us, looking back and forth at the faces of his parents in prayer above him.  Then he gleefully gave an extremely loud “TTTTHHHHHBBBBBTTTT!” and grinned at us expectantly.  (Though this is still better than the other sounds he often makes — just as loudly — in the middle of Mass.)

Next, he discovered that the raspberry could be used to spit out his reflux medicine (which, admittedly, is pretty foul); I’ve had to develop a method of squirting his medicine in with a syringe and quickly covering his mouth with a towel to keep as much in as possible.   From here, I suppose it was inevitable that he began to generalize it to mean, “I don’t like this!  I object!”  Now I’ll often hear, “ttthbt! pffft!” when I try to put him down for a nap or change his diaper against his will.  It’s a hilarious, odd, and strangely effective way to communicate!

4.  As much as he often gets upset at having to go down for naps, he LOVES to snuggle with Daddy or me in bed.  Sometimes, when I know he’s over-tired and I just can’t get him to fall asleep, I’ll put him on our bed and climb up next to him.  Without fail, his eyes light up in pure delight.  He grins and wiggles and squirms his little body until he’s as close up against me as he can get.  Then he’ll lie there and stare at my face, inches away; sometimes he’ll try to pat my face (not very gently).  Often he’ll whisper at me.  This just kills me!  I’ll close my eyes for a few minutes, then I’ll hear, “Awasss…. pohtoh…. psssawah….” and I’ll open my eyes to see him beaming at me.  It’s so sweet it nearly makes me cry!

5.  …and speaking of unbearably sweet, just this week Dominic has started hugging me around the neck and pressing his open mouth against my face.  I’m assuming this is his way of returning some of the kisses I’ve been lavishing on him.  I think it’s all still confused in his mind with eating, though; just as often, he aims for my chin rather than my cheek and starts sucking aggressively.  Then he giggles.  And I die.

6.  A few days ago, I looked over and saw Dominic sitting in his bouncy seat and staring intently at his right foot.  As I watched, he slowly rotated his ankle and stared as his foot made little circles.  You could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he realized, “Hey — I can make this thing move…”

7.  This week, he (mostly accidentally) rolled over — from front to back.  Yes, this is no great accomplishment, I suppose, since he’s technically late in doing so.  His severe reflux has meant that he has had to be kept upright after eating for prolonged periods of time, so floor time in general is pretty limited.  But rolling over seems to have sparked in his mind the realization that he can make big movements with his body, and now we often find him trying to sit up, lifting his legs up straight in the air and throwing them to the side, arching his back and just…sort of…contemplating what rolling over again might be like.  To mommy’s chagrin, he seems to try these movements out most often when he’s on the changing table.

8.  Phillip and I are both temperamentally mellow people, so it has been hard to tell who this little guy will take after, but new evidence is pointing surely in his father’s direction.  I am working on getting Dominic to go down for naps with a regular routine — one that doesn’t involve nursing, much to Baby’s annoyance.  He is quickly learning that mommy doesn’t give in if he flings himself about and cries in protest; sooner or later, he’ll give up, accept the pacifier, and fall asleep in my arms.

In true Munoz fashion, though, he has recently figured out a way to deal with the existing limitations and still get what he wants.  Twice today, he has awoken from his nap earlier than expected, but still after enough time to qualify as a real nap.  Mommy picks him up with a smile, and he promptly requests to nurse, which mommy is happy to do — thereby setting up a healthy pattern of “sleep, eat, play, sleep.”

She thinks.

Baby calmly nurses for about 10 minutes…then falls sound asleep again in his favorite place.  Baby: 1, Mommy: 0.



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