What I want to do is sit here and cry on and on about how I cannot believe Jaxson is already seven and a half months old and reinforce again and again how tightly I'm holding onto his little hands in hopes they'll never leave mine. I could go for days, crying and laughing in complete and stupid shock that babies do in fact... grow. It's just the strangest thing, I tell ya.
I've been sifting relentlessly through the photos and videos on my laptop, trying to find some kind of order.... only to remind myself of how quickly time passes:
That sweet and tiny little cry... he was barely two weeks old! (Curse that machine beeping in the background, the amount of heart attacks it caused me is countless.)
There's nothing quiet about his cry now. He's babbling and fighting off naps and yelling at me whenever I walk away. His newest thing is refusing to stay seated when I place him in my lap or on the floor. He pushes off with his feet and tries to stand; if I don't hold him up, I get an earful. He's suddenly very bossy.
We've been experimenting with solids as well, to no avail. HE HATES EVERYTHING. I slave over batches of homemade baby food only to see a grimace and globs of food sputtering back at me. After speaking with a feeding specialist, we've decided to give it a break though, before he begins to resent everything that isn't a bottle. Instead, we've decided to include him in our meals and offer tiny tastes of appropriate foods on our finger tips. I'm hoping it will help him to understand the correlation between food and hunger, and offer him a wide variety of tastes without being overbearing. I won't lie, it broke my heart a little when he didn't like avocados. Hopefully he'll learn to love them as much I do! Along with vegan food. But again... not going to be overbearing....
On another note, Jaxson had his tubes put in last week! Aside from having to spend an hour and half before surgery distracting him from his hunger, it went beautifully. He was in and out quickly, all fluid drained, and after another BAER test, we were told his hearing is just fine! After failing all of his newborn hearing screens, I was a tad bit nervous he could not hear properly. There were incidents these past few months that made me wonder, but now I know it's all been selective hearing. Wow, do they start young. Now I'm hoping to see some improvement in his balance now that the fluid is finally drained. And I'm wondering if his babbling will get louder too, now that he can hear himself more clearly.
But speaking of milestones, or better yet, Jaxson's accomplishments, he's now sitting up while using his hands to balance! He's a bit wobbly, and according to his therapist, he shouldn't spend too much time doing it or he'll learn to depend on his hands instead of his trunk, but nonetheless, I was proud to see him manage it! He's rolling front to back more often now, and quite easily, but he refuses to roll from his back to stomach. He's so very close though, and I'm holding my breath because I know once he manages to roll both ways, he'll be all over the floor. And then will come crawling. And walking. And running. And middle school dances. And high school graduation. And me crying even more.
Anyway! He's incredibly curious. He watches and touches everything. Especially hands and faces... he'd rather play with your fingers than anything else. And I think his favorite thing is to be stood up on your lap so he's face to face with you and can touch and grab your cheeks, lips, eyes, hair... you name it. And he'll giggle and give kisses and pinch, pull, and talk talk talk. His eyes so full of the most innocent wonder.
His coordination is improving greatly too! I love to watch him grab for toys, or pull his pacifier out, look at, then stuff it back into his mouth. There are times however, where a toy is right in front of his face, and he tries so hard over and over again to grab it, his little hands a little too far right or left, his brow furrowed and his mouth shouting in frustration at the toy. I love to watch this learning process. When he finally manages to catch the toy he bounces in excitement and brings it right to his mouth. And I'll think to myself, I never thought something so small would make me so proud.
How true is that. At this age, I had planned on graduating this semester, and spending this summer in Europe, exploring new places and finding myself. Basking in my youthful ignorance and adventure, making the kind of memories I'd look back on one day and say, "I can't believe that happened." Then I would come home and search for a job in a far off and trendy city, where I would write books in coffee shops and fill my days up with lattes and boutiques.
Instead, here I am. Wrestling a seven month old to sleep, making baby food, losing sleep, scheduling therapies and doctor visits, learning baby sign language, googling things like 'how to help constipation in an infant,' sucking boogers out of nostrils, cleaning puke off of my shirt, or his shirt, or the carpet, or swing, or countless blankets, feeling gums for baby teeth, filling out baby book pages, wearing the same jeans everyday because how could I NOT buy that cute outfit for Jaxson instead, skimming by in a tiny and deeply loathed trailer....
Yet, in a way, here I am doing what I had planned: Exploring new places and finding myself. Europe will always be there, but these sweet baby kisses won't last. There's something about the way Jaxson smiles every time he sees me that makes what I had once wanted for myself melt away. There are days that leave me exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated, and I wonder how I came to be here, so far from what I had expected. These are the days that leave me feeling old. As if at 22, my sense of adventure has been snuffed out, my youth replaced by worry and fears.
But that smile. The way he gets so excited when he catches me watching him. Or how my arms and voice alone can soothe his tears. Even on my worst of days, when I feel completely stuck and helpless, he still lays his little head on my chest and snuggles closely, babbling softly, his little hands playing in my hair until his eyes slowly close.... and then I know: One day, I'll look back on these days and think to myself, I can't believe that happened. And I'll swell with happiness and nostalgia.
Well, this post has certainly gone in a direction I hadn't expected. I had just planned on giving some details like, Hey, Jaxson's thirteen and a half pounds now, and 25 inches long. Isn't that such a change from his four pounds four ounces and sixteen inches at birth?!
Okay... end ramble now.