A Love Note to my Five Month Old

(posted a few weeks late, but written a while ago)

Dear Gavin,

Last Tuesday you turn five months old! I am so excited to be a stay-at-home mom so I can be with you all the time. You are truly an angel and a blessing to our family. I do my best to help keep you happy. I pray to God for help in understanding your cues. You are very communicative and strong-willed. I know both your father and I are strong-willed. I believe it is good to know what you want and how you want to receive it. As I have gotten older, I have learned when it is important to go with the flow and when to take a stand. I love the way your Aunt Liza phrased it when she told your cousins’ teachers at school that she was “teaching them how to bend so they don’t break.”
Even though you are strong-willed, you are so patient and loving. When I give you kisses on your cheeks, you turn your head to give me a kiss on the  lips. When I give you kisses on you lips, you giggle. Your father and I love your laugh! When we change your diaper or get you dressed, we play with you. Sometimes, that means giving you kisses, zerberts, or “chewing” on your naked belly. You love all of it and giggle. If it is “too early” in the morning, you will only smile though. You have great internal clock and wake yourself up typically around 6:22. If not then, it is between 5:50am and 7am. When you wake up before 6:30, we have a chance to visit with your dad before he leaves for work. I love seeing you light up when Nathan comes home or when he kisses you. I love that if I am in the room when your dad is kissing you, you look at me with such a smile as if you were saying “Are you seeing this? Life is pretty good.”
     I still hold you while you sleep. I love holding you at your nap time. In fact, if you fall asleep in your rock ‘n’ play, it is rare, but I feel guilty like I am missing and opportunity to hold you. The guilty feeling is silly because I literally hold you all night. You are not a fan of sleeping in your crib and at first I didn’t really want to tell anyone that we were co-sleeping. I felt guilty for doing what some deem an unsafe practice, but is recommended by Attachment Parenting International (API) when precautions are taken. Honestly, it is the only way you will sleep at night. Any other time of the day, you let me put you in your crib for a couple of minutes while I quickly run to the bathroom or fold laundry. Near bed time, you will start to cry before you have even touched the mattress if you see that I am putting you in the crib. Nathan says you have me wrapped around your finger and I know that’s true. I love you so much and I want you to feel safe at night. Someday, you will sleep alone but we are there yet. I know you are safe in my care because I can will myself to stay in the same position all night. We sleep together on a Twin XL mattress in the nursery. I always have one arm wrapped around you so I know you won’t roll off the bed. You don’t seem to move much. When you stir, you turn your head toward me to nurse, but that is pretty much it. I don’t put any covers near you to be as safe as possible. Even without any covers, you sweat a lot so we have a towel over the fitted sheet. Sometimes, I switch sides with you because I know the only reason you are fussing is because you are hot and damp with sweat. Both your father and I can really sweat so I know you inherited it from us. I also know your dad and my sister had trouble sleeping as babies. Co-sleeping seemed like the sensible thing to do so we can both get some sleep. If you think back to the hunter/forager days of humans, I would have – of course – sleep next to my baby and guarded the baby with my life.
Daylight Savings Time messed with your sleep schedule but I also started working on you staying up later around the same time. You take more naps during the day but when you stay up later, we both get to visit with your dad after he gets home from work. There were a couple weeks were your dad would get home at 6PM and you would be asleep by 6:30 or 7PM. Now we have you take a little cat nap if you are willing and then you might be able to stay up to 8PM. I go to bed with you to nurse you and to keep you safely in bed. A couple of the nights when you went to bed early, I listened to audio books to pass the time until I was sleepy too. Even though your dad sleeps in another room, he helps at night by bringing us bottles of formula when needed. At first, I tried to do it all by myself so your dad could get more sleep. What I found was by the time, I took you with me to use the restroom and make a bottle that you were wide awake. I still do that when your dad is out of town, but other than that, he helps. I am getting better about reading your night time cues though. One time last week you fussed, so I took my breast out to nurse you in the middle of the night. As soon as it touched your face, you stopped fussing and went back to sleep. You hadn’t even latched on. I had to smile. I was sure you just wanted to make sure I was still there and ready to feed you if need be. The whole experience was too cute. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom with an angel like yourself.
     You are great at tummy time and can roll yourself both ways. You love grabbing your feet and pulling on your socks. Sometimes, I take your socks off so you can hold your feet better. You are so content to play on the baby gym or in a Pack ‘n’ Play. You play while I practice yoga in the morning. We moved the Pack ‘n’ Play into the kitchen so I can cook while you play. It takes up almost all off the floor space in the kitchen, but we make it work. We also bought a second Pack ‘n’ Play so you can hang out with me while I flip and fold laundry in the basement. You love to watched the clothes tumble in the dryer. You listen to me sing and talk to you. We also have visits from our ancestors on the other side. I see signs of their visits often. There have even been a couple times were I am holding you and you look past me giggling for a bit like you see someone I don’t see. I know God gave me my sensitivities and the willingness to hone them so I can better care for you, my sweet angel. I pray to God daily for help. I also ask our angels to help me know how to best care for you.
     One thing I know for sure is how much you love going outside. You let me know when you want to get down or go outside by how you lean your body. It is like playing a game of hot and cold without any effort. There was one day it was too cold to walk so I wrapped you in a blanket and stood on the back porch with you. After a couple minutes you understood why we didn’t go on a walk and seemed content to be inside the rest of the day. If the weather is nice, we normally take a walk in the morning and walk in the afternoon. The fresh air does both of us good. I have been recording 1 minute videos to put on Instagram and you seem to like listening to me while I talk. You have also enjoyed listening to my audio books. One of the books we listen to helped me be more prepared to teach my chakra course this past month. Teaching the course was a nice way for me to connect with other adults. Literally, the first evening that I left to teach the course was when you rolled over in front of your father. You had not rolled from your back to your belly yet but you did it as soon as I reach the end of the neighborhood. I pulled over to listen to your father tell me the good news and I cried in the car. The first day that I taught my class happened to also be International Women’s Day. Although I felt slightly sad and guilty to leave the house and you, I knew that would be important bonding time for you and your dad. And it would also be a good way for me to get out of the house without really spending much money.
     Well, I could go on all day, but I just wanted to give you an update and let you know how much we love you.
Eva Borho AKA Mom

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