We visited our midwife the other day and she said something that I think is very true. “Each stage of your baby ends up topping the previous.” So far, I agree with that statement completely, because I feel I’m more in love with Everett and I’m enjoying his company much more with each day.
It was amazing the first time I held my son. I was riding this natural high for a week, as I was trying to grasp the idea I was now the father of this gorgeous baby. The reality is that he didn’t really do very much. He was just a really cute doorstop essentially (though I didn’t ever test his ability to hold open a door). He was my son, so there was this powerful connection that I had with him. I loved to show off his adorableness at any opportunity. But I look back and realize he was essentially a lump of flesh that consumed a lot of Emily’s time (and milk) and left wonderful surprises for me in his diaper.
After a few weeks, he started to open his eyes much more. He would stare at you, and it was this amazing feeling to know he seemed to recognize me. This was now the amazing part of parenting, and I would get a rush every time he looked into my eyes. I started doing things like skin to skin contact in order to bond, but he still just sort of laid there and occasionally drooled on me. I didn’t care, because I was still feeling like I was forming this amazing relationship with Everett.
Everett started to do tummy time. In order to make it interesting, we bought this play mat that had little stuffed animals dangling from the stuffed “rods”. The play mate has a small mirror that Everett like to look into, and try to figure out how that other baby got inside. When we turned him over, he loved to look at the dangling birds and squirrels. If he accidentally knocked one with his flailing arms, he’d be intrigued by the rattling sound that came from the owl or parrot. I don’t think he ever purposefully hit the stuffed animals, but he definitely enjoyed looking at them and hearing the noises they made. It was fun to think he was beginning to play and interact a little.
The moment of pure exhilarating awesome was when Everett smiled at me. This is when the interaction really started to increase. I would talk and sing to him, and he would pay me back with an enormous grin. I then felt like I was rocketing to the moon when Everett would follow his smiles with laughs and little shrieks. Then we started to find the things that Everett really enjoyed, because he would give out huge smiles and start to laugh or talk towards them. We could put him in his crib and turn on his mobile, and he’d laugh and smile at it for several minutes. It could have been a great way to give us some free time, but I rarely was able to sneak away while watching him enjoy his mobile.
Now, all those amazing things are getting topped once again. Everett now has developed more neck strength and is able to start exploring rooms more. He has increased his talking and laughing. He is now really engaging with us. I find myself treasuring each moment more and more.
I know things will get even more exciting. Soon he will sit up on his own, and then he’ll learn to crawl, and then he’ll even begin to try to carry on conversations. Of course, life may be a little bit easier if he always just laid in one place. My job is definitely going to get more difficult when he has the ability to properly explore the house. It will also continue to get more and more amazing. I look forward to all these new stages and the opportunities to bond with my beloved Everett.