We’ve had a lot going on this summer, and Roland is such an easy baby that it is too easy to let him blend into the background of daily life. He is now 3 months old, and all I can do is curse the unfairness of the passing of time and the busyness of life. I feel like a broken record with how often I bring up how fast it all goes. I knew this summer was going to go by quickly, but I was not expecting all the additional drama it would bring and how it would overshadow Roland’s growth and development. Luckily for me, Roland is starting to speak up about it, demanding that I pay attention.
Roland has been my most expressive baby. He’s quick to smile, easy to giggle and loves to be talked to and played with. He has started to squeal in response to engagement, experimenting with different ways of pushing air out of his mouth. He surprises himself even with the vocalizations he makes. Not only has he learned the different sounds and volumes he can make, but he has also learned how to use them effectively to get attention. For instance, he has started putting up more of a fight about being placed on the floor or in his bouncy chair by making various sounds with his voice that crescendo to squawking and squealing until someone notices him. He doesn’t necessarily need anyone to pick him up, but he wants to be seen and wants interaction. After a little playing, he is usually done and is ready to take a nap.
Roland is changing in other ways, too. My mom has been staying with us this past week and told me that he was grasping for things and needed some toys out. I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t noticed. I know we have baby toys somewhere, and I need to wash them and put them out for Roland. Usually, I am concerned that I am providing toys and experiences for my children that they are not developmentally ready for, but I have a feeling this time around I’m going to always feel like I’m catching up to his needs. At least Roland finds ways to meet his needs on his own and seems perfectly content grasping the corners of the blanket he is lying on and bringing them to his mouth or clutching the straps of his bouncy chair.
When I started paying attention to Roland’s grasping, I realized he was also bringing his hands together, a milestone I had completely forgotten about. How is it that I know less about babies after three of them than I did after my first? The books and blogs I used to read are no longer at the top of my priority list with the limited time I have available. Instead of waiting anxiously for the next milestone, I’m constantly reminding myself to pay attention to him, to stop and hold him, to spend time just looking at him. This is the last time I am planning on experiencing any of these milestones, and I am in no hurry to get to the next one.