I know it’s a terrible cliche, but these moments will surely not last forever, and will likely go by much faster than I want them to. Bub is already over seven months, so I’ve decided to take pause and record a written snapshot of my favorite moments we share, in no particular order.
1. The Sleeper
I don’t know why, because he usually cries shortly after, but after we’ve read our story and sung our song and I gently lower him into the crib, that moment when he touches the mattress and looks up at me, he always smiles. I interpret this as a thank-you.
2. The Telephonist
He has this rattle in the shape of a telephone. It’s brightly-colored and teething-friendly, and he has always liked it. Every time I break it out, I rattle it like it’s ringing, then answer it with a ‘Hello?’ No matter his mood or demeanor, Bub always looks up and smiles, defenseless against the soothing powers of the telephone rattle. By the time I actually hand him the phone (it’s invariably for him), he’s usually over it, but that Hello moment is always special.
3. The Milk-drunk Smiler
Even if Mommy feeds him, I am usually relegated to burping duty. Bub has made this much more enjoyable lately. With his increasing head control, he just looks about over my shoulder at whatever is in his field of vision with a sense of discovery. Eventually his eyes lock on mine and he smiles that ‘Oh, Daddy smile.’ It makes the spit-up sooo much more tolerable.
4. The Proud Stander
Still convinced he will walk before he can crawl, we practice standing a lot. Luckily Bub likes nothing better than this activity. On the couch, my belly, the bed—doesn’t matter. Even though it’s assisted, he stands there beaming with the satisfaction of having really accomplished something.
5. The Ticklee
I think it’s my beard, not magic, but when I change Bub, I’ve gotten in the habit of taking a nibble out of an arm or a leg or even his torso if I’m really hungry. This produces something from him that has developed from a chokey, coughy kind of sound into more of an actual guffawing sound that is always music to my ears.
6. The Bather
Nothing specific, just the entire experience. He loves it, I love it. The original male bonding.
7. The Shirt-grabber
Bub likes to be hoisted up and caravanned about whilst looking over my shoulder; it’s his preferred travel method. As his facilities have developed, he has added a lovable new twist—clutching my shirt with one or both hands. I didn’t even notice it at first, it felt so natural. Now I’m sure to notice and savor it every time.
8. The Typist
As I do spend a fair amount of time in front of the computer, Bub in turn spends a fair amount of time on my lap. His combination of developmental curiosities has culminated with him sitting on my lap and reaching for the keyboard with a real purpose. What that purpose is is anyone’s guess; I only wish I could see the wonder in his eyes.
9. The Window-watcher
Bub likes to look outside. As noted above, Bub also likes to stand. We happen to have a couch that is just his size. He can stand, lean against it, and see over the cushion into the great big world, and he loves every second of it.
Ah, the oldie but goodie. Nothing like thrusting your child up into the air over your head to give him a new perspective and an unrelenting smile. Even if he happens to shove a hand in his mouth, the smile is already written all over his face.