Having a kid is so weird. On one hand, Charlie is 7+ months old and I really don't know anything about him. He spends lots of time babbling and chewing on things, and it's hard to tell at this point if he's gearing up to be a genius, or a psychopath, or a compassionate person.
On the other hand, it's so wild to just watch your baby react to certain situations. Charlie hasn't hit separation anxiety yet. He's pretty serious around new people though. You can tell that he's just trying to make a judgement when someone he doesn't recognize picks him up and starts talking to him. He's pretty laid back. If he's not hungry he can usually hang at a restaurant, bar, mall, nursery, or anywhere else we are without too much fuss.
Like me, Charlie gets stressed out by too many people and too many photos. Growing up, my grandparents used to take, like, 1,000 photos of me. In hindsight, it's really nice to have those photos. But I can remember being dressed for a school dance and anxiety just welling up in my chest as I was asked to get in several poses while they snapped away. I just wanted to be with my friends. Charlie just wants to play. He doesn't want to be posed or forced to smile. After about 10 minutes he gets mad or sad or stressed and starts to cry.
He loves the woods. He hikes with us in a backpack now and he makes happy squeals and coos while Daniel and I climb over fallen limbs and pause to watch waters flowing through creek beds. Sometimes he's just quiet while he looks around. Eventually, he rests his head and falls asleep while we hike on.
He does not like to be strapped into a car seat. Once he's in there, he's fine. But while you're strapping him down, he usually screams and tries to wiggle away. He hates having his diaper changed, too. He just doesn't like to be held down. He likes to play on the floor. When he's tired, he doesn't like to be rocked to sleep. He likes to lie down in his crib, roll on his side, and suck his thumb until he drifts off. This is probably the saddest thing about motherhood to me. I just want to rock my kid to sleep. One time in October he fell asleep while I was feeding him and I canceled my plans so I could hold him and read a book while he slept. It was glorious.
Charlie is so content playing by himself that sometimes I know I am just not vigilant enough. It's so easy to let him play in his room while I clean the bathroom or take a phone call because he is so content. He just babbles and sings and squeals while he chews on books or plays with teething rings. Last week I had a call with a new client and Charlie played alone without crying for 45 minutes. 45 minutes! I definitely want to facilitate independent play, but I resolve to get better about making sure he's not getting into anything dangerous going forward.
He loves bathtime. He kicks and rolls around and plays for as long as we'll let him. It's so fascinating to watch him play. I saw him reaching for toys and they would float away every time he reached forward. He would pull his hand out of the water and examine it and then try again. I got to watch him figuring out that objects behave differently in water than they do on his bedroom floor. It didn't take him long to figure it out. Because my kid is a genius.
He's just a joy. He loves our dog so much. He giggles when Rust licks his feet. He wakes up happy and babbles alone until we come in to pick him up. He smiles at us and then immediately gets angry because he's ready for cereal. He grabs my nose and squeals with delight. He barrel rolls around the living room so he can get to a cabinet door and kick it over and over again. He likes to make noise. He gets really quiet when we listen to Van Morrison. He is perfect and I am grateful.