You are a funny kid. You are so happy all the time. All smiles.
When I lay you on the changing table you start cracking up. If I tickle your arms and shoulders and make silly sounds, I can get you to belly laugh for a few minutes straight. It's like a dance party when you get your diaper changed. You kick and wail your arms out of excitement. If your Mom says, "wiggle, wiggle," you respond with more dancing and shaking.
We've been listening to more music around the house, so maybe that inspires you. Our playlist has evolved from Caspar Babypants to Adele. We listen to so much Adele right now. There's a Bob Dylan song that Adele covered called "Make You Feel My Love." When your Mom sings along, you lock eyes and smile so big. It's the only song you respond to like that, and it's really sweet to watch. Sometimes we slow dance to it. I think that might be our song.
I think you'll find as you get older that your Mom and I have complementary strengths. It's a good thing. I have a vision for the future but am terrible at the details. Your Mom has great attention to detail, but her vision is narrowly focused on the next real estate investment, alternating between a next home and cabin. I am holding out on your Mom's real estate vision for the time being, but her attention to detail caught something very important a few weeks ago -- the bump above your right eyebrow.
Your Mom looks at you so much, especially while nursing, and knows you cowlick to toe. Several weeks ago she showed me a very small bump,that we hadn't noticed before. We immediately attributed it to some kind of bruise that would go away, and I didn't think much of it after that.
But your Mom didn't forget about it. She kept that bump on watch. That's what Moms do. They examine and notice and care obsessively. Your Mom brought up again a couple weeks later that the small bump was still there and was concerned it was more than a colorless bruise. We agreed to take you to the pediatrician, and he confirmed that you had a dermoid cyst. Mom is always right.
The news was a little scary to us. Of course, we were relieved it wasn't something cancerous.
To be honest, I had really hoped that bump was some sort of primitive, infant zit that would work its way out with a squeeze. As it turns out, a cyst like that is made out cell structures and in some cases hair, fluid and little teeth. Not something you want to squeeze out. Gag.
Your Mom took you to Seattle Children's hospital to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor there said you'll have a little surgery after your first birthday to remove the cyst, otherwise it could grow more and create a little divot in your skull as it grows around the cyst. You'll be able to cover up a little scar in the future with make-up more easily than a divot in your forehead.
Scars are cool, and this one will be tiny. You'll rock it. Your beautiful eyes will draw attention from any imperfections in their vicinity.
Beside your bump, you've been progressing really well. You have motor skills unlike anything your Mom has seen before. You're still tall for your age and wearing 6-month clothes. You've been showing a wider range of behavior. When you get frustrated or excited, you eat your hand. I'll take that over crying, and it's kind of entertaining to see you attack your hand like it's corn on the cob. When you're tired, you kind of groan and growl. I joke that you're possessed. In the case you actually are, I'll call a priest immediately.
The other night you took an interest in Greta. As she played with her frisbee you laughed so hard you couldn't catch your breath. I hope you two get to entertain each other for many years to come. That way, I can nap more.
You have moved into your own room. Your Mom and I got brave this month and put you in your big-girl crib to sleep at night, and we gave the bassinet in our room to your Aunt Nina as she prepares to bring your cousin into the world. That was a good force function to give the bassinet away so that we don't easily bring you back into our room out of worry.
Through the baby monitor, I can see that you're expressing a lot of my sleep behaviors. You are a side sleeper! Side sleepers unite! You're also a loud sleeper like me. Allegedly I snore, but I've never heard it.
We've started to introduce you to more activities that entertain your Mom and me. We went snowshoeing for the first time at Hurricane Ridge! Your Mom and I had never been there, so it was fun to explore a new place with you. We took a short walk because your Mom read somewhere that you shouldn't take your child out in the elements much before 6 months. I politely disagreed and thought that conditioning you early will make you more inclined to tough out weather. I think I was right because you didn't complain much being out in the cold and snow (because it's fun!).
We also took you to White Pass for a ski trip. We split a cabin with the Broili's and Gephart's in Packwood for a weekend, and you got plenty of attention from everyone in the cabin. You've hung out with your Mom a few times at the Chaffee ski cabin, but this time you got to go up to the lodge! Greta puked in the car on the way up, which was gross and smelly. Poor Greta.
Your Mom and I rotated between skiing and hanging out with you. Your Mom forgot her ski pants at the cabin, so we shared my ski pants. I enjoyed the one-on-one time holding you and talking to you while your Mom was out. You spent a lot of time people watching, which totally makes sense because people look strange in ski gear and walking around awkwardly in ski boots. Of course, I was the guy walking around in long underwear, so I contributed to the scene.
On the drive out to White Pass, your Mom and I got talking about how to raise you. It's easy to keep doing the same thing and staying in the same pattern. We talked about "being present" and in control of how we're living, not just settling for what's easy. There's no fast answer here. We'll have a lifetime of ongoing conversation about if we're living in the right place and spending time the right way and in the best interest of what will make you an outstanding person and make our family collectively fulfilled and happy.
Eventually, you'll find a voice in this matter about what makes you happy, and what's in our best interest. I look forward to hearing it. Until then, I'll take the groans and growls.