Four months! Holy cannoli! I (Erin) cannot believe that four months ago, in the sweltering heat of July, our ebullient, smiley Sam was still swimming in my tummy. Currently, Sam is at such a fun stage: he smiles and giggles, grabs everything in reach, puts just about anything in his mouth, and splashes his bath water like his life depends on it.
This month has brought a new vocabulary into my life. Here are just a few of the words Sam has introduced to my lexicon:
1. “Helmet.” In A. J. Jacobs’s The Year of Living Biblically, Jacobs writes that whenever he did something bordering on over-overprotectiveness toward his son — say, suggesting his son wear a helmet while riding in a car — his wife would say, “Helmet!” This rebuke served as a reminder for Jacobs to ease up and stop worrying so much. While motherhood is infinitely joyful, I find myself in a constant state of worry. Thank goodness I no longer worry that he isn’t eating or pooping enough. I’ve learned to chill out (for the most part) as far as napping and sleep are concerned, but I think my new source of worry is even worse. Now I worry about things far beyond his age: that he will hate to read, that he won’t be able to think critically, that he’ll have terrible taste in music. I worry about future friends, video games, and drugs. I worry he’ll become a teenager, which I’m pretty certain will happen whether I like it or not. I worry he won’t love me.
2. “Kickin’ boy.” As in, “We’ve got a kickin’ boy on our hands, honey.” Bath time is the best time. Just this week, Sam has approached bath time with gusto and many splashes. When entering the tub, first he smiles. Then, as part of the nightly routine, he pees. After that, it’s a wild show of flailing appendages. He kicks his legs against the side of his infant tub and slaps his hands on the surface of the water with all his might. Ben and I have learned to dress lightly during bath time. We always end up as wet as Sam. Sam keeps smiling through it all, kickin’ boy.
Bath time! Everyone gets wet!
3. “Suckit, bottle.” Technically, it’s a non-word coupled with a real word, but I’m still counting it as one new vocabulary word. The bottle and I have made our peace. Sam takes his bottle with ease during the day, but when I’m around, the bottle takes a backseat. I’m happy he’s eating when I’m at school and happy that I can compete with silicone after all. Boobs: 2. Bottle: 1. So, suckit, bottle.
(Today, he took a record seven ounces from the bottle at one sitting. When he does this, we refer to him as a 3a. “Hungie boy.” Usually this is said as an exclamation. As in, “Guess how much Sam just drank? Seven ounces!” “Wow, he’s a hungie boy!”)
4. Having a baby has made me extra sensitive to the ugliness in the world. We have already mentioned our inability to watch certain shows since having Sam. Add to the list an inability to watch or read the local news. I made the mistake of checking online today for an update on a news story I’ve been following all week. There, staring me in the face in cold, calculated letters was the following headline: “Dad Accused of Fatally Throwing Baby to Ground.” I thought I might throw up. For most of my adult life I have not supported the death penalty. Being a mother may change that. There’s no vocabulary word to describe this because there are no words for this type of evil.
5. “Goo.” This is our term of affection for Sam, the nickname that has stuck (though “Sammers,” “Sammy,” “Sammy Poo,” “Sammy Pie,” “Mr. Goo” and “The Goo Man” have all made the rotation). It grew out of his first attempts at baby talk, and just as easily as Scooter Thomas became Kittens, then Mr. Mew, then Mew, and finally Bew, Sam became Goo.