Today I took Henry to his first baby music class. As I'm sure you can imagine it was kind of crazy with about 15 babies and their mom's singing and dancing around doing finger plays. I thought the the teacher was very good and I think HJ liked it, He couldn't stop looking around with an amazed WTF?? look on his face for most of the class. I know I am biased but I do think he was the cutest baby there. The teacher kept going out of her way to use Henry as the baby to dance with and hold and frankly I think it's just because he is so stinkin' cute. But of course I'm sure every mom there felt the same way. When we were done he was exhausted and slept the whole way home but then woke up and was in such a great mood and just couldn't stop smiling and cooing so I think he was kind of processing the whole experience.
For me the best part of the morning was looking around and suddenly realizing - hey I'm a mom! For some reason being part of the class just made this realization flood over me and I very nearly burst into happy tears. Luckily I managed to keep myself somewhat under control since I think if I had started sobbing it would have been kind of awkward for the baby music teacher. I think that as a teacher of young kids I have been on the other end so many times. Doing sing-a-longs with kids and families, volunteering at family events etc, and have for so long dreamed of being on the other side and suddenly today it just hit me all of a sudden. I am a mom.
One year ago we attended our first informational meeting at our adoption agency. After an unsuccessful IVF cycle we realized that we were done with infertility treatments and excited about the prospect of adoption but it felt like such a long road ahead of us. If only I could time travel back to tell my then self that exactly one year later I would have the most amazing baby in the world and that he would already be 4 months old!! Everyday I marvel at how wonderfully my life has turned out and how happy and grateful I am for everything I have and everything that brought me to this point.
I read in one of my baby books that 4 months is considered the "golden stage" of babyhood and I would have to agree. Henry is just so smiley and laughy and suddenly so INTERESTED in the world around him. He is starting to enjoy exploring objects and he particularly loves his "Peter" doll from the book the Snowy Day. He also really loves reading books now too! That is so fun for me and I am loving sharing all of my favorite children's books with him. In fact since right now he pretty much is just listening to my voice and looking at the pictures I am able to read him lots of books that he probably won't tolerate when he is a toddler! Although hands down his favorite books are the ones that have the different textures for him to feel. The cutest thing is that he now realizes that the pages turn to show new pictures and he loves to turn those pages! The other thing I have really come to realize is how few and far between books are that don't just have white people in them. As a teacher I was always aware of this somewhat as I tried to have books on the shelf that reflected all kinds of people, but now as the mom of an African American child I REALLY feel it. For now my rule of thumb is if it's a book I'm super attached to, then white characters are ok, but if it's just some random book then I really try to look for some kind of alternative. So "Good NIght Gorilla" with the white zoo keeper - yes! However random farm animal book in bargain bin of Marshall's with white farmer - no!
Henry is getting quite good at rolling over front to back now and can wiggle himself almost to his side from his back so I'm sure that will be coming soon too It is exciting to see all of his new developments but I do feel like time is going by so quickly! He is pretty consistently sleeping through the night now but seems to be wanting to give up his paci and his swaddle simultaneously so that has lead to some early rising - that requires a reswaddle and paci insert because 5 am is not an acceptable waking up time!
It does feel strange to not be starting back to school but after about a second of feeling nostalgic for that "first day of school fresh start feeling" I look down at my amazing happy little boy and I thank my lucky stars for everyday we get to spend together.