When Derek was born at 8 pounds 10 ounces with man-hands and man-feet, I should have known that he would be something of a phenomenon. Today, at 6 months old and 20 pounds, he’s proven to be our wonder boy. Almost everything about him is different than I’ve experienced with the other two.
First of all, he’s by far the earliest teether of the 3. He started around 3 months old and now he is going on his 7th chomper. I will be feeding him a T-bone steak tomorrow.
When he’s especially hungry and wants to nurse, he opens his mouth as wide as possible, shows me his fangs, does a crazy little head shake as if to go in for the kill, and latches on with his teeth before sucking. The sound effects that come from his mouth make it seem like he is eating me alive. During the nursing session, he lets out a few cleansing man-farts. When he’s done, I put him over my shoulder and he releases a beer-belly belch followed by a wet burp which leads to a stream of spit-up that runs down my back. When I stand up, I look down and see that I’ve just sat in a puddle of breastmilk. My pants are all wet.
Clothes are a bit of an issue. He grows at a rate faster than my ability to find suitable clothes for him. For a while, his onesies were off-the-shoulder with only 1 out of 3 buttons closed on his crotch. I finally pulled out the 6-12 month size, so he’s a bit more comfortable now. No more off-the-shoulder or boatneck onesies, but they are V-neck from time to time. And sometimes, they show off a bit of baby cleavage.
He doesn’t crawl on his belly yet, but he’s managed to get around for a few months now…on his back. Think inchworm, but upside down. He gets into a bridge pose balancing on just his head and feet like this:
Then he straightens out and bends again. That’s how he travels from one end of the rug to the other. Here’s a frontal view:
Bird’s eye view:
Sometimes he’ll do a one arm stabilizer:
Since he was born, he’s made us wrestle him for everything. From diaper changes to changing his clothes, he makes us pry his extremities open. Sometimes he is so strong and I’m so tired that I just want to forfeit and let him win the arm wrestling competitions. What makes diaper changes even more challenging is that he feels that he must squeeze his nether regions whenever his diaper is open. He squeezes so hard that it looks like he’s trying to make lemonade. Needless to say, this gets a bit messy when I’m changing a poopy diaper. Add to this his love of doing back bends. I get sweaty at each diaper change.
Since he outgrew his infant carseat at birth, getting him in the car has been sort of an issue. Due to his girth, it is quite uncomfortable for him. Therefore, he likes to stay sitting upright. I have to push him down with all my might or do a tug-of-war with the seatbelt adjustment strap to make him recline like he’s supposed to. Even then, I sometimes give up and he’ll just ride across town sitting up.
Who does he inherit these traits from? He seems to resemble someone else quite notorious:
O Derek, I love to wrestle you and shovel food in your mouth really fast. I love having to pull my hair out of your grip of death. I love how you almost bite our fingers off. I love how you sweat like your sister and your father. I love that now I know what it’s like to bathe a seal. I love how you giggle when I put you in your bed. I love how you give us your generous smiles. I love burying my face in your rolls. I love that you are so happy and that you love being in our family. I love that God created you in my womb and sent you to us even when I couldn’t dare to even ask the Lord for another child. I love that I’m so undeserving of you. I love you.