Emily continues to be a joy and seeing her come on has been a daily source of entertainment and proud pleasure for us both. Some special highlights for me as she passes her four month birthday:
– Getting her ready for bed in the evening. She has a nightly soak in a warm baby bath – partly to get her used to the idea that water/baths are fun, partly to get her tired enough for a long sleep, and partly to get her clean. I hold her there and try to eke out a smile, which she provides obligingly every now and again, and kicks into the water determinedly. Adorable. Followed by oil massage!
– Helping her cope with teething with Sophie the teething giraffe. Or possibly giraffe shaped teething aid. In any case, watching her hand movements go from random flapping (in itself very cute) to a focussed, directed movement with the aim of getting Sophie into her tiny jaws is an amazing thing.
– Fighting for giggles. Whilst easily one of the smiliest babies I’ve ever met, Emily gives out laughs very occasionally. I’ve a few tricks that can result in a little burst of laughter, including the feigned drop (only to be conducted by her parents!), the tickle (which never used to do anything, but which she is gradually finding more entertaining), the baby-yoga (which she finds disproportionately funny) and a few others we’re working to refine.
– The morning smile. She always wakes up with a big grin and it is possibly one of the most fulfilling things for anyone to see. It melts our hearts and pretty much makes up for whatever overnight shenanigans she’s pulled.
– The lie-in. A consequence of the late night shenanigan, at the weekends she’s occasionally allowed to join us in bed for a lie-in. Sleep is hard for me to come by once she’s granted access to the bed – fear of crushing her! – but her peaceful sleeping smile gives us both some extra rest and fulfilment.
– The bird / leg grabbing manoeuvres – she’s just started doing these. The bird involves flapping arms up and down whilst puling legs in and stretching them out in rapid alternate cycles. The leg-grabbing manoeuvre involves grabbing her legs and lifting them as high as she can. Standard, but adorable.
– Tummy time. Emily’s generally not a fan, but seems to enjoy it more when she’s doing push-ups off Daddy’s chest. Absolutely adorable. Also featured: fake walking on Daddy’s chest.
– What’s going on, Daddy? She was in my lap this evening whilst I downed a cup of Berocca (fending off a particularly unpleasant cold). Fascinated by the bright orange drink, she’d put down Sophie (the aforementioned giraffe chew-toy) to track the Berocca glass as I brought it up for a sip, and then stare at me with a knowing look – as if to say “Daddy, anything that colour can’t be good for you.”
– Digital moments. Skype calls to grandparents and far-flung aunts and uncles have been a source of great fun for her, and for us. We feel much more connected. And I’m so pleased I got the iPhone4
Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m enjoying parenthood. Emily had a wonderful time entertaining people at her first Coast party (Happy birthday Holly!), and is now resisting sleep. Ah well, that’s what ‘Music for Dreaming’ is for!