Eli turned 4 months yesterday. We celebrated by taking him to the doctor and holding him down while strangers gave him shots; all the while pretending not to notice the look of ultimate betrayal in his eyes as he screamed at the top of his lungs. He’ll thank us one day.
I can’t believe how much he’s changed in four months. He’s gone from 9 lbs to 16 lbs, and from 21.5” to 25" (I used to wonder why moms found those stats so fascinating. I get it now). And no offense to his newborn self, but he’s WAY more fun to be around now that he’s entertainable.
Over the past four months of interacting with friends, family, and neighbors I’ve decided that most people fall into one of five categories when it comes to the way they act around babies:
THE PREDATOR: This baby hunter cannot withstand the sight of infant chub. Their teeth clamp together and their fingers twitch as they resist (or not) the urge to pinch those chubby jowls and squeeze those rolly polly thighs. They talk in suppressed voices through clenched teeth, usually about how fat the babe is.
THE SOOTHER: This type is especially attracted to crying babies, and they base their value as baby caretakers on their ability to make the child fall asleep in their arms (the ultimate goal). They can be seen swaying, swaddling, smushing, and talking in low, deep voices. Most mothers develop this characteristic through habit, as exemplified by any mother’s inability to stand completely still.
THE SQUEALER: This person maintains a high pitched, rather loud voice when within a five foot radius of the baby, known to extend to up to 30 feet upon sighting. It is related to the common “baby voice” syndrome, but louder, more unintelligible, and sustained for longer periods of time.
THE TIMID WORRIER: These are the people who are scared to make the baby cry. They’re not entirely sure how to hold them, worry the whole time they might be hurting them, and if the baby utters so much as a peep while in their arms they feel judged as a terrible future parent. They often quickly learn that babies cry no matter what.
THE SOCIALIZER: This one loves to put the baby through their paces. Look at me! Can you smile? Can you stick your tongue out? Can you grab? Let’s go look at all the items in the house! Let’s go outside! Let’s explore! This is an especially popular characteristic in grandparents.