Until now, most of what I’ve shared about Levi has been our struggle with colic. And yes, those were some of the toughest months of my life, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about the past 10 months with Levi.
Since the four-month mark, I can’t believe how much he has changed. No one can. He was always wonderful; he just had a hard time adjusting to being alive (worth noting that I can relate?). Sometimes I joke that he was in my belly, comfy and content and blissfully unaware, and when he came out in September 2020, he took a look around at the mess of the world and said, no f*ing thank you. Who could blame him?
But now. Now he has grown into the sweetest, smiliest baby boy. And dear god almighty he’s cute. I feel like I’m melting when I look at him.
I know it’s a lot when parents assign these big characteristics to their baby, but I’ll just go ahead and follow suit: Levi has the most positive, beautiful energy about him. He looks at you and it’s like he’s looking past your eyes and into your soul, assessing it, understanding you, giving you the peace of being both seen and accepted. You didn’t even know a baby could do that for you, but he does.
Sometimes we describe him as, “just happy to be here.” Levi is our jolly little guy. He loves making eye contact and giving this huge one-dimple, cheeks-puffed-out smile that is impossible not to return. He’s playful, almost like an over-excited puppy who wants to play but doesn’t exactly know how. He stands up in his crib waiting for us in the morning and as soon as the door opens he dives back down and crawls to the corner while giggling, like he’s starting the day with some hide and seek.
Even though he loves to smile, he is a tough laugh. Daniel and I are constantly doing new bits, trying to get him going, but mostly he just gives us this adorable, polite smile and coos at us, essentially saying, oh you guys are precious. But once in a while, you really hit on something and this boisterous cackling comes roaring out. It’s so satisfying. So so satisfying.
There was a period of time when he couldn’t be held by anyone except for Daniel and me. A baby born in a pandemic…it makes sense. Now he’s much more OK with it.
James did the army crawl and Levi does the bear crawl. It doesn’t look easy, but it works for him. He motors through the house on all fours and his knees never touch the ground. He loves wrestling with Daniel and James. But his favorite thing in the world is when DeeDee visits and he chases her around the house on the floor, finally having a playmate on his level. He is an adventurous climber. Last week he climbed up onto the couch using a pillow that was on the floor and he tumbled over the armrest onto the floor. Luckily, he escaped with just a bruise, but we are always on high alert.
When we first introduced solids around six months, he wanted nothing to do with them. He acted repulsed by anything we put in his mouth other than a bottle. But within a few weeks, he started to really enjoy food, so much so that he now tries to refuse his bottle altogether. He still needs the formula to get all his nutrients so this created a problem. We have to mix his formula into oatmeal or purees now to make sure he is getting enough.
At this point, I can’t think of a food we’ve given him that he doesn’t like. He adores avocado and eats half of one almost every day for lunch. He also really likes broccoli, sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, shredded chicken, and anything James leaves behind.
Simply put: James. He adores James. The look in Levi’s eyes when he sees his big brother…it’s like a light turns on inside him. It was clear early on that he adored James and now that he’s crawling everywhere, he can sort of “play” with his brother—something James loves, too. James has warmed up to Levi after being pretty neutral toward him for the first six-ish months. But he has also become more aggressive, especially around toys. So he yells, “Levi, it’s not safe” and shoves him to the ground. We’re working on trying to sense when James isn’t in the mood for interaction but we also don’t want to be constantly interfering in their relationship as they try to figure out how to interact with one another.
The vacuum. And that’s a toughie because we’ve never needed to use a vacuum more than we do now, with two wild animals roaming the house. Maybe we should get a Roomba and put it in a pug costume.
I love you, my precious Levi! You make my whole life.