Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Boy Who Stole Our Hearts: Part One

 * LONG POST ALERT!! * I don’t write a lot about my son, but I wanted to take the chance to record some of my favorite memories of him over the last 15 months. Due to the volume of information I came up with, I’m doing this as a 3-part post.
From the moment Brady was born, he loves to hold things. He grasped my finger, starred up at me with his big blue eyes, and wouldn’t let go. Something about holding a finger in his hand calms him. Eventually we were able to substitute a pacifier for the finger to help him relax and get to sleep. Some nights, he goes to bed with up to four pacifiers – when he wakes in the night he frantically reaches around with his eyes still closed until he finds a pacifier, and he’s right back to sleep.
When Joel and I were shopping for baby room décor, we opted to go the frugal route and get a good-as-new BabiesRUS set from someone on Craig’s List for less than half of what it would have cost us to buy it new. We loved the animal theme, but had no idea Brady would love it so much, too. Every time I nursed, rocked, or burped him in his room, he would face the monkey on a quilt draped over the chair. At just a few weeks old, we noticed Brady seemed to really enjoy the mobile animals, and he would get really excited about seeing “monk-monk” on the back of the rocking chair. These animals became his first real source of joy. Seeing him react to his animals was one of the cutest things to witness. His eyes would light up with recognition, his face would get this “zoolander blue steal” look to it as he scrunched his lips in excitement, his hands would ball up into little fists, and his arms would shake with excitement. One of the things I miss most from his infant days is how excited he would get about things, especially his animals.
Most babies like to be swaddled for a few weeks, and then they are done. Brady had to be swaddled for months or he’d wake himself up by involuntarily flailing his arms. He looked so cute, just a little head poking out from a bundled body. When he got strong enough to bust out of the swaddles during the night, we decided it was time for him to learn how to sleep without one.
Brady had this cute patch of hair toward the back of the top of his head that stuck straight up like alfalfa from little rascals. I was sad when around seven months it got too long and didn’t stick up any more.

We had all kinds of nicknames for Brady: punk-punk, cutie-pa-tootie, bug-bug, stink-stink, buggle d. bug-bug….and others I’m sure. “Bug” stuck the most, though. Actually, I think he thinks his name is “bug” – he responds to it as much as he does to “Brady”.
When Brady was just a couple months old, if you laid him down, held his hands, then let go suddenly, he would freak out. He’d start this hysterical panic until you assured him that he was ok. I know it sounds mean, but I did it a couple times intentionally because it was just so funny and cute. I assure you, he suffered no short-term or long-term harm:)

Although it doesn’t work anymore, for awhile during Brady’s infancy, the song “itsy bitsy spider” would instantly calm him and cause him to go to sleep. It wasn’t a 100% success rate, but it worked quite often, especially in the car.

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