It’s just past six o’clock on a Saturday morning and you and I have been awake for almost an hour. Your sister has climbed herself out of bed once already and I’ve managed to put her back to bed though I’m not sure how long that will last. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping; as your sister would say, “it’s a beeee-youtiful day!” We have friends coming over today for a hockey game—you may not believe this but when you were born the Maple Leafs were the laughing stock of the NHL, and today’s game is only the second playoff game they’ve played in almost a decade. Naturally, your father is very happy today, and he’s thrilled to be able to share afternoon hockey games with you. When Nyana was your age we used to take a laptop to the hospital and stream the games from her NICU room. It was OK, but not as nice as having a beer in my hand and you on my lap.
We were warned about “second baby syndrome”. Everyone knows that parents take fewer photos of the second baby, worry less, brag less. And I’m afraid this is quite possibly true of your dad and me, although in our defence I’d like to offer that your sister was a special case and it’s very likely we overshared her babyhood with the world. And who knows? There’s a very real possibility that you, Fred, will grow up and be hugely relived that the first five months of your life aren’t forever preserved out here in Internet land forever for anyone to read, like Nyana’s beginning is. What I’m trying to say I guess, is that just because your arrival and beginnings have been much quieter than Nyana’s doesn’t for a second mean that you’re loved any less.
At five months old, you’ve tipped the scale at 20 pounds already and are 27 inches tall. You comfortably fill out a 9-12m wardrobe and you’ve outgrown the infant car seat that was supposed to hold you until your first birthday. You’re huge. This isn’t a bad thing, not by a long shot. It’s just such a stark contrast to your sister who today is still incredibly lean and not quite 25 pounds herself. You may be younger than she is but I’m pretty sure you’re going to grow up into a great, protective big brother.
At five months old you’ve mastered the art of rolling from your back to your stomach. You can—and do—do this all day long. You roll to your tummy, you surf for a bit, and then you cry that you’re stuck on your tummy. You’ve been doing this for almost a month now and you’re showing no signs of wanting to learn to roll back to your back. Maybe putting this out there is enough to get you to roll. When you’re not stuck on your tummy on the floor, you’re probably either bouncing in your exercauser (AKA The Circle of Neglect), or you’re chomping on your toes while you watch Dora on the couch with Nyana. You have no teeth yet, nor do you sleep through the night.
I’ve been back at work for a month now, and you’ve been home with Dad and Nyana. It’s hard being at work, knowing that the three of you are off building childhood memories together; that Dad is watching you grow and moulding you into the people you’re going to become while I’m missing so many moments. I love my job—which makes this immensely easier—but believe that I miss you all tremendously when I’m there. I wonder how it must look to outsiders, for me to have gone back to work when you were only four months old. I wonder how all of it looks, really, the working mom and the stay at home Dad. I wonder how you and Nyana are going to look back on it all when you’re adults with kids of your own.
At five months old you’ve already firmly grabbed one of the top spots on my “favourite things ever” list. You make me smile constantly; and whether in amazement or happiness or frustration, when I smile at you, your big blue eyes get as wide as Nyana’s and all is right in the world. I can’t believe we got so lucky to have a perfect Little Big Man to match our perfect Babygirl. You and your sister have changed my life for the better in ways I can’t even put into words, and I can’t wait to meet the man you become.
Love you forever,