Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby's Best Friends

Henry is a total dog-person.

I suppose he didn't have much choice in the matter when he was welcomed into a home with two labs. When you have a personal face cleaner, I suppose it's hard not to like it. But I never expected him to be quite as in love with these dogs as he is.

He crawls all over Sparty. And Sparty doesn't move a muscle. He pulls himself up to the couch where King curls up. And plays with his tail, which of course also seems to be the funniest thing in the word to him.

"Dog" was his first word. It sounds more like "Doh, doh," but he only uses this word when referring to King or Sparty.

And then yesterday when I brought him downstairs, he waved to the dogs. I've been trying to get him to wave for weeks! But, as a dog-person he naturally reserved his first wave for his best buddies. 

Fortunately the road goes both ways and our dogs happen to be "baby-people," too. Sparty LOVES Henry. He constantly kisses him (often these kisses are returned, and I haven't decided how I feel about that yet) and helps him get into trouble. 

King isn't quite as into the baby scene, but he still loves Henry in his own way. I think he's assumed more of a "protector" role, monitoring Henry when he's not napping or barking at our neighbor's horses. He greets him with one or two licks in the morning, and reserves the rest of his charm for meal-times.

Oh yeah, meal-times. Henry has recently learned to share. And by share I mean with his dogs, at mealtimes, also very funny to him:

I'm not sure how I'm going to prevent this from happening, so I guess for now I'll just appreciate the fact that Henry loves his furry brothers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Sometimes I have these moments--admittedly there are more of them since Henry came into my life, but they've always been there. Moments where I'm just filled with heart-bursting happiness. Sometimes it's a momentous occasion, like the first time I saw Henry. Other times it's something small or more common-- like how you can walk outside one day and just feel that its Spring. Or Henry's sweet, peaceful sleeping face.

In these moments I'm just so darn happy to be here. It doesn't really matter where here is at that moment.

A couple of days ago, Henry woke up from his afternoon nap, and to be honest I was trying to stall on bath time. Don't get me wrong-- the bath time part of it is a blast, Henry loves splashing around. But he is never too happy with me when it's time to end bath time. And then there's that whole wrestle him into his diaper and pajamas gig. So I took him into our bed and attempted some cuddling. He seems to be at a stage where cuddling is absolutely unacceptable unless he's asleep. He'd much rather play than have a hug or two. So cuddling was a no-go. So I went to the next best thing, the active version of cuddling:


When you get your baby to laugh-- really laugh for the first time-- it's one of those heart-bursting happy moments. While that happened months ago it still makes me so happy to really get him laughing. He has this deep, infectious giggle that's just darling. But being tickled can also be exhausting. So I was tickling Henry for five seconds or so, and then stopping and let him get some air. Repeat and smile, repeat and laugh, repeat and smile, repeat and laugh. At some point I figured he'd had enough, so I stopped the tickling all together. And that's when it happened. He sat up, looked at me and signed:


I've been signing to Henry on and off since he was born. Milk. More. I Love You. Water. Please. Thank You. Food. All Done. I've been really trying to be consistent for the last month, but he'd never signed anything before. And the only time I'd ever signed "more" to him was when we were eating. I'd sign and say "more" and give him a few yogurt puffs. I'd feed him half of his meal, pause and sign and say "more," and then finish the meal. I knew he at least understood "more" because he always smiles when I sign that one. I don't think I've ever gotten a smile with "thank you." 

But here Henry was, right in front of me. Signing "more." Not more food. Not more milk. More tickles! Tickle me more, Mom! And so I did, because that's what he wanted. It totally could have been a fluke.  That is until I stopped again a few minutes later. Again he sat up, turned around and signed:


Heart. Bursting. Happiness.

It was one of those moments. I didn't want to be any where else in the world but there, with my son, who was signing to me to tickle him more. I would have been proud to see him sign any of his words. In any mildly correct context. But "more?" In regards to tickling? It doesn't get any better than that.

There are a million things I want to teach Henry and any other of our future children. But I think mostly I want to teach them how to be happy. How to smile, how to laugh, and to love every second of it. He may only just over nine months old, but folks-- I think he's getting it.