Our infant son is now eight months. He seems to be smiling all the time these days. I don’t even have to look at him. The other day I caught him sitting in his Bumbo looking out the window and cheesing at what, I don’t know. It makes me wonder, what kind of little person he will be. He’s begun to be much more boisterous and loud. He seems to like the sound of his own deep baritone voice. Unlike the pretty almost angelic voice of his older brother, Lucas sounds more like a little Fat Albert—Hey, hey, hey! I wonder if I’m going to have a four year old trundling around the grocery store, calling after me in this deep manly-man voice—Hey Papa! I guess the benefits of the baritone voice is that unlike T who can let rip an ear-piercing screech, Lucas will never be able to reach those OMG make it go away octaves.
He kicks when you go to pick him up. Each time, it’s like the most exciting time of his day—those few moments just before someone reaches down and puts their hands around his waist and lifts him up. He also has developed a peculiar little tick. He will at times shake his head back and forth like the answer to every question is an adamant, no. I would be concerned but he is a baby and it seems to be some sort of game to him. He seems to like the feel of his collar on the back of his neck. It makes him giggle a little.
Every time he gets ready to sleep, he needs two things: a pacifier and a blanket. He munches on the pacifier until he loses consciousness. The funny thing is that he takes his blanket and pulls it over his face. His entire body might be uncovered, just as long as his face isn’t. And it doesn’t have to be a blanket. I’ve seen him use a towel, a burp cloth and his own shirt. I’ve even seen him sleeping peacefully after having taken the bib from around his neck and pulled it up over his face.
He eats a lot. He doesn’t usually start out crying when he’s hungry. It begins with a bit of a pouty look, then there are some grumbles and it can culminate in an angry tirade. If he is crying then you have waited way, way too long. He loves his bottle. When we go to put the bib around his neck he will jerk with excitement. The moment he sees the bottle both arms and legs in unison begin to shake—Oh, come to me sweet nectar of life! At that point if you’re too slow in feeding him, he gets overwhelmed by the expectation and lets you have it.
He likes baby food—sort of. When we start out, he is sitting there facing me, staring down the spoonful of bananas or sweet potatoes. As he opens for the first bite, he inevitably will give me a big frown as if it were the worst thing he had ever tasted. Sometimes I wonder if he still is not accustomed to the sensation of food on his tongue. But as he takes the first swallow, he will open his mouth again, and sometimes begin to grumble at me. I don’t know if he is expecting his pangs of hunger to subside quicker or maybe that my pace in lifting spoonfuls to his mouth is not quick enough. Inevitably he begins to calm as his little belly gets full.
His hands are getting bigger, his feet are getting bigger.
Lucas is enamored by the dogs. He seems to like it when Rocky sits patiently by, nudging his arm with a wet nose, waiting for a pat. Though we discourage it, he isn’t bothered by the occasional lick. I imagine to Mika, Milo and Rocky, that Lucas’s face is probably pretty tasty. Sometimes Lucas will reach towards the curious snout and grab a little too much fur, so I have to watch him. It’s a little too early to begin lecturing him on being nice to the doggies. I didn’t expect him to pay so much attention to our little furballs. He has also begun the love-affair with stuffed animals. He stares into their cute faces then pulls them towards him to gnaw on an ear or a nose or a paw. I’m not sure if his fascination for animals will be his thing or just a phase. T’s thing has always been vehicles—fire trucks, race cars, tractors, motorcycles, and the like. Will Lucas the baby who likes animals, grow up to be Lucas the boy who loves animals? It is part of the adventure that awaits us.
We parents are always surprised by what we get as our children move through the stages of development. Are you getting a ballerina or a football player, an artist or entrepreneur? For we adoptive parents what unfolds is even less certain. Not only do we not have any family markers to help illuminate the path, sometimes—such as in our case—we know absolutely nothing about the biological family. We will never know for example, just why he is so happy all the time or whether his beautiful soft hair is attributable to his mom or dad, or which side of the family is responsible for his manly-man voice. What you discover in being an adoptive parent is that your child’s development is full of revelation. As his parents we are here to watch, to witness, to partake of this life that is bursting forth. What fortunate people we are.