Noah turns his head into me; he desperately wishes that I could turn off the sun for him. He’s telling me its time for his nap. I steal a few more snuggles, kiss him on the top of his head, and toy with his curly “who-lick” before carrying him off to bed. I gently lay him down in his crib; he bats his eyelashes at me, tugs at his afghan, sucks his binky with determination, and clenches his fists before rolling to his side, relaxing, breathing a sigh of relief, and drifting off to sleep.
There’s nothing more precious than watching my son sleep.
Noah is five months old now. Everyone says time flies. Enjoy these moments. And I do, I enjoy every moment. And while I loved and cherished newborn Noah, one-month Noah, two-month Noah, and Noah 4.0, Noah 5.0 is perfect too.
He is still ever-determined to crawl though when he manages to get his on his hands and knees, he’s often scared. He’s learned that tummy time doesn’t always need to be crawling practice; he can play on his tummy too. He can roll, but he seldom does. He loves making funny noises that I can’t imitate. As Grandma has noted, we just aren’t willing to produce the amount of drool necessary to copy him. He’s enjoying his foray into solid foods, and he loves when he gets to feed himself. He’s sitting independently though he does still sometimes tip from side to side, giving me a puzzled stare when he unintentionally ends up on his tummy.
He’s already becoming quite a bookworm. He turns the pages as I read, closes the book when he’s had enough, and enjoys lifting the flaps of his peek-a-boo books.
I took him to the bookstore to get a new book for his birthday. We spent over an hour looking at different books. He picked out “Never Touch the Dragon,” a sensory book with silicone textures, and “This Little Piggy,” a finger puppet book. I meant to get him one book, but his heart-melting smile easily persuaded me, his book obsessed mommy, to get two.
When we went to check-out, the stranger checking out beside us, ran up to the cashier, dropped cash on the counter, and promptly ran off as he told me not to question it; just take it. The kind man didn’t know it, but he just bought Noah his birthday presents. I looked at Noah, and told him that while we couldn’t thank the kind man, and we don’t even know his name, we will think of him each time we read these books. And if you are that gentleman, and you’re reading this, thank you for setting this example for my son at such a young age.
As I read to Noah, I find myself pondering the discrepancy between the ability to talk, the ability to comprehend, and the ability to read. I reminisce. My little brother could read before he could talk enough to show us he was reading, and then, he also didn’t care to prove he could read once his verbal skills caught up. But, he could do things that showed he was reading. He had to be.
While I certainly don’t think Noah reads – he’s only five months old! I find myself curious what his learning to read journey will look like. And, I find myself wondering how he knows when it’s time to turn the page. I can only guess that my voice changes as I come to the end of a page, and perhaps that’s what he’s relying on. And he comprehends – whether it is the pictures or the words or both is a mystery. He spent quite a bit of time flipping between the front cover of “if animals kissed goodnight” and the third page which has (what I believed to be) the same elephants. He got himself quite worked up. After he went to bed, I analyzed the pictures, realizing that they were not the same elephants as I’d told him – or perhaps the baby is the same, but the parent elephants are different. Is that what he was trying to figure out? I guess I may never know. Maybe he just liked looking at the elephants.
As an educator, I’ve always recommended a combination of phonics and sight words to teach a child to read. Noah’s not ready to formally “learn to read” yet. Again, he’s only five months old, but I find myself contemplating when the right time to introduce the alphabet is. We sing the ABCs – or rather I do – because it’s a fun song to sing, and my repertoire of children’s songs feels limited despite the plethora if “girl scout camp” songs in my head. He’s getting alphabet blocks for Christmas, which I’m sure will be mostly for chewing on and throwing for awhile, but they’ll be there when he’s ready to learn to recognize his ABCs too. Magnetic alphabet tiles, foam bathtub letters, ABC finger tracing books, and more are in his future. I want the alphabet to always be there for him – to play with, to learn, or even just to teethe on!
He will learn to crawl, to walk, to talk, to sing and recognize his ABCs, to count, and more when he’s ready, and I’ll make sure he has an environment that facilitates his learning every day.