Discovering Collin’s first summer, and our first family vacation.

It has come to my attention that Collin is growing up so fast, he has actually grown out of much of his early infant shenanigans.

“Remember ‘The Woodpecker?’” I asked Husband last night, as I watched him wrangle the baby into a diaper. The Woodpecker, as it came to be called, was this adorably desperate maneuver Collin would do to Husband basically any time he held him in the first few weeks. His little baby head would bob against Husband’s shoulder and neck frantically, rooting around for any sign of a breast, while he made this pathetically cute “Haaa! Haaa!” sound. It was an impressive display of neck control for such a young infant, but you couldn’t help but think of Woody the Woodpecker. Poor Collin would have this immensely worried look on his face as he did it, as if he were convinced his last chance on earth of getting milk again depended upon locating the hidden nipple on Husband. I could only take watching it for a few minutes before my arms were outstretched for him and he was back on the boob, in his proper place, even though he had just been there ten minutes before (The whole eating every two hours thing is a sham. Collin has cluster fed his whole life). Watching his Woodpecker routine was the comedic break Husband and I truly needed in those delirious first weeks. Come to think of it, Collin would root (search for a nipple with his mouth) on just about anything, not just his father. I used to love holding his tiny, precious little self cheek-to-cheek to me, but it was always just a matter of time before he was bobbing around on my face.

My mother is moving back to Southern California from Virginia next month. She still hasn’t met our son, so it will be a monumental visit when we go down (From Northern California). In fact, Collin hasn’t met any friends or family from Southern California, where I grew up, so we’re all pretty excited for “The Big Trip,” as I find myself calling it. The car ride from Northern to Southern California is a 5-7 hour drive, and considering Collin can’t take a 5-7 minute drive, the car ride is the only part of The Big Trip that I am worried about. That, and the Socal heat, which is always at least 10-15 degrees hotter than our climate bubble in Santa Cruz, and I don’t like to mix babies and bad heat. Back to The Big Car Ride, I’m hoping it will be a day-long venture in exposure therapy, and afterward Collin’s aversion to his car seat will be a thing of the past. What’s more likely to happen is that Husband and I will take turns driving the car and sitting in the back with the baby, singing ourselves hoarse with huge, plastered grins glued to our faces, and by the time we make it to Socal they will be permanently fixed there and everything we say will come out in song. That is already starting to happen to me, by the way, after spending all day singing monologues to Collin. On several occasions, I have nearly answered the phone to the tune of Old McDonald: “Who is calling on the phone? Eee-eye-ee-eye-oh!”

Collin’s first summer is indeed turning into an eventful one. Next week, we are throwing him a “Welcome to Earth” beach party, and so far 22 people have RSVPed. Aside from feeling incredibly blessed to have so many friends who love my son, I am also excited about Collin’s first beach day. I’m pretty sure I will spend it applying sunblock all over him, as all I imagine is his fragile baby skin sizzling like bacon in the sun every time we so much as go for a walk. I’m definitely going to be the kind of mom who chases after her kids with sunblock. Sunblock is the dominant smell around here, and automatically conjures thoughts of me whenever Husband smells it. I’m actually looking forward to winter, when me and my son won’t constantly have an extra layer of sticky, filmy, odorous skin every time we go out.

Instead, we’ll have 30 extra pounds of jackets and hats and gloves and scarves… and I will soon be nostalgic for summer, when all I had to worry about was slapping on some sunblock and grabbing a pair of sunglasses. Who am I kidding? I’m not just the sunblock police, I’m also the hat police, the sweater police, and the blanket police. No season is safe.

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