I have recently decided that almost-four-month-olds are the World's Most Perfect Children. It is, in fact, the celestial age. Personally, I'd love to spend eternity as an almost-four-month-old.
1) They smile and giggle all day long. It's like they always have it on deck, just waiting for the first person to look at them. I imagine what they'd say, sittin' in that little blue bouncy chair; "Oh, c'mon, Mom! Look over here! I have a totally melt-worthy grin just WAITING for you! Look, look, loooook ... OH SHE LOOKED!!!! HAPPY DAY!!!!HAHAAHHAHAHHEEHEHEEHEHEHOOOHOHHOHOOO!!" Whereupon, I melt.
2) They are easily entertained. You don't have to answer endless questions about why we have belly buttons and why we can't meet Jesus yet, or, when we do, why He can't sleep in our bedroom. You don't have to eat countless pieces of playdough pizza or slurp air from a plastic cup - all the while making "mmmmm ... gooooood!" sounds. You don't have to zoom cars around and around and around the chalk-drawn roads in the blazing hot sun. And around and around.
All you have to do is babble! Ga-ga-gee-gee-boo-boo-pbbbbt. And they love it! They think we're geniuses!
3) They already sleep through the night. And most of the day. And all the times in between. As the all-knowing Someone once said, "No child is so perfect they their mother isn't glad when they're asleep." Amen and amen.
4) Their poop doesn't stink yet.
5) Feeding them doesn't take endless amounts of preparation - or even thought. They are not picky. They do not require YOGURT MIXED WITH OATMEAL AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NOT JUST ANY YOGURT STRAWBERRY YOGURT AND I WANT TO MIX IT UP ALL BY MYSELF MOOOOOOOM! You just lift up your shirt and voila! I'm the best chef in the world and he always says thank you with a grin.
6) They do not move. You don't have to constantly be on the ear-out for the knife drawer opening. Or the front door. Or the pool gate. Or the nail polish bag. Or the cellophane wrapping on the cookies. They just sit/lay there! So easy! You ALWAYS know where they are!
7) They fall asleep anywhere and without any routine. No requests for more water or a certain teddy bear or goodnight kisses to every stationary item in the room. No books - and just ONE book, Nathan. No, one. No, just one. NO, I said, just ONE book..... No songs. Just ONE song, Nathan. No, one. No, just one. NO, I said, just ONE song .....
8) Their favorite thing to do is cuddle. They are perfectly happy to receive endless amounts of kisses on their neck, cheeks, feet, belly, thighs, hands, nose, forehead, or wherever else I cannot RESTRAIN myself from kissing. And they don't wipe them off or request you don't do that in front of their friends.
9) They never, ever get mad at you. Unless you're a little late pulling your shirt up. And even then forgiveness is immediate. No grudges or dirty looks or threats, "I don't want to play with you anymore!" They don't know how to slam doors.
10) Hygiene is a cinch. No teeth to brush - i.e. no vice grips while your husband straddles them and you keep up a constant string of threats about dentists and cavities. No hair to comb on a moving target as they laugh hysterically and perform acrobatics any Olympian would be glad to master. They love baths. You don't have to fight to get them in the tub - and you don't have to fight to get them out. And they smell SO DANG HEAVENLY AFTERWARD ....
11) They are easy to travel with. Buckling them into the carseat is a breeze. They don't crawl out of the stroller. They smile beatifically at every passing stranger - and even when they're fussy you don't get rude comments about your lack of parenting skills. You can small talk about them for an hour and never have to feel uncomfortable in a crowd.
Of course, four-month-olds can't wake up their mommies with a tap on the shoulder and a whispered, "Wake up, Mommy! The sun is out and I love you and I want to play with you and I made you chocolate milk!" It had so much Nesquick in it that it resembled Hershey's syrup, but the grin on his face had enough sunshine in it to literally warm my skin. I'd never quite appreciated the phrase, "bursting with pride" til that moment. Other ages sure have their merits ....