Last weekend, my Grandpa said, “We sure love reading your blog. But you are giving Wally Ben a bad rap!” Wally IV said something similar: “People who haven’t met Wally Ben probably picture him with little horns and a pointy red tail!”

I figured my Complainy Complainerson writing had gone too far when all the comments on my most recent post were sympathy and poor Mollie. I appreciated all the love—don’t get me wrong. But I also realized that perhaps I’m not painting an accurate picture of our little bugger. Because, you see, he really is great!

I can say with confidence that we have rounded the corner into post-colicky. He doesn’t cry for no reason anymore. He has a fabulous personality that’s already showing, and he’s so much fun. And I can’t keep track of how many times every day I am reminded of how blessed I am. So without further ado, a few Wally Ben joys:

  • He is extremely generous with the smiles. Usually all it takes is a little eye contact, and he’s smiling away. Sometimes when it’s naptime, and I’m at the rocking phase of our sleep routine, I look down and he is trying to get me to meet his gaze with his big gummy smile. I try not to react, but most of the time I just have to laugh. (A friend told me that she used to call her children’s smiles her “paychecks,” and I am so on board with that theory.)
  • He laughs! You can follow the link to see a video as proof—Wally Ben laughing at his dad. Wally IV pointed out the other day that most of the sounds Wally Ben makes sound like he’s mimicking something, or trying very hard. But the laugh is so natural, I think it even catches him by surprise. It’s low and sweet, and I’m in awe every time I hear it that I helped create a little human being that can make such an amazing sound.
  • He helps me forget a long night by topping it off right. Every morning around 7 I hear rustling on the monitor, and I know he’s up. He isn’t crying…just kicking around in the crib waiting. Whenever I’m ready (he’s very patient), I head to the room and turn on the light. Then I peer over the edge of the crib, and he turns toward me whenever he notices I’m there. Then the moment happens–he closes his eyes, turns his head away, and bashfully smiles, like, “There you are! I missed you, mom!” A great start to our day!

Yes, not sleeping and figuring out the crying thing has not been easy. But I didn’t sign up for easy! I knew coming into this parenthood thing that we would have many sleepless nights, many situations where we wonder, “What do we do now?” and “Am I doing this right?” It’s been a wild ride figuring out what we’ve learned so far, and I expect all the confusion and mess to continue. But I also expect to continue loving this adventure that is Wally Ben. And of course, his “paychecks” are more than enough reward!

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