This morning we finally went to get Carter a passport. I had gotten his picture taken for that purpose several months ago, but since he looks nothing like that now, we went to Wal-Mart to get new passport pictures taken a couple of days ago. Carter got really freaked out by the guy taking the picture, and he started to cry. So his passport photo shows him with his lip sticking out, looking totally miserable! Kids' passports last for 5 years, so he'll be stuck with that picture for a while.
You might be wondering how that works, since kids grow and change so fast. It turns out that most people get their child a government-issued ID card (at the DMV) right before they go on a trip, and so there is a current photo ID with a picture that looks like your kid to go with the passport, which no longer looks like your kid. It's a lot easier to get a new ID card every year than a new passport.
To get a passport for a child, both parents have to appear in person before the passport agent, which was the postmaster, in our case. We filled out the paperwork, and then had to hold up our right hands and affirm that everything was correct. Carter was sitting on my lap at that point, and he looked around at me and Doug holding up our hands, and then he held his hand up too, exactly like we were doing! It was so adorable! The postmaster was really surprised, hee. Oh, to have had a camera handy...
Carter did something else really sweet this morning. While I was getting dressed, he was crawling around in the bathroom, exploring. I picked up the hair dryer and started drying my hair, and I heard him scream. I looked up, and he was staring at me with this look of serious concern on his face. He dropped the toy he was holding and crawled over to me as fast as he could, looking incredibly worried. He started pulling up on my leg, and I realized he was afraid that the hair dryer was hurting me. He had crawled over to help me! Isn't that sweet? He's seen me dry my hair at least 100 times, but today, for some reason, he was very worried about it. So I put the dryer down and picked him up and hugged him, and thanked him for coming to my rescue. :-)
It's amazing to see him become more and more aware and empathetic like that. He will hug people when he seems to think they're upset, and it's so sweet. He does that to me and Doug a lot, but he'll also hug Michelle. She stayed with him while we went to a play the other night, and they had a rough night. He is really used to his bedtime routine, and was very fussy and unhappy to have it disrupted. He was asleep when we came home, and Michelle was a little stressed about the whole experience. I held him while she told me all about it, and right when she finished, Carter reached his arms out to her. I leaned forward and he hugged her, and snuggled his head under her chin, then sat back again. Michelle smiled and told him she really needed that hug!
He's saying "mama" and "dada" much more meaningfully lately. Yesterday he was nursing and he paused, looked up at me and smiled and said, "Mama", and then went back to nursing again. I think I may have melted!
In other news, I got out a yardstick last night and measured him both standing up and lying down. He is definitely shorter than 28 inches, so I think the nurse just read it wrong the other day. I think that should have been 27 3/4 inches.
One more thing: I entered that Christmas card picture of Carter in Regis & Kelly's annual Beautiful Baby contest. Last year he was barely home from the hospital, but this year I wanted to enter. I've been wanting to do that for many years, actually! :-)