I had read it in all of the parenting manuals, guides, and newsletters. Then it happened. We fell in sync. Bed times, feedings, and your various cries stopped being such a mystery, and ,for the first time, I felt like I knew who you were. Though my confidence wanes often, the overarching theme of this month has been the emergence of you: the mewling, smiling, giggling baby who has replaced my disgruntled newborn. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve laughed with or at you this month. You are so full of surprises, and seem to learn new things every week. Watching you learn things has been what I’ve been looking forward to since I first learned I was pregnant (the anniversary of which is rapidly approaching). Just know, my dear one, that Daddy and I will always do our best to notice your achievements and milestones. We all deserve at least one cheerleader in our corners. Lucky for you, you have two.
five six things I want to hold on to from this month:
1. You are lying on your back on Daddy’s lap when suddenly you notice a strange object: you own hand. You fold your thumb beneath your fingers and make an impossibly tight fist. You face reddens in anger and you screech. You do this for two weeks and then suddenly focus that rage on your left. Daddy and I fall over laughing every time you do it. Then you learn that the hands open as well as close and fury goes away.2. We finally gave in and bought you an obnoxious bright-colored, music-playing, whiz-bang-rotating play gym. We lay you underneath it on your back and you laugh at your own reflection…
3. …We flip you over to your stomach and rotate your body until you can feel one of the play gym toys touch your feet. You swim in place, kicking furiously at the object behind you. Your groan like a weight-lifter and look like a sprinter warming up. Daddy and I laugh until we almost cry.
4. We take you to spend the night with Grandma Precious and Grandpa. It is my first night away from you since those awful nights in the hospital. At times my heart quakes and I want to go get you, but the day I spend with Daddy is the best I’ve had all year. We pick you up the next day and you’re voice is hoarse from the endless babbling you’ve been doing. You’ve learned to touch your head, and you now pull at your hair when you’re sleepy. I pull you out of the car seat when we get home. I smell your head and shed a tear because I can’t believe how much I missed you.
5. At nine-weeks-old you lay down one night at 10 and don’t wake up again until 6:30 a.m. The next night you sleep eight hours and since then have slept seven to nine hours every night, followed by a three to four-hour morning nap. I throw my sleep training book in the garage sale pile.
(okay one more….)
6. You’re crying in fear or general discomfort. I pick you up and hold you against my chest. You lay your head on my shoulder and calm. You snuggle your face into my neck. I hold you close and you fall asleep. You sigh and drool and I feel so much love for you it aches.