Congratulations (once again, mostly to me and your father). Little one (and I use that term only in comparison to full-grown adults), you are two months old. You have changed so much in the last four weeks — and so, so, so much since birth — that I can hardly believe you are the same creature that was wrested (quite angrily, I might add) from my insides via voluntary disembowelment on my grandpa’s 100th birthday. Speaking of “angrily,” in fact, the only reason I know it’s you is that your little stink face hasn’t changed since the day you came out.
Luckily, we see a lot less of that face these days. Your dad and I have gotten fairly good at figuring out what the fuck it is you want, although, to be fair, that’s because the choices are pretty minimal: Either you’re hungry (more on that in a minute), you want to be picked up, or your diaper is just the slightest bit wet (you will take a catastrophic blowout crap, on the other hand, and be fairly content to sit in it for hours). Otherwise, you have become…well, I wouldn’t say a “mellow” baby by any stretch (again, more on that in a minute), but a fairly reasonable one most of the time.
This month, your hobbies included, but were not limited to:
MOAR SHAPES ZOMFG SHAPES SHAPES SHAPES. You can see more each day, and as a result you have become entranced with the world around you, whether that be the shapes on the wall and your spiffy new mobile (in the bassinet you still refuse to sleep in, or even be in for more than 5 minutes), your Freddie the Firefly toy (a gift from Aunt Lisa), or — praise every deity alive — the toy bar on your godforsaken Fisher-Price seat, which you have — praise be — finally decided you like. This means that I can go to the bathroom in peace when nobody else is home but you and me. The other day you not only noticed the low-hanging toy in the middle of the bar — you reached your chubby little mitt out and batted it. You are becoming a little person. You see things and react to them. It is amazing.
Chowing the fuck down and its attendant results. You are huge. At your one-month checkup you clocked in at the 75th percentile for height and the 85th for weight. This time I am betting you’ll tip into the 90s. Everyone who sees you assumes you are four months old (they also assume you’re a boy, but hey), and it doesn’t help matters that you’ve basically been able to hold your big fat noggin up since the day you came out, and can hold it up like a grown-up at this point. It seems like you are never not in a growth spurt, which can be tough on your ol’ mother’s titties, truth be told — and my psyche as well, because there are many days when, despite your girth and the indisputable fact that you don’t need to eat as much and as often as you do, you are unsatisfied with what I’ve got on offer, and you pop off in the middle of nursing and let loose this heartbreaking little whimper that I would do anything to comfort out of you. Little one (again, comparatively), I am so sorry I can only make enough milk to get you super-duper-fat, as opposed to super-duper-duper-fat.
SMILING! You have (as babies do) the most adorable smile, and now you flash it a me and your dad all day long.
Oh, darling, I love you so. Here’s something I’ve discovered since becoming a parent. I have a far vaster reservoir of patience than I ever thought possible — I’ve always just had the luxury of being as impatient as I wanted and impacting only other adults or my peers (when I was an impatient youngster). And the payoff for being patient, for realizing that I just can’t do everything I want to do or once could do — I can’t even do a fraction of it, and what I can do I do poorly (case in point: this blog post, done in fits and starts, mostly with a slobbering baby on my chest)? Everything I have put into this chubby little person, all of the devotion and love and vast reservoirs of time and every damn bit of my life force and then some, I have gotten back out thousandfold.
Here’s something else I’ve discovered being a parent: I have an infinite capacity for love, and a finite capacity for anxiety. There are things I once would have worried myself sick over, and now I just don’t have the fucking time. But the love I feel for my daughter, for my husband, for everyone, friend and family, who has wished us well or sent us a gift (way behind on thank-yous; please forgive!), who has given us advice or come here and helped us out, it is boundless and just getting bigger. Before I had a child I would hear people say: You don’t know love until you have a child, and I’d be like fuck you, that is really obnoxious. Now that I have a child — nope, guess what, still obnoxious. I knew love before you, little one (comparatively). I just get to love for more of the day now, much more of the day, and I thought it would exhaust me, but it doesn’t. The incessant nursing and diapering and what-the-fuck-does-she-want wondering? That exhausts me.
Sleeping — with us, (almost) never alone (as I type this, you are INCOMPREHENSIBLY still sacked out in your stroller after a huge walk to Café Ventana, where you had a massive blowout in the “study annex,” audible to all of the SLU students, and we changed you on the floor of the bathroom because Café Ventana doesn’t have changing tables in the bathroom, which is the kind of thing I notice now and care about). But this is OK. We have recently succumbed to the gentle parenting cult of Dr Sears (yeah, yeah), who would characterize you as a “high needs baby.” And it’s true. From the moment you came out, you wanted to be held and loved (and nursed, and nursed, and nursed, and nursed, and nursed). As you’ve grown older you’ve mellowed out considerably, but you still have your “witching hour(s),” and I still begin the process of putting you to bed at 7:30 and end it at 10:30. It goes like this, for anyone who wants my parenting “expertise”: Nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse, walk you around, change you, massage, nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse, white noise machine, dryer on, another walk, another change, nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse nurse. I have 100% given up on my boobs being anything other than utilitarian for the rest of my life. That’s fine. I’ll just be one of those ladies who never takes her bra off, like in a sex scene on TV. Shit, when I can wear a supportive underwire bra again that will be luxury enough.
Anyway. Yes, back to you, little one. You finally fall asleep in the bed with me, and in the bed you stay. You wake once at 12:30, again at 4, and again at 5:30 or 6. I nurse you lying down and unless you have an untimely butt blast, you go right back to sleep nuzzled right next to me (safely, of course). I love it. I will probably be relieved when it is finally time for you to go to your “big girl bed” someday in the future, but I must say I am not counting the days right now.
And now, because my pasta’s ready and you are stirring, I will end this abruptly, with a picture that is worth 1000 words. Here’s me, on the way home from Ventana today (we walked you there in the stroller, though you insisted on being carried most of the way), nursing you in an alley behind a McDonald’s.