How the moments creep along..then I turn around and Baby M is almost 7 weeks old. Each day is uncharted territory. We're not into a routine yet, though the good news is that Baby M is sleeping 6-8 hours a stretch at night. Remarkable-- K didn't do that till six months old, T was a year old before he was good at sleeping through the night. The bad news is that Baby M doesn't want to nap during the day. But she does want to be held..and fed..held some more..walk around with me, please..now I'm hungry, Mama! When I lay her down for a nap, she is the reverse of those dolls whose eyes close when reclining and open when upright. She seems like she's completely asleep, but within a few minutes of laying in bed-- pop! Bright eyes open. And the cycle begins again.
But each day that passes will never come again. I am always so aware of this.
Ever so gradually, baby phases come and then are exchanged away for new ones. I wanted to note some of the moments of these early days, before I forget them in the busy-ness of new baby developments.
--Normally I tend to be a shower at night kind of person, but in the crazy schedule upheaval of the first days home from the hospital, I showered in the mornings. The first time I did so, I told K and T that I'd be showering, they could keep playing whatever it was that they were doing. They seemed a bit startled at this change, but agreeable. When I was done, I came out and found them reading a book together, right outside my bathroom door.
--T often appeared at my elbow when it came time for a diaper change. One morning I'd just opened the blinds and Baby M gazed at the window as I changed her, tiny bare legs kicking nonstop. T, standing there watching, said, "She likes the morning so much, she's doing a dance!"
--I like the way Baby M stops her frantic crying when I pick her up. A few residual sobs escape before a last exhale of relief.
--When she's calmer and laying in her bouncy seat, I like her surprised expression when I come and talk to her. No one can do surprised and curious like a baby.
--Some days she and I are completely in sync. I can read her cues practically before they happen. Other days, Nothing. Makes. Her. Happy.
--Something that has surprised me about her is her ability to drift off to sleep while I'm simply holding her. The other two always had to be nursed to sleep. With Baby M, if the conditions are right, I look down at her and see closed eyes, peace on her face, body limp and getting heavy.
--That's not to say we don't spend plenty of time nursing. And nursing. K took it into her head to read me a book she'd checked out from the library about chess. She's had some help from B, but basically taught herself to play. I've tried, but I can't fathom the game. K thought if she read me this book while I nurse M, maybe I could learn to play, too. So she read me all 189 pages. Showed me all 191 diagrams. Didn't miss one of the 601 rules of chess. The funny thing is, I'd meant to read good books aloud to the kids while nursing. Hasn't quite happened yet. But K has read aloud an entire chapter book about chess to me.
--Finally, T always asks what Baby M is saying when she coos or what is it she wants when she cries. One day she made a noise as I dressed her in a pretty purple outfit. "What is she saying?" T asked.
"She says she likes purple," I replied.
Purple is K's favorite color. T went dashing off to tell her that Baby M's favorite color is purple, too.
No it isn't, K said. Yes it is, T was sure. I realized he thinks I really do know exactly what each of Baby M's noises mean.