newsletter: month three
You are three months old, and I don’t even know where to begin. This is a bigger problem than might seem, because I have about four and a half functioning brain cells. Welcome to the new world order! This week I’m back to work from maternity leave.
Ask me sometime for my thoughts on how much paid time women get with their infants in this country. Since the answer is none (there’s unpaid time, and even then twelve weeks is WAY too little), I’d prefer that you ask me when you and I can have this conversation over big-girl drinks.
But actually, although I’ve got righteous feminist rage on the topic, you and I are just fine with this. You’re thriving and getting some social time away from me, and I get to exercise my big brain and later regale you with stories of digital librarianship. Everybody wins. (As long as you start eating more from the bottle. Pretty please?)
Your social skillz are MAD. You smile at everyone who engages with you. You look at everything in looking range, and some things beyond it. You do this trembly-chin thing that older people sometimes do when they’re cold, but for you it’s a precursor to speech. Or so I imagine—because you only do it when babbling at your many fans.
No syllables yet; any day now. In the meantime you say a whole lot by using only vowels with the occasional (and I think accidental) consonant thrown in. That said, you do this adorable mirror neuron thing that closely approximates saying “hi,” only you say hhhhaaaaoooiiii, usually accompanied by a gummy grin.
You started sleeping longer stretches of three, sometimes even four hours at night… and then got congested again. So we’re back to waking up every two hours, sometimes even more. It might be allergies, it might be the weather doing its crazy New England thing, it might be a bona fide cold. Who knows? Not I, but I DO want you to sleep more, please.
Then again, maybe if I weren’t spending precious nighttime minutes staring at you while you sleep with little smiles playing on your cherubic face, I might also be spending less time running on fumes.
I’ve been reading to you. I hear that your brain is particularly spongy where languages are concerned, right now, so we’ve drawn on Pushkin and Rodari in addition to anglophone fare. The cultcha doesn’t stop there, oh no: baby’s first trip to the ICA was… well, actually, you slept through that. But don’t worry. We’ll go again. I think you’ll like it: there’s a lot of bold color there, and you’ve already shown art appreciation by staring at the pictures on our walls. You particularly like Sherdeb Akadan’s dolphins and Rachel Mello’s Learning to Let Go. Good choices, if I do say so myself.
Your tiny body is so radiantly, so desperately alive. When you wake up, your head turns back and forth, and your legs fly out straight at 45-degree angles, it’s the cutest thing. You’re wasting no time dialing all your worldly activities up to eleven: for example, you’re distract-o-baby when you nurse, looking everywhichway and wasting not a second and clearly thinking deep thoughts about the world. You sleep just as passionately. The utter trust as you slump in my hands, letting me burp you as you sink into dreamland, almost gives me hope in a month when Wisconsin repeals the Equal Pay Act and election-year spite gains power again.
Meanwhile, you visit farm chickens and smell Arboretum lilacs. You’re loved and cuddled by your extensive fan club. You have a proto-giggle that turns your eyes into sparkling upturned half-moons. And I take occasional breaks from writing this to stare at you snoozing nearby. Life’s all right, baby.
P.S. more photos