newsletter: month four
Happy four months, baby! Let’s talk about health. It’s possibly the most important thing we have, you and I. So your Mother’s Day gift to me of a bad sinus cold, though astonishingly thoughtful given your young age, might have been… a little misguided.
Getting rid of a cold when you can’t sleep it off is HARD. For the first time ever, I lamented not having a full-time co-parent, someone who had signed on for the germs in advance. Both of us being sick, I couldn’t bring myself to ask any of our friends and loved ones to come and be with you while I slept; I wouldn’t have wished this cold on anyone, and nothing was dire, just hard and sleepy and discontent.
We did it, though. We got rid of it. It took a sick day (note to self: next time, take two) and a lot of early bedtime, but we’re healthy once again. Let’s try to stay that way, please.
It’s WARM! It’s SPRING! You are sleeping longer stretches. Oh, the incomparable joy of it! I credit a combination of warm weather and the breastmilk-in-the-nose trick I remembered to try. Worked like a charm to relieve your congestion. This stuff is magic. Let’s hope I don’t forget it when you get your first pinkeye.
Enough about illness, let’s talk about the adorable. There’s plenty of that. Take the sounds of you sucking on your entire fist in the back seat of the car. Or your extra-fuzzy, velvety head with a lot more hair than last month. Or the way you’re discovering toys—just yesterday Michel reported that you have learned to crinkle the wings of the little stuffed bee.
Speaking of Michel, you have the best caretakers. Three of them, over the four days a week that you’re in “daycare.” You love going to Vanessa’s and hanging out with her and tiny Alex, who is only a month older than you. (I can’t wait until you two start entertaining each other, hopefully in a few months.) You love going to Carolyn’s, who has been packing and unpacking moving boxes and has all the smiles in the world for you. And Michel’s, well. There’s a grownup AND a six-year-old AND a teenager AND a huuuuuge dog who are all fond of you. Pici the great dane, easily seven times your size, likes to lick your hands.
I haven’t even mentioned all our other friends besides the weekday caretakers. I hope that hanging out with all these different people will mean no separation anxiety. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just avoid that altogether?
Your hand-eye coordination is improving. Fingers are tricky to get control of, but darned if you’re not tryin’. A favorite exercise is holding on to my shirt as I put you in the carrier: you’ve discovered that you can keep yourself from falling over to the side. The power! The control! It’s heady.
You’ve definitively found your toes, and are studiously working on holding on to them. Watching you do this, it occurred to me that it’s quite an advanced skill: you have to control your arm and your leg at the same time. I imagine this can get frustrating. But you’re pretty chill about it, and we’ve been talking about practicing.
You’re definitely practicing. Given your increasing love for mouthing everything, most especially your own fingers and my forearm when I’m changing your diapers, it’s only a matter of time until you bring those feet all the way up to your mouth.
Most of your exploration is accompanied these days by a sort of aaaaaohhhhhh. Sounds are fun, even if they’re all vowels so far. An accidental consonant here and there doesn’t count for syllables, but it is cute to practically hear your brain gears turning.
Some of the most entertaining things in the world are: practicing your standing, supported, on top of a grownup’s belly; Baby in the Mirror; the doorway bouncer (you can hang out in that thing for half an hour); having your belly, feet, hands or head nibbled; having me sing to you. Gosh, baby, I hope you continue to be as appreciative an audience as you’re being these days. It may be the best ego trip I’ve ever had.
Speaking of feelings, yours might be growing even faster than your body, which is damn impressive given that during the days when I’m at work you’re eating all the milk I can pump and then some. Thank goodness we had a reserve; it’s depleted enough that I’ve brought the pump home so that hopefully we can build it back up a little. You feel huge to me, though the internet tells me that your weight is average for your age. So when you have FEELINGS, well. It’s a good thing we have a fierce cuddling relationship.
Today, on your four-month birthday, we went out to lunch at a Chinese buffet with babushka, Vlad, and a bunch of their friends—mostly to celebrate my mom’s and a friend’s birthdays now that everyone’s back in town from various travels. You charmed everyone, men and women. I’m told you do this about a hundred percent of the time, no matter where you go. Hang on to your gregariousness, my love. It alone won’t get you many places, but it sure helps to genuinely like other people, and have them like you back.
I like you so much that sometimes, when I have to choose a quiet bedtime for you over an evening with friends, I feel that the consolation prize is way worth it.