You’re two months old today, and we celebrated this morning by sticking you with needles. You’re well on the recommended schedule for vaccinations, and have been filled with appropriate disgruntlement for several hours now. Which one couldn’t tell from observing you at this moment, as you lie there alternating between dopey staring and snoozing in your swing. But the intermittent misery is real. I’m sorry, baby. It’ll pass. In the meantime, I’ll snuggle you as much as you want, and listen to your little mammal sounds.
You’ve grown a lot. You’re thirteen and a half pounds now, well on your way toward double your birth weight. But it’s more than the weight: there’s somebody home behind those eyes. I love this.
Despite today’s vaccinations-related drama, the word of the month is copacetic. And it’s been an eventful month! You’ve been having trouble with, well, snot. The pediatrician (our mutual doctor, whom I love to no end) thought it might be a deviated septum, and sent us to an otolaryngologist—that’s a fancy name for an ear-nose-throat doctor. The ENT was a patronizing jerk. He didn’t pat me on the head and call me little lady, but only just. He did give us the crucial bit of information on the septum (not deviated), but also didn’t take my concerns seriously, dismissing them as new-parent jitters.
I didn’t tell him off, but only just.
I haven’t been able to reliably put you to sleep on your back for weeks, you see. You would start snorting and whipping your head back and forth, and wake yourself up in the process. At first, this was only when you were on your back; the hack for that was to put you in your car seat, on the bed. I was pretty pleased with that, until you started getting congested in the car seat as well—and let me tell you, hearing an infant’s head thump against the sides of a car seat is not my idea of fun. So then we had you lying on top of me, tummy down. That worked, until it didn’t.
Now, if you’re congested, it’s in every position. But hey, things are changing. Maybe you’ll outgrow this thing. Or maybe it’s cat allergies. We’re about to ban the cats from the bedroom and gather more data. For now, you sleep through more of the snorting. Watching your sleep patterns change is fascinating, and I encourage you to continue working toward three-hour stretches before I go totally loopy with sleep deprivation.
Our medical adventures did not end there. We went to the emergency room this month, but your presence there was mostly incidental: it was for me. Norovirus is nobody’s friend; I caught it, couldn’t keep down fluids, got dehydrated, and got two liters of fluids drip-dripped back into me at the ER. Our friend R. was a trooper, went with us at ungodly-in-the-morning, and helped with baby care while I shivered under heated blankets. The room was so cold that later, when R. left, I snuggled you for warmth. Through all of that, you managed to escape the norovirus with your breastmilk-enabled immunity superpowers.
You’d think this would be enough excitement for one month, but that leaves us with a lot of time to fill. Movies and TV shows have provided entertainment; thank you, online streaming video. Elizabethtown wasn’t bad, and brought back all kinds of memories of my dad, whom you’ll never meet. (A pity; you’d have liked each other.) Soundtrack for a Revolution was gripping and thinky for me—and while I watched it in bits and pieces, you were in my lap, eating, snoozing. We’ll have to talk later about history, personal and otherwise.
We’ve been playing more, too. Sometimes I put you in your bouncy seat and introduce you to scents to see how you react. You love garam masala and rosemary and cardamom. You’re not so keen on citrus, so tea laced with bergamot is right out. And harissa seems to have been downright personally offensive.
You’re showing increasing signs of being a social animal. You’ve been smiling at faces, and not just mine. (They’re all charmed.) You had an entire day without mama, when I went to a workshop, and that all worked out just fine. Three or four different people have now offered you a bottle, and you’re working hard on figuring out why that might be a good idea. But those few times when you’ve cried really hard, because something in your world just wasn’t right at all, I’ve held you and rocked you and sang to you and said, “It’s okay, baby. It’s just you and me.” Seems more manageable that way.
We went on your first outing to the movies, with the M&N dynamic duo. Somerville Theatre, where… we… saw The Secret World of Arrietty, had a packed house for it, so we stayed standing in the back of the theatre. The ushers said it was against the rules, but let us do it anyway in a fit of kindness. This was good: you fussed just a bit, I held you and rocked with you and fed you. I only missed about five minutes of the movie. Nicely done, baby.
(The movie wasn’t bad. There was one weird noble-savage moment, which, remind me to tell you later why that’s problematic.)
Now you’ve woken up, we’ve played a bit and changed you and snuggled dancing around for a bit, and you’re back in your swing completely rapt with fascination at the three small stuffed birds spinning overhead. You’re watching the world with increasing intensity… except when you’re drunk on milk and staring out with the dopiest expression I’ve ever seen on a baby.
Those puckered pouty milky lips you have after feeding slay me. But the complete downfall of all my parenting will be brought about by your tiny lower lip, stuck out when your feelings have been so hurt and you’re having a fit of perfectly innocent petulance mixed with despair of the world ever being right again. I am certain that you will learn to manipulate that deftly in time.
Most of the time you’re pretty happy, though. Sometimes when you’re eating and I can’t see your mouth, I know you’re smiling because your eyes turn into little crescent moons.
This is getting long. Soon I’ll have to become a lot more selective about what goes into these newsletters: there’s just so much. You’ve seen the ocean now. You have many fans. We’re both still figuring out your sleep patterns, and when your bedtime should be.
I’ve been fretting about how things are going to change when I go back to work, which tells me that things are basically okay now. This is a big deal, only two months into this whole new-life thing.
P.S. This post took most of the day to write. There you are, asleep again.
P.P.S. I’ve put up more photos of you here. Instead of putting some of them into this post, I’ll take a little nap instead. Because sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps is a Really Good Idea.