Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Boy (8 weeks old)

Dear Boy,

You are now 8 weeks old. I call this 2 months old, but your Dad disagrees, prefering to wait until the 2nd to pronounce 2 months. He's wrong and probably knows it, but likes to argue anyway.

You've just started smiling in the last week and it's become the light of our lives after some of the long days and nights in your first few weeks. Those first six weeks were rough and, although you won't remember them, I will. I'll remember how small you were, though you're measuring in the 90th percentile on the charts; I'll remember how much you cried your inexplicable cries, though this is the only way you can communicate with us; I'll remember how much I cried when I couldn't feed you myself, though I persisted with it as long as I could; I'll remember the poo-namis, the wee showers and the tiny rivers of vomit; I'll remember the complete helplessness as our house turned upside down and your stuff conquered almost every room. Around week 6, when I was crying as much as you, I had to call for my own Mama and she came running to help, to hold you and to try and restore a little order to the house.

After those first six weeks, it now feels like a triumph that you've survived, that we've survived, that the 'us' that was your Dad and I before you arrived, is now the 'us' that includes you.

At the moment, you are laying behind me in your cot, madly fighting off sleep, fighting quite literally as you wave your swaddled arms about your face. As soon as we put the dummy in your mouth, you calm down, but then when your little mouth goes slack with sleep, it inevitably falls and lodges uncomfortably under your ear, your cheek, your shoulder.

After your feeding was finally settled, sleep became the major issue we were trying to 'fix'. But you will not be 'fixed'. We tried a strict routine with you, following the sometimes crazy rules laid out for you by a woman named Tizzie. You self-settle sometimes but never stopped catnapping, so we've abandoned the school-marmishness of the Save our Sleep routine, for just feeding you ever three hours and putting you back to sleep when you wake. You'll learn to re-settle yourself when you're older, to sleep past just a single sleep cycle.

Other things on the list of newness are how much you love being in the bath and the shower, taking you for long sleepy walks in your pram, putting you to sleep in your bouncer, listening to you coo and gurgle, tickling your belly to elicit those sunny open mouthed smiles. You had your first round of vaccinations a few days ago and spent a drowsy day sleeping and fussing in my arms until your first dose of baby Panadol. Today we went out into your first rainy day, with the rain drops chilling your Mum's back as I wrangled you into your baby seat, and after our errands, you dozed with the rain plunking on the car-roof and the wipers squeeling over the not quite wet, not quite dry windscreen.

Maybe, if the rain holds off this afternoon, I'll take you out into the streets and wheel you through the puddles and under the trees shedding raindrops with every shiver of their leaves. But right now, I'm going to grab some lunch and wolf it down before you wake and demand yours.

Much love,

Your mum.

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