September 10, 2010

At Two Months

Two months. Two months. Its been a lifetime - your lifetime, specifically - and no time at all. You're a healthy, lively baby girl. Already outgrowing the smallest of your clothes and melting my heart with your dimples. I swear you're growing before our very eyes.

And we know why. You nurse like a champ. No hesitation to latch, and no question you know just where the milk comes from. The sound you make as you take to 'the milk dud' (your father's term, used just as often to describe me frankly) is part greed, part satisfaction. We call you the milk monster, and you've earned the name. You hold on fiercely, fisting my shirt in your tiny hand or gripping at my skin with your fingertips, and gaze up at me with big blue-gray eyes. Every once in awhile you smile without letting go. It kills me every time.

Not nearly so winning is your new refusal to really nap. You've taken to sleeping for half an hour or less during the day, often cat napping in my arms but jerking awake at the slightest movement. This leads inevitably to an overtired baby who whines, fusses and eventually cries inconsolably until finally, finally falling asleep at night. Some times you can't even find your way to bedtime on your own, and Dad or I end up dancing with you until the rhythm finally soothes you and you drop off. But, we're starting a new routine, you and I. I'm trying to learn to read your cues that you're getting tired and develop cues for nap time that tell you its time to sleep now. You learned the nighttime cues so quickly; I am hoping we'll have an easy time passing through this stage now that I'm recognizing it for what it is.

And it will be so worth it when we get these naps worked out. You are simply charming when you wake up fresh from a good sleep. You grin and laugh, reach out for us with sheer joy. The world is still a fascinating place, and when you're feeling good you are so very interested in it. That's the best time for your tummy time or to lay on our backs and watch the ceiling fan. You aren't a fan of being left on your own, but you'll lay there if I'm playing with you.

Boy do we play these days. We spend more time at your play mat, as you slowly gain the coordination to hit the toys and hear their noise. Its a game you find as absorbing as you do frustrating. You love 'Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.' We play it so often your Dad has found himself humming it at work. And now we've added 'The Wheels on the Bus' accompanied by the bicycle move that helps with the gas. (Oh, the gas. You're still so bothered by this, sometimes crying out in your sleep. We've already passed the magic six week mark, when Grandma thought it would go away, and now we're waiting for three months when our friends have said it will pass. We're still hoping.) And your delighted when your Dad flies you like an airplane or I bend my knees and put you tummy down on them so you can wave your arms or bend your knees to move up and down.

But, what you love best is just to talk with us. I rest you on my knees and read books to you or tell you the nursery rhymes I now have memorized. You watch me with serious eyes and then break in to the biggest grin. Or you'll watch soccer with your Dad, earnestly listening while he explains strategy to you and simply fascinated by all the bright colors and movement. Sometimes you talk back to us, cooing and vocalizing with the best of them.

You still prefer the outdoors, though. Now that the weather is finally changing we spend most of our early mornings out under the grapefruit tree. Dad and I drink our coffee, and you happily sit with us and watch the world. Some mornings I take a book outside and we just stay there, even after Dad has left us to go to work. Or we take the dog and go for a long walk through the neighborhood, looking to see what is happening in our little world. We sometimes take two or three walks in the day, even walking down to Park Avenue to window shop or sit in the park. Your love of the outdoors makes it hard to deny you.

Its hard to deny you anything, frankly. You're alot of work, child of mine, and I rather suspect you always will be. But, its a result of your curious, alert nature and that is exactly what makes you so amazing to watch. We took our first overnight trip - to Baba and Dado's house - on the day you turned two months. You took in the new environment, the big dogs and even your first dip in a swimming pool with huge eyes and curious hands. It was a little overwhelming it seemed, and you preferred to do your exploring from my arms or your Dad's. But, your Dado won you over with his willingness to endlessly show you the wonders of his garden. And your endless fascination with it would have won him over, if he hadn't already been yours.

Just like the rest of us.

This post has been sitting in drafts, delayed by an increase in fussiness and a decrease in sleep. A trip to the doctor (for your first shots, poor thing) reveals fluid behind your ear drum. Your current trouble sleeping may be as much about an earache as a nap routine. Baby Tylenol resulted in the first long sleep you've had in two weeks. Now, if you'd just fall asleep for your afternoon nap...

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