The three of us for three months.
How did this become life?
So damn slowly and then all at once.
I think lots of people like new babies. The tiny, sleepy, vulnerable freshness of them. But though I think that stage is cute it’s not my favorite. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation that comes hard and fast in those early days. Still fresh in my mind I’m not eager to go back to that. No. Now we’re getting into my favorite. I’m in love with the three month plus ages. The discovery ages. The everything is interesting and exciting ages.
Seeing my daughter recognize my face is one of the best moments of life. Seriously. I hope I never forget that first moment I thought she knows me. Watching her learn to play is another. As she begins to learn cause and effect and how to control her limbs and hands I delight in every aspect of her discovery. Her attention span slowly grows and she delights in new noises and facial expressions. She’s reflecting us as we talk and smile and I cannot get enough of those ‘conversations’. Tell me. I say I want to hear all your stories. I love all your stories.
I’m in love with every aspect of her. In love with the weight of her. I’m stuck by her solidness every single time I pick her up. Her realness. The weight of her head on my shoulder. The tightness of her grip. The thrust behind her pushing off. The force with which she nuzzles into our necks; closer closer, can’t get close enough. Me neither, kiddo.
Amara had her first giggle this last week. At least we think she did. As soon as it happened I turned to her dad Did she just laugh at us?! And try as we might she didn’t do it again but instead looked at us in that studying way she has as if trying to sort out why we were getting increasingly goofier. More precious than gold are those sounds, is that smile. Though she smiles more easily the older she gets there’s no mistaking this serious minded girl. She’s a studier. She’s a watch and see kindof kid. Who are you? Her intense eyes say. What are you about? Her little eyebrows knit together and she stares hard at new people and things. Will she be cautious with her trust? Will she be a worrier? Will she be intense even as she plays? We speculate often about how her personality will develop as she grows.
She’s discovered her hands recently. That fingers taste good; on herself or whatever hand is close enough to give a nibble. She’s started to drool a little and leaves little wet mouth marks on friendly shoulders. She often prefers to be held facing out, sitting on your arm while you walk around. She likes to take tours. Show me around, she says.
Like her cousin, Remy, she seems to want to skip the crawling stage and go right to walking. Tummy time is only fun if she wants to sleep, otherwise she wants to be up up. She’s stable enough for the one handed carry now, peeking over your shoulder while you go about your business. Don’t worry if she gets tired this is a good place to fall asleep, you don’t need to put her down. In fact don’t put her down, just slip her right into the crook of your arm and take a break for an hour or two. That’s when the best/longest naps happen.
The only time you need to put her down is bedtime. She’s begun to extend her night sleep… As I sit here writing she’s over seven hours. Shock! Awe! Of course I was up nearly two hours ago and now can’t go back to sleep for anticipating her waking. We are only just getting used to having maybe a solid five hours, on these rare nights she goes six plus my own body clock still thinks it needs to be up. I don’t adjust to new schedules as quickly as I used to, and I don’t fall asleep as easily either. Some nights that is ridiculously frustrating.
I spend a lot of time watching her sleep.
I don’t mind mostly. I try to be considerate of my weariness and take time to hand her off when I need to. My energy level and my patience level are tied tightly together. If I allow myself to get too tired I allow myself to get frustrated easily. No one in this house likes that, least of all me. Mostly I remember these days are fleeting. These moments go quickly. Laundry and dishes will always be there, they will eventually get done, the time will come for those things. My own timeline is learning to be fluid and unrushed. I’m discovering the more rushed I feel the more Amara will require me to slow down. She’ll need a diaper changed, or a bottle, or not be able to get comfortable and have long tired cries. If we try too hard, get tense about her crying so that our energy isn’t relaxed it makes it harder to calm her down. She is a good reflection of your own energy; if you want her to relax you have to relax yourself. Oh the lessons we learn.
I’m sure there are so very many more to come. Here’s to those coming days, my friends, and to this girl of ours who just keeps growing. What a glorious adventure this life is.