Imagine if you will: You’re on a TGV or Bullet Train. You’re traveling through snowy, mountainous countryside. As you speed along, you pass through regularly spaced tunnels each a little bit longer and closer than the previous. As a result, it’s alternately light and dark, and you hear a bit of a whoosh sound as you make each transition. That’s what this past month has been like for me. I can’t turn around without noticing that it is already tomorrow. Or was that yesterday?
I have another word-picture to paint for you. This one is an analogy of some of your feeding sessions. Imagine if you will a rag doll. This rag doll has some very course motor control of her limbs, but mostly they just flail. Now, imagine that this rag doll is trying to swim across the English channel. While eating a peanut butter sandwich. This is the image that came to mind recently as you were feeding from a bottle I was attempting to hold for you.
Speaking of which, that’s one of many changes you made this month. You started “eating” from a bottle. We wanted to introduce the bottle late enough that you had already developed a skill and preference for nursing from mom, but early enough that it would still be something that you could take. We started it right around 6 weeks, and seem to have done fine with that. You now suck from a tube taped to my finger usually twice a day, and drink from a bottle I hold for you once per day — usually around 3:00 AM. I intend to write more about our bottle experience on the wiki, but have yet to do that.
Your intake makes me think of “SamTrak” — the database interface that we’re using to keep track of your input and output. We’ve been doing this mainly because you were small at birth and we needed to monitor your growth pretty closely but I think partly, we’re now addicted to data collection and analysis. For example, as of this writing, your home page (homo paji) says that we’ve changed your diaper 530 times. That’s not technically true. There have been 40 “events” in the database that occurred while you were on the changing table, so you didn’t actually consume a diaper for those — just made us do more laundry. But other data’s fascinating there too. For example in the two months you’ve lived so far, you’ve spent the equivalent of 10 days (and 14 minutes) straight nursing from mom. I’ve served you 3.35 gallons of some mixture of breast milk and formula. Once we start trying to get you on a sleep schedule, I’ll probably pull a Trixie Update and try to keep track of your sleep schedule too. At the moment, it’s too erratic to even want to try.
You’ve made a lot of changes yourself this month, several of them pretty exciting to me. For example, you’ve started to outgrow your preemie clothes. While outgrowing your clothes is the start of a dangerous and disturbing trend, I’m still excited to see it happening. You seem to be more aware of me and your mom as well as your environment generally. You follow thing with your eyes, you study our faces and you even frequently recognize that your wet diaper is uncomfortable. This has almost certainly caused more frequent diaper changes, because you tell us about how uncomfortable your wet diaper is in ways that you didn’t used to bother.
Fortunately, you aren’t just crying now. While you also aren’t talking in any true sense of the word, you are vocalizing. You’ve said “anhh”, “arl”. I wonder what to attribute your first word. The first thing that you vocalized that made sense to your parents was “Arles” (see this post), and you’ve also said either “I” or “eye”, but I think it doesn’t count as a word until you use it intending its meaning. So we’re still waiting on that.
You like the nightlife, you like to boogie. You like when Mom sings to you. You tolerate when I sing to you, which fortunately is not as often. However, you do like to dance with me to the stereo. (Is it still a “stereo” when it’s 6.1, house-shaking, Dolby-digital music?)
This month saw your first Thanksgiving during which you met almost as much of your family one day (3 people: Grand daddy, Uncle John, Aunt Rika) as you’d met before in your entire life (4 people: Mommy, Mom-mom, Grandmère, and myself). During Thanksgiving, it was pleasant to see how well Grand daddy and Uncle John handled you. In return, you paid Uncle John what is probably the highest baby-complement you could pay. You fell asleep on him. Me, you didn’t treat so well. You decided that since everyone else was eating Thanksgiving dinner, you should too. That meant that my Thanksgiving dinner was split into two pieces. One small and warm at the beginning, another larger and colder after you had your fill. It’s OK though sweetie. I’d do it again for you in a heartbeat. In fact, Dad was so busy during Thanksgiving, that I hardly had a chance to take any pictures. Fortunately, Mom-mom took a bunch.
Thankfully, you’re not a colicky baby, though there have been enough fusses that we’ve coined yet another term around it. Some people see UFOs. Well, you have FUOs: Fusses of Unknown Origin. Some of your fusses, I know darn well where the come from. Tummy time. You hate tummy time. I had no idea, watching all those videos with happy babies doing tummy time while mom and friends were having a picnic, what a completely staged FARCE they were. But who knows, maybe month 3 will be totally different [smirk].
Smirks bring me to smiles. Or at least what I’ve taken to calling your “proto-smiles”. Mom claims to have seen real smiles, which, maybe she has, I dunno. I’ve not really seen it. Regardless, the two of you do spend more time together than the two of us do, so it’s at least possible. Even though you and mom spend more time together, you and I do still spend a lot of time together. In fact, if you’re awake, you’re with one parent or another. We spend a lot of time gazing into your face. This has the funny effect of making your mom’s head look HUGE to me, I’ve become so accustomed to the size of your head. Mom reports that you have the same effect on my head to her. Still, it amazes me how long you’ve had the (terrifyingly cute) pouty thing going but are still figuring out smiling.
Finally, I feel like I’ve migrated from being human to becoming furniture. I’ve been your changing table on occasion, but mostly, you like me as your crib. I’m your surest path to dream land. I don’t know why me except that we’ve developed a rhythm during the wee hours when I let your mom sleep after feedings by putting you to sleep myself. Somewhere, mom read that babies start out in REM sleep and then move to deep sleep after 20 minutes or so. When you eat during the night, then, I usually calm you — frequently with a finger in your mouth until you are in light sleep. Then I relax (or use the laptop one-handed) for 20 minutes until you are in deep enough sleep to put in your crib without having your eyes fly open and your arms fly apart in the Moro reflex. I realize that this may be kinda dumb. After all, I don’t necessarily wish to act as crib for as long as you need a crib, but I do cherish this time together, and you look remarkably cute relaxed against me like that.
Thanks for another wonderful month, Sam.