Baby hoarders: Pro Edition
Today was Bunter’s first smile. She’d given us a tough night, really the only tough night since we were in the hospital and she was justifiably not interested in being anywhere other than my chest. Last night Mr. Bunny walked her in the carrier for hours, and I was terrified of getting near her after she vomited implausibly large quantities all over me, twice.
As the spouse and I were sitting blearily on the sofa in the morning, I jokingly suggested that perhaps her dyspepsia was a sign that she was going to smile soon. Mr Bunny leaned over her and demonstrated smiling. See, like this! Rictus! Rictus! Get your mirror neurons working! And she DID smile. A huge smile, with crinkly eyes. And several more. And some little sidelong ones. We both cried a little. It’s worth waiting for, that smile. So transformative.
Bunter has been…knock on All the Woods…an easy baby, just like her siblings. She eats quickly and happily, sleeps a reasonable amount for a person her age, and is easily soothed when she’s pissed. Even if that changes today, it will at least have been true for the past six weeks. I have been enjoying life at the pace of a newborn. Days are basically feed baby, coffee, laundry, diaper change, lie on floor in a patch of sun with baby, feed baby, bake something (OMG, I have baked SO many things), diaper change, feed baby, eat a baked thing with more coffee, let baby take nap on chest while watching West Wing, walk around house with baby listening to music, feed baby, feed self, laundry…
Of course, this idyllic underwater-y rhythm does not apply on days when I am in charge of all three babies. As I suspected, meeting the needs of three humans is pretty challenging at times, even when one human is a (much loved) lump. I presume it will get even harder when Bunter starts having more needs. Long ago I wrote about code red and code green…now it’s code black. The babies’ needy times tend to converge, so I am often dashing from one screaming child to the next. Some days I do it with empathy and…well, it’s not exactly patience, it’s surface calm, I guess, regardless of how I feel underneath. Other days I am appalled at the things that come out of my mouth. I found myself saying to Bun Bun, YOU ARE SO SELFISH! which is a Things Never to Say to your Child item I never thought I’d even feel like saying let alone actually say. Happily, she replied indignantly, I am not selfish, you should not say that to me! You can say I did a selfish thing! giving me a chance to agree with her and apologize and feel reassured that at least most of the time I am modeling the right things.
Or I’m washing dishes with a crying baby in a carrier, bone tired and weepy.
My spouse is going out of town for a couple of days tomorrow and I am…not dreading the experience, more just SAD about how much this is going to suck for me.
But I am also savoring this tiny baby. Even last night, when I was pretty fed up with the crying and the vomiting, I could hold her and know that these nights are limited (1/3 of the way to sleep training, my friends!), and that this experience will never come again.
I gave her a sink bath yesterday with a shampoo that made her smell like a creamsicle. She weights a hefty 9 pounds now, and is so soft and snuggly and beautiful.
And now with added SMILES.