dear wren (2 mo)
Yesterday, you turned 8 weeks old. How is that possible? I don’t really remember what life was like before you arrived. Every day is like groundhog day, a repeat of the day before. Change nappy, feed, sleep, play, rinse and repeat. But each day is also different in that you show me a new side of your character or a skill you’ve learned. Last week you discovered your hands for the first time. You were wiggling away on your mat and flapping your chubby little arms and suddenly caught sight of your hands, which look like small starfish, and stopped mid-flight to examine them. Then, very slowly, you attempted to bring them to your mouth with the precision of someone who’d had 10 pints and been asked to walk the line. Your success rate at the moment is about 20 percent, but you are fiercely determined and I anticipate a sharp rise in the near future.
With each passing day, I get better at reading you. Your poo face is particularly unmistakable. Your face turns bright red and you sound like an old grand-dad getting out of his rocking chair. There have been times when I’ve had to ask your dad, “Was that you?”, because I simply can’t believe something so small could pass gas with such gusto. We are always a bit terrified to remove your nappy and see what’s in store for us. More often than not, you poo all the way up the back of your nappy, leaving a lovely mustard-coloured stain on your onesie. Thanks for that. How can so much poo come out of such a tiny being?
You’ve been exercising your vocal chords a lot lately. I have a feeling your first word is going to be hello. You have the right pitch – very british – and I can tell there are two distinct syllables somewhere in all that cooing. But the gargle in the back of your throat throws me and you usually end up sounding more like a growling puppy than a baby. It’s terribly sweet. Especially because I’m convinced that you are convinced that you are repeating every word I say perfectly. You are so eager to communicate with us. I can’t wait for you to start talking. If you have half of your father’s imagination, we are in for a treat and a barrel of laughs.
I chose to go back in time and write about the day you turned 8 weeks old today because for the past three days, we have been working on sleep training and I can’t say that you are very pleased with the whole transition. Since Sunday, you’ve been waking up every 40-60 minutes, in complete distress. I know you want so badly to nurse but you’ve been guzzling three-quarters of your milk intake in the night since the day you were born and I’m afraid we have to reverse that, my little chicken. So we are gently spacing out your night feeds in order that you drink more during the day. I’m so sorry for the stress I’m causing you. I know you don’t understand what is happening and it breaks my heart to see you so upset. But I promise it will get easier and no matter what, I will always pick you up and hold you until you feel better.
And because I’m on the verge of tears every time you cry, I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit and talk about potty humour. Because it’s always funny, no matter how old you are. Besides, isn’t it every parent’s job to embarrass their kids, just a little bit?