I realize that actual posts with dialogue have been few and far between these days. We hope to remedy that more, but as all of you who have kids know: the first few months can be a bit overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong. We are doing great, and Frances is pretty damn awesome. It’s just that those first few months are rough for many reasons. First of all, getting enough sleep is impossible. Annie and I are a good team, and we try to make things fast at night. I’ll get up and change Frances while Annie gets ready to feed her. But still, sleeping for only 3 hour stretches at a time takes its toll, and pretty soon you are doing stupid things like making coffee without putting the pot under the machine. True story.
Other than sleep, I think the other thing that makes it tough is the lack of milestones. For the first month or so, Frances didn’t do a whole lot. Lots of pooping and sleeping, but that’s about it. No cooing, no smiling… Just a tiny human, well, just being.
Recently, in the past few weeks, Frances is really starting to change. Let me count the ways:
Frances is getting better at so many things! The biggest thing is sleep. We are working hard on getting a schedule down where she goes upstairs around 9 and either gets fed, a bath, or both, before being laid down to sleep. So far we have been successful with only a few setbacks. She is sleeping longer too. Usually 4 to 5 hours, then a short feeding and back to sleep. It’s getting better, and that makes Annie more comfortable as she gets ready to go back to school next month.
She is also getting better at head control. She can hold it pretty steady, but still has a ways to go before full control. We try to give her tummy time at least once a day, and she doesn’t mind it when we do. I think she only cries when she gets frustrated that she can’t crawl yet. She tries like hell, pushing her legs out like pistons, but her arms fail her every time.
We’ve also witnessed a new phenomenon the past few days where she is trying hard to turn over. Hopefully fairly soon we can have a video of her being successful!
Also, when she was brand new, she was really good at turning on her side and sleeping that way. After we learned to swaddle her really well (to keep the flailing arms to a minimum), she didn’t really turn on her side anymore. I think gaining 4 lbs also could have had something to do with it too. She is back to sleeping on her side after abandoning the swaddle. Her arms are just too strong and almost always get out of her swaddle now. We decided to switch to the sleeper outfit with much success.
But perhaps the biggest change is the alertness. Her eyes are everywhere. It’s truly heart melting when her eyes meet yours and she gives you a sly little smile. I don’t know if she knows mom and dad yet from other people, but when you pick her up now, and she wraps her little arm around you and grabs hold with her fingers into your shirt, well, I don’t really have words. Like I’ve said before, I totally understand why parents gush over their children for such silly little things. But to us, they aren’t little, they aren’t silly… It is the realization that you are witnessing something that you made, growing and learning right before your very eyes.
And that is no small thing.