Seven weeks old. I can hardly believe it. She’s a part of our lives, but we still forget about her once in a while. Sometimes we’ll get out of the car and almost be walking away before we go “Oh, the baby!” We never get farther than the edge of our parking space, but we both feel crummy whenever we do it.
I was warned that “they change so fast,” but I had no idea what an understatement this is. The difference between now and her newborn days is amazing. She smiles when we call her name and tracks us with her eyes when we walk across a room. She loves it when I have “conversations” with her – I mimic her noises and facial expressions, which “they” say teachers her that she is important and I’m really paying attention to her. I’ve started playing peek-a-boo with her, which makes her laugh. She really likes motion games too, like patty-cake. When she’s really crabby, I play a “naming” game with her – starting at her feet and going up to her head, I ask her “What’s this?” and tell her the name of each body part. “What this? It’s your foot! What are these? Your tiny toes! And look, what are these? Your little baby knees!” I’m sure I sound like an idiot, but she likes it and it makes her laugh.
Our formerly quiet baby is now a fountain of noises: snorts, giggles, wheezes, coos, howls, laughs. And farts. Lots of farts. Farts that can be heard from across the room, farts that drown out the television, farts with surprising depth and resonance considering they are created by a person who weighs less than ten pounds. She is a noisy sleeper, too. The absolute stillness of her newborn sleep is gone. Instead, she breathes loudly, sniffs, smacks her lips, whimpers, grunts, moans, and of course, farts. She roams around the bed in her sleep, turning and rotating so she ends up sideways. She rolls from side to side, wiggling ever closer to me and snuggling in. Once in a while she will half-wake and wail for a moment, a noise similar in pitch and tone to a police siren. Then she goes back to sleep, crisis averted. I have tried to keep her out of our bed, because from what I can tell once you start letting them in there they never want to leave. I don’t know why, because she has a number of very nice sleeping places (a bassinet, a pack n’ play, a crib, and a Moses basket) when all we have at the moment is a metal futon with our Ikea foam mattress on it. My resolve to avoid a “family bed” cracked, however, when I was faced with the following choice: either put her in our bed and have her sleep for a minimum of four solid hours, or put her in her own bed and spend the next six to eight hours waking up every fifteen minutes to feed, hold and quiet her, beg her to go to sleep, then doze for a few minutes before she began to wail again. I was not so much a weak pushover as sleep-deprived and beginning to consider auctioning her off on Ebay. I had calculated a reserve price that was enough to pay off our car before I caught myself. She spent the night with us.