Saturday, April 27, 2013

Two Months!

This boy, he is a moose.

A happy, smiley, hungry MOOSE.  Today at the pediatrician, he weighed just over 14 pounds, and was something like 25 in long (I don't have it in front of me and poor little post-vax boy is sleeping on my lap and I do not want to disturb him).  At the edge of the chart for weight, off the chart for length.  He's a big dude.  Size of an average four month old.  And you know why?

He never, ever, ever stops eating.

True story: after my six-week postpartum visit, I thought, ok, this is just utterly ridiculous, I neeeeed to drop at least five baby pounds (which are actually breastfeeding pounds, as I gained an immense amount of weight AFTER he was born) before I go back to work so I don't have to buy a whole new wardrobe.  Except, to make a really long story short, after a long and crabby week, I figured out that even though he SEEMED satisfied, this boy was HUNGRY.  He wanted much more than I could make while eating a reasonable amount of food (or even a slightly-more-than-reasonable amount of food, because I tried that, too).  So whatever, I"ll go shopping at some point before I go back to work and James the Giant Leech can continue to grow at an alarming rate.


He is a terrible sleeper.  Try to hide your shock.  The boy...wow.  He still totally does not get that there is a day and a night, and nighttime is for sleeping.  He is an obligate bed-sharer, because I asked our pediatrician which he thought was safer, belly sleeping or bed sharing, and bed sharing won that odd calculus.  FINE.  Sigh.  Even at that, he wakes up at least every four hours, usually for several hours at a time, and fusses extensively from 5am until I have to face the day and get out of bed.  He's been getting much fussier in the evenings, and I don't know if this is him trying to figure out bedtime or just behaving like a two month old baby, but I am so hoping he's figuring out a bedtime.  Little dude is seriously high maintenance in the evenings and if he's gonna wake up for the day at 5, he needs to sleep at SOME point.

I am totally failing at tummy time with this boy.  Oops.  In my defense, it's seriously almost impossible, because Katie is convinced we are totally lying to her and she can continue to use him as a punching bag and it will not hurt him one single bit.  Two separate times today, I pushed her away right as she was going to either kick him in the face or stomp on his stomach.  Soooo, yeah, tummy time not really an option during her waking hours. And then she's in bed and, seriously, I am TIRED.  I don't WANNA.

The other thing I am failing at: blogging this little boy's infancy.  Seriously, seriously, I keep saying it but SERIOUSLY: three is a lot of kids.  Three is especially a lot of kids when one of them is both hell-bent on twisting her baby brother's ears off his head and also oh yeah what the heck, decided now would be a good time to INSIST on potty training.  (eff you, potty training.  eff you forever.)  I swear, though: this little boy is adorable and perfect and I spend as much time as humanly possible staring at his little face and kissing his pudding cheeks and playing with his hair and holding him close because the days are long but the years are short and so are the months so my sorry ass is going back to work in two weeks and that is BULLSHIT (US maternity leave fucking sucks.  And I'm spoiled and get three months.  US maternity leave fucking sucks.)  The lack of blogging, though, is by no means an indication of how enamored I am with this child and his firsts and his little SELF.  I used to think when people joked about documenting everything your first kid did and nothing your later kids did, that they meant the people decided it didn't matter.  That's really  just not true.  You just have no more time.  Every single time he grows or changes or does something new, I feel the same way I did when Gracie did it, except with an additional ache that I will never, ever watch another child of my own do that for the first time.  And I don't really need to document it to remember, anyway.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The One Universal Truth of Girlhood

No two girls are alike.  Some girls love tea parties and princesses.  Some girls love dirt and soccer.  Some girls love dirt and princesses but not soccer or tea parties.  We are a diverse bunch.  However, there is one thing that is true for every single girl across this great nation:

Groups of three do not work.

Never.  Ever. 

It is not until adolescence, or really, adulthood, that we are able to handle the complex social dance of three girls in a group.  And even then, it is fraught.  There are always two who are better friends than the third- it is a matter of being old enough not to care.  Social status is power, not size or strength, and within a group of three, the social power grid...it does not work.  The grid explodes.  Except, not.  The grid turns on itself.  The grid becomes HAL 9000.

Gracie takes gymnastics with two other little friends.  This did not initially occur to me as a problem, because there are eight girls in the class, and because her own sister is there, and one of the other girls also has a little sister, who will be three in a few months.  I didn't see it as a threesome until today- of course it is a threesome.  They are the ones who are friends outside class. The little sisters are, well, little.  They are their own group.  The group in class is a group of three.  It hit me like a bolt today.  I turned to one mom and said, "Oh my god, they're a threesome.  How did we miss that?!"  And her face fell, and she said, "Oh god, how DID we miss that?"  Because it. never. works.  And sure enough, the coach today came over to chat and said, "you know, they always get cliquey.  It happens every week. This week it was Gracie on the outs, and there was a lot of unhappiness."  So maybe I noticed that without knowing I did, and that was what finally made it click? Because it won't always be Gracie on the outs.  Sometimes it will be another girl's turn. That's how it works.  But maybe I sensed she was on the outs and that was how I figured it out?  I don't know.

I know that I have multiple very vivid memories of playdates with two other girls, and they always, always ended badly.  I don't remember a single playdate with two girls that ended well, except the ones I spent with my friend Katie and her sister, and that worked because they were sisters, so the same social power dynamic wasn't there.  I have always sworn I would not set up threesome play dates for my daughters, and I wouldn't send her on them either, and here we are, set up in a threesome.  I mean, we're not going to quit gymnastics over it or anything, I just can't believe I didn't notice it.

I would ask if anyone had ideas on how to make a little girl threesome work, but you know what?  You can't.  It can't be done.  It is the great unsolvable problem of female childhood.  Right there.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Faster and Faster and Faster

You know how, the older you get, the faster time seems to go?  Like, when you're seven, and you're waiting to turn eight, it feels like a million years, but when you're seventeen and waiting to turn eighteen, it happens in the blink of an eye?

I feel like the same thing happens with kids.  I swear, the first month of Gracie's life lasted a year.  And even though my maternity leave felt too short, it also felt like I was away from work for five years.  And even after the colic passed and she became the sweetest, most amazing little thing, I swear the first year of her life was an eternity.  It just felt so. very. long.  Not always in a bad way, but long.  Then Katie was born, and five minutes later, she was a month old.  I went back to work ten minutes after that.  Jimmy, shoot, don't even get me started.  I swear I'm still in labor or something, and he's rapidly aging in the delivery room.

I just thought of it because I was looking at a picture of my friend's daughter on Facebook- her first, and a formerly fussy newborn.  I thought she must be nearing a year old, but she's not, she's only six months old.  And I think maybe that is how we experience firstborn children.  Everything is so monumental, and gets so much of our focus, every milestone, every month, it just happens more slowly.  And then we get busier, and we know what to expect, and so it's a combination of less focus and that same thing as when you're driving somewhere new and it seems like it takes a million years longer than the drive home?  I don't know.  IT'S TOO FAST IS ALL, OKAY???

PS:
There are others like me.  I KNEW I WASN'T CRAZY.  (Check out the comments.  There are LOTS of us.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It Goes Like This

Jimmy is our first baby to actually tolerate being put down while he's sleeping.  Well, I mean, Grace would eventually give up each night, but it took hooours of holding her and many, many trips back in when she woke up.  Katie was like, bitch, please, you WILL hold me, and if your eyes are open, they will be gazing upon me adoringly.  Jimmy, well, he prefers strongly to be held, but you can get him in the right mood and put him down.  Thank god, because it turns out three is a lot of kids. 

He does not usually tolerate such insolence at night.  He strongly prefers to co-sleep and be snuggled at night.  Every once in awhile, though, I can get him down in the cradle until his first waking.  Last night, he woke up around 11:30ish, so it did not last long.  I nursed him and snuggled him, and noticed that he was REALLY asleep.  And I could probably put him back in the cradle and he'd do pretty well.  And then I looked at his pudding cheeks, and his tiny fingers and his fluffy hair, and I thought, I won't be able to do this much longer.  He's going to need a bedtime (for my own sake), he's going to get too restless, he's going to be too big and he'll need to learn to sleep on his own.  You know, like they say, babies don't keep.    So I curled him up next to me and went back to sleep.  And totally, totally do not regret it.