These kids, they grow up so fast! Why, it was just seven weeks ago I held a tiny little girl in my arms for the first time, wondering if she could make any sense of the sounds she heard or the occasional image she would let into her eyes. She remained largely silent, save for some crying around feeding time, choosing to spend 20 hours a day sleeping. She weighed less than a bag of groceries and it seemed as if I could curl her up in my arm and hide her entire body.
Today, she’s increased her weight by over 50%, stays awake almost all day, smiles and makes the first noises that will one day be laughs, and manages to show bits and pieces of her developing personality. Her cheeks, chin, arms, and legs are getting chubby, and she’s noticeably longer. Most fun is the little moments of interaction, when you know she sees you and is smiling or laughing because she knows that’s one of her parents looking back at her. One of M.’s favorite things is staring at the chandelier in the kitchen. We’ll put her in her bouncy seat, and she just stares at the lights. After a few minutes, she grins, giggles, and looks away. Basically she’s flirting with a Pottery Barn light fixture. Equal parts cute and disturbing.
It’s really quite humbling how quickly every aspect of this little person that now lives with us is developing. I can’t help but notice how much I’ve changed too. I never had that sensation of helplessness you hear from so many first parents. The first day we brought her home I didn’t wonder, “OK, now what do we do?” Of course, that’s only because I’m married to a pediatrician and I’m expecting that she can guide me through every baby-related life change that is in our future. However, when M. was crying at 3:00 AM her first night home, I do know that I wondered if I could really do this for the next X years, depending on how many kids we end up having. Seven weeks later, waking up every three hours is a breeze. (An additional benefit of being unemployed is not having to deal with people in the morning!) I was afraid to change a diaper six weeks ago. I’m not going to say I enjoy it now or anything ridiculous like that, but I can clean our daughter’s booty at record speed. When we first gave M. a bath, I forced S. to do it since between the screaming, the kicking, and the slippery baby, I was convinced I would do something awful. Today, I love giving M. a bath. She gets so happy when I drop her bottom into a tub full of warm water. Her eyes get big, she stares at me with a look of total wonderment, and when I wash her face, she now breaks into a huge grin.
It becomes cliché, but I must reiterate what an amazing feeling it is to be responsible for another life. I think M. is beginning to understand how amazing it is to have me as a father, too! Oh, speaking of growing up fast, she asked that I pass word along that she’s really looking forward to meeting all the people in Kansas City she’s heard about when we come to visit next week.
I do still owe you many, many stories from M.’s birth. I worked for about 10 days on my all-encompassing post covering what happened from the moment S.’s water broke until we came home the next Wednesday. I hit about 8,000 words and still hadn’t reached the point on Sunday when we formally named her and thought better of sharing it. So it becomes my goal to flesh out some of the more important and interesting anecdotes in the larger work and share those over the next few days before we depart for KC. I’ll do my best to keep them under 8,000 words.