One of Kevin’s…

One of Kevin's colleagues with two children himself told Kev that there was nothing redeeming about the first six months with a baby. That may be a bit extreme, but quite a few people have told us that the first six weeks are the hardest. We can't wait for Kavya to get just a little older. At the moment, she's much like a sack of potatoes -- if a sack can frequently scream with hunger and produce copious noxious fluids. She doesn't do so much.

Somewhere around six weeks, she should start actually smiling, and also cooing with quiet pleasure. In the third month, it'll start being worthwhile playing with her, giving her small soft toys that rattle or squeak. We can start playing peek-a-boo or this-little-piggy and having her respond. Kavya will be able to notice and enjoy the mobile spinning slowly overhead. She'll actually try to grab things. Eventually, we can start trying to encourage her to talk. We'll read her stories and she'll learn the words, correcting us if we get them wrong. And from there, it just goes and goes. We can't wait. Talk to us, little girl. We want to know who you are.

But on the other hand, she's already noticeably bigger than she was; Kavi's a small solid bundle, with a reassuring heft to her. I'm startled to find that I miss the tender fragility of her newborn state. We were so hesitant to take her in our arms, terrified we would break her. She's only three-and-a-half weeks old -- how can I be missing an earlier stage already?

Right now, she's asleep against my chest, swaddled in a white blanket spotted with pink flowers, held tight by the moby sling. So peaceful. I can tip my head down, rest my cheek against her head, feel the incredible silky softness of her hair. We are comforted by each others' warmth. Sometimes, I sing to her softly; even though she's already asleep, I think the vibrations please her. It is so much nicer reading e-mail with a baby asleep on your chest.

In just a few months, she will be too old for this.

5 thoughts on “One of Kevin’s…”

  1. Julie Drasinower

    The early days are wonderful and terrible at the same time.At 3 months, they start to become humans (rather than little aliens).The time goes by really fast even though the days go by slowly sometimes. My twin boys are almost 4. I can hardly remember them being babies; it is all a blur. I remember things before their birth much more clearly.For me parenthood is still wonderful and terrible at the same time.I can’t imagine my life without them.

    P.S. They start to smile just at the time you are ready to abandon them in the woods.The smile is nature’s way of insuring survival of the species.

  2. You can start reading to her now. C used to read both our infants the Economist. They seemed to both enjoy it. And if Kavya *is* telling you things just not in words and not just about basic needs. I am blanking on if you like reading science books but if you do I recommend What’s Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot or for a more cuddly and more directive but equally based on infant development research Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton MD

    I remember vividly certain images of my children as infants. And some are wonderful and some are terrible. I do recall vaguely sometimes a certain ennui at the sheer repetition of tending to Special K’s infant needs. But sometimes I feel I didn’t appreciate the relative peace and quiet and simplicity of it all. I knew I could eventually fix her entire world and she would settle against me soft and quiet for hours.

    Soft and quiet is often hard to reconcile with the very loud active bright and extremely social children I have now. But you’re right. It’s never boring!

  3. It might be nostalgia, but I think fondly of the first six months of Son’s life. We sat around and watched him, drank coffee, etc. Maybe that’s just because now he’s six and is so active I can barely keep up with him. Be careful what you wish for…these days I think fondly of the time when he was quiet and slept a lot.
    But it does get easier. I almost have my freedom back. I can take him to the pool and I don’t have to keep my eye on him every second.
    I know everyone says this, but time does go back so f*&%ing fast. Cherish her immobile cuddly little self. Pretty soon she’ll be running!!

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thida, Kev bought the Eliot book and read it; I haven’t looked at it yet, but I’ll at least skim it. I’m not much of one for reading science books in general, but I can make an exception for this. 🙂

    And yes, I’m trying to enjoy the quiet snuggliness, when she’s willing to be that way, instead of a fretful squirmer. 🙂

  5. how can I be missing an earlier stage already?

    Internet acronyms aside, this really did make me laugh out loud. Oh, get used to it! That is the paradox.

    Also, cherish this now because it really never does come back. See, I thought it was going to come back with the second kid — and vaguely wondered what the first kid would be up to while I was soothingly, calmly cuddling the second for hours on end. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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