Maeve: Three months
Here we are the three-month mark and that's the same amount of time most stores list as their return policy. Lucky for you, you're cute and we love you, so we're going to keep you.
This last month was pretty much the same as your second month, but with more alertness. You still sleep a lot and eat a lot and generally hang out with us wherever we force you to go. And as the third kid, we force you to go a lot of places. That's the funny difference between first kids and later kids: with the first, parents are crazy about the schedule, OH MY GOD THE SCHEDULE. With later kids, the parents are all, oh, she needs a nap? Just stick her in the stroller, she can sleep while we're out.
But you are starting to get yourself on a little schedule, despite being dragged all over creation every day. I usually have to wake you up to take Jack to school at 8:30 and you stay awake for about an hour before you go down for a three-hour nap. Up for an hour after that, then down for another two- or three-hour nap. Repeat again after that, then you're usually down for the night around 8 p.m. That doesn't mean you sleep through the night -- hahahahahahaha, good one -- but you sleep for a decent stretch of four or five hours before you need to eat again.
The sleep is still coming mostly in the swing, with your arms swaddled up tight. But I can get you to sleep in the bassinet for the first stretch almost every night, and the rest of the night is usually spent next to me in my bed. It's easier for me that way, because I can just nurse you on and off all night without having to get up out of bed. And we all know it's all about the maximization of sleep for everyone in this house.
The nursing has also settled into a nice little pattern, with you eating every three or four hours. But you've hit that cute stage where you like to pull off and flash a huge grin at me. Which is cute the first time you do it, but less so when you keep doing that instead of eating and I am sitting there with my boob hanging out waiting for you to get back on track.
The smiles were bigger and more frequent this month. You love to get your diaper changed, kicking and waving your arms and smiling up a storm on the changing table. I am pretty sure you would lie there all day if we let you, but that would probably take a pretty big chunk out of my day, so we won't be doing that anytime soon. But a baby can dream, can't she?
Another thing you love, which I do let you indulge in as much as you like (see: third child) is the bouncy seat. This is your refuge from Jack and Emmie and the only place I can reliably put you so no one can injure you in any way. I set the bouncy seat on top of the kitchen island, away from little hands, and you just kick your little butt off. You talk to the spinning fish and watch the bubbles intently. After a while, you tire of this and start to fuss, which is the signal to take you out and put you to bed. You're pretty easy to read.
The bouncy seat is probably the only time you don't have either Jack or Emmie right up in your face. They love you. Seriously, they can't get enough of you. Emmie in particular is so excited to see you sometimes that she jumps up and down. They both want to hold you and and show you toys and make you smile. Emmie runs over to where you are and yells, "Hi baby! Hi Maeve!" and giggles and grabs your hands and kisses your head and then my heart literally melts. You often reciprocate with a stare as if to say, "What the hell is going on and why are you so excited to see me?" I think you'll be a lot more excited in a few months when you can actually interact with them on their levels.
Just today you started showing signs of interest in tummy time, which means instead of screaming your head off when I put you on your stomach, you actually pushed yourself up on your arms and looked around a few times, then laid back down and sucked your fist for a while. You also were able to kind of almost sort of roll over once I put you on your side. I'm hoping by getting you into position, you'll get the hang of it and want to do it. But you know, it's a lot easier to put you down and have you remain in one place, so I am in no hurry to have you rolling all over the place.
I'm actually not in a hurry for you to do most things. I want to savor this little baby time. And it's slipping away so quickly. A minute ago you were newborn and I was bringing you home from the hospital and putting you in teeny little newborn onesies. And now you have outgrown all the newborn clothes and love to look around at the world and can hold yourself up when I carry you around. Next thing you know you'll be driving yourself to the mall.
But then I see you sleeping face and I realize you are still my baby. You smell like a baby and sigh like a baby and cry like a baby. There times I put you to sleep in your swing and I will check on you a few minutes later only to find you wide-eyed, just looking around. I always wonder what you're thinking. Do you recognize the things around you? Are you mad I left you on your own? Do you know I am coming back?
And then you lock eyes with me and I know you know the answer to the last question. Of course I will come back. I will always come back. No matter if you're sleeping or 50 feet away at the playground or at college. I will always, always be there for you. Being there for you brings me joy and I hope you realize how much I love you. With every night feeding and every diaper change and every bunch of kisses on your cheek, I am happier. I hope you are too.