Month 2 in Review

So what with the holidays and all (not to mention the small one’s new found love of being awake during the day), I’ve been more than a bit remiss in my online musings as of late. In the spirit of all things related to the year’s end, I’m making up for lost time by creating a list, instead of actually drafting something more substantial (largely because the little fellow could wake any moment).

1. Smiling is a great new thing, but it normalizes quickly. What do I mean? Well, during the first six weeks every parent who laid eyes on the small one said something along the lines of “oh how precious – just wait until he smiles, it will melt your heart.” And yes, that first social smile (i.e. not related to either gas or finishing a meal), heck, that first week of social smiles was awesome. And then I became addicted. Instead of dripping with love at the sight of them (although they still really do rock), I get antsy in their absence. As in, why isn’t he smiling at this – aren’t I being engaging? You see, just like the ancient chinese proverb about the person who first called something beautiful also creating ugly, now that I can tell when he’s happy, I also have some insight into when he’s bored (beside the crying – that’s sorta a dead give away). So yes, smiling is great, but more complicated than I expected.

2. Sleeping 8 hours, all books aside. I think I now own upwards of 10 parenting books ranging from the general What to Expect The First Year to books specifically for breastfeeding or getting a baby to sleep. And I am happy to report that I haven’t needed any of the sleep evangelists – the small one now regularly goes down between 7 and 8 PM and only wakes once in the middle of the night (between 2 and 5 AM) and he usually goes right back down after that feeding. Bonus – after he wakes for the day (between 7 and 9 AM) he usually takes a good hour long nap about an hour to hour an a half after waking, meaning I now get to eat breakfast. The kid is only 2 months old and I’m basically getting a full night’s sleep. And as I mentioned, this has nothing to do with any particular sleep gospel or parenting prowess – the kid just decided on his own that night is for sleeping and I am endlessly grateful.

3. Don’t Rock the Boat. Now that we have this sleep thing down, my husband and I absolutely refuse to do anything that might mess up the good thing we’ve got going. As in, sure we can stop by and visit, but we need to be home by 7. Or you can come hang out over at our house, but that’s about it – and yeah, we won’t be serving dinner until 8 PM. And we are 100% okay with this, because like I mentioned above, we are just so happy he’s sleeping.

4. Mastering the outing with baby – I broke down and (much to my husband’s dismay) bought the stroller for the car seat (thank you, Maclaren), and it turns out to have been a great purchase. Sure, despite being a month younger than they suggested for it (but then again, he is a 14 lb. 2 month old), the small one already fits in his standard Maclaren (Quest), but the car seat version makes it so much easier to run errands with him in tow. I don’t need to get him into the car seat, only to get him out of it ten minutes later upon our arrival, strap him into the stroller, and then repeat once we need to get back in the car and go home. This is especially annoying as it’s winter and he’s so bundled it makes everything more difficult. No – now I just get him in the car seat once, and then move the car seat to the stroller base and later back to the car without ever having to disturb the little guy. Which works out well, as he pretty much hates the process of getting strapped into anything – the car seat, the stroller, the ergo carrier and even being placed in the sling. And from my perspective, it saves me from being that lady with the wailing baby in the parking lot.

5. God bless Mobiles and Crib Mirrors – the small one can now entertain himself while awake in his crib thanks to his mobile, crib mirror, and a passion for sucking his thumb. At least, he can entertain himself long enough for me to sneak in a shower without having to wait until he’s completely asleep and then worry that he’ll have a melt down the moment he awakens.

6. General Confidence is Up. I’m not about to nominate myself for any parenting awards by any means, but I at least feel confident that I can care for my child. I do now understand his cues, even if I could exactly say what’s a hunger cry vs. a wet cry, so I still manage to figure out if he needs some boob or a fresh diaper regardless. It’s a good feeling, to be comfortable with my parenting ability. And with my husband’s.

So yes, after month two I can say all is well. Now for month three, which promises to bringing giggling and the beginning of the small one’s interest in toys.

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