Monthly Miles Memo #2
You are two months old today. Your daddy is going to turn 31 tomorrow, and I’ll do the same later this month, but your accomplishments of the last month seem a lot more exciting than anything we’ve done lately. You’re sleeping right now with your head on my chest, all strapped into your Baby Bjorn. That thing is a freaking godsend (special thanks to honorary Auntie Em for that one). Yesterday I got most of a birthday meal prepared for your dad while you hung out in the Bjorn. I’m not sure if you like the smell of garlic and rosemary, but you were reasonably well-behaved, so it can’t have been too awful.
I’m sorry to say that you haven’t always been terribly well-behaved this month. I know it’s not your fault. I’ve asked you time and again to just tell me what you want–I’d accept English, Spanish, Italian, or very rudimentary American Sign Language (well, pretty much just finger-spelling, and pretty much just the letters in my name that I learned in fifth grade, or possibly anything that came up in the Happy Hands Club scenes in Napoleon Dynamite). Still, wailing is your primary means of communication. Sometimes I cry too. It makes me so sad when you’re obviously desperately unhappy and I can’t figure out what to do to fix it. Is this what it’s going to be like the first time you don’t make a team or don’t get a part in the school play? I wish I could put a giant Band-aid all over you, and that Band-aid would have anesthetic properties that would keep you safe and happy forever.
Your dad has actually mastered something similar: he can swaddle you like compact little eggroll. It doesn’t look comfortable, and you do sort of thrash violently for a while after he wraps you up, but after a couple of moments you visibly relax. He sings songs softly into your ear and rocks you in his arms, and if you’re not asleep by the time he finishes, at least you’re in a good mood.
What I’ll remember most about this second month of your life is your tiny pink tongue. You discovered it a few weeks ago, and you love to stick it out. Sometimes I stick mine back out at you, in an attempt to get some kind of game going, but I think I’m imitating you more than you’re imitating me. There’s a certain beauty in that: two-month-old Miles isn’t trying to be anyone except who he is. You do what feels right: you sticks out his tongue when you wants to, you let giant farts when you want to, and you wail until your face is as red as all those developmental toys that are supposed to be good for your infantile vision.
You really do enjoy looking around now. Over the last month, you’ve become a lot more connected to your environment. During your first month of life, diaper changes and baths (really anything involving nudity) were occasions of great horror for you. And given the giant quantities of crap you can produce, there was a lot of screaming coming out of your bedroom. Really it’s reassuring that you excrete so much. When I feed you, I have no way of knowing whether you’re actually eating anything. As far as I can tell, you just consider my nipple another pacifier. But I take a certain pride in the solid and liquid waste that squirt out of you: my baby poops because I’m doing a good job feeding him.
Best of all, I bought you a mobile that hangs above your changing table, and you love it. Sometimes I even linger over diaper changes and let you hang out there for a few extra minutes because you’re so interested in your high-contrast, black and white animal friends. You smile and coo at them, just as much as you do at me, which I would find a little insulting except for one thing: do they make you poop and pee? I didn’t think so. Nobody can make you crap like your mama.
We also found a better way to give you baths, too. You had an infant bathtub that we were using in the kitchen, and holy hell did you hate it. I’m not sure you actually got very clean during any of those baths, because your dad and I were trying to get a little soap and water onto you as fast as we could before our blood pressure got so high from listening to you scream that our head-veins squirted blood all over the kitchen. What’s more, your dad disapproves of the design of the tub. It has a little raised part that goes between your legs to keep you from sliding down, and he thought it was squishing your little genital area too much. I can’t personally imagine what it would be like to be cold, wet, and naked with a squished scrotum, but I guess I understand why you hated baths so much.
Hence the invention of the Snuggle Bath. When we take a Snuggle Bath, I fill up the bathtub with four inches of water or so, get in, put a towel over my legs, and put you on top of the towel. I usually run the shower first with the door closed, so the room is nice and warm, and as you sit on my legs, I baste you frequently with warm tub water. That makes it a thousand times easier to soap you up and rinse you off, and your man-parts are safe. In fact, one time you felt so relaxed and secure that you released a big stream of pee all over my belly. It wasn’t the first time you ever peed on me, though, and at least this time I was in the bathtub where soap and water were abundant.
Everyone keeps telling me that month three is when the magic happens: it’s when you’ll sleep more and cry less (you’re getting better at the sleeping thing, but there’s still room for improvement), and apparently your personality will really blossom around the three month mark. Maybe next month’s letter will be a real doozy. Still, I think two months is pretty great. As I looked down at you just now, I noticed that your little mouth is making sucking motions in your sleep. A two-month-old can’t possibly have much to dream about yet, so I’m glad one of the things on your mind is the way I nourish you. Maybe next you’ll dream about pooping.
Stay little, okay? I love you this way.