Monthly Miles Memo #4
Today we celebrated your four-month birthday by…getting you shots. Sorry about that. You’re handling it remarkably well so far, though; after the requisite screaming immediately post-injection, you’ve been cheerful today. I’m going to be careful to keep up with your baby Tylenol dosing to try to stay ahead of any malaise; we got behind on the schedule last time and put ourselves (and, regretfully, you) in a world of hurt.
Yesterday morning I was all set to write a most triumphant memo to you. It would have said “MILES IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.” One thing you should know about me is that I really value accuracy. I hate it when people tell stories and get the details wrong. Therefore, what I will say instead is “MILES HAS SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT.”
As it happened, two nights ago we put you down after your 11:30 feeding, and you didn’t stir until 6 a.m. Even then, you didn’t fully wake up when I took you out of the co-sleeper and fed you; you drifted right back off and slept until 9. It was all quite grand, except for the fact that I woke up about five times to make sure you were still breathing. Luckily I have perfected the art of checking your respiration without waking you.
Your dad and I were optimistic that this was the start of a new trend. Last night, though, you decided to throw a party at 2:45 and invite the two of us. Usually you’re so good about going right back to sleep after a feeding, but I wrestled with you for about half an hour, until I couldn’t take it anymore and your dad walked you for another thirty or forty minutes until you finally fell asleep. You slept for another hour and a half, and then it was party time again.
Why, Miles? It’s nice to know you enjoy our company so much, and it’s hard to be grumpy with you when you give us those huge gummy smiles by the dim light of the lamp on its lowest setting, but we really need more nights like the one you gave us two nights ago. Now that you’ve done it, there’s hope. Right? Right? I just keep telling myself you’re not going to be the only kid late to his high school graduation because he woke his mommy and daddy up too many times in the night.
Still, you’ve done so many other things this month that make you such a delight to have around: you’re smiling every day and laughing more and more often. The previously dreaded tummy time is now practically recreation—yesterday you even managed to roll over from your tummy to your back. It was an accident, I’m pretty sure, and you seemed just as surprised by it as your dad and I were. You’re enjoying a stuffed toy that looks like a creature caught in between the larval and butterfly stages. We call him Bob, and you like to chew on his wings and antennae.
You seem to finally be catching on to peek-a-boo; you still lose interest and look elsewhere as soon as I cover my face, but when I reemerge you give me a big smile, like you’re genuinely happy to see me. You love to sit up like a big boy (though you still need a little support) and listen to your dad read to you.
Earlier this month, your dad had to go away for a few days for work, so we spent most of the week at Mubby and Skittergramps’s house. I know they wish we lived next door so they could see you every day, because they had so much fun with you while we were there. Skittergramps invented a game called Superbaby, originally intended as a tummy time alternative, and you both enjoyed it greatly. It’s a perilous game considering your penchant for spitting up, but Skittergramps considers you worth the risk. You also got to spend time with both your uncles this month, including meeting your Uncle Michael for the first time.
This already-verbose letter would go on longer and longer if I listed every cute thing you’ve done this month. It’s really a wonderful time to be your mommy. Last weekend we were invited to attend a prenatal class to share our experiences with giving birth and having a newborn, and the one thing I wanted most to emphasize to the parents-to-be is that it gets easier. Gone are the days when an hour without crying was considered a triumph. The rewards are so much more tangible now, and they come so much more often. I loved you from minute one, but every
minute day I love you more (some minutes are better than others). I bet you’ll start sleeping in consistently long stretches soon, now that you have the other night under your belt.
On that glorious morning, I turned my well-rested head toward your dad and whispered, “He slept through the night.”
Your dad replied, “It’s a moment to stay.”
I said, “What?”
He repeated it: “It’s a moment to stay.”
“It’s a moment to stay?”
“No,” he said. “It’s a momentous day.”
It’s not my fault. Your dad is getting over a cold and it was hard to understand him through his stuffy head. He was right, though; it was a momentous day, and while I was truly thrilled about it (and still am, based on hope springing eternal), I was also about 15% sad. You were wearing this really cute t-shirt we bought for you in Montreal back when you were still a fetus. I got the six-month size, thinking that would be about right for you once the weather warmed up, but I really had no concept of how that kicky little alien in my innards could fit into such a giant garment.
Even though you’re not quite six months old yet, the t-shirt fits fine, and as you lay there sleeping in it, you looked ready for kindergarten (and, eventually, high school graduation). I felt 15% sad because that night you needed me a little bit less, but I still need you just as much.
But hey, I didn’t get into this parenting job because I thought you’d stay dependent forever, and that would probably get old after a decade or two anyway. Every new accomplishment is a reason to celebrate. Thanks for all the smiles.