I admit it: I am absolutely in love with my new little miracle baby boy.
I love him not only because he looks like me -- unlike my tall, tan, wavy blond Ombre-haired daughter, who is the spitting image of my husband -- but for so many other reasons.
As most of you who have children know, the first few weeks is a haze where you bond with your little one. If you are anything like me, you don't look ready to be on the cover of Teen Beat, or go on a date with Jake Ryan. Your hair is most likely unwashed or in some sort of Hunger Games braid. Your nipples are sore, your lady parts are sore, your back is sore, and your attitude towards your spouse is sore (sorry honey, thanks for editing this, I wasn't talking about you... love you...). You are simultaneously in limbo between being gloriously happy that you have this new little life, trying to get some semblance back in your own life, trying to go to the bathroom, and crying. Let's not even talk about eating -- or lack thereof.
My million dollar idea of the day is a baby registry of in-home mom spa services and prepared food delivery. Awesome right? Register for a Boppy? No thank you, I'll a take a 50 minute massage and a turkey sandwich (ah, deli turkey, the forbidden fruit of pregnancy). Can you imagine?
Anywho, back to reality and my point about this little boy: I am trying to be zen this time, have patience, step back, and enjoy "the little things."
Literal little things -- like little fingers and little toes, the smallest defined chin I've ever seen, and teeny tiny toe nails (how can anything be so small!?). These I appreciated with my daughter. But also this time around, since I have my act together a bit more, I'm trying to enjoy the little moments. The ones you forget because there's no tangible evidence.
Like every time he is done eating and lies back with the most satisfied drunk milk face. And he feels like he weighs 10 pounds more than when we started.
Or when you get that huge buuuurp. Such satisfaction (for both of us).
Or when you take out the teeniest little outfit and wonder how anything can fit into something so small -- and then after it's snapped on, you realize it's too big.
Or that moment when you finally get him to fall asleep and it feels like a million bucks and that you are the most successful person who ever existed.
Or the distorted ways he bends in half, making you think that is how he lived in your belly.
Or that the belly button stump you're so eager to fall off is like a fossil. Evidence that he grew inside of you and lived off of you for nine months. Then you realize "cut the cord" is a saying that you will never really accomplish. This person is your A+ science project.
Or that he sleeps for 18 hours a day and instead of "sleeping when the baby sleeps" you just stare at him in awe and stay in a constant state of exhaustion.
Or that you think you'll be less neurotic this time about checking his breathing, but you're not.
Or kissing the soft spots on his head.
Or how fast his nails grow.
Or how soft his hair is.
Or that an intentional smile, laugh and voice will come in time but for now there are just little baby bird noises.
Or that his whole existence fits between my elbow and hand.
Or when he grips one of my fingers with all of his.
Or that he fits in one of those pink hospital buckets for his bath.
Or that he can somehow breathe when his entire face is smushed up against my boob with a millimeter of an open air way (and that I keep checking it every second).
Or the rooting -- his call just to me -- signaling he needs me and that my milk is all that's sustaining him. And being in complete awe of that. (Side note: My daughter thinks the motor of my pump is hilariously saying "moo" with each suck).
Or when he makes eye contact and you think he's thinking "I recognize you!" And it is a stare that seems to go right to your soul.
Or when he smiles in his sleep.
Or that face when he stretches and sticks out his tongue and it seems like he wants to push his face off his head.
Or during a feeding when his little hand or one of his little fingers delicately rests on my chest, shirt, or bra just possessively holding on to me.
Or that gravity wins versus the weight of his head every time.
Or that his eyes -- that will inevitably turn brown -- are still newborn blue.
Or that he is amazed just looking out the window at light. Poor thing was in a dark womb jail for so long.
Or when his head (over which he has no control) snuzzles into my neck -- and for a moment it seems there is intent.
Or when his arms and legs (that he can't control) flail out.
Or that a sneeze is like a 9.5 earthquake.
Or when he pees on the wall. Funny now because we're still in a rental apartment.
Or that "newborn cry." Which when my daughter was born and people said "oh -- a newborn's cry," I didn't get it but now I do.
My perspective is different this time around. Not only because I get the stuff in my job description, but because I understand that each of these stages that you think will last forever are finite.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, put it so succinctly when she said "with children the days are long but the years are short." I have thought repeatedly of this quote and how true it is.
This time around I am trying to embrace that my little boy is too little for shots so I have to hide in a germ-free zone, or that his little tush needs to be changed (which, after having a potty-trained older child, is hard to remember), or that it is ok to let people look through the plastic window on the stroller and make them stay the frik away and not touch him. The concept that this little smush is so little he needs to be kept safe by me is endearing. And a sneeze from a stranger could jeopardize that.
I keep thinking how excited I am to take him to Music Together -- my daughter's favorite class -- but then I stop myself only to realize he is too little for a class. I'm so used to going, going, going all over the place with my daughter that now I just need to sit. I need to relax and enjoy because before I know it, pouf -- it will be gone. And I don't know if this opportunity will arise again (meaning a kid #3).
I'm trying to enjoy every feeding because soon he'll be asking for potato chips and Halloween candy.
I'm trying to soak up every time he falls asleep on me and forcing myself to realize there is nothing more important I have to do in that moment.
I'm simply trying to eat all these little things up that I understand this time are fleeting and short-lived. I am creating a baby book in my memory and heart that's just for me. And I'm trying my darndest to actually fill this one out.