I have fed you twice a night every night for the past 84 days, and I have to ask you: aren’t you full yet?
This week you turn three months old, and your father and I can’t believe we have made it this far. The past few weeks have seemed like some sort of hazy acid trip, not that we would know what an acid trip feels like because we would never drop acid, no not ever. Drugs are bad and you should say no to drugs, but Advil is totally okay, and can I tell you how happy I am that I get to take Advil again? When I was pregnant with you I wasn’t allowed to take Advil, and whenever I had a headache or a sore muscle your father would take a handful of Advil and stand close to me in hopes that his nearness would soothe me. If that didn’t work he would bring me Doritos, which I have to say are far better than any drug on earth. Not that I would know anything about drugs. Just say no to drugs.
I say that the past few weeks have been hazy because we’re still trying to figure out your sleep schedule. We’ve made huge progress since last month, at least in terms of night sleeping, but the day sleeping thing is causing your chemically imbalanced mother to hide in the closet and scratch sores that don’t exist.
We put you to bed every night sometime between 6 PM and 8 PM depending on how you’ve slept during the day, and we always go through the same ritual of bathing you, dressing you, and feeding you. This ritual is our favorite part of the day, and one night last week your father was late coming home from work and I had to bathe you by myself. I have never seen your father so devastated! He missed bathtime with his little Thumper, a nickname we’ve given you because whenever we lie you down on the changing table you immediately begin thumping it with both of your legs so violently that the whole changing table shakes.
You LOVE the changing table. You love it more than the swing or the bouncy seat, and sometimes you love it more than being held by me or your father and we promise not to hold that against you, at least not until you come home with piercings in your face and then I WILL TOTALLY HOLD IT AGAINST YOU.
During the night you will usually sleep in stretches that last anywhere from three to five hours, and you will also go right back to sleep after you eat. When you wake up in the morning at about 7 AM you are always smiling, and Leta, those morning smiles are the reason your father and I decided to have kids. Your smile is brighter than the sun, the most beautiful addition to my life, and I would forsake all the Advil and Doritos in the world to see it every morning.
And then there is the day sleeping, or more accurately, the complete absence of day sleeping, and when you don’t sleep during the day you are the crankiest baby on the planet. So cranky, in fact, that sometimes you scream. Can we please talk about the screaming? Is the screaming really necessary?
I have received a lot of advice concerning your screaming, people who think you might have reflux or an ear infection, people who think I need to stop breastfeeding you, people who think I need to start feeding you Cheerios already. And I think this may be the first instance where I take a stand as your mother, the one person who knows you best, and declare that the only reason you are screaming is because you are tired. Your little body needs rest, and when you take naps during the day you are glorious, the most precious and wonderful and awesome baby that ever came out of a womb. When you don’t take naps you are HORRIFYING and there isn’t a window in the world that I wouldn’t throw you out of.
For the past five days you have slept well both at night and during the day and you have only screamed ONCE, and that was yesterday when I tried to put you in the Baby Bjorn, the contraption that holds you to my chest so that I can walk with my hands free. I couldn’t figure out how the straps worked, and you were being very patient, and then somehow I flipped you upside-down and the strap wrapped itself around your face, and I would scream, too, if my mother mushed my nose between two metal snaps.
We love you, little Thumper.