Thursday, June 27, 2013

Turning it Loose at Three Months

I've run out of interesting ways to say, "Where did the time go?" If, indeed, I ever had any. Therefore, I will decline this time, but inside I'm still wondering how on earth we got to three months already.

There have been no major milestones reached in the past month. Though Mia is gradually discovering her hands, she's still not consistent about using them, and I'm still waiting impatiently to hear that first giggle (any day now, I'm sure). She's been flirting with sleeping through the night (she's done it three times now), but I've yet to see it happen two consecutive nights in a row. However, her growth and progress cannot be denied. Every time I hold Mia, I'm surprised at her sturdiness and her weight. When I dress her or change a diaper, I'm amazed at her interactiveness and length. She now moves with more fluidity and grips with impressive vigor. My memories of her as a newborn are already slipping away from me like floating seaweed on the tide, even as I struggle to contain them.

Believe you me, I've struggled. I've fought. My failed attempts to recollect her siblings' experiences in detail  have served as a forewarning of what I stood to lose in a very short time. However, I suppose I hoped that I could forestall it this time- that somehow the force of my will and the knowledge of the dearness of each moment would hammer every little sensation more deeply into my consciousness. If only I could have found some hidden crevice in which to safely stash the smell, feel, sound, touch of her. Somewhere to gingerly wrap it all away to be brought back out again and gently reminisced over.

Already, I walk amidst the ghost-like echoes of my memories, doomed to watch the slow decrease of their opacity day-by-day. Of course, without the change there would be no growth. I know this. I re-learn it every day. It's bittersweet every time.


This much I've learned in her three short months: Mia's going to be a challenge to photograph every time. It's tough to gain her attention, and nearly impossible to make her smile. I had high hopes at first, though, because when I first put her down she was very animated, and seemed drawn to the window across from her, which kept her gaze focused upward.

Not more than two photographs later, her fingers were in her mouth.

She seemed pretty determined to keep them there.

Even after I gently pried them loose, she brought them back up near her chin.

I chuckled a bit to myself in my frustration as I watched her do it. After all, I've been hoping for weeks that she'd hurry up and learn to find her hands, since she won't take a pacifier but she will suck on her fingers to self-soothe. Wish granted, in the most inconvenient way, of course.

In desperation, I brought in a little prop. She can't yet hold it, but I thought she might grip it accidentally for long enough to keep her hands away from her face.

It worked- for about a second.

Finally, her focus shifted- to her feet. Small improvement, but at least she was no longer partially blocking her face.

And how could I blame her? Those are some pretty nifty toes.

However, once the hands went back to the mouth, I knew I'd have to seek assistance.

Enter Tom. At first, he got an impressive look of surprise out of her.

Then, she started to look a little freaked out.

But eventually she started to come around.

Wait for it...

There's that smile!

It was all downhill after that, but I kept clicking anyway.

A bit later on, when she was in a better mood, I tried again to catch a smile or two. This was what I got.

Methinks I've got another teething baby on my hands.

I did have one last chance to catch her in the act of "happy."

She made it all the way through dinner in her "big girl" high chair. Though she won't be taking meals in it for another three months, I thought I'd try it out on her and see if she'd find the new perspective interesting enough to distract her from the fact that she was sitting apart from me (I had varying degrees of success trying this with each of her siblings). She seemed to.

She looks so very small, sitting in that chair. One more thing to cherish, while I can.