Thursday, March 4th, 2010 • 3 Comments on A letter to Patrick, Three Months Old
You’re a quarter of a year old today, baby! I know that’s not very old at all, but the time… it flies! And you have changed so much in the past month. I’m delighted and startled and even sometimes sad because it seems as if I barely get a chance to enjoy one new thing you’re doing before you’ve gone and added something else to your repertoire, practically over night! As I told your father this morning—just when I get used to our routine, something changes. You!
The biggest change in the past month has been your sleeping pattern. A month ago, your longest stretch of sleep was maybe five hours. One short month later and you have graduated from five hours… to seven hours… to nine straight hours of sleep! The first time it happened (two consecutive nights), I was online searching for the phrase “infant sleeping too much.” Yes, your mother is a silly woman sometimes. Even after I realized there was nothing wrong with you, I was a little sad to have missed out on that 5 AM feeding when we were both warm and sleepy and you would go right back to sleep after eating and cuddling with me.
Of course, that third night you were back to sleeping seven hours—which had also startled me, but not nearly so much as nine hours—and I got my 5 AM cuddle time back, but it was temporary. You’re now sleeping eight to nine hours most nights, with the occasional aberration. A few nights ago, you woke up hungry at 3:30 AM and sucked down two 4 oz. bottles. I suspect you simply hadn’t eaten enough during the day.
You’re still napping pretty well during the day, though the times and length fluctuate from day to day. That’s okay, my only goals for you were to get you to sleep through the night in your own crib and you are very successfully doing that. Yay, baby!
After two months of never being away from you for more than a few hours (and six weeks of caring for you by myself), I found a wonderful part-time babysitter. I had been so reluctant to hire a stranger to take care of you, and luckily I didn’t have to! I’ve known Ashleigh for almost nine years and it’s been wonderful having her here, knowing that she is taking good care of you. I get text messages about you throughout the day, keeping me updated on what you’re doing. I’m so grateful for the time to write and run errands (and even have the occasional lunch with a friend), but I’m also happy to come home to you after my few hours away. You seem to enjoy having another person to entertain with your smiles and babble, and that makes me feel good about my decision.
Speaking of babble, you’re talking up a storm these days! You were starting to coo a month ago, but now you are prone to giving lengthy (and serious) lectures. You have “discovered” your tongue and the various sounds you can make when you move it this way and that. I love listening to you, though your best talking seems to occur when you’re getting sleepy and I’m guilty of keeping you up longer than I should just to listen to you talk. Keep talking, baby. I promise one day I’ll understand every word!
Other developments include your growing interested in your toys. Not only are you paying more attention to the colorful toys that dangle from your playmat and the giraffe mobile over your crib, you’re actually reaching out to grab things! The butterfly toy that hangs in the laundry room (which is actually a dog toy bought for Henry, who had no interest in it), is most often your target for capture. You get your diaper changed on the counter in the laundry room, so you have plenty of opportunities to plot your strategy. You can now hit the butterfly with accuracy and manage to catch it in your hand often enough to delight us both. (Failure to hang onto it causes you great frustration, however.)
Your hands continue to be your dearest friends. You suck on them constantly and you do not discriminate—a finger is as good as a thumb is as good as the entire fist. I attempted to give you a pacifier last month when we were going through the last (and worst) of the fussy nights, but you weren’t interested in rubber (especially since it didn’t have milk in it!) when you could have your own hand. Your drool production is increasing exponentially, which results in wet clothes for both of us, but you don’t yet seem to be teething. You can take your time on that development, baby! I know teething will bring pain and fussiness and probably some sleepless nights—and I don’t want that for either of us!
You have started showing interest in rolling over in just the past week or so. You usually get halfway there, laying on your side with your fist in your mouth, then you stop, content to stare at whatever it is that prompted you to roll on your side. But yesterday while we were playing on my bed, you rolled from your back to your stomach—twice! I tried to get you to do it a third time so I could make a video of it, but you decided it was an event best left undocumented (though I do have a camera phone picture). I imagine you’ll be rolling over pretty regularly by this time next month. It’s a wonderful development, but I will miss being able to put you in the middle of my bed while I get ready in the morning. Try not to roll off the furniture, okay?
You still love your swing and your playmat and the ceiling fans remain favorite objects of distraction (as does anything on the television despite my best efforts to distract you from that evil box). Your father has enjoyed listening to you “talk” to him on the computer. Just two more months and he’ll get to enjoy you in person! Spring and summer are around the corner and I’m looking forward to seeing what your new favorite things will be when we venture outside. I suspect the ceiling fan in the gazebo will make the list.
You’re growing like crazy and weigh fifteen and a half pounds now! I packed away all of your newborn and 0-3 month clothes yesterday so I could make room for your growing wardrobe of 6 month clothes. That was a little sad for me, but I’m having so much fun with you now that I can’t be too sad. I did separate the clothes into the “possible future baby/give away” pile and the “keepsake” pile, because I can’t bear to get rid of a few of those precious newborn outfits, especially your brown stripey sleeper with the raccoon on it. Your mother is silly and sentimental, but those are good qualities to have in a mother, I think.
We’re doing really, really well, baby. Everybody says what a happy baby you are and I feel very lucky that you’re an easy, cheerful baby most of the time. It’s still exhausting for me to take care of you alone, even on the best days and even with a babysitter twenty hours a week. I have days where I long for more help and a few more hours to write, to read, to sleep. It is going to be wonderful to have your father home and I know it’ll seem so much easier when there are two of us to take care of you. We’re going to have so much fun! But no matter how tiring and difficult it might be sometimes, I suspect that I will look back wistfully on these early months and have only good memories of when it was just my little baby and me.
Happy three month birthday, Monkey. Mama loves you.