Tonight at 9:34 Rhett and I will split a beer, and toast the boy’s first four weeks. The boy himself will likely be passed out.
The Boy did well the day of the party, but it required waking him up from a nap. Not a good idea. The next day he was off his routine and ended up overtired and overfed. What do turgidly full and tremendously fatigued babies do? Throw up a gallon of milk all over themselves, me and the bed at 11:30 on Sunday night. It is a testament to his adorableness that I saw fit to help Rhett clean and change The Boy before I showered and changed myself.
He continues to be a little different everyday. I put him on his playmat two weeks ago and he didn’t register anything around him. Yesterday he did this:
You can see the wheels turning in his head. He is right on the cusp of a social smile. He may have flashed a few yesterday, and he had a big grin when I got him up this morning. His other major accomplishments include cooing, sleeping five or six hours in a row, and letting Rhett and I know immediately when he is displeased. I think of that as a milestone because he used to be lackadaisical, as if he were only just aware that he was hungry or poopy or tired. Now he knows, right away. And so do Rhett and I. The boy is just more “on”.
As far as his day to day life goes, he wakes up every morning around five or six. He is swaddled and has oriented himself towards his best friend, Mr. Sleep Sheep. The Sleep Sheep generates wave sounds as the boy drifts off. It also has a tiny sheep face and is soft and therefore excellent for clumsy grasping. Or punching.
Diaper change, eat, diaper change, settle back in around six or seven. Wake up a little before nine to wish Dad a good day. Diaper. Eat. Diaper. Hang out on the playmate, maybe get some tummy time.
Then begins “the long stretch”. The more he sees, the less he wants to sleep. It’s one of his three internal conflicts: sleep or look at stuff. (Other two: eat or sleep, eat or burp.) Around 11 he is tired enough for a nap, but he resists. Mom has learned that as soon as he yawns, you rock him until he’s knocked out. He will try to fake you out by looking around, acting hungry or getting an angry red tomato face, but Mom is always right. I put him down in a light room so he will learn day and night. No matter how tired he is, a little voice in his head seems to whisper, “Get up and look at stuff. There is stuff everywhere. Look at it.” He does a lot of this:
The up down cycle lasts until two or three, when he finally is tired enough to take a real nap. He gets up around 6 after Dad gets home, eats with us, gets food dropped on him, oops, and then takes a short nap. Then it’s bath time! Rhett generally handles that. If we time everything really well, The Boy drifts off between 8:30 and 10. And if it’s a good night, he will sleep about five or six hours. Or two. Late night feedings are chill. No talking, just business: Diaper, eat, cuddle. Then we do it all again the next day. Or in two hours, depending on the tiny dictator’s whim.
Also, I left out about 15 diaper changes.