Oh bubs, you are five weeks old this week, and pretty much already packing for college. My newborn has disappeared. A full face, ending in some amazing jowl folds, you’re now using your little neck to do fun things like rear back and crank your face into my collarbone, drawing tears and surprised wails. Starting to make small talk with the pillows on the bed when I change your diaper. Making loud exhaled cooing noises out of nowhere that sound like you just got the best news ever and must share it with me. Smiling at me, at Pops, at Gramma when we smile at you. Letting Mama munch on your stomach when your diaper is off and not losing your mind at the drop in butt temperature. Grabbing onto fistfuls of my hair when I’m not careful and hanging on like I’m dangling you over a balcony. Spitting up clumpy white chunks of milk seemingly hours after eating, leaving us scrambling for a cloth. (You’d kept it all in your guts for so long I forgot that spit up existed. Cue the 40 oversized bibs we bought for you that look like you’re heading out for a lobster dinner.)
Mama has changed too. Let me tell you how.
I continue to bathe you without the aid of a sauna and airport ear plugs. Impressive because the very millisecond your last toe is lifted out of tub water cues your deepest, most distressingly sad, crying. I know you're not being massacred, but if you're crying like you are, it's just as stressful.
I don't play with my breast milk so that you get every drop. And the parlour tricks I could employ! It's like a mini super soaker attached to me. I could terrorize the neighbourhood! And I don't get creeped out when you romance my nipples. This is done typically when you're entertaining the idea of a sh*t, and it involves a lot of thoughtful eyes, nipple rolling and eyebrow lifts. Amazing.
I still love you when you have what's billed as a "growth spurt" but seems to me like a handy excuse to eat every 25 minutes like a fat college kid, and do some hardcore fire-alarm-won't-wake-you-up sleeping during the day so that the night feels like a Darren Aronofsky movie and your Mama is so tired she worries the pains in her head and inability to add or remember words must surely be a brain tumor.
I left one foot with nail polish on, one off. For like a day. When we had people over. This lack of completion and vanity would have made pre-bubs me absolutely writhe in horror and shame.
I actually almost googled those for-crazy-people books that claim to know how to talk to babies or dogs or some sh*t, and understand what they're "saying" through their crying/woofing. Because there is nothing as uniquely frustrating as a crying baby that cannot be soothed. And it only happens in the witching hour. When you've hit an internal wall and are a brain full of jelly attached to two rocking arms and a handful of repeated phrases - "You're ok," "Mama's here" etc.
Finally, the full stop proof that I adore you and would do anything for you, my girl? I miscalculated and made myself breakfast but had to stop because you needed more milk urgently, so I ate my bacon cold. If that's not love, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.