She is so full of smiles and giggles and good things that my cup runneth over. My little bean sprout is now at the fifty-fifth percentile for weight (14lb 6oz) and the 75th for height (25 1/2 inches). And every day she gets bigger and chubbier and happier and more human, and this is both tragic and awesome beyond measure.
“Enjoy every minute,” our elders instruct new parents, “it all goes so fast.”
I begin to see their point. Time is not drifting by with Genevieve the way it did in Natalie’s first few months. Eve has had her first belly laugh, seen her first cherry blossoms, learned how to nap in a motionless crib. She’s already into size six-month clothes. And every morning I drop her off at Just Us Kids along with her sister, who insists on covering Genevieve with kisses (and, usually, snot). This killed me a month ago, and now it … still does, but less.
Eve isn’t sleeping through the night yet; nowhere near. She nurses at least three times a night on a good night. Last night she slept fitfully from roughly 1 to 3:30, and so did I. But you know what? This is inestimably precious to me, even the midnight tossing-about, even staring at her sparkling smiling eyes in the dark and murmuring “goddamnit, goddamnit, goddamnit,” which may or may not have happened last night. I am besotted with every single moment of her infancy, as wise people have instructed me to be. They grow up so fast. Soon enough she’ll be an energetic toddler, and then leaving her at daycare will be a blessed relief. In the meantime, she is a short-timer for babyhood, and I am grateful for every minute of it that I get to share.
I suspect that part of the reason why things are getting easier is *because* Genevieve is getting bigger, older, more mature. It doesn’t tear at the fabric of your maternal bond to hand off an older baby to a third party the way it does when the baby is a wee larva who refuses to be calm anywhere but in your arms. But this is its own micro-tragedy: it’s getting easier precisely because she’s growing up. It’s getting easier to part with your baby because every day there is less and less of your baby there, until one day you’ll turn around and she’s a little girl and you’re all, wait, where’d my baby go?
So I grieve that it’s getting easier. And I grasp fast onto every possible moment I can spend with Genevieve while she’s still an infant, still soft and floppy enough to loaf in my lap, still busting out the gummy face-splitting grin when she sees me, still willing and able to nurse. (Pumping is its own tragedy, which I won’t belabor, except to note that the one time I accidentally spilled a full cylinder of milk all over my desk, I cried a great deal more than on any of the occasions when the pump has drawn blood.) I will unrepentantly take a full day of sick leave on the twenty-fifth of the month, even though Eve’s well-baby appointment is usually over by lunchtime. I will relish these afternoons spent cuddling my baby for as long as they’re available. I will enjoy every minute, because they go so sickeningly, vertiginously fast.