Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dear Gwen: Month Four

Dear Gwen,
What an incredible month we’ve had. You are changing before my eyes. Just a few short weeks ago, you didn’t even notice the existence of your many enticing toys. Then, all of a sudden, you would become completely entranced at the sight of one of them in my hands, your brow furrowed in concentration. Days later, if I waited for the right moment when your hands were open, I could sneak a toy into your grip; it would then be shaken exuberantly, although you had no sense of co-operating in this little game. I remember being so excited the first time you wrapped your hand around a toy, and rushing for the camera. Only a week later, you started taking the toys right out of my hand. And then your dad, eager to get in on the action, showed you how to use your hands together to grip even better. It won’t be long before you don’t even need our ‘help’ anymore to play with your toys: you’ll spot them nearby, reach out to grab them, and no doubt put them straight into your mouth.

One of your favourite toys is a cute green dragon that Grannie bought for you. It plays music if you touch its belly, and you have managed to do this several times, though I don’t think you realize yet it’s your actions causing the music to play. Lately, if the dragon starts playing its song (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star), you “sing” along, going “ah ah ah ah ah ah ah” at almost the right time. The first time your dad saw you do this, he fell completely in love with you (well, more so than he was already). I swear you had him utterly wrapped around your adorable and surprisingly advanced finger at that point.

You and your dad are bonding more and more. You are always happy to see him, and often crane your neck away from whatever we are doing to watch him as he leaves. It was for him that you first giggled, as you sat in your activity chair and he sang along with the radio, which was playing “Stepping Out” by Joe Jackson. I think you liked all those “doo-doo” noises. I don’t think your dad will ever forget that moment – it was an incredible sound, an amazing feeling.

On the other hand, a moment I hope I never forget happened last week when your dad was playing with you on the couch after work. “Would you like to fly, Gwen?” he asked lovingly. “Let’s fly, come on! One … two … three!” As you can imagine, he bounced you gently on the one and the two, then lifted you up above his head on the three. As if on cue, you spat up all over him. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to die. Now, don’t think me heartless – I did pass him a cloth to clean up as I laughed. But I couldn’t be more proud that you seem to have inherited my comic timing.

And don’t worry, I get mine on a daily basis, believe me. Yesterday after screaming for 35 minutes straight, you had a huge burp. Just as I asked, “Do you feel better?”, you spat up all over both yourself and me. Then you emitted this long, drawn-out “ahhhh,” sounding for all the world as if you were just expressing the depths of your relief and perfect comfort. Despite my status of being covered in half-digested milk, I laughed uproariously. You are the funniest baby ever.

Everyone always comments on how alert you are, how totally “there” you are. I have to admit I like this about you. You are active, not passive. The other day I saw a baby three months older than you being fed a bottle, and he just lay there, passive, not interacting in any way. Nothing wrong with that, definitely, but that is not your style – you are already trying to hold the bottle when we feed you, and are always craning your head around to see everything that is going on. While I’m sure this is the same trait that makes you a difficult, fussy baby, I’d rather have you than a baby who just sits there, expressionless, passive, and dull. You are many things, Gwen my darling, but you are not dull.

I couldn’t end this update without mentioning the very important fact that you are now Tolerating your Bath. I never thought it would happen, but it has, and I think soon we will be incorporating a nightly bath into your bedtime routine. Perhaps in months to come you will even grow to genuinely like bathtime – that’s something to look forward to. Your bedtime has become a little bit easier lately, and seems to be happening at a fairly consistent time. I give you a massage with lotion every night, then your dad swaddles you, and we take turns with the feeding-rocking-singing routine that usually puts you to sleep. Then you sleep in your crib to the sounds of ocean waves, until you wake up for your night feeding(s).

It’s definitely been a challenging month, Gwen, as you are still not gaining weight adequately, still spitting up a lot, and still randomly screaming for no apparent reason. But the truth is that it’s also been a really fun month, as your personality becomes even more apparent, and we are convinced that – aside from when you are in genuine physical discomfort – you have a pretty good personality. You are, in short, adorable, and we adore you accordingly.



Anonymous said...

Those are fantastic photos, I die of cute! Gwen sure is photogenic, my goodness.

Sounds like it's been a great month :)


Amberism said...

ack! She's a baby! When did that happen?! She was just a newborn when I saw her last!

Definitely need to get together and exchange the cuteness, I'm out of town until September but will call when I get back!


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