I read somewhere a description of life with kids: the days drag on and the years fly by. I thought that was true with one, but it is standing out so clearly to me now with two. Each day I am going back and forth between two people who need me, trying to balance and juggle those needs, while trying to have fun with them. And at the end of each day we have had fun, but I am tired and watching the clock and wondering if I'll ever be able to get anything more done than just keeping us fed and moderately clean. Still, I'm also shocked to find that it's already been two months. I see the brand new babies of friends, and Lyra, who was 11.5 pounds and 23 inches long at her checkup on Tuesday, seems so big, and I find myself missing having a little baby. I remind myself of that while I try to keep Adriana out of trouble while she helps me in the kitchen at dinnertime, and I catch myself wishing that Lyra were big enough to be carried on my back, instead of on my front, which makes cooking awkward. Then I chide myself for wishing her bigger, wishing away this time with my tiny one.
Lyra spends so much more time awake now, and I know I said that when I was writing a month ago, but at least now she seems more happy about waking up to the world around her. We get big smiles now--beautiful gummy baby smiles--when she is in the bath, when she is eating and pulls away for a moment to look at me, and sometimes when she's just awake and happy. She coos, too, which is interesting and fun for me, as Adriana never did much of that.
There are times when she fusses and cries, of course, and, as with Adriana, I wonder how on earth parents of colicky babies manage to cope, because after five minutes of crying we are usually in a panic, because clearly something must be horribly wrong. Even though the solution is always the same, we still can't quite remember it at first, so I try feeding her again and we change her diaper, and maybe even her clothes, because what if there's a tag or a seam somewhere that's bothering her? And then we rock her and bounce her and start over again, until one of us remembers that Oh! The last time this happened, putting her in the pouch worked! So we get the pouch and drop her in and within a minute of being held close and tight like that, she is content again.
In that way she is very much like Adriana. I remember someone commenting to me when Adriana was only a few weeks old that she seemed to be a very needy baby, always wanting to be held, and even at the time I marveled that that would seem like a very big need. I mean, if being held is all that it took to make her happy, I thought I had it pretty easy. I get the same feeling with Lyra. Yes, she needs to be held a lot, but now with Adriana not wanting to be held some of the time when I would love to hold her (and, of course, demanding I hold her at times when it is highly inconvenient for me), it seems more important to snuggle Lyra while I can. We do still keep commenting on the differences between the two girls, though: Lyra loves her bath and coos when she is happy and awake, as I've said, but she also loves "tummy time," which Adriana generally seemed certain was a terrorist plot, and when I had a dentist appointment last week, Lyra willingly took a bottle the first time it was offered, while we tried for months to get Adriana to drink from one before giving up and wondering why we'd even cared.
Not that I'm going to be giving Lyra a lot of bottles. Nursing is still one of my favorite parts of this stage. I mean, Adriana is still nursing a little bit, too, and that's nice, but there is something special about cuddling a little baby when she is hungry, watching her close her eyes and relax in my arms, feeling how tiny and warm she is, that I can't really explain. I get a little less of that this time as it is, since half the time I'm nursing I'm also reading Pooh stories to Adriana or helping her put together a jigsaw puzzle. And that just makes me appreciate mornings like today, when Lyra and I were the first ones up and we snuggled together in the arm chair while she ate, even more.