I keep wanting to write an update post about Alaina and never finding enough moments in one day in which to do it—I joked the other day about, “instead of taking care of your sweet little self, I want to write a blog post about taking care of your sweet little self!” ;-D Overall, I’m surprised by how easy she is to take care of. I love having a baby again—I’m surprised I ever found it hard to take care of a baby! Her needs are very simple and easy to meet and it just isn’t very complicated to figure her out. Older kids are a different story altogether! Though, taking care of her while taking care of my other kids adds a different level of challenge and isn’t itself actually easy. But, caring for her when considered on its own is very easy and natural and good. I was concerned about “starting over” and taking care of a baby all over again and I’m pleased to discover anew how much I love having a baby.
She does have an interesting habit of being awake until about 1:00 a.m. every night. Not sure what is up with that and keep puzzling over changing the pattern. With my first baby, I remember remarking that at night I felt in “perfect harmony” with him, but during the day I found him somewhat confusing (and also kind of fussy/unsettled). With Alaina, I feel in perfect daytime harmony with her, but the night is the confusing time. It is also hard to write about her without comparing her to my other babies—I’d like to consider each child on their own, rather than using the others as a yardstick, but I also think it is a natural thing to do. I feel like she is my happiest baby yet. I’d worried she would be an anxious or difficult baby, because of all the fear I “marinated” her in during pregnancy, but she is a happy little soul. She is also incredibly quiet. It is weird, actually, sometimes I look down at her and she’s just riding along quietly and I get kind of a start, like, “oh, you’re still here!” She does not really ever cry—just occasionally commentary type “wahs” of protest or alert or notice. I remember the boys becoming unsettled more easily and also being harder to calm down. For example, yesterday she was asleep when we got home from the park. I hurried to bring in my stuff and when I got back out to the car she was awake and crying pretty hard—I was horrified and ran to scoop her up. The second I picked her up, she made not another peep. I know for a fact that my other babies would have kept on crying for a couple of moments just for emphasis, as well as just taken a little more conscious effort for me to calm them back down. She smiles a lot and enjoys watching her big brothers play.
While the feeling isn’t as intense as it was when she was first born (she is two months old tomorrow!), I continue to marvel at her every day—“HOW did you get here, you amazing little thing?” I feel almost startled that she is here with us, happy and whole and engaging with the world around her. I don’t remember having quite the same sense of miracle about the boys. Sense of magic, yes, but the sense of surprise and/or disbelief about their existence, no.
I think she looks remarkably like my oldest in this picture, but in baby pictures at the same age and to my eyes in person, she doesn’t look so much like him.
I am enjoying experiencing the symbiosis of the nursing relationship again. I sat nursing her a couple of days ago and remembered a quote from the book The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich in which she is talking about male writers from the nineteenth century and their longing for an experience of oneness and seeking the mystery of an epiphany. She says:
“Perhaps we owe some of our most moving literature to men who didn’t understand that they wanted to be women nursing babies.”
I am currently reading three different books about spirituality and one of them has this focus on “oneness”—I was reading it while nursing her and that quote popped into mind.