Well here we are, Toadsland, two weeks from Henry’s birth day, and the best descriptor of life that I can employ is that it is a whirlwind. We’re living a daily monsoon of diaper changes, finicky eaters, coughs and sniffles, 30-minute power naps, overflowing laundry baskets, stale coffee, and doctor’s appointments. My mom left us to return to Lake Wobegon and my sister’s junior prom on Friday, and now we’re really flying solo.
Henry, a charmer to be sure, in his best pose: Repose.
The first thing to note about Henry at two weeks is that he is more and more alert, both eyes open, taking in the shapes and colors of his new world (which is good because he was born with a crusty blocked tear duct of his right eye). Sure, he still sleeps a lot, but he also enjoys passing the time gazing at and thoughtfully considering the view. In other Henry-related topics, we’re feeding the little guy every two hours during the daytime (0530 - 0130) at our doctor’s behest. You see, he’s a being a bit of a poky eater and, subsequently, a slow weight gainer (7 pounds even at last official check on Friday, 4/17/2009). To Joel and I this is just odd; how can a child of parents who are known to get shaky and grouchy when supper is late be so loath to tuck into what might be life’s best, most abundant comfort food: breastmilk? To Adelaide, Henry’s behavior is a little more understandable; Adelaide’s going through a bit of a White Bread Only phase (but more on that in a moment ...). Henry will have yet another weight check this Friday to determine our course for the next month or so; I shudder to think about what our pediatrician will say if he’s not gained, so we’re not really thinking too hard about that. But, despite all that pressure, we’re loving the Getting To Know You period ... He’s cute; he’s blond; he looks like Joel when he’s mad and Adelaide when he’s not; he’s generally calm and collected and excessively patient with his older sister’s attentions.
Unable to attend her favorite weekend library storytime owing to a fever, Adelaide acts out storytime using her Little People.
Speaking of older sisters, Adelaide has been champ these past couple of weeks and deserves an award for Most Loving, Most Interested Sibling. She often demands, “I’m just going to touch my baby brother now” or asks inquisitively, “Why is he all red?” I can only imagine the craziness of these past weeks from Adelaide's perspective. First, Marmee (our constant) was here, seeing Adelaide through the tumultuousness of Henry’s birth day, but then went home:
Adelaide: (matter-of-factly) Marmee lives in St. Cloud.
Adelaide: (straightforwardly) D and Erin live in St. Cloud.
Me: They do.
Adelaide: (squarely) Kelli and Cha-Cha and Baby Owen live in St. Cloud.
Adelaide: (questioningly) We live in Go Hawkeyes? (Go Hawkeyes = Iowa City)
“That’s weird,” was written all over her face after she made that connection. I nearly lost my composure. Second, although we’ve tried to keep Adelaide securely in her routines, allowances were made for nursemaid’s elbow and viral bugs. The first week of Henry’s life, Adelaide had her arm pop of out of joint at school. So, Joel collected our tearful girl and off we went to the doctor where they popped it back in place. The second week of Henry’s life, Adelaide spiked a temperature of 101. Coupled with a snappy cough and a faucet of snot, Adelaide won a couple of days on the couch with a strict regime of Motrin/Tylenol, endless movies (she especially loves a children’s series called Kipper), a fountain of cherry juice, and the well-earned right to be moody. More seriously, is it the cold or all the change in our house that prompts Adelaide to cry out in the night and ask for Joel or I to snuggle with her? My mom assures me that though Adelaide cries out and makes a huge scene, she moves on much quicker than we adults do. This week, we’re back in the swing of our schedule, feverless, and are feeling better about everything.
So, as Joel and I often muse, “now we have Kidz, with a ‘z.” Life is evolving, a work-in-progress, a catch-as-catch-can experience.
We’ll spare you a photo.