My sweet baby turned six months old the other day. Six months! I made it. Yes, my husband did, too and to some marginal extent Nathan did, too, if you count obsessing over the island of Sodor instead of bopping his baby brother over the head as adding to our house’s success.
The first six weeks were trying, a mix of wonderful and weary moments. If anyone says that having babies is easy and that the first weeks are a breeze, she is a lying liar who lies or is really a man who wears layers of makeup to mask the fact that he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I’ll show shim what’s what!
I was elated to have a child, a healthy bundle of sweet smelling soft skin and fuzz for hair. But I was tired, he was colicky and my mother was still residing with us. She fried salmon collars, requested shuttles to the mall, complained about the weather. I went off dairy. I ordered soy lattes. I died inside when my mother would announce to a waitress that her daughter couldn’t have dairy because her breastmilk! She’s nursing! I would look at these young women just waiting to take our order, as if I could use my eyes to signal, “Don’t have children, young grasshopper. No one will ask to see how your nipples are healing. Live your life of chest symmetry, of bra-optional freedom! Be warned!”
Soon my mom left, TJ began a series of small but significant beginnings. Now, he laughs when you dig your chin into his side. He slobbers your face if your cheek gets too close to his mouth. When your eyes meet his, he giggles so hard his body had to jerk away because his brain couldn’t handle that happy trauma.
I know I shouldn’t compare him to Nathan but that’s the only frame of reference I have. TJ doesn’t have as much hair. He isn’t as thick-thighed. He has sensitive skin. He wakes up at the sound of a diet coke can opening but sleeps through Terminator Salvation. He is louder. He babbles and squeaks and squeals. He is possessed by his own full-body laughs.
He is not much like his brother at all. He is his own person and a baby so cute he makes midnight wake-ups almost bearable. Almost.
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