Friday, May 21, 2010

Lila News: Five Months

Dear Lila,

Last week your Auntie Jenn visited us here in Cambridge and got to spend some quality snuggle time with you and your cheeks. She's simply in love with you and has vowed to only buy you pink frilly things. I'm happy to indulge her since, quite frankly, I love having a little girl to dress up. I mention your aunt because not only was she here when you turned five months old (AAAAAAHHHHH!!!! FIVE MONTHS!!!), but because she can attest to how different my experience of motherhood has been between you and your brother.

She saw me in my insane new-parent state when River was just a little older than you are now; she saw the hours and hours I spent sequestered in his room, singing and rocking and pleading with him to sleep. She saw me tip-toe out of his room, afraid to squeak the floorboards for fear he would wake; she saw me shush everyone near his room and watch his monitor with eagle eyes - dread on my face when that tale-tell squall eventually came letting us know we were doomed to spend ANOTHER half an hour locked behind closed doors trying to lull him to sleep.

And she has seen you. The first night she was in town we had just sat down to dinner and you gave a little whimper letting us know it was time for your nap. I went into your bedroom, laying you down and giving you a pacifier, and when I returned a minute or two later your Autie Jenn was wide-eyed with wonder. "That's it?" she said. "She's asleep?" And with more pride and gratefulness than I can possibly convey I said, "Yes. That's how Lila rolls."

In this past month you've started sleeping through the night, really sleeping through - from 9pm to 6 or 7am. In fact, at 3 years old your brother is now waking earlier and more often than you. You haven't taken any steps, you can't sit up on your own, and you're still working on rolling over, but when it comes to sleeping you've totally out-paced your brother.

As for River, you are totally in love. I've had to start nursing you in different rooms than him because if he's there you're too busy watching him to focus on eating. The love is mutual and he attacks you with hugs and kisses whenever you enter the room. When you're sad he strokes your head and says, "It's okay, Lila. It's okay." It's rare but there are moments of jealously, times when he wants us to leave you alone so I can keep playing with him. But as soon as you enter the room all is forgotten and you're back to basking in the light of his attention.

You are a little observer, watching the people around you so closely. Sometimes I feel guilty about how much you entertain yourself, chewing on a toy or keeping tabs on me or your dad, but I also feel good that I'm not constantly swinging a toy in your face or teaching you baby signs. In some ways River did (and still does) demand that kind of attention, but you seem perfectly content to watch the world most of the time. Your independence has allowed me to pick up sewing again much sooner than I imagined would be possible, and I spend lots of time working on new projects. You hang out on the playmate or bouncy seat while I make bibs or little shirts. It's an incredible gift to me - to feel like I have more to contribute than just motherhood, to allow me space to create and express myself. I can't thank you enough for that my little Lila Love.

As for milestones you are certainly hitting them. You're very sturdy - able to sit in the bumbo or carrier with nary a head wobble. I think you'll be sitting on your own soon, which will be very exciting for all of us. You grab at anything in front of you and we've had to instill a practice of keeping our drinks and plates out of your reach. You're rolling from back to side really well and a few times you've gotten from your belly to your back (an inelegant little flip flop was involved, but you did it!). You recognize your name and light up whenever I say it, and you've definitely started showing a preference for me over other caretakers. We just started you on solid food and while you seem happy to experiment with it, you are not yet a voracious eater.

Lila Jae, you are my little bumble-butt. You have made our home brighter and happier and you have made me a more mellow mom. There's a lovely balance between the extreme boy energy River brings and the sweet girl energy you have. You give us all the chance for cuddles, quiet reading, and silly-sweet bouncing games. I love you so much.


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