Wes you have morphed into a sleepy lump to a significantly less sleepy lump with LUNGS. We have some data to back this up because since month two, we have yet to sit together through an entire church service with you. On the upside, we can finish our Philz coffee and catch up with the other new parents in the foyer! This month we have seen your voice grow out of the puppy behind the couch cry to a full on infant shriek. With tears. Oh those tears.
I remember the first time we saw them, our hearts just broke to think that you were that unhappy. It also made us feel crappy that we couldn’t figure out what made you cry so badly. More about that later.
I had a few scary/guilty Mommy moments that I am sure I’ll laugh at one day but were quite traumatizing when they happened. So recently you have had a whole host of skin issues. Cradle Cap, Seborrheic Dermatitis (Cradle Cap on the face) and I think you even have some eczema going on (this will be confirmed at your doctor’s appointment today). It’s rough seeing your baby peach fuzz turn oily and crusty. Sadly your mom is so vain and wants your skin to be blemish free. In my worry, I did what every 21st century mom would do. I googled “cradle cap” and clicked through every possible link – everything from the reputable mayo clinic and WebMd to crunchy mom websites adorned with heinous clip art and Papyrus font. From my very thorough “research,” I concluded that the safest thing to do was use edible oils and since coconut oil is the new panacea for life, I figured why the heck not. This sounds more reasonable than Windex.
So armed with my jar from Trader Joe’s, I slathered your face in that stuff hoping the next morning I would have some miraculous testimony of THE WONDERS OF COCONUT OIL.
Next morning I wake up to your dad yelling. CANDY. GET OVER HERE. IT LOOKS SO MUCH WORSE!!!! And there you were, even crustier and oilier than last night. And one of your eyes looked a little puffy.
I felt horrible. Tears start welling in my eyes. I wanted to make things right, but I just had no idea what to do. I called the advice nurse, emailed your pediatrician, messaged my pediatrician friend and prayed that I didn’t leach your skin off with coconut oil. Thankfully we got some better advice to use Aquaphor /Vaseline on your face 6 times a day. And the getting worse part was actually part of the healing process. In a couple of days you were significantly less crusty. Whew. So began the journey of many other sub-optimal decisions I would make as your parent.
Pre-you, I had a thousand ideas about how I was going to parent. I had read a good amount of books, watched a dozen TED talks and listened to experienced parents about how to soothe my baby, how to raise successful kids and how to get them to eat EVERYTHING. I now whole-heartedly agree with John Wilmot who once said
“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
(Apparently know-it-alls have been around since the 1600’s)
I confess that I had bought into the myth that I could be the Perfect Parent for you. If I had read enough, tried hard enough and mustered enough resolve, you could be the happiest, most content and resilient baby in the world. I see now how sometimes my efforts to parent is often marred by my desire to manipulate heaven and earth so I can control a little bit more of my kingdom. My heart needs to repent of this! You are not a 18 year science experiment that I just started, you are a sweet human being that I simply get to love on. I am learning that I don’t need to tie my success as a parent to how you sleep, how you eat or even how your skin looks that given day. Just like our class instructor said when I asked her what is the ONE THING I must to do when I bring home a newborn?
“Just love them.”
And so I will love you little Wes. I may not know how to how to stop your tears every time… but I do promise to love and hold you through them all.
Tummy Time Success (yesterday you went from face down to turning your head to the left, and then to show off you turned your head face down and then turned it to your right! Your dad and I know your head is disproportionately HUGE so we give you lots of extra credit for doing Tummy Time like a champ)
Smiles. I think I saw your first intentional smile this week! On Wednesday I had strollered you over to Crossfit to see your dad work out. Of course you were so popular as everyone peered into the stroller. There was some random guy that said hi to you and you flashed him the biggest smile ever. I was so jealous! Your first smile for a rando?! Thankfully the next morning you had pity on me and gave me lots of smiles.
Diaper Time Success. You seem to know the drill and now don’t cry or kick when we change you. (to date we have changed 569 diapers)
Last weight check (2 weeks ago) 9 lbs 15oz. I am hoping you break the 11 lbs. mark today!
Milk, cuddling with you held on your side with your right arm dangling through my arm and your left hand on my chest, Rain for Roots, being pushed around in a stroller, bath time, scalp massages, foot massages (don’t ask), being worn, being swaddled
Last month you would let us pause and burp you. Now… you scream bloody murder every time we stop to burp you because it means that you can’t eat for 20 seconds. You arch your back, scream and yell. It’s pretty funny.