Monday, September 17, 2007

The Legume, at 3 1/2 months

She sleeps now, my little dumpling, my round and sweet-faced second bean.

She is like and unlike her elder sister. If we compare baby pictures they are hardly distinguishable. She has the same mane of crazy hair that sticks straight up in the air like the hair of those little troll-dolls. She draws an admiring crowd wherever she goes (and the hair always provokes the most admiring comments). It's hard to believe that our now-skinny first daughter once too had luscious fat folds like the Legume--but pictures don't lie, and Bean was once too a miniature sumo wrestler.

But the Legume keeps taking me by surprise. She is not the Bean, and I have to keep remembering this. After all, Bean-girl was my first experience with an infant, and I keep thinking that Bean-behaviors were simply characteristic of all infants.

The Legume doesn't need, or even sometimes like, to be held as much. When the Bean was young I could not put her down. She had to be held constantly. She couldn't nap on her own. I spent hours imprisoned on my living room couch, holding a sleeping Bean in my arms, unable to move. She was colicky as all heck. (Husband thinks Legume is colicky; she is, but he simply does not remember how bad the Bean-girl was). This Legume is often far more interested in face-to-face contact and play than physical touch. These days she is a smiley, cooing delight, eager to engage anyone in "conversation." She is exploring her world, learning to bat and grasp at objects with her hands. She is exploring sounds, too--this weekend she discovered the "B" consonant, and has been fixated on "bur bur bur" and "boo boo boo." And her legs are constantly in motion--kick kick kicking everything in sight. (this includes our cat, but the cat doesn't seem to care.)

She can sleep on her own, unlike the Bean. Sometimes she protests against the confinement of arms, and would prefer to kick and wriggle on her blanket on the floor. She has discovered the pleasure of sucking her hands, and finds them an appropriate substitute for mommy's boobs. She even finds a plastic nipple a tolerable substitute, and is able to drink from a bottle, unlike her elder sister.

In three and a half very short months, she has grown from wrinkled comatose newborn to an alert little person. Now a lively, bright personality peers out of those dark gray eyes. A person who gazes at her mother with the most winning adoration. A person who gazes out at the world, ready to love.

No comments: