The first real milestone in a baby’s life has gotta be the 12-week mark. While every parent would like to think that every second of everyday is a HUGE DEAL, like when she first snorted at 6.38 weeks, it’s the 12th week that seals the deal. It’s the point where my baby girl stops being a newborn.
So now, THAT’s kind of a big deal.
Today, she stops being swaddled. She’s mastered the Houdini disappearing act from the not-so-miracle-blanket and her feet are starting to get bunched up from the swaddle cloth. I used to watch with immense satisfaction as she tried to struggle free from her straightjacket but without avail, and after a minute or so, she would give up and go to sleep peacefully. But last week, instead of drifting off to sleep, she wriggled for a good 15 minutes with her brow all furrowed and a determined look in her eye. Then she raised her little hands above her head as a victory sign and closed her eyes feeling terribly pleased with herself.
Today, she learns to sit up all by her lonesome. In the 12 weeks I’ve known her, I’ve come to realize that Kirsten in an observer and nothing like the adrenaline-charged-go-getter brother of hers. She’s happy to sit and watch the world go by, thinking of fairies and daisies. It’s finally time for her to debut the Bumbo and now she can’t get enough of it. It’s a fresh change from lying down all the time staring at lame mobiles/stupid birds/ceiling.
Today, the gloves mitts come off for good and the thumb sucking begins. I’ve come to accept the fact that my kids are thumb suckers. I’ve never introduced the pacifier and don’t think I ever will for a variety of reasons (but I’ll save that for another post). The next best thing is of course the thumb. For a while I hoped that Kirsten would be among the elite group of babies who don’t need any sleep props to fall asleep but apparently that’s not gonna happen. She sucks not only her thumb, but all 10 of her fingers with a juicy slurping sound. Almost makes me want to try it myself. At some point, I’ll have to deal with the blisters and deformed thumbs but I’ll think of something when it comes to that.
Today, she discovers herself. Newborns are an oblivious bunch. For the first 12 weeks, they’re spaced out most of the time, unaware of everything else that’s going on around them. I used to show her her own reflection in the mirror and she would stare blankly at the girl looking back at her. Today I showed her the mirror again and for the first time, she looked at herself with a flicker of recognition. Or she could be thinking “Damn, that chick is HOT!”, which is also not far from the truth. This is the first of all the preening and posing that is to come in the years ahead and if that’s not a milestone, I don’t know what is.