I’m just checking in, it’s been a little while since I’ve said “hi.”
Kelly’s been home with Charlotte since birth, I took off work that first week, and we’ve apparently been parents for about six months. Time has passed in a way that I can’t measurably define it – I’d believe you equally if you suggested we brought her home a week, or a year ago; it seems like she’s been part of our family for so long, but I still feel like I’m making it up as I go. I don’t think I’ve done anything to permanently screw her up, yet, though.
Charlotte is clearly recognizing and watching people and toys now, but only directly interacting with a little reaching and occasional cooing (or screaming). We’ve maybe seen a few smiles and face mimicry, which is really the most amazing thing right now to see the gears turning in her head. As for the screaming, she’s often fussy between feedings, and sleeping, and outings… but hopefully that’ll peak soon and she’ll calm a little as her body’s development catches up some. We’ve had some successes with each of the soothing approaches, but we’ve found it ends up about the 17th thing you try, regardless of order. Or just waiting until time passes until she’s tired of screaming because she’s exhausted, but doesn’t know how to sleep.
Kelly and I sleep mostly normal night hours, but of course have regular interruptions for feedings and soothing. I’m certainly getting less sleep, and with it goes alertness, dexterity, sanity… Fortunately everyone’s been very understanding. (e.g. I still have a job. And a family.) I don’t get to hang out with friends as often, so you all can appropriately pass judgement.
We’ve gone out fairly often past few weeks for errands and food as Charlotte is fortunately fairly tame in the carrier seat used for the car and stroller. Often at her worst I can rock or swing her to nearly put her to sleep, which has led to amusing sights such as Kelly pushing an empty stroller frame through the mall with me following and swinging Charlotte. Overall, she’s well behaved while in motion, so we’re usually found creaking floorboards at home, or we found another place where we can pace and escape cabin-fever.
Today, we visited the mall, and even did the Santa visit bit. Charlotte behaved well enough, but seemed extra uncomfortable upright in another’s arms as mom and dad ducked behind the camera’s shot. Still cute, though. This’ll be fun to bring out many years later.
As for the rest of the holiday, we’ll hit grandma’s on the 24th, and be home on the 25th with family in the early morning for a traditional strawberry waffle feast. Then the next weekend before the end of the year, we’re driving up to Chicago and maybe Madison to visit extended family, and we’ll experience a long car trip with Charlotte for the first time. Hopefully between family engagements we can do some overdue catchup with friends.
Update: I’m not sure when it started, but so many pronouns are now Charlotte-relative. I think the generation context change happened overnight sometime in the last few weeks.