It’s hard to believe that Leone, who is sleeping peacefully on the bed as I write this, is seven weeks old today.
Part of me will never forgive my children for growing up so fast.
Ten-year-old Hesperus’s legs are so long that she can barely sit on my lap. She experiments with rolling her eyes, looks at me and says, “Uh, duh, Mom!”, and sometimes even shrugs off my hugs. Now that she’s 10 going on 14 we have a new way of spending time together. We rent the trashy movies I loved as a kid, musicals like “Footloose,” “Fame,” and “The Turning Point,” to watch secretly together. Hesperus tries to keep the bed from squeaking as she climbs quietly down from the top bunk and sneaks out of the room she shares with Athena and Etani. Then she tiptoes into the living room and we snuggle on the couch. With my oldest daughter, hugs and cuddles are out. John Travolta when he was trim and wearing polyester and his dancing sent a shiver down America’s spine, is in.
Perhaps it’s because Leone is our last baby, but I feel a keen desire for things to slow down. I remember charting every milestone with Hesperus, calling my dad eager for the information he couldn’t remember about when I could lift my head up, when I learned to roll over, when I said my first word. I looked forward to the day when she would talk in full sentences, take herself to the potty, and sleep through the night. But with Leone I’m not interested in reading books about baby development to see how she measures up. I don’t need her to learn to nap outside of my arms. I don’t want her eyes to change to their permanent color.
Yet, like all good children, she defies me. She coos now and likes a good conversation. “A-bu,” she says. “Haya.” These past few days she’s barely been fussing before settling down for nighttime sleep, and she’s outgrown almost all the 0-3 month clothes we have for her. Our size small Bumpkin cloth diapers barely fit. She’s even sprouting new hair.
I went to a La Leche League meeting last Thursday and there was a 2-week-old baby there. That baby was so tiny. Leone looked like a football player beside him.
Happy seven weeks Leone. I love you. But will you please slow down?
Cartoon courtesy of Heather Dowdee-Cushman.