5.08.2005

Slow Starter

Not MZ, me. It's taken weeks to come back to this, but what better Mother's Day gift (as opposed to sleep, I guess). At 3.5 months, MZ is a dream. She smiles, she grabs, she's a drooling fiend. The changes come so fast, I often want to press pause just to absorb her in the moment before we race on.

I don't think I understood the word "delight" until Miriam began to smile. Delight is what I feel when I see her smile, but it reaches its full expression in the way her whole face lights up, her gummy grin fills her entire face, her eyes crinkle up and she wriggles her little body as though she feels happiness in every cell.

Right now, many things delight her: our faces in the morning when she wakes up, tapping her button nose and tummy to the music during floor play, and most of all, her changing table. It's not just her changing table, it's also the mobile that hangs above, a simple laminated paper thing that she adores. She looks up at the smiling baby on the center card and grins with pure, unadulterated delight; her coos soon escalating to squeals. We've spent upwards of 20 minutes at the changing table just to watch her react so fantastically. *We* are delighted by her sounds, her voice is sweeter than I could have imagined.

MZ has developed a fabulously chubby chin, her thighs are delicious, and her arms are starting to give them a run for their money. She has worn a little bald spot at the back of her head, but it looks like she's going to keep most of that hair, which is practically strawberry blond in the light and goes beautifully with her bright blue eyes. She continues to look nothing like us, she is persistently her own little person.

She remains very aware of her environment. When we walk with her, she can stay awake for a good hour now, taking it all in. She loves the wind, always has, and she's gone from licking it as though she can taste it to smiling into it when we go out the door. She's also happy to sit on our laps, for twenty minutes at a time, which seems like years when we recall her imaptience during her first few weeks.

And she's found her thumb! At the start of the week, she was sucking mightily on her fist, but by Friday she was getting just her thumb on a regular basis. To do so, she arcs her arm out from her body, and brings it around so that her hand drags her face until she hooks her thumb into her mouth. Sometimes it takes a few tries, but she's persistent.

She typically does this when lying flat on her back, which lands her thumb low in her mouth, with her fingers reaching back toward her ear. We couldn't quite figure out why her hand was in such a funky position when she sucks her thumb when seated, till R. realized that she hasn't learned that she can turn her hand around when she's sitting up and still keep her thumb in her mouth. We'll look for that in the coming weeks, but MZ is now officially a "sumb thucker."

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