Unbelievable, yet true, somehow, Jay's fourteen weeks old. He's both much wiser and more complex; better at communicating his needs, at making a protest, like when you have the temerity to dress him. He has more expressions, and more decided preferences. He makes conversational noises, (Ai! Mmyah, Ooooh, etc) blows bubbles, feels fabrics (his blanket crocheted by one of the nurses' daughter in the hospital) meditatively with his fingers, tries to sit up. He enjoys his swing chair (until he doesn't anymore), and gives strangers (he loves them) big open mouth smiles and laughs. He's so much fun, now. And he's much bigger.
(Big to the point where he's nearly grown out of his crib, (although the weight limit of 25 pounds is not too close). This is something that is occupying my mind quite a bit. I am fearful. (Surprising, I know. Me! The Intrepid) How to transition to the cot? Thoughts would be most welcome. Do we just do it one night? He likes playing in there already and looking at his mobile. And if he cries, we pick him up and try again or lean over and pat and reassure, or what? Also, we have started half-swaddling in an effort to get him used to being less compressed. Should I invest in a swaddling transition solution, like one of those suits that look like a Michelin Man? Or is that for nelly-ish parents, like we are?)
The transition to Irish formula from the US one has been not completely straightforward. "Digestive issues" (euphemism alert) have kept him up quite a few nights, the poor boy, but mostly (fingers are xxx'd) he has continued to be a good sleeper and eater. (THANK YOU, HEAVEN.) And he seems much better and in tremendously good form again this week.
Ah, another significant event: his birth mother has been in touch with the agency, looking for photos and information about his routine and well-being. We're thrilled. I wrote her a letter with a lot of photos of Jay. It's odd, writing to someone who is both a complete stranger and a family member, someone who entrusted you with her baby, someone who chose you, took the huge painful leap with you, a stranger, on the strength of your profile book, nothing more, but I tried to take this possibly single opportunity to convey our respect for her decision: her bravery, and her clearmindedness. I don't know if I did an adequate job. I can only hope so. Although we'll be writing letters to her every 3 months, I have no way of knowing if she'll ever read them again or not, and I wanted somehow to pack in all that feeling.
People on the street (a mixture of proper Salt of the Earth Ould Dubliners and young(er) blow-ins like us) have been most welcoming. Walking a baby, it transpires, is a conversation starter even better than a dog. Last week, for instance, coming back from the shop, a neighbour opposite us called me over to see the baby. Another elderly neighbour was talking to her on the doorstep. They cooed over Jay. Other neighbour: Is your husband very sallow? I'm there: Uh. I mean. Not really! Darker than me though. Jay's adopted, I point out. She mustn't have heard me, as she gave me a canny look: You're so pale. Just, isn't it funny, that?
I mean, what was she driving at? I'm surprised she didn't ask about the complexion of the postman. The cheek! Then, she did some super-rapid sign of the cross over Jay and departed, sure she'd just made the world a better place.
You can only laugh. In the few minutes we stood there, she handed out every platitude known to man to Opposite Neighbour on a recent bereavement (her daughter): Children Are Only Lent To Us, Aren't You Lucky You Still Have The Other Seven, (because it's a well known fact that the more kids you have the less you love each individual. Ah, yeah. They're completely interchangeable units. Sure haven't you plenty of back-ups?) And You'll Be Grand Sure, Cheer Up There, Time Heals All.
So perhaps not a contender for the Most Tactful Person of the Year Award.
It's Sunday. Time to go and see the folks.
Till soon, all. Hope you're well.
ps Hard to get a chance to draw the child when you are mostly holding him, I discovered. Must keep trying to catch him mid-nap, though.