In all this upheaval, I have forgotten to mention something really joyful… and significant: E2 has changed. It’s been subtle and gradual — and so, a little difficult to notice — but she is a much different baby from the one I have complained about so many times on this blog.
She still cries a lot — unlike her sister, she will not tolerate a bump or fall or the removal of something she wants without a loud vocal complaint — but she doesn’t cry constantly the way she used to. She now does what would have been unthinkable a year ago: she plays, she smiles, and she laughs — a lot. I used to have to carry her all the time — now, I can put her down and, though she makes that initial ear-piercing complaint, she then happily crawls over to the nearest toy, or to her sister, and… entertains herself.
It’s true that she has no faith — unlike her sister, she doesn’t believe in anything that isn’t happening (or available) right now. There is no such thing as “hold on a minute” with E2. There is no patience. When it’s time for a feed, she will scream — scream — until the very instant she’s actually latched on, even though she can see and knows perfectly well that the milk is coming (we do not do discrete-breastfeeding-in-public!). I feel confident that my daughter will turn out be an S (Sensing) on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator — the opposite to my N (Intuitive), just as her seeming Extroversion is the opposite to my Introversion.
But despite that, she is truly a much calmer baby than she once was. She no longer cries unceasingly all night — these days, she sleeps at night (other than her 2, 3, or 4 night feeds). She seeks out her sister and attempts to play. She lets me get on with my stuff while she… gets on with her stuff.
Though this change has been hard to see because it’s been so gradual, once you realise it, the change is truly remarkable… and wonderful. She is moving on, developing from a baby into a child — giving a glimpse of the person she is going to be.
And it has won her a fan. There has never — in the history of all the world — been a more squirmy baby than E2. She never sits still when you’re holding her. She twists and wriggles and pushes and pulls. It’s exhausting. People ask to hold her and then, within minutes, they are handing her back to me — let Mummy deal with this wriggle-bum, they’ve had enough! And even though I’ve been waxing lyrical about what a change has come over her of late, this one characteristic has not changed one jot. Except… when she is in my dad’s arms, she sits contentedly still and gazes at him with complete adoration. It’s amazing. It’s bizarre. But it’s won my baby-hesitant dad over completely. He is in love — and so is she.
And I find my arms baby-free for an hour or more, for the first time in over a year. Ahhhhh.