My sister, championing the cause of little sisters in general, has asked why Katie doesn’t yet have her photo on my About page. The reason is that this would mean sacrificing the photo of someone else in the family, as I don’t, as yet, have a photo of the four of us together. I keep meaning to get one when relatives visit, and somehow we’ve never yet managed to get round to it. I swore I’d get it done on Wednesday when Barry’s parents were here, but I went to the breastfeeding group in the morning and then when I got back they’d gone into town and then when they got back it was time for his mother to open her birthday presents and then Katie started one of her spit-up marathons and by the time I managed to get her to stay in one outfit for long enough to get downstairs it was time for Jamie’s lunch and then Barry was doing something else… you get the picture. (Or, rather, you don’t.) Anyway, I’m holding out for a photo of the four of us together before I change the one that’s there now. If it’s any consolation, I have at least now updated the bio to mention my second child’s existence, although it may or may not say something that the comments policy got considerably more writing space than she did.
Anyway, in hopes that it will provide at least a partial substitute, here’s a post about her.
Katie is now eleven weeks old. Well, actually nearer to twelve weeks for now, but for some reason I felt kind of a pang over never having put it in writing that my daughter was eleven weeks old and wanted to grab that particular moment while I still could. She hasn’t been weighed for almost a fortnight (I’m going to get her weighed again this coming Monday when I take her in for her second lot of jabs), but she was 11 lb 11 oz then, so extrapolation from the rate at which she’s been gaining so far means that she is almost certainly over twelve pounds now. This, according to parenting folklore, is apparently some kind of magic age at which babies start sleeping for longer periods of time. I haven’t seen any particular signs of that over the last few days (particularly not last night. Sheesh) but I am awaiting further developments with interest.
She’s longer, too. Length is no longer routinely measured at the check-ups, due to the general inaccuracy of trying to measure a baby, but I measured her last night out of curiosity and it seems she’s 23 inches. That’s a gain of four inches since her birth, if I’m correctly remembering what the midwife said her birth length was (annoyingly, I didn’t realise they hadn’t written length in the red book until I’d already handed back my maternity notes and could no longer check). I can tell she’s longer – nursing her in my accustomed position in the living-room armchair with the laptop balanced on the arm for easy reading is becoming increasingly hazardous, as I have to be careful she doesn’t kick the thing off. When I carry her cupped in my arm, the way I used to carry Jamie – my hand cupped under her bottom, her body lying along my forearm – her head no longer nestles comfortably into the crook of my elbow but spills over to partway up my upper arm. I don’t carry her that way very often anyway, as she gets heavier – more often I have her propped up on my shoulder, balanced there with one arm, where she can peer over, bright-eyed, or curl her head trustingly into the curve of my neck when she falls asleep.
Jeff Vogel, author of The Poo Bomb, wrote when his daughter was this age that he didn’t agree with the term ‘quiet alertness’ and thought ‘lucid dopeyness’ would be a better description of his daughter’s waking non-feeding non-crying moments. Well, in your face, Vogel – your daughter may have been lucidly dopey, but mine is alert. She looks at the world with fascination, drinking it all in. Interestingly, she appears to have a particular predilection for bookcases. That’s my little girl, all right.
She waves her arms and legs in huge jerky swings that inspired Barry to speculate on whether they’re attached to a big wobbly spring in the middle of her. She put concentrated time, in the past few days, into trying to grab the flowers on her grandmother’s jumper and the pictures of strawberries on our tablecloth (and took it in good part when, mysteriously, she couldn’t manage either of these endeavours). When I pull her from lying to sitting by her hands, her head comes right along with her now, not lagging at all. When I hold her in the air face down in the Superman flying position, she can hold her legs straight out behind her.
She loves it when somebody comes and talks to her, or echoes her gurgles back. She rewards such attention with a massive smile that almost eliminates any need for other light sources in the room.
That, according to Open Office’s word count, is 617 words about her, which, according to traditional exchange rates, should account for marginally more than three-fifths of a picture. I shall work on getting an appropriate picture up, but hopefully that’ll fill the gap for now.