At two months, Cora still spends most of her time sleeping, but she also smiles and coos and admires the world around her in a way that makes me think maybe babies know the secrets of the universe. Her deep blue eyes really do seem to be taking it all in.
She sleeps more than her sister ever did… but then again, maybe I’m remembering things wrong. Or maybe I’m just less caught up with what she’s “supposed” to be doing this time around and better at listening to what she actually needs.
I grew up on horseback, so of course this is my analogy… but motherhood in Cora’s fourth trimester feels a lot like riding a powerful canter. It’s is a rhythm thing.
Eat, wake, sleep. Eat, wake, sleep. Over and over again, stride after stride, the pattern ignores sunlight and moonlight and just sort of happens– organically, but also unrelentingly. Especially in the first few weeks, I’ve been riding atop it all, trying to stay balanced and figure out how not to burn out with each new cycle. Thankfully, both babies and big canters tend to give more energy than they take. And there’s nothing like riding a beautiful warmblood canter… or like motherhood for that matter.
These days, in addition to the smiles and coos, she’s…
- totally outgrown her newborn clothes. I retired some beloved footies (swans!) that got a mere six weeks of wear.
- learning to sleep longer and longer stretches during the night. She delighted us with two straight seven hour sleeps the past few nights. (Then last night she woke up every three hours again so… ???) Fingers crossed the sleeping trend continues.
- got hair with a mind of its own. It’s like there’s static electricity running through it at all times.
- moved on to cloth diapers. We claim we used disposable diapers for the first few weeks because cloth felt too bulky on a tiny newbie, but really it was because an extra load of laundry felt very much like the straw that might break the Guimarin camel’s back. Thankfully, our back is back to full (extra! super!!) strength now, and one additional load of laundry every couple of days just ain’t no thang.
- hating the car less. She still doesn’t love it and still doesn’t sleep particularly well in there, but the fact that she no longer screams bloody murder while we’re stuck in SF traffic is great news for everyone’s sanity (and safety).
- so cool with baths. I think I have a bit of PTSD from trying to bathe Ali at this age (it was awful), but I’m continually surprised by how content Cora is in the bath. Yet another reminder that these girls are different now and always.
- my (somewhat reluctant) climbing partner. Cora has joined me at the climbing gym a few times now, and tolerates it for about 45 minutes before she decides it’s time to GTFO. (We have a firm “no crying at the climbing gym” policy so as to endear ourselves to our fellow climbers and gym staff… because I’m pretty sure bringing your baby to the gym isn’t strictly “allowed.”) Climbing with a 45 minute ticking time bomb is probably for the best anyway. I have a tendency to overdo things, and it’s pretty hard to overdo it at the gym– even bouldering, even postpartum, even when you’re me– in 45 minutes.
- sleeping in the bassinet for naps… sometimes. Bassinet naps tend to last a pathetic 45 minutes (compared to 2-4 (!!) hour Solly wrap naps), but they’re better than nothing and allow me to do a few sun salutations or take an uninterrupted shower or do some uninhibited work. She takes shorter naps in the afternoons anyway, so that’s when we’ve been encouraging these detached snoozes.
- all about the belly rubs. Cora struggles with a touch of colic now and then, but belly massages calm her almost instantly. The kid knows what’s good.
- just a really chill little human. As the tornado that is her 2.5-year-old sister swirls around her, Cora remains calm and mostly unbothered. She waits patiently while Ali clumsily zips her jammies after “helping” with a diaper change and tolerates some pretty aggressive bouncy chair bouncing. She also somehow sleeps through her sister barging into our room at 6am and declaring–at full volume– that she can’t find her bunny. (This happens 4 out of 5 mornings. The bunny is always in her bed exactly where one would expect to find him.) “Chill parents; chill baby,” we tell ourselves. And it seems to be working so far.