Cora at 5 Months

When Cora was brand new, I gave myself permission to love her slowly– to get to know her as she got to know me and the world. It was a good strategy. Like a swell emanating at first from somewhere deep and primordial, what started as a basic bond has crested into a love and adoration bordering on (healthy) obsession. She giggles a lot, she gets a kick out of life, and she’s damn cute– I’d be crazy not to be head over heels for this tiny human!

She’s five months old today! The latest…

We got a nanny and it was such a good call! I originally thought we would try to find part-time “mother’s helper” type help until Cora was seven months, similar to what we did when Ali was her age. Turns out our lives are a lot different–certainly a lot fuller–than they were two years ago, and the old strategy no longer seemed like a good one. So we hired Cari. While Cari loves on Cora (yes, our tongues get twisted daily), I have time to work on Also Mom, to manage our household, to do some things for myself, and to have some one-on-one time with Ali during preschool pickup and Friday Shabbat. I still get plenty of Cora cuddles with our current set up. Cari comes from late morning til early evening Tuesday through Friday, so mornings and Mondays are still mine-all-mine, and I also get plenty of sightings and snuggles throughout the day for feedings and otherwise, since I work from home. It’s really the best of both worlds– plus, Cari does laundry! (Swoon.)

Cora’s pretty much always low key sick but doesn’t seem to care much. In hindsight, having a second kid during the fall or winter is a pretty terrible idea. Ali has brought home so many colds from preschool this winter, and despite all the hand washing and the “please don’t kiss her face” requests, Cora’s had a snotty nose for months. That said, she genuinely doesn’t seem to care and using the snot sucker is a guilty pleasure of mine, so I guess it’s not all bad.

Her hair is still crazy, but its crazy days are numbered. It still sticks up, it still tangles into dreadlocks, and there’s still a bald spot in the back, but her hair is growing. The new hair shimmers golden in just the right light, and sometimes it lays almost flat… but let’s be honest, usually not. Still, it gives me hope.

She found her thumb and I have mixed feelings about it. Flexing at the wrist and curling her fingers back so they nearly poke her right in the eye, Cora sucks her little thumb most often when she’s peacefully hanging solo. It feels a little like the manifestation of second child syndrome– she’s found a way to self-soothe when I’m otherwise occupied– and while I’m eternally grateful for that, it also makes me feel guilty every time I see her doing it.

She’s cool now. Cool with the car seat. Cool with the climbing gym. Cool with the stroller. Basically cool with all the things she didn’t used to be cool with.

Except she’s not cool with people looking at her sometimes. Sometimes she’ll give strangers gummy grins. Other times eye contact with anyone who isn’t me will make her bottom lip quiver, followed quickly by crocodile tears pouring from her big blue eyes. You just never know, but the gummy smiles are worth it so if you have the chance, give it a try anyway.

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