Week 12

I searched my own ‘blog yesterday to find out how much Trombone weighed at 12 weeks old. We weighed Fresco and he’s 17 lbs and that seemed really big to everyone, even though he doesn’t look big (he does look bigger once you know he’s 17 lbs). I found a post I wrote when Trombone was 12 weeks, a little retrospective of his accomplishments and wow, have I ever not been keeping track of Fresco’s accomplishments. I’ve been a little preoccupied with Surviving At All Costs!

So it was Fresco’s 12 week-i-versary yesterday and as it turns out, he is a few pounds heavier than his brother was at this age, something that is hard to believe because he doesn’t look as chubby as Trombone did but then again, that’s my body type right there. I am a spacious individual and I probably weigh more than you think. Assuming you ever think about how much I weigh.

My new, totally original theory about why the second child looks more like the mother is because the mother needs a really compelling reason to love the second child given that its arrival throws her perfect relationship with the first child into total chaos.

(Am I making it up or is it one of those things we all agree on that the first child looks like the father so that, caveman-thinking-wise, the father will see proof of paternity in the baby’s sly smile and stick around to hunt and gather?)

The first child, assuming it’s born into a welcoming environment, where it is wanted and loved, is the best thing ever. It’s totally new and amazing and life-altering. No matter how much of a pain in the ass it is as an infant, you keep it alive because instinct tells you to. Then you are greatly rewarded when it becomes older and more interesting. And you love it dearly and can’t imagine life without it. Sunshine shoots out its butt. Rainbows out its nose. It can do no wrong.

(I shouldn’t generalize as though this is about everyone. It’s about me. Other people might fall in love with their newborns at first sight but I do not. It took a while for me to really appreciate Trombone and to love him as a person instead of as an appendage.)

Here comes the second born, then, and it’s miraculous and beautiful but it’s not new in that same way and the ways that it alters your life are considerably more logistically wracking than the first. No, you don’t have to adjust to being a parent for the first time because you already did that. But you do have to adjust to being a parent ALL THE TIME because with two children you effectively cut your free time in half again and it was at 50% already. Emotionally it’s not as much of a complete clusterfuck, I’m sorry I can’t think of a better word right now. But what emotional turmoil is not endured on the second go-round is made up for in spades by the full body (including mind) exhaustion that comes from moving and talking and disciplining and comforting and feeding and cleaning up seemingly all the time.

Not to mention the laundry. Holy cats.

You know from having the first one that this second baby will become awesome in its own special way and in a few months you will love it immensely, without compare, like you love air and water and of course, it will all become easier (in some ways) but you need something to tide you over till then. The most efficient way of doing this is for genetics to make it like a little mirror of the primary caregiver so that she sees herself in it and doesn’t leave it in the laundry room while she goes to play blocks with her perfect firstborn.

(It helps too if the perfect firstborn turns two and gets a sibling at the same time thus becoming a bit more of a

airquotes challenging personality end airquotes

so that hanging out with the infant is preferable some days.)

So while Fresco looks enough like Trombone to be identifiable as his brother, he also looks enough like me that I feel, on a semi-conscious level, as though I have fulfilled my imperative to make a copy of myself and feel, on a fully conscious level, that I ought to keep him breathing and growing because I am awesome and there should be more people like me in the world.

At 12 weeks, he is a big-time babbler. He loves light, shadow, opera and having his head stroked. He is a tummy sleeper so he has good control of his neck and he can pretty much crawl already. I’m dead serious. He is also a prolific roller. I put him in the middle of the crib last week, stretched short-wise and when I went up to check on him, he was at the far right. He’d done three full revolutions in his sleep.

It is nice to be relaxed about his development, actually. I was pretty relaxed with Trombone too but I’m really relaxed about Fresco. (I am proportionally as relaxed as my abdominal muscles. Har!) I just want to nuzzle his head all day. I should probably be handing him rattles to see if he’ll grab them – when I read on Trombone’s list of 12 week accomplishments that he could rattle things, I gulped guiltily because I don’t think I’ve even offered Fresco a rattle, poor thing – but I just can’t be bothered, in a way. He’s healthy and happy and adorable and I know the rest will come. It’s uphill from here, even if I’m doing most of the climbing.

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