When I close my eyes it's like my eyelids have calendars printed on the insides. They look like Google Calendar, two months at a time, June on my left eye, July on my right. Although in a few hours the days will shift and July will move to the left and August will appear on the right. Hello, August. Holy hell. AUGUST.
Will my baby really be ten months old tomorrow? Have I taken time to appreciate her babyness? I close my eyes and look at the calendars and worry about this, worry whether I loved this baby's stages as much as the first baby's. It evens out, I think. The milestones haven't made much of an impression on me, but I do know that 8 and 9 months didn't drive me to distraction the way they did the first time around. Turns out 8- and 9-month-olds aren't the little beasts I remember them to be. In no way is this Jack's fault of course, but mine for timing the first trimester with the onset of mobility. I do not recommend it.
When Jack was a baby - I want to remember this - he rarely made eye contact with the person holding him. Would go out of his way to look in another direction. He was social and cheerful and happy to sit in anyone's lap, but he did not find you, the holder, particularly interesting, or anything else, really. He rarely cried. He laughed, but I don't think I heard real laughing, the deep belly baby giggles, till Molly arrived. Now this baby feels things. She makes a point to look deeply into the eyes of whoever is holding her, even if it's just to note that something is not right, this is the wrong person, where is my mama? She'll sit next to you on the couch and snuggle. SNUGGLE. Burying her head a little deeper into the crook of your arm, craning her neck to smile at you. When she laughs the house shakes. When she's angry, the house nearly falls down.
Phillip says Molly is a girl. He means that she's temperamental, demanding, arbitrary. Maybe. I think she's like me. Phillip already has dibs on Jack, the most laid back infant on earth. Like father like son. Like mother like daughter? Molly preferred me from the day she was born, did things her own way, was not at all interested in amending her schedule until she was good and ready. We are both a bit high strung. We both enjoy cookies.
I'm so tired. Molly's been waking up at 5 and 5:30. She's not feeling well, but I really wish she wouldn't make the rest of us feel unwell too. Can you tell I should just pack this thing up and go to bed?
If there's anything I feel badly about, it's that I'm all too eager for Molly to catch up to Jack. I loved my little infant Jack. I thought he was the most precious thing, I mourned every passing month. Poor Molly, we dutifully note her progression, but we can't wait for her to talk. Or walk. Or eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Or do whatever it is that Jack is currently doing, undoubtedly something adorable and heart-melting. I wonder if this ever stops. I'm sure it will eventually. I can't imagine wanting my daughter to hurry up and turn into a surly teenager like her brother.
Molly knows how to have fun. Maybe Jack did too (I really was not paying attention during months eight and nine and the first half of ten, I was simply trying not to throw up in front of him). Molly plays games. I know that babies do this, I know Jack did too, but it sill amazes me that Molly so obviously adores hanging upside down, and contorts her whole body in a way that shows she wants us to do it again. Even yesterday in the front yard, when I would put a little ball in her lap and she'd pick it up and throw it into my lap - over and over and over and over we played this game and each time she lit up with giggles. It's so easy to make her happy. And angry too - don't sit at your computer if you won't let her touch the keys.
Sometimes I can't believe I have a girl. I wanted a girl so badly, and I'm only a little ashamed to say so. Every time I go out I want to buy her something new to wear. I never felt that way with Jack. Shopping for Jack was business. With Molly I often want to buy one of everything, with matching hairbows. And sometimes I try to imagine her at Jack's age. Hopefully she'll have ponytails and words and favorite foods and cuter shoes.
She sat outside on the beach towel while Jack dirtied himself in the sandbox and I sprawled next to her with my iPod. She chewed on a ball, a measuring cup, the beach towel and a cookie. She watched Jack dart all over the yard, she patted my arm, she gasped when the wind picked up. And now she's sleeping in her own crib with her own bedding and it's like the guest bedroom has always housed two babies, like the pack 'n play has always been set up under the window downstairs, like the pink diapers have always been stacked on the shelf. Like I've always been up early enough to catch the East Coast morning news.