My Dear Jack, My Dear Henry:
Two months in, and we’re all still breathing. It’s a miracle, I think. I really wanted to start writing these sort of letters to the two of you much sooner, but someday, when you are parents (if you choose to become parents, that is), you will hopefully understand why it has taken this long to get around to it.
Henry, you came out butt-first (someday you’ll see that your first picture is not of your sweet face but of your little bottom being pulled out of my belly), and you didn’t cry at all, for quite a while, but when you did cry, whoa, was it heart-rending.
Jack, you came out screeeeaming. And then you peed on the doctor. How prophetic.
There isn’t much more I can remember about one month. Your grandmother was here, and I’m fairly certain that it is only because of her presence that we survived. Month one was hard. The crying, the screaming, the constant nursing… it is so very hard to figure out what you each wanted, which frustrated both of you to no end, since you were (are) both so very demanding about getting exactly what you want exactly when you want it (usually the “when” is sooner-than-now…).
But we loved you anyway.
So. I think that catches us up.
I’m trying hard these days to quit referring to you as “the babies” or “the boys”. Yes, you are twins, but no, you are not the same! (though, oddly enough, the older you get, the more often I find myself noticing similarities)
Henry, these days, you don’t cry so much as YELL. You have a voice and you aren’t afraid to use it (you even yell in your sleep). You have so many different vocalizations that you employ for various circumstances– I wish I could catch them on video, because I can’t even begin to do justice to your “words” in print. You grunt-yell when we carry you in the car seat, you do this funky short punctuated ‘EY! EY!’ thing sometimes (sounds like the baby equivalent of an OY!). It cracks me up! You are almost never quiet, even when you sleep or eat. (Your grandmother called you and your brother ‘pigs at the trough’ when you nurse, because sometimes you both grunt, and smack and snort- it gets noisy sometimes!) You coo at us, lots of ohhhs and other vowel sounds. It’s clear that you are trying to communicate something but most of the time, we’re still pretty baffled about what it is. I really can’t wait until you have real words to use.
But I’m kind of glad that you don’t have words already at this point, because I get the idea that a fair amount of them might be, um, quite impolite! You do not hesitate to let us know when something displeases you. You just seem to feel injustices so keenly that I worry sometimes that this world will be too harsh for you. But, I also get the idea that this world doesn’t know what it’s in for– your smiles are real heart melters! How could anyone resist such pure delight!?
You wake up in the morning and you smile, smile, smile at me! You coo and half-giggle (you’ll be laughing soon enough, I just know it) and mimic my facial expressions. It almost always makes up for the fact that you will spend the rest of the day refusing to be anywhere but in my (or Papa’s) arms. And actually, by sheer chance, you’ve sort of become Papa’s baby. You sleep in his arms, he tends to most of your needs, he carries you when we go out, etc. I think this initially started because you were so heavy at birth and it was easier for me to carry your brother. I sometimes worry that you might not be getting enough Mama-time, but then I think about the special relationship you and Papa have, and I know that’s an important relationship, too.
In spite of some minor health issues (you have GERD, and you “spit-up” many, many times a day, you poor thing…), you are thriving. Your “two month” appointment came at six weeks, so your measurements at that time are nowhere near what they are now, I’m sure, but when I weigh you at home, you come in between 11.5 and 12 lbs! My little bruiser! And sorry to say so, Son, but you got your Papa’s giant head! That’s okay, though– just more room to fill it up with amazing, wonderful thoughts! You recently learned how to kick your legs really hard, and when we gave you a bath last night, and you determined that kicking + water = BIG splash, I don’t think you could have been happier! You actually looked a little disappointed this morning when you were in the bouncer seat kicking and there was no splash, but of course, you just kept kicking anyway, just for the joy of it. You are very handsy, too, batting at whatever happens to be nearest (usually me…), you “bear weightg” on your legs and you are already halfway to turning yourself over when you are on your tummy, pushing up and rocking side to side (in fairness, though, you *do* have that giant head to help you…).
Oh, and you do this thing with your fingers when you nurse, I can’t quite describe it, like this patting/stroking/pinching thing, but however I’d describe it, it’s so clear that you are comforted by being close to me, and that is such a wonderful feeling. My Henry, my nugget, my chunkachunk, my melon-head, my blue-eyed boy! My heart, it’s just so full of love for you, Henry!
Oh, my Jack-Jack…
Much in the way that Henry has become a Papa’s boy, YOU have become Mama’s little one! No one can comfort you quite like I can. You cry in a way that breaks my heart, so pathetic and sad sometimes… until you get really angry, and then you SHREEEEEEEEIK! I want to record your cries sometimes so that I can play them back to you when you’re older. My GOD, the lungs on you! Sometimes, you get going, and all I can do is laugh, because you sometimes (sorry to put it like this) sound like a squealing school girl.
In your “words”, though, you are softer, and so much more precise than your brother. You are already showing the beginnings of some consonants (‘na’ and ‘ba’), and sometimes when I talk to you, I swear you answer back! (Um, okay. Not really. Just that I will sometimes as if you want this or that, and you seem to so clearly say ‘uhn-uh’ or ‘nooo’. It makes me laugh!) You tend to be very sensitive to your brother. When he makes noises, you almost always respond to him. Sometimes, it seems like you’re telling him, ‘BE QUIET!’ and sometimes it seems that you’re happily joining in with whatever noise he’s making. And if he cries too long, you will almost always join in, even if you’re otherwise content.
And really, generally, you *are* almost always otherwise content. Don’t get me wrong– you do your fair share of screaming because you also hate to be anywhere but in someone’s arms (mine preferably), but you are a champion eater and a pretty good sleeper, too (in spite of the fact that you, also, have some issues with GERD… we go through the onesies like Kleenex around here!). Your likes and dislikes seem pretty clear most of the time. You like the swing. You love music, like the little player-things that come on the swings or clip on to the bassinet, though your favorite is when I make up stupid songs to entertain you. You really like looking at our headboard (you have a special smile just for the headboard, you weirdo). You take a little longer to wake up in the mornings, and usually you need a little snack before you’re ready to take on the day, but once you’re awake and alert, you smile, and bat your mile-long eyelashes at me (I swear if they get any longer, you’re going to have trouble seeing through them!), and break your face into the hugest grin. I LOVE it. Those are my favorite moments of the day:
One of my favorite parts of motherhood has been sleeping with you and your brother snuggled up in our bed. Lately, in an effort to begin getting you both on a better schedule, we’ve been putting you to sleep in the bassinet next to our bed. And most of the time, you’re content to stay there through the night (waking up to eat every couple of hours, of course!). But, your favorite way to fall asleep, though, is to nurse, and that means that when I try to lay you down with me in the bed, all you want to do is nurse! And that, in turn, means that we both sleep better with you in the bassinet, which breaks my heart a little, because I truly love having you next to me, seeing your sweet face, hearing you sigh in your sleep. Every now and then, you are content enough to sleep next to me for a while, and so now, those brief moments are even better because I know how special they are.
Much like your “words”, your movements are so precise, too. You make these hand gestures that seem so grown up– raising a finger when you want my attention, a stiff hand palm-out in front of you to let me know that you aren’t ready to stop/start whatever. And your eyes are so expressive- I think you will be like me in that way, unable to hide your true thoughts because your eyes will always give you away. You are also on track with other milestones– mini-pushups, rocking on your belly, bearing weight on your legs, but I think it might take you a little longer to fully do some movements because again, you are so precise that you seem to want to get it just right before you really give it a try.
You are my sunshine-boy, my peanut, my snort-snort Jacky-love. Mama loveslovesloves you always and always.
I can’t wait to see what next month has in store for us, my sweet and special boys!