Dear Jack, Dear Henry,
Three months. Today, you have been outside of me for THREE WHOLE MONTHS. That’s one whole season! In trying to think about what to write about you this month, I keep coming back to the idea that you’re just not all that different than you were last month, but I don’t think that’s really true. It’s just that the changes have been so subtle and have come on so gradually that it’s hsrd to say, “Ah, this is the moment when X started to happen!” But yes, you are different, so very different.
I try very hard to think of you as separate individuals, and that’s not a terribly hard thing to do. The two of you are very different people! But forgive me here for a moment while I recount a few things that you both do:
You’ve started drooling in the last few weeks. Lakes, rivers, pools of drool everywhere. It’s a little early for you to begin teething, but you are certainly both showing pre-teething behavior. You are both trying hard to put whatever you can reach into your mouth (though Jack moreso than Henry). You have both discovered toys, but as always, you’d much rather play with Mama. You also have both decided that you really like bath time. You both kick and splash and play (Henry, especially). You both continue to melt down around 4:30 or 5– it’s a difficult time of day for all of us–, but (and I hesitate to jinx us by saying so) you’ve begun to fall into a nighttime routine: nurse, bath, bottle, nurse again and to bed. You both still sigh in tune with each other while you nurse, but you’ve also started holding hands while you nurse, and I love that. But, probably my favorite milestone this month is that you have started to look at each other and trade smiles. I know it’s still early, but I’m encouraged that the two of you might have that special friendship that non-twins just don’t ever have. I predict with your differences in temperament that there will be plenty of bickering, but I’d like to think that you will always be close to one another in spite of those differences.
This month, you’ve started “talking” to me! It took me a while to figure it out why you were “talking” (because these noises are just adorable!), but you usually only bring them out to let us know that you aren’t very happy about whatever situation you’re in (you *hate* the drive-thru at Starbucks…). Your vocalizations are loud and clearly indicate your displeasure at something, usually the fact that we aren’t holding you. You still goo and coo and smile, but you save the loudest “words” for when you’re annoyed.
But luckily, you aren’t annoyed all that often. In the last month, I’ve really noticed how much less you cry. That is probably both because you are getting older and because I’m learning how to better meet your needs. You are happy when you wake up in the morning, and happy in the middle of the night when you don’t want to go back to bed. You enjoy your bouncy chair and like to kick to make the toys on the toy bar rattle. You’re just generally a pretty contented guy. When you’re upset, though, no one comforts you like I do. Papa is a close second, but I still remain Number One in your life right now.
You really are a sweet baby. When I hold you, you lean in to me, and sometimes hold me back. I’m generally not afraid of you launching yourself out of my arms (like I am with your brother!) because you seem to want to stay so close to me. Lately, you’ve settled in to sleeping in the bassinet next to our bed, and for several nights in a row, you’ve been waking only once at night! Sometimes you want to be in the big bed with me, but now, for the most part, you seem to prefer to sleep on your own.
For some reason lately, when people see you and your brother together, they call you the “big one”, even though you are still slightly lighter than your brother. Your face has started to really fill out, and I think that’s why people presume you’re bigger. Not yet, though. For now, you’re still my (slightly) little(r) guy! Oh, and your hair! My poor dear, your hair is falling out in the weirdest pattern on the side of your head! You are almost completely bald now on your right side, and your left side is going all patchy like the right side did a few weeks ago! The doctor assures us this is normal, but I can’t help but feel a little bad for you that your hair looks so funky right now. It’s a good thing you’re just an all-around adorable sort of guy anyway, because most people get distracted by your mile-long eyelashes and never notice your patchy hair! (The doctor actually asked the other day if that was where you had a scalp IV, as is common in NICU babies, and I had no clue what she was talking about. I thought that scalpivy was some sort of rash or something… Yeah, Mama’s a clever one… But no, I assured her that it was just your own personal style!)
And, my sweet Jack, I hope the world never does any wrong to you. What more can I say, other than I love you so much, my Buddy-Boo, my Jackababy, Butternut-Squishy-Squash. I can’t wait to see what the next three months hold for us!
Ah, my little nugget. This month has found you being sososo clingy! You never, ever want to be put down! I sometimes feel badly about holding you more often than your brother, but the pediatrician assures me that in spite of disparities in attention, later in life, most twins are happy to have been born twins. So, I just try to enjoy this for what it is, which is a moment in time when you really, truly want to be close to me (or Papa, too, but mostly me!).
You really enjoy “standing”, where I hold you up and let you put weight on your legs. You even “walk” sometimes. I always wonder where you’re going… You like to throw yourself (unexpectedly) backwards or forwards or sideways, and sometimes, it’s only through sheer luck that I manage to catch you. Like your movements, your emotions are just so mercurial at times- happy, sad, ANGRY!, woeful, gleeful- it’s all a matter of the moment. Keeping up with you is tough at times, but I know that (like the weather in Texas), if we don’t like your attitude, if we wait just a little while, it’ll change!
Like your brother, you also are starting to cry less, and when you do cry, it’s clearer why. You are still a sensitive little guy, and you really crave calm and quiet. It took us a while to figure that out, but you really are happiest when it’s just the four of us sitting in bed together quietly. Your vocalizations have changed this month, too. You aren’t so explosive in your “words” anymore. You quietly coo or giggle to get our attention. And when we turn to you and smile, you almost always smile back.
Oh, sleep. This sleeping thing remains a mystery to us. As we’ve been told to expect, just as we figure out one thing, something happens and everything is different. For the last month, we’ve been getting you and your brother into bed a little earlier, sticking with a firm 7:30 bedtime (which means beginning bed preparations around 6:30). And for a while there, you both went down without complaint. But oh, my Henry, for some reason, you’ve been protesting bedtime lately, and it makes it so hard to get things done!
And over the last week, we’ve found that you much prefer sleeping in the bed with us again. And since you’ve become such a pro at nursing while laying down, you (of course) want to nurse all the time. Sigh. Didn’t we already go through this with your brother? However, it’s hard to resist because you won’t sleep in your bassinet anyway, and most of the time, you do a great job of conforming your body to mine (unlike your brother who wanted me to contort to him, which is way harder than it sounds). Anyhow, you now wake up repeatedly throughout the night when you realize that you are no longer nursing. I’m not even sure how the habit began, but at 3 a.m., when I know that all it will take to get you to fall asleep is to pop the boob back in your mouth, it’s a HARD habit to break!
Someday, you’re going to read that and be mortified that there was a time in your life where you couldn’t sleep without Mama’s nipple in your mouth. But, of course, that just serves to remind me how wonderful this time is, how brief it is, how you will grow up and become a whole, real person someday. I can take the lack of sleep, knowing that this is all so temporary.
You are still my nugget-head, my Henny-hoo-hoo, my Butterbean. I just love you to pieces, my sugar-sweet boy! I cannot wait for the months to unfold with you!
With All The Love My Heart Can Hold,