Thane at three months

Thane on tummy time

I’m spending this week getting ready to go back to work. That’s involved a lot of cooking, shopping, laundry and doctors appointments. (There’s nothing wrong, I’m just cramming a year’s worth of appointments into the last week or so.) You always wonder how you are going to handle things when life is about to change. How will I deal with a baby? How will I deal with a second child? Will I go nuts at home? Will I get any sleep? How will I deal with work? Will I ever have any time to myself ever again?

I’ve learned that in general, you do manage and you do cope. But I’ve really enjoyed this time at home with my children. For the most part. Poo excepted. Still, the time is coming for me to return to work, and that’s also a good thing. I’m just making two of my most time-consuming recipes this week as a farewell (tonight: turkey).

It will be particularly difficult to leave Thane. For a quarter of a year, I have rarely gone anywhere without him. For three quarters of a year prior to that, I went nowhere without him. You would think experience would provide consolation… he’s a month older than Grey was when Grey went to daycare. He’s going to a woman I’ve known now for three years. His big brother will be there, and Grey is quite capable of watching over Thane and letting me know what goes on. Heck, I’ll still be there nursing at lunch. But oh, he’s such a joy.

I’m still struggling to decide whether Thane is a more mellow child than Grey was, or whether I am a more mellow and experienced mother. I think a little of both. Thane spends a lot of time quietly watching the tumultuous world into which he was born. He has this amazingly clear, patient gaze.

Thane is starting to gain control over his body. His hands reach out and grasp what they encounter — particularly endearing when what they encounter is your finger. He has started playing with toys. There was a remarkable day when that simply BEGAN. He reached out his hand and grabbed the beak of this colorful bird that was his Christmas present. For maybe even 20 minutes he reached his hand out to where his attention was riveted. He’s also much more active when he does move. We find him perpendicular to where he was placed in his crib. He managed to turn on the bubbler by kicking it. He rolled over again (front to back) after a month hiatus or so. He scootches across the floor.

He smiles all the time. He grows unhappy if he can’t see people, but will contentedly sit for quite a while if I remain in view. His smile is radiant, transcendent, glorious. The gummy toothless smile of a child who loves you best in the world is hard to top.

He’s a big kid. He’s well into 3 – 6 month outfits. They fit perfectly, boding ill for how long they’ll continue to fit. He’s pretty strong — he holds himself up sitting (although he lacks balance to sit by himself). His neck is very stable, and his grip impressive.

He has the auburn hair of his great-grandfather. I’ve seen pictures of my grandfather as a young man, and Thane has the exact same hair color (for what hair he has).

We are still doing very well nursing, and I have oodles of milk frozen for his journey to daycare.

Grey is an amazing big brother. I keep waiting for the resentment or impatience. Grey and I have our conflicts (over pretty much everything else), but he never ever turns his ire or impatience against his brother. (Yet.) Yesterday, the boys and I were in Thane’s room. Grey decided to spread a blanket on the floor and asked if he and Thane could have a sleepover. How delightfully imaginative! I was so impressed that he figured out a way to play with Thane that he could do! (Thane’s few skill indeed include lying on one’s back on a blanket.) Grey is incredibly careful and gentle with him, and it was wonderful to see my two boys ‘playing’ together.

It is time for me to go back to work and flex those disused muscles. I think it is a right and necessary thing. But oh. I will miss my boys.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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