Little Bear’s nickname was selected for a couple of reasons: 1. It sounds cute and cuddly just like she is now; 2. For her first few weeks, she had a roar that could wake the nations.
Next week Little Bear is four months old. I can’t believe it and have already shed many a tear knowing my baby is growing up so fast and changing even faster. How can it seem like she was just born yet my heart has known her forever?
Over the past couple of weeks, Little Bear has become cuddly. Previously she really didn’t like to be confined—whether by a blanket or by arms. Now, she likes to snuggle, and that does this mommy’s heart good.
Little Bear has also learned that she has feet. Her hands were her primary interest for a while. She would gaze at her hands and move her fingers for what seemed like hours. Now, she is constantly kicking her legs up so she can look at her feet. But that isn’t the best part. She makes this delighted sound nearly every time she sees her toes.
Another new thing she has discovered is her voice. She shrieks and squeals and makes all kinds of noises. Some days I wonder if I should have nicknamed her “Flipper” because she sounds just like a dolphin!
I keep trying to capture all of this fun and excitement on video, but am mostly unsuccessful. This Little Bear will clam up as soon as she sees the camera—just like her smiles fade when she sees Mommy with the DSLR again. And I don’t even use a flash!
So, more and more I find myself succumbing to her little siren songs. She draws me in and I can’t pull myself away. I am inebriated with love and sinking in the ocean of ecstasy when in her presence. And I’m trying to remember every second.
For those who found a way to balance communicating and cuddling with their little one(s) with doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming and meal prep and work and the million other things that must be done, please let me know how you did it.
Last week Little Bear met her cousin, S, for the first time. They are just a week apart in age, so it was fun to compare similarities and differences. But the actual interactions between the two turned out to be anticlimactic.
I don’t know why, but I expected the two to bond through smiles and coos. Well, that didn’t happen. First, they are on totally different internal clocks. When one was happy, the other was cranky. When one was awake, the other was sleepy or sleeping. When the two were finally put together on a play mat, one was trying to touch the other while the other was trying to push the first away. Finally, the moms held the babies face to face (a few inches apart, of course) to let them see each other. Wow! Did the personalities ever shine through.
During the face-to-face meeting, S was leaning forward with wide eyes trying to get closer to Little Bear. Little Bear, on the other hand, leaned back into me, literally put her arms across her chest, and pulled her chin into her neck. Can we say introvert? And can you guess which one was which in the paragraph above?
It is my hope that Little Bear will be great friends with S and her other cousins. I remember first becoming acquainted with my cousins, Jen, Lin, and Matt. Between the three of them and my two sisters and I, we were like stair steps in age. I looked forward to the times we could be together; and now I have fond and not-so-fond memories of things like road trips in a Volvo station wagon, clear shower curtains, prickly pear cacti, “chocolate” tapioca, and buckets of mud. Oh, and a silly song about some guy with whiskers on his chin.
I know that Little Bear will likely have to work at overcoming tendencies toward being shy. After all, her daddy and her mommy had to do so and at least I still struggle with it at times. We are purposely keeping Little Bear isolated for the first three months to allow time for her immune system to become a little more mature. After that, it is time to take her out and introduce her to church, classes, library story times, and play experiences.
Do you have any suggestions for gently socializing introverts? If so, please comment below. I am open to ideas.