It’s been nearly 3 weeks since Mum and Dad went to Jijo and Debarchana’s place. I’m sure they are having a relaxing time in the spacious house surrounded by trees and rolling back yards (but no Tashi!). In those three weeks, I spent two weeks along with Tashi, two days in Vancouver and now back to work. Sheetal takes her turn to stay at home (on leave, though with pressure from work it doesn’t always look like that).

And these three weeks have been satisfying and tiring. My schedule ran like clockwork: wake up, play (which included the always funny holding his hands, crying ‘1-2-3-blast-offf’ and he would sit up and then stand. Never fails to bring smiles to his face). Some play pen time and some swing time. After three months, he happily sits in his baby bjorn rocker (given by Nams) while i cook and eat my breakfast. I realize now that the first three months are really about body stabilization. If I would tell someone having a baby, for the first three months, just hold your baby, enjoy the few smiles, the grins, but don’t expect much. She might not enjoy your book time, or your rockers, or your fancy new toys, but come the 4-6 month time period, most babies come right on track and will engage with you in so many ways: staring at your face, tracing your moustache, watching your every morsel (he looks longingly at everything we eat and at around the 5 and half month mark we’ve been giving avocado and banana. In the next few days we’ll introduce, according to the new health recommendations, peanuts , soy and cashews since exposing the baby early to allergens apparently reduces the chance of allergic responses. He puts his tiny fists into the avocado mix and squishes it through his fist. I think he is going to be a messy eater. And grin his way out of being scolded).

So, while awake, he doesn’t cry much. Mostly when hungry or sleepy. A relief that he can engage with himself and plays in his cot (for 20 minutes or so), learning that some of his toys are motion controlled and tossing them produces a sound, that some if banged against his knee also make a sound. I keep him away from plants, since he grabs the leaves with his paws and tears them straight and is his grip strong! I showed him how to press the sanitizer dispenser but alas his he doesn’t have enough strength/coordination to press down on the dispenser: his motions are limited to banging, not controlled pressing. Interestingly when we read a book (and now after 3.5 months, we can happily get through a book), he bangs on every page. My interpretation is that his banging is many different intents expressed as one action. In this case banging could be to touch and feel pictures and turning pages. When he’s fed and rested, i throw him in the air, his hands flung out (reflex), for a second he is suspended in mid air, his eyes lit, his smile intense, i throw him up and down, but only a few times. I don’t want him to get bored of it. I don’t want his smiles to take flight.

Tashi seems to not care for pacifiers anymore. This is a good and bad thing: we can’t use it to calm him when he cries/yells but at the same time it’s one less dependency)

He now smiles at the mirror. A few days back, we were looking at the mirror and he turned from the mirror to look up at me and then back at the mirror. His eyes saying “Are the two images the same?”, I laughed and nodded my head vigorously, Yes!. I like to think from then on he smiles at the mirror. Such self love.

Feeding him is another highlight of the day. He likes his milk warm and now promptly grabs the bottle with both hands and requires little support from me. I prefer the Latch brand of bottles since the nipple moves around with his always moving head. Sometimes he forgets he needs to hold the bottle up as the milk finishes, but then that’s i’m there for, no? Happily fed, he blows bubbles and grabs his tiny feet and rocks with satisfied pleasure.

My routine, as I said above, is mostly clockwork. His wake spans 2 hours long. So wake up, then play and then nap, followed by food (typically 5 oz, 3 easily, rest and then 2), then play, nap and then food again.

Our afternoons would be a nice walk in the baby bjorn carrier and he so loves going to the park nearby (Ninos Unidos at 23rd and Folsom). The weather is gorgeous and at that time, the sun is lower, the light is golden, the air filled with children running, laughing,screaming, parents laughing, the tinkling bell of the ice cream man. Tashi watches everything around him, his eyes drinking everything in. It’s immensely calming for me too.

The only problem we had were his sleep. During the day, it’s easy to get Tashi to fall asleep on my person, but to lay him down was an art in timing. Invariably he would wake up. Typically nap lengths were 50 minutes. And he would take 2 naps and a short nap in the evening.

The night sleep was the most erratic and fitful for us too. Never sure when he would sleep, we would look for cues, start pacing or rocking . My technique was to rock him, listen to his wails for 5 minutes, then put him down after bouncing him to sleep. This invariably worked, and he would sleep for a few hours and then wake and we would feed. This would go throughout the night and he would be always feeding/rocking him. His nighttime was becoming a tiring dreadful mess. And things came to a head when I came back from Toronto to find he would wake up as soon as i put him down!

So i gave in and decided to try the Ferber approach. I will write my thoughts on this in a few days when i’ve confirmed it works.

All i can say is that yesterday, he bathed (bathing has become single person routine which is the second highlight of the day. He loves splashing in the water, while I scrub him down. And then dry and give him a loving oil massage while he grins throughout)., had avocado, 7.5 oz of milk!!!, was shushed to drowsy , put down, cried 17 mins and slept 11 hours straight.

Next week Tashi starts going to daycare for 3 hours a day. He changes so much and his learning new things, I’m scared of missing out. Everyone around me say they grow so fast and to save every moment. I know what they mean.

New days ahead?