Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mi Gordito (My Little Fatty)

Last week we took Cohen to the doctor for a six week check-up. I had thought he could have his first vaccinations, but it turns out that he has to wait until he is two m onths old. Upon examining him, the doctor said, “Wow, he’s big!” He weighed in at 5.4 kilos (just under 12 pounds) and 56.5 cm. That places him at the 75th percentile for weight and the 50th for height. I’m starting to worry that he has a weight problem!

Aysha has accepted Cohen very well, and insists on kissing him goodnight and on holding him various times throughout the day. There are times, however, when she would like a little more attention than we happen to be giving. Then she points to the baby seat and says, “Put Cohen down!” as she would like to be picked up and played with.

I love my little gordito, but dislike having to cart him around all the time. I definitely prefer the stage when babies begin to walk and talk. I find infant care infinitely tedious and boring. There is not a lot of mental stimulation involved, nor the sense of satisfaction that I get from my paid work. I feel this way even though I am fortunate enough to have someone come in and help with child care and cleaning five days of the week. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a stage that will pass, and in about a year and a half, I’ll have a toddler who says cute things and is able to play independently at least some of the time. I have to remind Jamie of this as well, because he has even less patience for childcare than I do.

I know I shouldn’t complain. Cohen has been a much easier baby than Aysha was. He has his fussy periods, but generally he cries less and sleeps more. He is even sleeping from five to seven hours at night without needing to eat. I try to get him to go to sleep about the same time as Aysha (around 7:30pm), and wake him again for another feeding just before we go to bed (around 9:00pm), and he generally sleeps until 2:00am, at which time I feed him and he goes back to sleep until sometime between 4:00am and 6:00am.

On Friday I saw his first smile. I was talking to him and his face lit up. It happened again on Monday morning when we got up in the morning and I brought him into the living room and lay him beside Aysha (she was laying on the sofa). As soon as I placed him beside her, a grin spread across his face. I think he likes being near his big sister. Both yesterday and today Cohen has smiled at least once. Seeing him smile helps make the tediousness of childcare appear worthwhile.

To fulfill some of the creative void that has occurred due to staying at home, I have been working on a scrap book of Aysha’s first year. Friends in Kuwait gave me a Baby Scrapbook as a gift when Aysha was born, but I had completed all of one page since then. I hauled it all the way from Kuwait to Canada to Colombia, with the intention of working on it. Well, now is the perfect time. When Claudina is here, and Cohen is sleeping, I have time to work. It doesn’t take much brainpower, but it does provide an opportunity to do something in which I can see progress. It’s not a work of “art” (I am really a bit of an arts snob, and generally see scrap-booking as a lesser form), but it will be fun for Aysha to look at in the future. I may be persuaded to eventually do one for Cohen as well, just so he doesn’t feel left out, but I doubt I will ever do more scrap booking than that. I can think of a lot of ways to better spend creative energy.

Aside from scrap-booking, I’ve been using my time at home to make doctors appointments and to deal with health insurance issues. The whole family has now been to the dentist. Aysha and I have finished, and Jamie has two visits remaining. I had five teeth worked on (four old fillings were replaced), and Jamie is having seven done. My check-up, cleaning, and other dental work came to about $200 Canadian. Since we won’t have dental coverage in Canada, we decided to get as much preventative work done here as we can. I also intend to have eye surgery done (so I won’t have to wear glasses) and I want to see a skin specialist here too in regard to some strange dark spots I developed on my legs during pregnancy.

Some family members have requested an Aysha update in regard to “chupo”. She asks for chupo every now and again, but it seems more a game, or a way to get attention, than an actual attempt to have us give it to her. When we ask her where it is, she giggles and answers, “In the basura. Chupo – yuck!” She even pretends to cry once in awhile when she is asking. It is one of those fake cries that she uses when she wants to appear more upset about something than she actually is.

Jeff arrives in two weeks. I am excited, and I know Aysha will love having her uncle visit. If we are able to get organized the whole family will go to the national park, Tyrona, just outside of Santa Marta. We’ll see what the doctor says in regard to mosquito exposure for Cohen. Well, that’s the update.

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