In my uncle's garden
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Delphine was three months old on Sunday, and today was her three-month checkup at the doctor's.

She weighs 15 lbs exactly, and is 24½ inches long. Her weight is in the 103rd percentile (I don't think that's a statistically valid concept, but there you go) and her height is in the 95th percentile, which is still close enough that she's proportional. Her head has a circumference of 16¼ inches, and I have no idea what percentile that is. Presumably she's a genius.

The doctor said she's very strong. She's got a weird but very faint discolouration on her leg; it isn't raised, and it doesn't seem to bother her, and the doctor didn't know what it is, but we're going to keep an eye on it.

Delphine has come a long way since my last entry, which was weeks and weeks ago. She easily sits up with just a little support, and she loves standing up with my hands around her chest. She reaches for and grabs things, and one or two times she's put stuff in her mouth.

She vocalizes quite a lot, mostly "aaah"s and the occasional ear-splitting squeal. We think we caught her laughing a couple of times, but she hasn't repeated that trick. She smiles like a maniac, a huge gummy smile, especially when strangers come up and tell her how cute and sweet and bright she is.

She doesn't cry much, only when something's bothering her. The things that bother her are mostly being hungry, being tired, and waking unexpectedly. She doesn't like to wake from naps during the day, but she loves waking up in the morning, and spends a good ten minutes grinning and burbling to celebrate. The noise tends to wake up anyone in the vicinity, much to Blake's chagrin.

She's still exclusively nursing, which is apparently unusual enough to surprise and impress the doctor. I haven't bottle fed her yet; I just don't see the point. I guess the idea is that you can be away from your baby for more than three hours, but I don't particularly want to, and it seems like a pain in the ass. Or the boob.

My mother told me that I should wean at six months, because apparently nursing longer than that is "self-indulgent", a statement so bizarre that I had no response to it. Apparently my brother and I were completely weaned by six months.

That was thirty years ago. These days you don't start solids until six months unless your baby isn't getting enough nourishment from breastmilk, and you don't wean until a year or more. Which is what I plan to do. The doctor said that since Delphine is so big she might need to start solids sooner than six months, but that I shouldn't push to start her sooner than she needs to. For now she's fine, and I'm certainly not short of milk; plenty of it ends up in my breast pads.

And I love her. I love the little creases in her arms. I love the way her breath smells after she nurses. I love the way she smiles in the morning. I love how she tries so hard to sit up, and how she plays with her chain of plastic links in her stroller. I love how much she enjoys being changed, and I love the noises she makes when I talk to her. I love how she gets all heavy and limp when she falls asleep in my arms. I love how she can't nurse on the sofa because she gets distracted by the pattern on the cushions. I love how she tries to pick the black dots off my polka-dotted bra.

Sometimes I think that the pink birthmark on her left eyelid and the cradle cap are imperfections to keep me humble, to remind me that I don't actually have the world's most perfect child.