One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Chunky Monkey!!! It is so good to see a baby gaining weight and getting all roley-poley. Frankie weighs in at 10 1/2 pounds at 3 1/2 weeks. Yowza. It breaks my heart to compare Frankie's progress with Anni's at this age. Poor little stinker Annika had a rough time. Of course, after obsessing over Anni's weight gain for such a long time, I was really pushing Frankie to nurse in the first weeks. I'm letting her set the pace now! Anni continues to delight us wth her reaction to Frankie. She loves nothing more than kissing her baby sister, and usually asks if Frankie can sleep with her. She has added Frankie into her nighttime ritual-- before I leave for the night she gives Frankie a kiss on the head, a hug, a tickle, and "a pet" (stroking her head). The first time Anni heard Frankie cry (at the hospital), she was quite upset and began crying herself. After we explained to her that crying is the only way that babies have to tell us if they need something, she calmed down. She is now quite protective of Frankie, and never fails to make all sorts of suggestions as to what Frankie wants when she cries. So, for instance, Frankie will cry and Anni will inform me, "She has a poopy diaper, mommy. Go change her diaper!" or "She's hungry, mommy. Go feed her." I think she is fascinated by our ability to make her stop crying by meeting her needs. Anni has also discovered how useful baby sisters can be. One morning I caught a familiar whiff and told Anni, "I smell poopy. Let's go change your diaper." Annika was clearly into her current activity and didn't want to stop to go change her diaper (which is probably also why she didn't stop to go use the potty), so she said, "No, I don't have a poopy diaper. It's Frankie. Go change Frankie's diaper!" I explained to her that baby sister's poopies don't smell (they don't! Hooray for breastmilk!), so I knew that it was her poopy. Thwarted, she went upstairs with me. But she's already figured out that she might be able to shift some blame Frankie's way. It sure doesn't take kids long to formulate such strategies, does it? Because we're breastfeeding Frankie, I'm taking all the night shifts up with Frankie, which means I'm severely sleep-deprived, often only getting my sleep in hour or 45-minute increments. So Joerg has taken over a lot of the Anni duties, like getting her up, putting her on the potty, making her breakfast, preparing her medicines, giving her a bath, putting on pajamas, etc. Annika has been really happy with this arrangement, and is just as snuggly as can be with her daddy when he comes home from work. Recently, Anni and I were watching Dora the Explorer on TV together while I nursed Frankie. At the end of the show, there is always a part where Dora tells about her favorite part of the show that day and then asks, "What was *your* favorite part?" Anni turned to me with her big blue eyes and said, "My favorite part is Daddy!" Too sweet!