Three Months

she wears size 1 diapers now

they contain things much better

now that she is bigger.

she no longer wears newborn-sized clothing

but 0–3 months

or just 3 months.

so strange that

there is now numerical proof

that she is growing

that she is changing

not a sweet caressing word like “newborn”

or “preemie”

but simply a number



with no emotion behind the label.

what could they call it instead?

size wiggles

size smiles-so-big-you-can’t-stand-it

size fist-in-mouth

size chuckles-almost-laughing

size cuter-every-day

i guess these would all apply to more sizes than her current size

but still

there is so much behind that “3M”

what has changed?

her eyelashes are even longer—

teardrops get caught in them

like dew on a spider’s web.

she has grown back the hair she had lost on her crown, and

the clockwise swirl of her hair on the back of her head

has grown thicker—

a tiny hurricane gaining strength.

it is light brown, getting darker,

soft and straight and perhaps a tinge of red,

if the light catches it just right.

her cheeks and her neck and her arms and her thighs are all a little chubbier

with rolls that beg for squeezes and kisses.

her cupid’s bow mouth is still the same

her little seashell ears

the shape of her fingers

her big feet

where fuzzies seem to grow between the toes

her eyes still so alert and sparkly and bright

(though a darker brown now)

her nose a perfect button

her eyebrows so expressive and light and rosy and sassy

her soft smooth belly so kissable

her cheeks, too (i am telling you,

they demand over 100 kisses a day)

even though the individual features

have not changed much,

her face is starting to look more and more

like a tiny person’s face.

looking back at the photos

from her first couple weeks of life

she seems in them like a little alien,

a little raisin man.

only a few pictures make us go “that looks like her,”

because now she somehow has more of a face

that’s hers

maybe because she is so much more


and more clearly taking in

and reacting to

the world around her.

she still loves to smile at her mommy and daddy

and her grandmothers.

she still likes the voices of her young cousins.

she is sticking her tongue out more lately, and smiles big when you stick yours out back.

she is cooing with a stronger voice, and

she sighs with so much satisfaction.

she still likes to wiggle

laying flat, or on our legs—

not propped up on pillows;

she does not like 45 degree angles

(unless it’s in our laps.)

she still likes her warm baths.

she still likes being changed—

i think because she has our full attention then,

or maybe because she feels fresh and clean

at the end,

or maybe because there are fun things to look at next to the changing table,

or maybe because it is just another good spot to lay flat and wiggle.

when i change her,

i tell her she needs to pay the belly tax,

and kiss her soft little belly.

she likes when i tickle her face with my hair

and kiss her cheeks—

she smiles big with crinkled eyes

when I do this.

she is able to keep her head up

longer when we sit her up

and at tummy time,

but she still cries when put to work at it for too long.

she still likes looking at lights,

but she is noticing so much more.

she is starting to take staring at toys

and her hands

very seriously.

she will tilt her chin down with great concentration—

her chubby cheeks pushed forward,

bubbles on her lips—

and give her entire focus to an object she is trying to figure out.

she loves looking up specifically at the purple triangle in her play gym,

and the bouncing colors on the piano.

she is always licking everything.

she tries to lick the warm wash cloth

as we wash her face before bed.

she sleeps for long hours,

which makes me nervous;

she may sleep even longer if i

wouldn’t check her at night so much

with every odd sound.

but she likes to skooch to the side of her bassinet

and press her body and face against the mesh (which also tests my nerves each night).

she still likes the binky

but she is getting better at eating her fists instead.

she likes the velcro swaddle

but she is learning to break out of it;

most nights end with both arms out.

she is getting too big—

too strong—

to contain.

she likes to look up at the trees;

she will stare at them

for as long as she can keep her eyes open.

she loves long walks

in the bassinet stroller or

the carrier—

she likes to look around at everything.

and sometimes she is lulled to sleep

by the rocking

and the leaves passing overhead.

she still loves to bounce.

we will bounce on the yoga ball

with her in our arms

at bedtime

in the glow of the salt lamp

with the hum of the box fan.

her eyes will be wide open at first

but then her lids will grow heavy and her eyes

they will quickly move back and forth—

her sleepy eyes, we call them—

and we know she is losing

against the sandman.

we bounce

until her eyes slowly close

and the binky drops out of her mouth

without her caring.

we will gently, slowly place her in the bassinet

and sometimes she will wake

and want the binky again,

but as soon as her eyes are back shut

it will fall without a care.


sometimes she will sleep

with her eyes just a bit

cracked open

at first.

when she was small

she loved to sleep on my chest

tummy to tummy

with her ear on my breast

arms embracing me.

but now she will only sleep that way

when very tired after eating

in the middle of the night

or in the morning.

during the day she likes to be on her back in the stroller or crib

or, more likely, sideways in my arms

while staring at the leaf-printed quilt on the back

of our rocking recliner.

the carrier is my cheat

to trick her into sleeping on my chest again—

it is the best weight in the world.

this morning she fell asleep on me

after eating

head still heavy with the night’s sleep

and her lips were puckered in the most perfect way

eyes closed so peacefully

her cheeks so round, soft, and rosy

her little hand rested on my chest.

as she eats these days,

her hand of whichever arm is free

will wander back and forth on my chest

as if twirling an invisible lock of hair

feeling my skin on the front and then back of her hand

skimming my collarbone with the tips of her fingers

her nails lightly scratching me at times

as her jaw moves up and down and she drinks with small muffled coos

and she breathes between every third gulp,

eyes looking into the middle distance

eyelids sometimes wide open,

sometimes relaxed,

sometimes closed,

thinking thoughts we will never know.

there are times where we

will just stare and smile at each other

for minutes on minutes.

i smile and scrunch my shoulders and tell her “hi” and say her name and

make sure she knows how much i love her.

or we will stare into each other’s eyes as

she tries to fight the inevitable sleep.

sometimes she insists on it:

if i look away, she will fuss until i look at her again in my arms.

i look back at her and

i tell her i’m here.

i whisper, “i see you,”

“i’m right here,”

“go to sleep,”

“i’ll keep you safe.”

and then she will slowly close her eyes,

and i will rock us

and keep my promise.