Four Months

her smile

my god

has there ever been anything that has made me so happy?

warm honey and infinite love…

she lifts her legs and twiddles her feet and throws them back down.

she kicks and breathes quickly, eyes wide, excited on the changing table.

and her voice—

oh my heart, her voice—

when she wakes up for the day

she almost sings to herself

her voice lilting up and down

experimenting, exploring, expressing.

the best part of the day is the beginning,

when i hear her talking to herself in the dark

and i switch on the light

and peak over the side of the bassinet

and sing, “good morning!”

and she lights up in a gummy smile

her eyes crinkling

so happy to see me

her hands brought together in her mouth

her legs kicking in excitement within her sleep sack

and i lift her up and set her in between us in bed

and together we sing to her “good morning!”

and she smiles at her father

and me her mother

and we kiss her cheeks

and we are so happy

a family in bed

for morning snuggles

before the sun is even up

she likes so many things now

now that she has more control of her hands

she can reach for it all

grab and turn and bring to mouth

she holds her teething rings with a tight grasp

she likes her crinkly toys and taggie toys

she has discovered the strength in her legs too

we pull her little hands up to sit

and pull again until she stands

and she stays standing

her full weight on her soft rolled thighs

with light-handed support

and she’ll bounce her knees

her face smiling or curious or concerned

by our silly faces and sounds

that we make to try to inspire her first laugh

that we can’t wait to hear

she talks to us the most when she’s standing

she sneezes

and when we aren’t looking at her enough

she fake coughs for our attention.

when she naps it seems like she will be asleep forever

but then suddenly you look back at her

and her eyes are wide

and looking everywhere,

and she’s talking to herself,

perhaps recounting a dream.

at bedtime we have found our routine:

changing table

then laying on the fuzzy rug in the nursery

for vitamin d drops

a warm washcloth for her face and hands

a full body massage, moving my hands away from her heart to calm her down

(she always talks during this part)

and then her onesie and her sleep sack

(she always fusses during this part)

and then we take her into our room

with the box fan and salt lamp

and i feed her

and the milk drips down my breast as she drifts away

and i place her in the bassinet

and she cuddles up to the side of it

and falls more deeply asleep while holding my fingers with both of her hands

and at night

she sleeps

and i only see her once or twice

until she wakes in the morning

smiling at me all over again.