Oscar is four months old today.

he hasn’t had the easiest four months of it – rather a rough welcome to the world, really. but just this past week or so, he seems to have turned a corner and left much of his gas pain and the accompanying screaming sessions in the dust. suddenly, he’s sleeping until at least 5 am every morning, bless his little soul. and he cries, but not in that heart-wrenching, ear-splitting, hours on end marathon fashion that’s been his hallmark since he turned four weeks old.

i used to sing him John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery,” when he’d wake up in the morning already howling, seemingly just plain outraged by the world. after all, if someone’s wailing at the top of his lungs, what further harm can my singing do? and the line “to believe in this livin’ is just a hard way to go” seemed poignantly fitting for a new little life riddled with pain and discomfort. and for his sainted mother, but of course.

i haven’t sung it all week this week…no need. Oscar seems happy, so long as he’s fed and has someone or something to gaze at. he’s smiling and laughing up a storm. and i am too…though with a slightly shell-shocked look on my face, like i can’t believe my good fortune. the sweet-tempered boy we had for those first four weeks is back in my arms, fatter and funnier and with a bit of a routine under his belt. this time, i mean it – nobody pinch me. :)

or rather, nobody pinch him…or any of his nerves. two friends, one a chiropractor and one an osteopath, both took a little time with Oscar last weekend and gave him a treatment or two – to the naked eye, nothing more than a gentle massage. both asked interesting and salient questions about his birth and his habits…was he born quickly? how does he hold his head? from touching his neck and belly and spine, both were able to offer accurate insights into some of his pain patterns and behaviors, even though neither has ever seen him in full wail. really, neither had ever even seen him before at all, since both of them live in Halifax and were only here on PEI for short visits. neither of them knows the other, nor has either of them talked to me about him since the gas onslaught began at the end of May. yet, within forty-eight hours of each other, they independently offered very similar assessments of what might be bothering him. and within forty-eight hours of their treatments and his digestive nerves getting de-constricted, the boy had tooted out an entire gas tank’s worth of offending air, and was burbling with delight. amazing. yay alternative medicine. both of them are getting Christmas presents this year.

i’ll get shopping for those just as soon as i get the rest of the baby-gift thankyou cards sent. it’s funny…having Oscar suddenly turn into a “normal” baby has jolted into perspective how many things have just slipped by the wayside over these past long months. too many of the aforementioned thankyou cards, dutifully written when he was only weeks old, are still sitting on my desk, half-addressed and gradually forgotten. most of the people they’re written to have been to the house and gone again in the duration…oopsie. this morning i noticed how filthy my shower really is, showing all the grimy, scummy signs of serious neglect over the summer. it was only this past weekend that i finally printed pictures of Oscar, and got a few hung around the house. i meant to ages ago…i feel more real when i can see my life reflected back at me in photos, truth be told, but there seemed to be no time.

now, with him taking quite reasonable naps, there are bits of time for me to steal throughout the day. this midday post is a luxury..when i finish, i shall shower. then, he’ll wake and we’ll smile at each other and struggle through another nursing session…the milk is still inching its way back in pretty stingy quantities. but that’s okay. he’s okay. he feels good. my god, the difference…in both of us.

thank you, world, for the reprieve. please excuse the absent thankyou cards…and stay out of my shower.

happy four-month birthday, little one. i hope this living isn’t such a hard way to go from here on in.