Just a little update. We're approaching the four month mark...it feels like we're getting ready to send him off to college.
Abe is aware enough now that when he's pissed off it can no longer be attributed to random baby pissed-off-ed-ness. He is actually trying to tell me specific things that aggravate him or make him sad. And I actually have to try and respond appropriately. Prior to 3 months, I could chalk it up to, "Babies cry. Who knows why?" But infancy is a slow rise to toddlerhood for a reason: the stakes grow higher an inch at a time until your 2 year old is screaming, "JUMP WOMAN!" and you're sobbing, "HOW HIGH???"
The cloak of anxiety that shrouded me for three months began to lift several weeks ago and I emerged my old self. For a while. But in the past few days it's back with new and improved cloakiness. Now that Abe recognizes me from farther away, I can see when he is looking at me from someone else's arms, as if to say, "I don't understand why you would leave me. Was I not a good baby? I tried, mother, I really tried." I set him down in his bouncy chair and he immediately checks to be sure I'm still there. I lay him down on his playmat and he squirms until he can clearly see my face. I sneak into his room to give him his pacifier and I duck and run out so he can't see me when he inevitably opens his eyes to ask, "Who's here?" This becoming more aware stuff was fun for a few weeks and now it's caused me to be glued to my baby the way I was in the beginning!!
On the flip side, he stores up new tricks to display several at a time one day. He can back-scoot (push with his feet so that he can scoot around the floor on his back), lean his head back to check out what's behind him while on the changing table, and even reach out to try and grab things. The grabbing skills are not yet mastered and often lead to a screech of disapproval, typically directed at the parrot that hangs from his playmat. He and that cunning parrot have a rivalry to last the ages. Damn parrot always slipping from his shaky grasp...
I am so looking forward to the next big milestones of thumb-sucking (so I don't have to put that freakin' pacifier back in his face every 5 minutes) and upper torso control so I can stick him in one of those exersaucers things while I have a beer and do some yoga.