Last Sunday Sophia reached the crucial marker: six weeks. My mother and aunt both refer to the first six weeks as the Dark Ages. Nobody (including oneself) knows whats going on, there's lots of crying, and life is a bit of a mess.
Starting at six weeks, the child starts calming down, sleeping better, and smiling. My mother theorizes that children start smiling at six weeks because otherwise their mother is ready to throw them out. The smile is a life-preserving mechanism.
Sophia has also shown another life-preserving mechanism at the six week marker: thumb sucking. I know parents who pull the thumb out every time their child finds it, or put Tobasco sauce on the offending digit - whatever it takes to preserve future teeth and prevent addictive habits. But future orthodontic care notwithstanding, thumb sucking is a milestone I celebrate. My child can now soothe themself back to sleep. And they're so darn cute when they do it, too.
Which brings us to the best six-week present I could ever receive: uninterrupted sleep. Sunday night Sophia went to sleep at 9 and didn't wake up until 6. This morning it wasn't until 6:30. And that is something that is worth every penny spent on orthodontic care. As my mother says, long term psychiatric care is much more expensive.