Monday, October 06, 2008

Two Months Old!

two months old

Dear Valerie,

You are two months old today! This is what I should have said to you yesterday, except that I thought that today was the fifth until I uploaded pictures from my camera just now and couldn't figure out why I already had pictures saved under tomorrow's date. I have a tendency to forget what day it is. I'm lucky if I remember to eat.

This has been a pretty lousy week in the Wakeman household, but I'm going to ignore that for the moment, because this letter is about you. There will be plenty of time for Mama to whine about her life later.

You're becoming more and more aware of your surroundings. You love to be walked around, and look out windows. You love to stare at faces. You recently discovered that if you move your hands just right, you can knock the dangling ducky on your car seat and make it move. I thought it was accidental at first, but then you kept doing it, and I realized that you were doing it deliberately. Smart girl.

first thumb-sucking!

You've also been struggling to find your thumb, and have been getting closer and closer. You usually just end up sucking on your knuckle, but this Sunday, you actually managed to get your thumb in your mouth, and it made you very happy. I suppose, in four years, I will be begging you to stop sucking your thumb, but right now, I am very proud that you managed to figure that out. I am also glad that you are starting to find ways to soothe yourself. Because if you can keep yourself happy for five minutes, Mommy can eat a bowl of cereal. You're not a terribly fussy baby... as long as I am quick to meet your needs. You just have a lot of needs. It feels like, sometimes, the narrow window of time when all of your needs are met lasts for about seven seconds, and then you fill your diaper, and it starts all over again.

You still don't seem to have worked out the difference between night and day. I blame the fact that there was no night and day in the NICU, and you scream if the room or car you are in is dark. (Note to self: pack a battery-powered light for next weekend's long drive to Canada.) Your "day" seems to be about four to six hours long. You will eat three or four times within a period of a couple of hours, and then you will conk out and sleep for and hour or two, or sometimes three, and, much to my sleep-deprived joy, you have recently taken to sleeping for four hours on occasion! Although you don't want to spoil me, so if you sleep for three or four hours two nights in a row, you'll make sure to wake me up every hour all night the next night. That's very thoughtful of you.

ready for church

Your happiest time of day is right after waking up. If I hadn't been there when I gave birth to you, I would seriously doubt your maternity. How can a child of mine be a morning person? You'll wake me up with all your normal hunger cues, but once I have you in my arms, you will decide that eating can wait, because Mama is here to look at! You'll smile at me, and make kissy faces at me, and if I try and nurse you right away, you'll often squirm away, because you'd rather put off eating for a couple more minutes to play the funny face game with me. In this way, you are totally my daughter. I've frequently gone hours beyond hunger without eating, because I wanted to finish whatever fun thing held my attention at the time. In fact, I should probably eat something now, but I'd really like to finish this blog post, first.

You hear moms say, all the time, that they can't remember what life was like before they had kids. I'll tell you what: I remember. I remember being able to sleep for eight hours, and ten on a weekend. I remember being able to sleep through anything, and not waking up at the slightest sign that I'm needed. I remember being able to take a long bath without worrying that you would get hungry before my bath was over. I remember being able to drive to the store without having to pack a bag. I remember. My life has changed irrevocably, and I haven't forgotten what it was like before. I remember life without you, but I don't want that life anymore. Now, I'm a logical person, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about what, exactly, it is that you add to my life. What is it about you that makes me happy to give up such treasures as uninterrupted sleep? Is it the way my heart melts at seeing your peaceful, sleeping face? Is it the surge of joy when you smile at me? Is it the intense bond I feel when I watch you blissfully suckling life from my breast? I'd have to be a pretty sappy person to say that it was any one of those things, but I can't seem to pin down anything more tangible. You know, I remember when I wasn't so sappy. But I don't miss it.



EarthenForge said...

Nice post - great closing line. :D


jd said...

So sweet..great post...see you soon!