Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Month 3, A Review

Dear Phoebe,

Today you turned 3 months old. To celebrate, you grew about 2 inches and gained 2 lbs. I am not kidding you. I got on the scale with you -- before I gave you a bath -- and you weighed 12 lbs more than when I was on the scale without you and after your bath, your froggy jammies (a gift from your middlenamesake, my favorite aunt Elaine) were suddenly "shorts" and not so much "pants" like they were -- I swear to you -- just last week.

This time last year, your dad and I were in Maui and -- put on the mental image earmuffs -- it's very likely you were in the beginning stages of being created.

I want that to sink in.

You did not exist -- at all -- until 1 year ago. And even then, we didn't find out about you until a few weeks later.

There was nothing at all. And then there was you.

Which pretty much sums up our lives before we became parents.

It's amazing how much the wholly unsavory parts of us were so dominant before you. Not that we were horrible people -- I don't want you to think your parents were assholes just yet -- I mean, you're not even a teenager yet, but I want you to realize that before you came into being your dad and I were, well, unaware of anything beyond ourselves (except of course each other). That is to say we had nothing else to think about besides ourselves.

And this is really important because lately I can't remember what we possibly talked about before you and yet -- you didn't exist until a year ago. Honestly! I mean, before you, what mattered? What was of such importance? What were the memorable moments of our days? I honestly can't remember.

I remember wedding planning. I remember job search anxiety before that and I remember bill paying anxiety. And I definitely remember moving to San Luis Obispo from Bakersfield. And I remember meeting your dad. Anything in-between seems fuzzy and unclear, sort of like my upper lip which YES I KNOW needs waxing and I'm SORRY I keep kissing you with it.

In the past month you have learned how to use your neck muscles to hold your head up and move it from side to side. You have also continued to demonstrate that -- like your mother -- you need LOTS of sleep to function. A few nights a week you even sleep for 12 hours, sometimes almost 13. In a row. And this all confirms that you are, in fact, the best baby in the entire world.

Just last Monday your dad and I celebrated our one year anniversary. You weren't too excited about being a part of the party, but we brought you along anyway and you settled down after being fed about 500 times. We were happy to celebrate with you in spite of the crabby mood, but we were very serious when we told you that next year we are hoping to drop you off at Grandma Shelley's house so we can finally take a trip to Vegas and -- sorry -- you're not allowed to to to Vegas until you're 35 and/or a Justice on the Supreme Court.

Lately you have begun sitting up in your little Bumbo chair, which excites your dad and I to no end. You see, for us, this is our first opportunity to cheer you on from the sidelines in a sporting event. The event being - "OH MY GOD OUR BABY CAN HOLD HER HEAD UP FOR ALMOST 5 MINUTES ON HER OWN!!" And we get to celebrate by drinking cheap wine out of expensive wine glasses the latter of which you'll probably break one day and the former of which we hope you at least wait until you're 18 to throw up all over our front porch ... not that your mother ever did anything at all like that to Grandma Shelley. And by that I mean waited until I was 18.

My apologies to your grandmother.

You enjoy going to the grocery store and looking around at all the different items available for purchase. You also enjoy sitting in your car seat in the kitchen while I am cooking or cleaning. You are already getting bored with your little floor mat with the dangling toys. This presents the very new issue of "OH MY GOD OUR BABY IS GOING TO BE MOVING AROUND THE HOUSE SOON!" I am really looking forward to the days when I turn my back and you totally rip up daddy's dozen or so books on trout that take up the entire lower half of the bookshelf in the living room. I'd like to apologize to your father now in case that ever might possibly happen.

We found out at our visit with Dr. Rena this month that your eye surgery is going to be scheduled for January and that you will be able to use your formerly-googly eye as early as that afternoon, experiencing just a little bit of discomfort post surgery. This, to us, is absolutely amazing. A quick surgery and you'll never know any better (except for the ADORABLE pictures of you in your li'l eye patch) and your eye will be good as new. Er, better than new.

You continue to bring light into our lives and to the lives of all your many "aunts" and "uncles" who just love you so much. You're such a pleasant and easy-going baby I think you could inspire a baby boom. We don't mean to spoil you, and we're really going to try not to, but it's really difficult when you're so good. We want to reward you! We want your life to be absolutely perfect and complete, much the same way you have made our lives so perfect and complete.

The downside of this is we don't want you to experience pain. And this is a real problem because lately you seem to be starting to teethe. Yes. Early. You are an over-achiever at 3 months, which is more than I can say for myself. You gnaw your fists (and anything else within reach), you drool constantly and -- horror of horrors -- you scream in pain for apparently no reason and you've been waking up in the middle of the night with a bit o' fussiness.

I have been reading "Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World" (which was a gift from "Uncle" Jason) and Zig Ziglar says that as parents people tend to make a HUGE mistake when they try to prevent their children from experiencing pain. That pain is a part of experiencing life and if you shield children from it, they will never become adults who know how to deal with the blows of life.

Your life, I am sorry, will not be void of pain and disappointments.

I want you to know that sometime in the future you are going to be hurt or disappointed and your dad and I are going to tell you it hurts us more than it hurts you, and -- please know -- we're serious. But we're going to have to let you experience it first-hand. And just thinking about it makes me sad.

Because right now you don't know pain and you're so innocent and good that when I think about my life before you I don't want to imagine you experiencing any of it. I want you to fast-forward. Even though I know you can't.

No matter the experiences in your life -- when they make you hurt, when you succeed, when you experience joy or when the world lets you down -- I want you to feel secure knowing that your dad and I will always be there, cheering you on from the sidelines.


1 comment:

Candice Lynn said...

When I have kids you are writing letters to them and signing my name. You need to pen a book of your own right about now; about food, babies, Frank's, anything. Beautiul. Congrats on getting it on one year ago.