Please note that this is over two weeks late. I apologize. But for some reason I seem to be getting very little sleep these days, broken into small chunks and quite often have a small person screaming: “FEED ME!” at the top of her lungs. So you see, I have been busy. And please, PLEASE, stop yelling at me.
As an aside, you seem to be the most vocal of our children thus far. I’m not sure if you cry so much because you really have something to cry about or if, because you are the third, I can tolerate the screaming longer and hold out because someone always needs something and I’m trying to attend to all the needs at once.
You have no idea how delightful it is to write something to one of my children and think that it may actually get read. On the other hand, I am saddened at the thought that since you are third I feel like I have neither the words to say nor the time to write them properly. All this, of course, is playing upon a stereotype that, since you are a girl, you will therefore be like me and CARE about the fact that someone has bothered to record something about your life. Since you have, in one short month, messed with a few other stereotypes I have of infant girls: that you would be smaller than the boys, not a good nursling, and that nursing a girl would just be weird in general, you are welcome to dispense with this one as well.
But maybe you will join me in my world of introspective introversion, yes? And we can just sit together on the couch, happily reading or writing together, quietly. Occasionally sharing glances that express our mutual enjoyment while the tornado that is the other three members of our household churns around us.
I love that you are a girl. I love all of the pink things that we have now, the ruffles and lace and tiny headbands.
It is so much fun to dress you in pink and more pink and then finish you off with even more pink-ness because it is such a foreign experience until now. Occasionally though, my thoughts venture down the long dark hallway and I suddenly wonder if we should be funding an account so that you can have an American Girl Doll when you are older and then I am thinking about prom dresses and the fact that you will probably hate me at some point and worrying about what Barbie and Disney Princesses will do to your body image and then I just want to weep because I am SO very postpartum and because I really don’t know what to do with a girl.
Also, with four people circling around me, I feel like I am letting everyone down, not doing enough, not being enough of what anyone needs and then not even enjoying the experience. I mean, it would be one thing if I were selfishly living it up but I’m not. All the guilt and none of the pleasure is apparently what I’m going for.
And I have so completely digressed.
Back to my one month old.
You have thus far been the gassiest of our children, which means that you prefer to sleep on my chest in a burping position. You prefer this position always. I love this for afternoon naps. I don’t love it as much at night, when the fact that you sound like a cross between a deranged goat and a pig causes me to toss you over my shoulder so that we can get some (unsafe) sleep. You also are an amazingly loud burper. You burp like a dude. Yet another stereotype shattered.
You have blue eyes, dark brown hair that may or may not stay that way, a receding hairline, three chins, adorable ears that don’t stick out at all, a little rosebud mouth, and an unfortunate smattering of baby acne. I have yet to look through old pictures to see who you look like. In some ways I feel like babies should just all come out male for the first few months because you just don’t look particularly girly to me (maybe it’s the receding hairline).
But then you smile and you are adorable! Right at the end of the month you finally came through with a real smile and your father and I have been behaving idiotically ever since in hopes of coaxing out another one.
Your brothers seem to like you. They alternately smother you with kisses and compete over who gets to hold you and then commence wrestling or sword fighting directly over your head.
Maybe I should buy you a suit of armor for Christmas? Whenever you cry, Isaac is the first to hear you and come running to your aid, while Jonathan runs in circles yelling: Fire? Fire? and trying to find your pacifier. Unfortunately, several naps have been abruptly ended when one or both brothers decided to play “let’s check on the baby”. Good fun.
You are a fabulous eater. Just as hungry and just as good a nursling as the boys were and the milk is doing fantastic things for the size of your stomach and number of your chins. You eat and eat and then eat some more and I feel like every day I wonder if you’re starting another growth spurt.
Since I started this letter November 27th and it is now December 13th and I am two weeks from having to write another letter (and frankly am unable to remember much of November at this point anyway) I will end this. It is all going too fast, your new babyhood flying past so swiftly, and I just want to capture each funny expression while you sleep, the way you bobble your head around, the way you stretch your arms and purse your lips when you are waking from a nap, the feel of your unbelievably soft cheek against mine, your head tucked under my chin while you sleep.
I want to hold onto them all, store them somewhere so they won’t be lost in the long tedium of the days, the tiredness of the afternoons. More than that, I want to whisper to you over and over: You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.