August 04, 2010

To My Daughter


You're one month old today, and already I can't remember what life was like before you.

Our family has become your very own paparazzi, and you already talk to everyone on skype. Most newborns don't start their mornings with video chats, but half of your adoring audience lives over seas. Its not all about distance, though. Daddy sometimes calls us from work, just so he can see your little face and maybe show you off to a friend.

But, its not really surprising. You're very entertaining for such a tiny one. The world is fascinating, and you are so alert. You watch us with big, serious eyes and then suddenly break in to a grin. You'll even smile at us, reacting to a playful tone of voice. I know the books all say that smiles at this age are gas or coincidence, but even the skeptics have had to agree you're smiling at us.

Some times, for no apparent reason, you'll purse your lips, open your eyes wide and stick out your neck, giving you the look of an adorable baby turtle.

You know your Daddy's voice, turning to look for him when he comes home after work... You are a Daddy's girl, already, and its so sweet to see that I can't regret it.

As long as the world stays interesting, you stay happy. I can't sit still with you for too long. You want to be entertained, and since you don't yet interact with toys I am responsible for your entertainment. So, we're constantly changing positions or locations, trying something new, and looking for ways to keep your busy little mind happy. In the last few days, you've gotten the hang of consistently getting your hand in to your mouth and started sucking on your fingers. This seems to keep you busy for a few minutes.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to make me expendable, though. I don't really mind entertaining you. Fortunately, you like almost anything. You don't protest tummy time as much as I expected, and you easily push yourself up on your arms to look around. You're so strong, holding your head up and looking around for long minutes. Really, you've been doing that from the time we brought you home, but I still can't get over it. You're pulling your legs up in to a crawling position, too, already checking out how all these muscles work and trying to get things coordinated. I'm starting to wonder if you're going to be athletic, definitely a trait you won't get from me.

Yesterday you rolled over from your stomach to your back. Repeatedly. I want to savor this time, when you're so tiny and all ours, but here you are growing before my very eyes. Its probably a good thing you're a quick learner, though. I think you may take after your Aunt Megan, because it makes you so mad when you don't have the skills yet to do something you want to do.

You love the outdoors. Whether its taking a walk, sitting in our yard or just look out the window, you are entertained. If you're fussy and need soothing, all I have to do is walk outside and you magically stop. Of course, the second I step back in to the air-conditioned house the fussing starts again. You don't seem to care that this is mid-summer in Florida.

We're grateful that you save most of the fussing for the day. Somehow, you've figured out night is for sleeping and usually can be counted on to sleep from around 10 pm to just a little before 7 am, waking up every three hours to nurse and then falling right back to sleep. You're remarkably good at self-soothing, putting yourself to sleep when I put you down sleepy. During the day is a little more erratic, and some days you hardly seem to sleep at all. Then there are other days when you do nothing but sleep, though you often insist on doing so on my chest.

Your one real complaint about the world so far would be when you have too much gas. Then you are awake day and night, telling us that you hurt with a plaintive cry that breaks our hearts. Your Daddy has become an expert at the massage that helps you deal with it, and Mama helps too, if with a bit less skill. You seem to understand, pulling your legs up to help us, and you take the gas drops without complaint, too. Grandma swears that the gas always gets better at 6 weeks, and we're holding her to that.

***

You just woke up from the nap you've been taking on my chest, and you're sitting up against my hands looking for all the world like a miniature adult. I said 'hi' to you and you grinned back up at me, showing the little dimple in your cheek. Is it any wonder I'm completely in love with you?