It’s taken me most of the last 5 months to understand that the impressions I had of you, in utero, were and are only half the picture. I was right: you are sensitive. But in a very different way than I had imagined, I confess. You are not shy, you are not so much a thinker, and you are rarely quiet.
What are you, then? Since you are just 5 months completely in this world, I still have only part of the picture. Every day I have the distinct feeling that what I know only gets smaller and smaller as you grow bigger and bigger.
You are quick and fast-moving. You are incredibly strong. Several times your Daddoo and I have nearly dropped you as you have suddenly thrown your little body at something you wanted. You have the highest, shrillest crowing sounds I have ever heard, and every day you wake up by crowing, just like a large tropical bird— eyes still closed, body still on the bed, but mouth open wiiiide as you test your vocal range and volume. You can be heard from anywhere in the house.
You are quick to catch a joke, an upturned eye or voice or laugh. You love to catch strangers by the eye and win them to you with your huge, gummy grins and your spit-up smiles. Your eyebrows are often more expressive than your actual eyes.
You were not born with the deeply-ingrained sense of routine and order that your sister has enjoyed. Though it makes you easy to cart around according to Pea’s schedule, I often worry that I should be working with you more on regular sleep patterns. You’ve had some stellar weeks of sleep and some that I want to haul out to the curb, douse with gasoline and burn.
Lack of sleep is probably the hardest part of Mamahood for me. I feel pretty good about how I’m coming along as a person and Mama until a bad sleep week hits. Then I can barely deal. With anything. I’m sorry that you’ve already experienced so much of this. I’m working hard to get you into a sleep routine that works for your little body but doesn’t leave me glassy-eyed and emotionally irrational. Here’s hoping, kid.
You started crawling on your 5 month birthday, you over-achiever, you. I thought your older sister was going to be my overly-motivated one, but she didn’t crawl till 6.5 months. And when I hold your hands in mine you already pull yourself up to stand on my legs. What, please tell me, do you want with walking?
Your emotions are still really intense. Hot and cold. You are either completely happy or decidedly not. You are either yelling and wailing or asleep. You are either clawing and scratching at me to get out of your carrier or you are making lovey-eyes at the grocery clerk. You are either having blow-outs or nothing.
You have been working hard the past couple months to make your Daddoo’s life a living hell. After initially seeming completely bonded and happy with him, much more so than Sister in the beginning, you have spent the last few weeks thumbing your nose at him if he dares to come anywhere near you, especially if he tries to take you from me. You are beginning to come back around. Slowly. Sometimes it has nearly made me cry—I mean, I HAD a terrible father and here I got you such a nice one, so kind, and you act like the rest of us are crazy. You are a tough nut to crack, sometimes. When your mind is made up it is MADE UP THEN END.
I love you Birdie. I know I’m not always the emotionally calm, centered parent you and Sister deserve, and I know that when I’m too effing tired I raise my voice too much. I’m figuring this out as I go, you know. But never has anything so intense and loud and tiny and funny, all at the same time, won my heart so completely.
It’s a funny thing, you know. I made you. Yet I will spend my whole life in amazement and thrill as I discover, day by week by month by year, who you really are. And I can’t think of a better use of my time.