Friday, October 31, 2008

Month 5

Dear Sophie,

Today you are five months old. It is also Halloween, and you are going to be a Hershey's Kiss, because I thought that was appropriate. Not because you are chocolaty and melt all over the place making a mess, or because you are usually wrapped in tin foil. Or because whenever we kiss you, you open your mouth and try to eat us. No, I thought it was apt because your father and I are your parents, therefore you are one part sweet, one part chewy, one part shiny and one part nutjob. Sorry about the last one, you get that part from me. Anyway, since you haven't been a Kiss yet I don't have any pictures, so I'll post those later.
Wow, five months. Five whole months. As I stated in last month's letter, you started a sleeping strike about a week before you turned four months old. Sadly, you have continued said strike through this month, which is what all the books and the Internet chat boards call the 'four month wakefulness' which is honestly really very annoying and I wish you'd cut it out. You know, so I can stop being a zombie and resume being a functioning member of society. We try to get you to sleep in your crib, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Like last night. You slept in your bassinet until about 1, were awake and wanted to play from 1-2, then slept in our bed from 2-4, again from 4:30-6, and at 6 you were up for the day. Since I had to get up for work, after all the time it took me to fall asleep after you did at 4:30, my alarm went off. Curses.
The day before yesterday I made a wonderful discovery. You were busy gumming my finger (hey, it makes you happy, and it's one of the only ways I get to eat my dinner in peace) and, lo and behold, I felt something hard and sharp in there. So, your father and I leaned you backward and pried open your maw, pushed that thrusting tongue out of the way while you looked around spasmodically wondering what in the world was wrong with us, and there it was! A TOOTH! On the bottom, in the center, a little to the left, a tiny little white tooth bud. Yay! Maybe this is why you refuse to sleep.
So, in true Us fashion, we had to celebrate. I mashed up a little bit of banana with some breast milk and spoon fed you your very first solid food. And you made a face like I was trying to poison you and spit it at me. Oh well.
You babble and talk all the time, this alien language that only you can speak, and love to talk to your toys. A couple weeks ago the three of us were at a sushi restaurant, and it was not totally quiet but was definitely a low-voiced, serene place. And you were carrying on with your keys and a rattle, and everyone in the entire place could hear you. I don't know what kinds of jokes they were telling you, but you were really enjoying the conversation. You are starting to laugh a little, especially when I blow raspberries on your tummy. You still squeal when you are excited, and it's kind of a "HI!" that makes me laugh. You have retained your distinctive cry that I could identify if you were in a room with 100 crying babies, that pitiful 'mwaa' sound, but now accompany it with the occasional paint-peeling, jaw-grinding, chalkboard-scratching screech that comes from deep within your throat and kind of sounds like you are choking on your own spit. I do not like that, not at all.
You are getting to be a good roller, but I still think that you are rolling to get things that you have dropped or by accident, and sometimes to see something that is happening that you can't see when flat on your back. You haven't figured out that, hey! I can get places by rolling around, and that's just fine with me.
It is getting very cold outside, this morning it was 30 degrees. Your father and I bundle you up in a fuzzy white wool-lined bunting or your puffy pink coat and a wool hat, and you do not like it because you can't move. Then we stuff you into your carseat, which was apparently not made for babies with fuzzy winter gear on, or else they lied when they said it was for babies up to 22 pounds. Because with your winter layers on, the harness just barely snaps closed, and you are nowhere near 22 pounds.
Five months. I cannot believe that time has gone by so very quickly. Next thing I know, you'll be packing up your stuff and heading off to college. You have changed my life so much, and there are times when I can't remember what my life was like without you, or it seems so long ago and so far removed that it might have been a life that happened to some other person. I was happy then, just like I am happy now, just a different happy. I don't think I ever imagined, or ever fully realized, how having a child of my very own would change me, or change my philosophies on life.
There is an election coming up, and I looked at several issues with new eyes. You reinforced my belief in the old saying that this earth does not belong to us, but is borrowed from our children. That as a society we need to look for and find alternate sources of energy, that are sustainable, and do not take food out of people's mouths. We need to preserve and reverse what we as a species have destroyed, so that when you are grown there are polar bears and lions and tree frogs living in their natural habitats, outside of zoos. We as a nation need to stop spending money on never ending wars and use that money to invest in our schools and eliminating poverty at home and abroad, and enact laws to elimiate the gender pay gap, where women earn 89 cents for ever dollar men do in the same exact job. I honestly believe, down to the depths of my heart, that ignorance is far more expensive than education. The values of this country are revealed when one of the very most important jobs, that of an elementary school teacher, is also one of the lowest paid. It is no longer simply my future that I am voting for, it is yours. And you deserve something better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sometimes I forget how very lucky we are.

And then I come across someone like this... and there are just no words to express how I feel. So, with tears running down my face, I am thankful for all of those nights when you won't stop crying, for the times when you scream when you're in your carseat, for the days I spend washing exersaucers and carseats while cursing leaky diapers, and for having to pump every 3 hours at work. And I am thankful for ten fingers and ten toes, for lungs that breathe, for a heart that beats all by itself.


Friday, October 03, 2008

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