Archive for February, 2013

Three months.

Dear Hank,

A week late this time, but I’m glad I waited, because yesterday you did something amazing. We were playing together on the floor, and I got up to grab something from the other room. As soon as I left, you started to cry, one of your loud, big-boy cries. I rushed back, and you immediately quieted down and greeted me, red-faced, with a huge smile.

It was a simple thing, nothing extraordinary, but it had never happened before. You were sad when I left and happy when I returned. I’m not sure developmentally what this signals, if anything, but to me, it meant one very important thing: You love me. You want me around. You need me. And I felt such a surge of love for you at that moment, maybe the most love I’ve felt for you yet. I scooped you up and hugged you and rocked you and reveled in the gift of being able to soothe my baby just by being there.

Motherhood continues to surprise me — I anticipate that it always will. It is both more difficult and more wonderful than I ever could have imagined before you existed. You need me, sure, but the amazing thing is how much I need you. My mood is very much dependent on yours. When I am putting you down for a nap and you are refusing to settle, I often feel so frustrated with you, and I want to cry right along with you — and then all of a sudden you stop fussing and look right at me, and you smile with your entire body the way only a baby can, and I’m instantly happy too. I have trouble separating my emotions from yours. When you are upset, I am upset. When you are joyful, it’s nearly impossible for me not to feel joy along with you.

When I decided to write you monthly letters, I thought I’d have a lot to say each month about what new things you had learned and how you had changed. So far, I don’t. You are growing up so fast, sure, but it’s not a process I can easily measure. You’re not so terribly different from a month ago. You still can’t sit up on your own, or walk, or talk, or eat solid food. You do the same wonderful things that you did last month. You still love us to stand you up tall, and you still love baths, and you still love to be on your changing table. You aren’t rolling over, and you aren’t really grabbing things, except accidentally. You still have not been able to get your entire fist in your mouth, no matter how hard you try.

But life with you is so incredibly different from a month ago. For one thing, I feed you less often, and you eat more efficiently. Every two to three hours, I nurse you for a total of about eight minutes. You fuss when I take you off, then you burp, and then you smile your huge, toothless smile. Incredibly, I find myself looking forward to your hunger now. That is our special time together, and every day it is easier and more wonderful. I don’t think I imagined back in the first several weeks with you that I could feel this way about feeding you. It is incredible.

Another obvious change is your size. You are a big boy. We are dressing you in mostly six-months-size clothes. We’re about to move on to size 3 diapers, into which we will tuck your amazing thigh rolls. I had to buy you new socks today because your enormous feet have outgrown almost every pair in your closet. You outgrew your swaddles, and we bought you bigger ones, but then we just stopped swaddling you altogether. We were nervous about it the first night, but you were fine. We are growing right along with you.

Here’s something exciting about three months: You are three months old, and your cousins are three months away. Your Aunts Sarah and Elizabeth are beautifully pregnant, and your mom is very excited to get her hands on some newborn babies in May (or, if they follow your timetable, perhaps June). I can’t wait to watch your friendships with these two little ones grow.

I should explain something. Your dad and I love nicknames. The more of them, the merrier! Technically, “Hank” is a nickname, but you already have several more. The frontrunner right now is “Nobbs.” I think I can trace it back in this way: Nibblet to Nibbles to Nibbledy Nobbs to Nobbs. It seems to have settled there (for now).

And so: I love you, Nobbs! So, so much.









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