Saturday, July 23, 2011

Save Tonight

My dearest baby,

You are not quite six months old, and yet you have captured my and your dad's hearts.  We are both utterly and completely wrapped around your tiny fingers.  I wanted to take a few minutes to capture what you are like right now and to tell you how much I have loved being by your side every minute of the past six months.  You see, my maternity leave comes to an end on Monday, and I am heartbroken that I will not be able to spend every minute with you from now on.  I will only be in the office three days per week, but that will be such a huge change for me, and I fear for you too.

Over the past two months you have gone from being a stationary baby to a little man with a big personality.  You are generous with your smiles, smiling at anyone and everyone who makes eye contact with you and prompting many strangers to proclaim that you are the happiest baby they have seen in a long time.  From the day you were born you have been a happy baby.  Your cries have always been quiet, and you have always been patient with me, giving me time to respond to your initial soft cries.  If you are ignored (which rarely happens), however, you will escalate your cries as you do not understand why we have not come rushing to your side.  Perhaps that is because you are rarely more than arm's distance away from your dad or me.  You are happiest when you are in a baby carrier on your dad or me.  Your dad prefers the baby bjorn, with you facing outward and participating in whatever he is doing.  I prefer the moby wrap.  When I place you in the wrap, you are generally asleep within a few minutes.  You will happily snooze away, whatever I may be doing.  I love having you so close, and you have spent many many hours right next to me in the wrap.  Having you so close has helped both of us get to know each other.  When you wake up, it is frequently with a cry, but you calm down very quickly.  You will look up at me as if to say, "oh, right, you're here.  Everything is ok."  Then you turn on your smile.

Any day now, you will begin to crawl.  You have mastered rolling over from both tummy to back and back to tummy.  We can no longer leave you on the changing table and changing you has become a challenge because you believe that there are interesting things to see everywhere else.  You can wiggle your way around a small area, and if you have something to push off of, you can inch your way across a space.  You can do a full push up and also pull your feet up underneath you.  Your dad and I are eagerly awaiting the day you manage to do both together and take your first crawl.  We have noticed in the past few days that you are becoming increasingly frustrated at your inability to get to things out of your grasp, whether it is a toy, the Monster (our dog) or one of the two of us.  Speaking of the Monster, you love your puppy.  He gets a huge smile every time you see him.  And he is equally enthralled with you.  Whenever the four of us go out for a walk, the Monster is constantly aware of where you are.  And, the day that your dad had to run back to the house with you, the Monster dragged me after you two.  When we let the Monster out of his crate, he does a full check of the house for you.  The Monster is growing increasingly fond of your dinner time.  You had your first taste of solid food on July 12, a bit of rice cereal.  You seem to be fond of sweet potatoes and tonight you tried sweet peas, which were also a hit.  The Monster is always close to clean you up, should your dad or I not stop him in time.  Your dad and I have tried to capture as many moments on film (or iPhone) as possible.  You have become used to having an iPhone in your face.  Actually, you seem to get that they are a touch screen, which freaks your dad and I out.  

One thing that has not changed since you were born is that you still sleep close to me.  Before you were born, your dad and I thought that you would quickly be in your crib at night.  That was before.  When you were born, I discovered that I loved having you close and that we both slept better if you slept next to me at night.  That continues to this day.  Soon enough, you will be on your own, but while you are still so tiny, it is ok to have you close.  During the day, you nap in your car seat.  For a while, you slept in a swing.  When we returned from Maine, the swing turned on you.  And you would have none of it.  Ah well.  

Come Monday, your dad will be staying home with you until his grad school begins again this fall.  He is excited and a bit nervous about it, but I know that you two are going to have a great time.  The plan is that in the mornings, the two of you will go down to the sailing center for a few hours in the morning, and then you will come home.  After your dad heads to grad school, we will have a nanny come and take care of you while I am at work.  I truly wish I could stay home with you.  But, for now, I must work.  These past six months have been some of the most wonderful, toughest and happiest I have ever had.  You are truly everything I never knew that I wanted.  I am so happy that I am your mommy, and I love you so very very much.

All my love,
Your momma