Hi little one. You’re over four weeks old, and this whole baby-raisin’ thing hasn’t gotten any easier. I mean, I wasn’t expecting you to know how to scramble your own eggs for breakfast just yet, but I was kind of hoping you’d be getting used to the light/dark idea by now. Last week started out really well: you were awake for about a third of the day, and you slept almost the whole night, with brief visits to the bottle at 2 and 6. And you were mercifully easy to put back down, too. I was getting cocky. Could this be the turning point? Somewhere around wednesday, a switch in your head flipped, and the whole thing went to hell. Your sleeping schedule completely broke down, which meant that we were up watching early-morning Law & Order marathons together, you would not settle for love or money, and Papa had to sleep late to be worth anything for the rest of the day.
The upside of all of this is that you’ve learned how to smile—at your mother. You don’t do it so much at me, but Mama swears you have dimples in your cheeks, which is a very useful inheritance. She also says you’re laughing in your sleep. I wonder what you’re dreaming about? Perhaps you were thinking of the other night when you broke wind quietly and Papa broke wind right afterward, and it was like we were actually having a conversation. With farts.
Now, about the hair. You came out of the box with a pretty substantial mop of red hair, which took both your parents by surprise. We had a standing bet you’d be bald like we both were, so it was a total shock to see what the pre-installed factory options actually were. (FYI, we paid extra for leather bucket seats, and we haven’t seen those yet). We got used to your hair quickly, and it really fit your face, so we put away the clippers and had fun parting it and messing it up and making mohawks out of it. Two weeks ago, though, we noticed that it was receding slowly upwards, to the point where you’re now sporting a style I’ll call Retirement Community Bachelor. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be an issue, but…your head is…growing. At birth, you had a perfect little duckpin bowling ball head, and we were happy with that. In the last two weeks, though, as you’ve grown, your head has kept up the pace and now you have this big cranium over your eyes, and there’s no hair up there to cover it anymore, and…well…at least you have lips.
You are sleeping now, dozing on my lap in a cloud of gentle fleece, warm as a loaf of bread fresh from the oven. I stare at your smooth, unlined face, watching unknown dreams cross your features, and feel your feet twitch softly against my legs. For all the late nights, the screaming and complaining and fussing and pooping, the hours where you looked at me with the stinkface after I’d changed your diaper, fed you, swaddled you, and made sure the binky was close at hand, one second of your peaceful face makes everything more than alright. I wish you could talk, or at least understand what I was saying, little girl, because I’ve spent hours looking in your eyes, telling you that I will do anything to make sure you are safe warm, happy, and loved. Of course, I wasn’t really saying it, because I’m terrified you’re going to wake up and start crying again.