Wow. It seems a cruel joke you had to spend your second month’s birthday getting shot up with vaccines that made you one rather cranky baby. The day of you were smiling and laughing, but then as the day wore on they took their toll and the only laughing you did was when you were falling asleep with exhaustion. And that, I have to say, was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. You literally laughed out loud twice like you were some cosmopolitan twenty year old who just heard a funny joke.
Today we were stuck together like glue, and I literally laid down with you asleep on top of me for about 2 hours just to give my back a break. You were at least for the most part, consolable, although papa and I did have a bit of a go with you tonight.
Nothing will come close to seeing you scream as you got your 3 shots. Unrivaled in the “REALLY? I trusted you assholes and you do this?!” fit department. Papa walked you around the house last night planning your revenge on the nurses. You know papa. Quiet, reserved, incapable of hurting anyone, carrying you around on the usual tour of the living room to “kick” the plants: “We’ll get that bitch. We’ll wait for her, jump her, and then kick her in the brain.” You know, the usual things you’d say to an infant. And continued to discuss the involvement of the Mexican mafia, a baseball bat, something about steel toed boots, and some concrete blocks.
We’re planning a lunch to have some folks over to meet you. So while I held you today (since you refused to be put down), Grandma, Grandpa and papa – we all finally put the decals on your wall that PK so generously gave us at your shower. We’re looking forward to showing off how you can hold up your head, smile, laugh, coo up a blue streak when folks talk to you, and punch and kick the air like nobody’s business.
In our whole new experience together I’ve realized new levels of patience. One of my fears of being a mother is that I have a relatively short temper. I don’t necessarily blow – I just get really annoyed really fast and worried I wouldn’t be able to sustain the level of kindness needed with a baby. But it seems to just come. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had frazzled days where I have to call in reinforcements for a break so I don’t lose my sanity.) But unlike any other time, I’m able to just look at you and dig deep – take the deep breaths and remember that you have no idea that you crying at the top of your lungs breaks my heart.
I think you must also be one of the sweetest babies alive. In the mornings sometimes I sleep with you on my chest after the last feeding, and you grunt or growl if I move or even think of getting up. But when your fed and changed, the mornings are some of the best times. You smile incessantly as I chant “sugar pea, sugar pea!” and do the announcements for your welter weight boxing matches. “…and in this corner weighing in at 12 pounds, we have Sugar Pea Montoya!” Sugar Pea is my favorite name for you, although you’ve got many. Papi and I call you “nena”. Momma calls you “widgel” (cross between widget and who knows what else), “noodge” or “noodger” (because you’ll nudge anyone’s face for food), and “ninya” (phonetic spelling as I’m too lazy to find the tilde).
I’m really thankful that I get to spend every moment with you. I’m with you constantly it seems, and when I’m away from you for even an hour I think about you and how you’re doing. Papa and I went to a movie – and it was the first time I felt comfortable leaving you with Grandpa and Grandma (not that they’re dubious caretakers, it was just a big step to leave a bottle and go off.) And Papa and I went to the Living Room theaters and watched Alice in Wonderland in 3D. It was one of the first sunny days (I tried to talk Papa into a hike or a bike ride – but you know how he loves his movies), and a friday – so we had the theater all to ourselves! We ordered food, drank cokes and ate Swedish fish. It was an awesome time. And partway through the movie I wondered if the day could get better. And then I remembered I would get to go home to you after, and I literally felt giddy.
Your first few months have had a lot of outings. Other than completely losing it when I tried to meet Annie for coffee (this set us back in the outing dept. for a while), you went with me and Grandpa to McMenamin’s Edgefield for a burger and “beer”. You were amazingly good, I couldn’t believe it. You sat on momma’s lap while I hooved a burger and had a sip of grandpas beer, tolerated a diaper change, and then rode around in your stroller while we looked at the gardens. I think we might be able to win some kind of award for being in all of the McMenamins’ by the age of 3 months, as the next major outing was to see Green Zone at the Kennedy School Momma matinee with Grandma and Grandpa. We ordered pizza, and you slept through war scenes in Iraq and the sound of gunfire. Only to stir when two twins couldn’t stop crying. You growled at them like “Shut your yaps, you babies. I’m trying to sleep over here.” Meanwhile, land to air missiles are being fired, and Matt Damon is shouting commands to his troop at the top of his lungs. You woke up, ate, got a change and slept all the way home. It was madness.
I keep meaning to write about your birth. But these things still ring true now. When I look at you sometimes my heart literally aches. I can’t think of a time I’ve ever loved or cared for someone more. The first few weeks I kept thinking how they just hand these kids out to anyone – the proof of it being you! And how it would seem there should be some more complicated/qualifying test you have to pass before you’re allowed to have a child. It blows my mind that I have this person – this new person we made – that depends on me to care for them, and the weight of that makes me truly want to rise to the occasion more than I’ve done for anything else before.
When we were in the hospital, I was recovering from the c-section and the blood loss, and daddy was up with you, taking care of you while I slept. He’d wake me every two hours to feed you. For the first 3-4 days of your life, papa learned how to change your diapers, swaddle you best, comfort you and ultimately cared for you when I couldn’t. Your care was the most important thing to me. I cared only for my own health in that I wanted to get better so I could feed you, and give you the love and contact you needed. (The anemia meant I might have/and did have difficulty with milk coming in and the thought of you not getting what you needed was a stress that was really tough to bear.) Other than for a few hours at night when daddy could get you to sleep, you were held pretty much nonstop since you were born thanks to momma, papa, grandma, grandpa, and Phoebe and Tyler. Sometimes I’d look at you and cry with joy (and an overload of hormones coursing through my insane new mother body) that we’d all made it through everything ok, and that you were happy and healthy and with us. Finally.