When I open my eyes in the morning, you are usually right there, tucked under my shoulder, one short chubby arm slung as far over my body as you can get it. You're usually still asleep, but sometimes you're not-- and as soon as you notice me looking at you your face lights up into a smile, a smile that will continue for most of the rest of the day. And if that's all I were to say to you in this letter, it would pretty much sum you up. You're a Cuddler and a Smiler; a twenty-pound bundle of sweet squishy smiley baby fatness.
It's good, too, that you're such a happy little fella, because it seems that life is hell-bent on making sure that you experience a lot of pain in the first few months of your life. Between your reflux problem, your hospitalization, and your older brother's guerrilla attacks, I'm afraid you're beginning to believe that life, though usually pretty good, is laced with unexpected bursts of inexplicable agony. Which, now that I write this, I realize is true. So maybe it's not so bad that you're learning this lesson early on. At any rate, you seem to really enjoy the good parts.
Speaking of the not-so-good parts: We've been letting you cry it out at night lately. The doc said that if we did sleep training while you were four months old, it would take three nights--tops!--for you to be sleeping through the night on your own. I believed him, not taking into account that you're our child, and therefore ridiculously stubborn. Thus far it has been 18 nights, and you still wake up and cry. I can't stand to listen to you crying, so I usually close the bedroom door and turn on the fan to block out the sound. I feel bad about this, but here's what you can tell your counselor when you're confronting your trust/abandonment issues in therapy later on: after four months of not sleeping for longer than 1-3 hour stretches, your mother decided it was either (1) let you cry it out, or (2) commit vehicular suicide. Now, after 18 glorious nights of getting long stretches of sleep, I no longer look longingly at trees, bridges, and telephone poles while I'm driving. My hope is that at this reading you're grateful I gave you the gift of nighttime sleep and didn't leave you motherless. If you're not, please also tell your therapist to stop looking for blame and start looking for solutions.
We've tried introducing you to big people food, but you're not so into it. This is problematic, as I don't think my body is capable of producing enough milk to support a child the size of a newborn whale, which is the size category I think you'll grow into right after you're finished with your 9-12 month sized clothing. I've fed you rice cereal, I've given you squash, and I've tried pears, but from the expression on your face when these foods hit your palate, you'd think I was feeding you fecal matter, dog vomit, and overcooked brussel sprouts. You're going to have to adjust, though, cookie, 'cause I'm not nursing you forever. As soon as you say your first word, we're through. And then it'll be nothing but rice cereal and applesauce forever.
Anyway, my little munchkin, I'm so grateful we still have you. Where would I be without your smiles? And nuzzling the skin on the top of your head, which is loose and soft as a puppy's, and smells like milk and baby oil? Also kissing your pillowy cheeks? And slow dancing with you in the kitchen? You are such an excellent slow dancer.
Oh, Sweet Soft Cuddly Milky Pillowy Smiley Baby of Mine...
I love you.