knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Letters to Liam - Month 3

Dear Super Bean,

Today, you turned three months old. We've learned a lot about you this month. Like, for example, your complete insistence upon being held after 6pm. And your infatuation with the changing table. We've learned, also, that you are not so tolerant of going unfed in lieu of a very cute picture.

I am incredibly impressed with your disposition, which to all accounts is placid and cheerful. You're in that delightful stage of life where everyone who looks upon you is graced with a huge, gummy smile. Who wouldn't be charmed? As your mother, I can't help but wish that all these people would SANITIZE THEIR HANDS before they reach out to grab yours. Which you continue to stuff into your mouth indiscriminately. Let's be clear here: you're not a thumb sucker (yet); you enjoy all your digits equally. And you continue to spurn the pacifier, despite my best efforts to tell you it's ok.

You are still definitely not sleeping through the night. You did once, sleeping from midnight until 5am, only to punish me the next night by waking up every two hours, from 10pm until 6 the next morning. You are still sleeping in your cradle, but you only have about 6 inches to grow before you hit both the top and the bottom. So it's to the Crib soon for you. I have to admit my little secret: once you wake at 4:30-6:30am, and I despair of ever beginning the day without the haze of sleep deprivation, I bundle you up and keep you in bed with me. And you fall blissfully, soundly asleep, virtually for as long as I desire to keep you there. It is a high, and the best sleep I get all day. And has more than once caused us to be late for work, because if you're still asleep at 8:30, then hey, who am I to disrupt the flow??

This month, you have discovered the world of play objects that hang tantalizingly withing your reach, and often play music or sound effects for you. You are enthralled. I bless these activity mats for keeping your attention while I work. You delight everyone within earshot with the eagerness and earnestness of your conversations. Also, it is due in no small part to these helpers that you are already rolling back and forth. Although when you get stuck upon your belly--watch out! You get very, very angry, with commensurate amounts of drool.

After being alone with me, all night and again at work all day, you sometimes appear desperate to GET AWAY, and broadcast your objections to your father, who generally takes over your care when we get home from work. Daddy is your man, deserving of your constant gaze, your smiles, and your total fascination with his beard. He also shows you his deer head, which I will not comment upon here.

It is with great relief and even greater pleasure the I report that all nursing obstacles seem to have disappeared. Good riddance. I love, love, love nursing you. Your pediatrician recommends that we keep to solely breast milk, despite your size. HOWEVER. Breasts are not detachable. If you wish to look at something behind you, you MUST LET GO FIRST.

Daddy calls you his Super Bean. At three months, you weigh almost 15 pounds. Today, someone mistaked you for a six-month-old. Please slow down! You need time to be a baby too!

I'm happy to say that all the creatures have embraced you. Including Oscar, although he still does not realize that you cannot be sat upon. Our first "baby" Murphy has had a bad time this month. He is in renal failure and we hope we can keep him through the end of the summer. We love him terribly, and although we do not want him to suffer, he seems fine thus far.

Let's talk about your sleeping habits. I can't stress how much in general you been such a great baby. BUT. You do have your moments. And they tend to include all the moments in which you decide to forego your naps during the day. On weekdays, at work, you essentially sleep from 10:30-3 or 4. And on weekends, you generally go down for two naps during the same space of time. However, lately, including today, you've been, ummm, resistant. I'm generally not at a loss for words, but in this situation, I believe the immortal words of Heather capture it all, and at the same life stage!:

"I have received a lot of advice concerning your screaming, people who think you might have reflux or an ear infection, people who think I need to stop breastfeeding you, people who think I need to start feeding you Cheerios already. And I think this may be the first instance where I take a stand as your mother, the one person who knows you best, and declare that the only reason you are screaming is because you are tired. Your little body needs rest, and when you take naps during the day you are glorious, the most precious and wonderful and awesome baby that ever came out of a womb. When you don’t take naps you are HORRIFYING and there isn’t a window in the world that I wouldn’t throw you out of."


And now we come to the crux of the matter. Your surgery is two weeks away, and I am terrified. I know, because you are a Super Bean, that all will be fine. But it's my job to worry, and I am good at my job.

Last week, we had another meeting with the pediatric neurologist, as we have every month since you were born, just to keep tabs on your tether, until your operation. I went alone this last, as your daddy had to work and it was just a status visit.

But it wasn't. She believes she seems evidence of another, unrelated condition that means that the plates in your skull have fused too early. And once she pointed out the skull growth related to it, it's hard to see where we missed it. I blame it on Zutano and Vermont. All those adorable little caps, and the frigid weather...your little head has been covered up mostly since birth. So. Either you have a narrow skull, or you have Sagittal Synostosis. I'm convinced they don't raise these sort of alarms lightly at Dartmouth. We've been told, pending a C/T scan, that you will need another surgery. We should confirm while you are in surgery for the spinal cord. I think my head might explode, if I didn't need to keep together for you, baby.

So we'll leave it at that. Breathlessly, we all await June 6. I've done a very Irresponsible thing and ordered the glider and ottoman of my dreams, in anticipation of the two weeks we must spend at home after you get discharged from the hospital. I don't care. You are my most precious bebe. And I am...

Your Mama.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


The lovely Auntie Amanda offered this challenge, and I can't resist this kind of stuff. Plus it will help me refocus away from the more intense aspects of being a parent. Oh, and I'm totally jealous that her trees all have leaves. Here? No leaves. Some buds, but no leaves.

1. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

A sleuth. I was enthralled with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I think I was only one of a dozen kids in the entire country that could slog through these dated novels (Cherry Ames, anyone?? The Bobsey Twins??) and still think they were cool. Still, they were some of my first experiences with literature that made a lasting and compelling impression.

I remember one Nancy Drew, unsure which one, with a line that has stuck with me as clear as day, since I last read it almost twenty years ago. Nancy has to dive underwater to investigate the contents of a suspiciously-sunk sailing vessel. She opens a vanity, still full of compacts and make-up. Picking up a lipstick, she pulls off the cap and the tubes were choked with glittering diamonds. That was the line and at eleven years old, it was one of the most sexy sentences I had ever read. Ah me.

2. What do you think your best and worst qualities are?

Ah, easy!
Best: I am incredibly loyal to my friends. Come high times or terrible, I will love you and cherish you. And if I complain to you, I will never complain about you.
Worst: I bear a grudge. Anger or worse, upset me or someone I love, and I'm not likely to forgive it anytime soon.

3. What three people –dead or alive- would you like to have over for coffee & conversation and why?

Ray Bradbury-He rocks my world, and his characters are always people after my own heart, even when they're bad. Where did he dream up all those people? Does he really spring out of bed in the middle of the night with a whole story? Who is Cicy? Has he been to the Veldt?
Bruce Springsteen-Grew up in my town, got kicked out of my catholic grade school, writes incredibly lyrical poems about my life and life in NJ. We used to fight like cats to serve him at Jersey Freeze. I wonder what it's like to be him. What's that lyric from Evita? "Sometimes it's very difficult to keep momentum if it's you that you are following." So how does he do it?
Lucille Clifton-Incredible poetess and lover of southern Maryland. Split her teaching tenure between St. Mary's and Duke. One of the most powerful black women I have ever met. I got to take a class with her, but never had the courage to ask her the important questions about what she believes.

4. What is the biggest surprise about motherhood?
That I'm still up typing when I'm so incredibly, incredibly tired.

5. What superpower ( flying, invisibility ,etc) would you like to have and why?
I would like to invent a new power. It's called Stripping the Undeserving of Their Power. Then I would proceed to take down governmental special interest groups devoted to making money, waging war, deceiving the public, and otherwise fucking up this country, which I love. This power would also have the ability to thwart shitty spouses/boyfriends and cause them to break out in boils.

Want to play? Here’s the scoop:
1. Leave me a comment saying ”Interview me” and give me your e-mail address so you can make it easier on me.
2. I will respond by e-mailing you five questions, I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.