Thursday, January 16, 2014

Casper, Month 2

Dear Casper,

In December, when we met with the pediatrician for your 1 month appointment she assured us that over the next few weeks we would meet a new baby and that prediction has come to pass. You are no longer a newborn. Instead, you are coming into prime baby-ness. All of your stretching has finally unsprung your body from the fetal position; you are long if not lean (The chub! Oh, the adorable chub). Not content to spend your days curled up in a sleepy little ball the world is now yours to stare down, to punch, to claw, to kick, to yell at. You are suddenly wide awake to all of it. Attacking the world with gusto is tiring and you’ve just started occasionally giving your parents 5-6 straight hours of sleep at night (And we thank you. Why not go for 7? You can do it!).
This month you are Caperoo, Caperini, Caspernacus, Carperito with Cheese (when you got your swaddle on), Doodle, Gross-y, Gross-er Puke-y, and King Baby. Every song we sing is about you (Dad does an version of On Top of Old Casper that, if not sensical, is at least catchy).  I made up a metal ballad called “Throw the Paci on the Floor” to sing when you are very angry. Sadly, I do not have the GarageBand skills to produce a recording.
To my surprise (and terror) when I put you down on your stomach at just over 4 weeks, hoping you’d take to tummy time, you immediately rolled over onto your back. I am hesitant to even mention this to too many other people out of fear that I sound like one of those crazy parents who are constantly insisting that their child is super advanced. I managed to catch you on video a week later so I have proof that I am not delusions/making things up. As impressed as I am with everything you do I’m sure this early rolling foreshadows not genius but just a higher likelihood that you’ll end up rolling off of some perch, land on your head and leave me to worry about brain damage for years to come. Thank god you cannot yet roll from back to front.

I like to ask you to tell me what’s wrong when I know you’re hungry just so I can be amused with your vigorous rooting on my cheeks. You have your mouth open and ready way before the boob is out and often lose patience with my lackadaisical pace when it is clear that you are starving to death. The screams are very angry and very loud. You’ve also occasionally been putting on a hilarious play during feeding called, Suck, Suck, Scream. I understand. Sometimes when you are eating it’s hard not to think about a time in the future when you might not be eating. I try to remind you that everything is ok, and the boob is in your mouth *RIGHT NOW* and you tend to calm down.
You rang in 2014 but peeing all over your mom during a diaper change but quickly made up for it by smiling at us for the first time on New Years Day. You’ve been generally charming us with little baby grins every since but life is not all joy -- you are plagued by a few baby demons. The most evil thing in your world is gas. The number of times I’ve stressed over what could be wrong with my screaming baby only to have a big fart turn you into a smiler again are too numerous to count. The second most awful thing ever is pulling your own pacifier out of your mouth. When you need to be calmed down you like to be walked around the apartment to survey your domain -- mostly to greet your subjects, “recessed lights” and “black frames against white walls.”
All this info about my boobs and your farts might be TMI but who am I kidding? These posts are not really for Future Casper they are for Future Mom and nothing is too much information for that old broad.
For all the sweetness in this post our day to day lives are quite silly. When you’re mad we ask you to please register your complaints by mail and someone will contact you in 7-10 business days. We go over all of the things you hate (the bassinet, being held wrong, putting on clothes) and how you have the worst parents ever. We tell you how disgusting you are with all of the poop and spit up.
Casper, you are so much fun. Before you were born your dad and I had prepared ourselves for a baby who might (temporarily at least) ruin our lives. We had been told so many times that babies were hard, that they make people fight and cry and can ruin relationships. We took these warnings seriously. We were scared. The reality has been a pleasant surprise. Sure, I’d like more sleep and less time telling you that I have no idea what is wrong. But it’s not awful and it’s not hard…. yet (?). (That said, I encourage everyone to believe that babies are a disaster. I understand that many babies ARE, and if you get lucky, like we have, being pleasantly surprised is great).
You continue to grow too quickly and like all moms I bemoan this fast forwarding, but the baby I have today is as lovable as my newborn. Would I trade big smiles for a tinier, cuddlier bundle? How could one choose between those apples and oranges? I cannot imagine that I ever loved you any more than I do right now or that I ever will love you any less. You are a recipe for being in the moment. Bring on the sitting up, the teething, the babbling, the walking and the learning to give mama a foot massage.