Dear Baby Bear,
You are two months old! It’s astounding how much you’ve changed already — I find myself scrolling through old pictures, astonished at how much you’ve grown in just a few short weeks.
Physically! You went from the fourteenth percentile to the fiftieth in two months! I’m not at all surprised, since your appetite is no joke — but now that we’ve gotten used to breastfeeding , I’m hoping it’ll be smooth sailing from here. You’ve had one growth spurt after another for the last few weeks, and I’m so happy that you’re getting big and strong!
Emotionally! You started to smile this month, for real — not just the little gas-induced smiles that we saw in your first few weeks. It’s wonderful to give you kisses and watch your whole face light up, or to see you grin at the ceiling fan. (You love ceiling fans so much — I can’t believe I ever considered removing yours from your bedroom!)
Cognitively! You just started being interested in toys and books, and I know that this coming month will bring so much more development. It’s exciting to see you discover the world around you and I’ve loved learning the things you enjoy (the Baby Bear book, your octopus toy, and every musical instrument I can find). You recognize me and your dad now, and you’re even getting used to kisses from Rambo. (Yes, we let our puppy kiss our newborn baby. Don’t judge until you’ve tried keeping a nine-month puppy away from his new best friend.)
I’m overwhelmed by my love for you — but this month was harder than the first. For the first four weeks, I was so blissful about your arrival that nothing phased me — not getting up in the middle of the night, not changing diapers, not even when you had fussy periods or crying fits. But this month, I’ll admit… it was humbling. I’d always thought that people were exaggerating when they talked about just how much work a baby is… They weren’t.
I remember a few weeks before you were born, at lunch with a girlfriend, I said the following words: “People say being a mom is the hardest job in the world. There’s no way that’s true. I’m a lawyer. There is no way that being a mom is harder than practicing law.”
Oh, silly girl. They are completely, completely different, but in many ways, being a mom is much harder than practicing law. Who knew?
Here is the thing: I have never been more of a perfectionist about anything in my life (and I am a *huge* perfectionist) than I am about taking care of you. I have worked incredibly hard at many, many jobs and in school, but I have never been as motivated to be completely perfect as I am with anything that concerns you.
And you know what? It’s completely impossible to be perfect all the time, no matter how hard you try. I hate that I get panicked and frustrated when you cry, and I wish that I could be calm and serene and comforting for you, one hundred percent of the time. I hate that sometimes I am so tired in the middle of the night that I forget to give you kisses and tell you how much I love you. I hate that I went a full week without giving you a bath because you hated it so much that I just couldn’t bring myself to do something that I knew would make you cry — and so I didn’t. (You got wiped down with baby wipes and no-rise cleanser, don’t worry — it wasn’t too gross.) I am doing my best, and still, every single day, I wish that I could be doing even better.
But we’re learning, together. With every milestone you reach, I reach one of my own too. Slowly, I’m starting to understand your signals and trust my instincts, and each week gets a little easier.
I love you so very much. I had no idea how wonderful it would be to meet you, and how much joy you would bring to our lives — but I also had no idea how difficult it would be, how much patience and energy and willpower it would take. And I am trying, every day, to muster every ounce that I have of all those qualities, because I want nothing more than to make your babyhood as happy as it can possibly be.
I think we’re doing okay, you and I. So here’s to a happy, healthy, and completely wonderful Month Three.
With all my love,