I say this every month, but I think we are finally getting life under control!
See, here’s the thing. You take your sweet new baby home from the hospital, and for a few weeks, insanity ensues. You don’t have enough time to shower, brush your teeth, or check your email before it’s time for another diaper change, feeding, nap attempt, cuddle, whatever. Around the clock. Without a break.
And then a few weeks go by and it gets a little easier, and you think, “ok, we’re in the clear. From now on, things are going to be smooth sailing.”
But the real truth is: life with a baby doesn’t exactly get easier each month… it just get different.
Sure, some things get easier. When a four month old cries, you have a general sense of what the issue may be, and you know how to solve 90% of the possible problems. And by now, I feel like I have a basic idea of how to take care of a baby, something that I just did not have when you were born.
(True story: when they put you on my chest, the first thing I said was, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” I kid you not. Those were the first words you heard your mom say. I had never held a newborn before, and you were so tiny that I was terrified that I might somehow hurt you.)
But now, you’re a little bigger and a little sturdier, and not quite so terrifyingly delicate — which puts my mind at ease, at least a tiny bit. So, lots of things do get easier as the months go by.
But… other things get harder.
Like, say, sleep.
Here’s what no one tells you: It is completely possible for a four-month-old baby to sleep worse than a newborn. Remember my little two-week-old baby who slept for four or six hours at a time? Well, that baby turned into a three-and-a-half-month old who slept for no more than ninety minutes at once, ever, for weeks on end. It. Was. Brutal.
But even in my extensively sleep-deprived state, watching you grow has been so much fun, and this month brought so many amazing new moments.
And, here, I’ll say it.
You are just SO darn cool.
Whether it’s learning to roll over or learning to laugh (!), it seems like every day brings some new skill. And it’s amazing to watch you discover each of these tiny little actions that remind us: you are slowly growing into your own little person, with all your own likes and dislikes and joys and sorrows. That’s the most incredible thing to watch, really — to see this little person emerge from an unformed newborn into something that’s starting to resemble a child.
And that’s what I’m most excited about, as the months go on — watching you become yourself, learning your place in the world, and seeing the person you become.
I said this while I was pregnant, and I feel it even more now: creating a life was a wonderful thing, and the experience of pregnancy was something I will cherish forever. But parenting is a million times more rewarding, more exciting, and more fulfilling than the biological process of pregnancy. Whether you had joined our family through birth, through adoption, or some other way, your entrance into our lives is an incredibly opportunity. It’s the opportunity to guide a new person into becoming a happy, healthy, kind, and compassionate human being.
I think about that goal all the time, and I hope, as you develop more and more every day, that I’m doing a good job.
With so much love, and more every single day,