© 2008 denise

Letters To My Daughter: Month 10

Dear Reese,

I cannot even believe that we have now officially shifted out of the single digit months when referring to your current age. TEN MONTHS. My relationship with you has officially lasted five times longer than any relationship I’ve had prior to meeting your father. And my relationship with your father has lasted 6 times longer than I’ve known you…so…uh, have fun figuring that out.


On a side note, no one could have convinced me that I would still be nursing my baby at ten months. Your relationship with my boobs still seems healthy and strong, so you’re probably not going to like what I have planned for you this month:

The Beginning of THE WEANING.

The Great Boob Breakup of 2008.

And no, my editor does not pay me per instance of the word “boob”. I just find breast too clinical, and ta-tas too cutesy, and other euphemisms too crass. Plus whenever I read “boobs” I tend to pronounce it with a silly inflection, like “boouuubbbes”. Really. Ask your father.

Or you could ask your Aunt Beth, because I tend to pronounce “booze” with similar inflection. Boouuuzzze.

Anyway, the weaning. Yes. I am really going to do this. By now you’ve seen the memo that your Mommy has recently accepted a full time position working as a consultant. You may be inclined to think that going full time means I would see less of you. I prefer to think of it as this: my free time with you will be better now because when I’m with you, I won’t be thinking about all the work I’m not doing for my freelance clients.


I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work a flexible part-time schedule so I could be there for you, nurse you, care for you…but somewhere along the way, my part-time became full-time and my free time became a guilt-fest. When you work at home, my dear, sometimes it’s hard to leave work…if you know what I mean. Well, you may not know what I mean now, but sometime in the future you will understand. My hope for this new adventure is that my work life becomes more structured and predictable, because currently it is neither. I want my time with you to be about you, and I think this change will support that desire.


Moving on: You’ve been doing a lot of swimming this summer. You’ve been having fun on a semi-daily basis in your frog pool that Gramma and PawPaw got you last month. You love your little pool. This month you got to try out a big-girl pool with your friend Laynie. You just went crazy, I could barely hold onto you, you were that excited. You so desperately wanted to swim, kicking your frog legs and your rudimentary dog-paddling arms. Somewhere along the way you’ve learned to love water, and for that I am thankful. Your Momma never really *officially* learned to swim, and it’s probably one of the things I regret not learning. I don’t like the idea that if we went to a pool or lake or the ocean and I couldn’t save you if you got into trouble in the water. It doesn’t help that I tend to panic in deep water. Enjoy the water, my little fish. You will learn to master it one day.


Oh Yeah — Remember last month when I said it wasn’t going to be long before you started crawling? WELL GUESS WHAT. You are so totally crawling now. You’ve been crawling to follow me around the house, crawling to get to the massive pile of unread magazines I have stacked on my coffee table, EVERYWHERE CRAWLING. Tonight I stripped you down to your diaper before your bath and left you in the nursery so I could fill up your bathtub. No sooner had I turned on the water and you were already padding across the bathroom floor. That means you crawled out of the nursery, down the hall, and made a beeline for my feet as I stood in the bathroom and I was like HOW DID YOU COVER THAT DISTANCE SO QUICKLY?

Let me tell you about my new name for you: “Ice Cream Baby”. No, it doesn’t have anything to do for your love of ice cream. I’ve been calling you “Ice Cream Baby” because when I’m holding you and your father comes home from work, you take one look at him and then you literally melt and become a sweet little shy baby, turning your face to my neck with your head on my chest. It’s like you melt like ice cream when you see your Daddy, and that in turn melts your Daddy’s heart into a gooey, sticky puddle of smooshy love. Tonight when he came home and picked you up from the floor, you pulled an “Ice Cream Baby” right into his chest — at that moment, there was no better thing in the world for your father. This feeling, the one that you give him when you snuggle with him, makes up for every single hair you have unceremoniously yanked from his chest.


You’ve been doing so many new things this month, and not all of them have to do with you destroying magazines or eating paper when my back is turned. Some newer things have just happened in the past few days. You are still experimenting with sounds, some sounding deceptively close to you saying “Mum mum mum mum mum”. You practice your conversational babble, mimicking the tones and inflection of our conversation to you. I’ve been noticing that you’ve learned to whine by making high pitched noises through your nose. I’m not such a fan of that, because it seems you do that only when you are bored. You still throw a fit if I leave the room suddenly and no one else is there to distract you from your loss. I’ve been learning to move with the stealth and skill of a ninja to keep you from noticing my absence and screaming, but so far, you’ve been able to detect my movements. How do you DO that?


You’ve become a proficient kisser, by the way. When I say “Do you want to give Mommy kisses?” you respond with a perfect open-mouth baby kiss complete with a little baby tongue. You’ll give most people kisses if they ask you for them. We’ll worry about your technique a little later. Also, the snuggling is still happening this month, of which I cannot get enough.

This month I am going to try to memorize everything about you: the way you smell so delicious after a bath, the cowlick swirl on your crown, the way you suck in your lower lip, the shape of your toothy smile (six! six teeth!), the little panting noise you make when you crawl, the “concentration tongue”, the way your mouth opens like a baby bird when we feed you bites of our Cheerios, the way you screech and thrash in delight when we play the “I’M GUNNA GET YOU” game before bedtime, and the way your Daddy makes you laugh that laugh where it sounds like hiccups are getting caught in your throat.

I love that sound.




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