Monday, September 25, 2006

Open letter to my daughter

Ada -

As you become increasingly active and engaged with the world, I want you to know I am paying attention (and riveted by it all). Some things I am noticing and wondering:

  • It would be nice if, when I pick you up at 6am in order to nurse you, the first word out of your mouth was occasionally "mama," instead of "papa" or "book." Though really, I'd settle for "hi."

  • I know that you love me intensely (and thank you for that, I do revel in your slobbery, sweet love), but is it necessary to show your desire to be with me by cutting your naps short (or refuse them outright) when I am home? I know you nap better when Juniper is with you. Not only does she tell me about it, but this week when I was working at home I witnessed it first-hand.

  • Thank you for - when you tumbled head-first down four steps, doing a complete somersault and landing on your bum - not getting all bruised and banged up. The fall alone scared the crap out of me, and reminded me that your desire to hold on to the railing while descending stairs, while charming in a "I can do this the big person style" kind of way, in no way indicates that you are actually ready to take on certain physical maneuvers. The upset (to your parents) caused by the spill you took later in the day, when you face planted after tripping off a single step, bruising both your forehead and your cheekbone, was only somewhat mediated by the fact that your papa was the one witnessing that fall, allowing me to not feel like I am the "bad" parent in this family.

  • I am amazed that a full month after I abandoned my attempts to get you to say or sign "please," you suddenly started doing both. Were you just working on this as a special equinox surprise?

  • Can you please explain why the previously enchanting bath no longer holds your rapt attention? You used to love every moment of the bath (ok, except for the moment where papa or I rinsed the soap out of your hair). When you sensed the end of the bath was near, you'd scootch as far as possible from our arms, responding to "are you ready to get out?" with a firm "no." Now you don't want to sit down in the water and after 45 seconds are declaring yourself "done, done, done" with the bath. How can it be that something that has amused and soothed you from your very earliest days is now annoying and even possibly a bit frightening? Have you been talking to Paul, who we know is a bit sensitive, and afraid of both fountains and the shiny floors of large chain grocery stores?

  • You were so amazingly mature at bedtime on Sunday, allowing your papa and me to put you to bed at Avery's house. When you were done nursing I asked you if you were done. "Done" you said, pointing to the portable crib. I lay you in the bed and you were quiet and sweet. Although you cried after I left the room, it only lasted for 9 minutes, much less than the hour I had steeled myself to hear. And how nice it was to pick you up from the crib in order to take you home later that night. I volunteered to pick you up while your Papa grabbed the bags, knowing that I would get to enjoy your warmth and sweet smell for an extra moment late that night. Nursing you a bit before returning you to bed, I felt sad about how soon such moments will be over. Soon you will be weaned, and later you'll spurn my arms in favor of books and sticks and bongo drums. But not yet, thankfully not quite yet.


  1. nonlinearpapa9/25/2006 1:30 PM

    If it makes you feel any better, this morning when I went to pick her up out of her crib, she greeted me with "mama!".

  2. I have a feeling that if our girls ever met IRL, they'd be good co-conspirators/friends :)

  3. George has gone totally anti bath too.- what up with that? One week it is the best play place in the world, the next week he acts like it's abuse.

    What gives?

  4. Dr. Stephanie9/26/2006 7:43 AM

    So, so, so sweet....

  5. love it. gorgeous post about a gorgeous baby. glad i found you through HBM.

  6. sweet. i'm cherishing the sweet moments i'm having with roxy. i know first hand that they don't stay sweet forever.
    daughters are perfection, aren't they?

  7. Mama Mama

    We love your stories. Good to see the news, too.

    Congratulations to the biggening girl.

  8. You have accomplished to give me a little baby fever. My oldest turns four today and my how things change. There are days I long for her to be a baby again.

    Oh, the changing their mind thing about stuff they used to love doesn't go away, it happens more and more as they get older. But no matter what they still continue to amaze me every day.

  9. i love the letter! i could see myself writing one quite like this one to Alena some day soon.

  10. that's lovely. so, so lovely.