My baby is enormous. I am in complete denial about it. She smiles and laughs, reaches up to touch my face with her sweet hand while she nurses, holds items we put in her grasp, has gone up two diaper sizes since last month, and is already a little chatterbox despite her nonexistent vocabulary. She says "el goo" in response to most questions. Is this Spanish for "goo?" We're not sure. But, it's her signature phrase, which is usually followed by her signature noise, "whooo!" The girl cracks me up. She lets out a very dramatic "whooo!" as sort of a sign-off to activities—just changed my diaper, "whoooo!" or just had some amazing boobie juice, "whooo!" God, I love her.
I really can't believe it's been two months since I gave birth. While I was pregnant, one of my husband's friends told him that in parenthood the days are long, but the years are short. I've found that to be true already. As I write this there is a fuzzy head brushing against my chin, and a long baby body sprawled out across my chest. But, her legs are so long that they can't curl up underneath her anymore—instead they dangle past my hips even though they are bent. Her arms reach around my sides in sort of a half hug. And I can't quite remember when it was that she grew longer than my torso or her head became larger than my breast. I looked back at photos of her the other day to try to piece together when all these changes occurred, and I got as far as the second day of her life (before I had to stop because I was too overwhelmed with emotion) when she was so tiny that her legs would curl up in my armpit while she nursed. That was it. Her whole body spanned my breast to my armpit, and that was it. This morning's breakfast feels like it happened an eternity ago, but the day she was that tiny never stops feeling like it was yesterday.
This blog post feels rushed and uninspired, which makes me sad, but this past month the chaos level in our household seems to have ratcheted up. Em has become very attached to mama, and mama, being an attachment parenting devotee, has found herself with a squirmy barnacle that makes it nearly impossible to get anything done. Take for instance the thank you card that I just put in the mail today. Ignore the fact that this thank you card was for a gift I received a couple of weeks after Em was born—normally I am quite good about sending out cards promptly. Pay more attention to the fact that it literally took me weeks to write one simple card. And when I say that it took me several weeks, I mean the card sat on my kitchen counter, open and with a pen sitting on top of it. I would find myself walking by the card and would jot down one sentence before something, or more likely someone, would call me away from it. The writing of this card went on like this for weeks, sentence by sentence, until I was finally able to sign my name and lick it shut just yesterday. I walked it to the mailbox (with Em on my hip, obviously), which was somewhat shocking. I was sure it would take another several weeks for me to actually get the darn thing in the mail. So, it was a big day. And that's life right now.
What I will (quickly) say (before the barnacle on my chest wakes up) about Emerson becoming increasingly attached to me, is that while my life and my chores and my hobbies (and my hygiene) have been pushed completely to the side in order to parent my little one right now, the benefit is knowing that I am providing the specific kind of love that she so rightly deserves and needs. There are surely moments of frustration and exhaustion, but making this child feel right and safe in the world is the most incredible job I've ever had. If I can do that one thing every day, then I should feel more accomplished and proud than I've ever felt. And the perk is that I get to fall deeper in love with my babe while I do it, and I get to watch her fall deeper in love with me. I am almost shocked by how much she loves me, and by how much she needs and wants me round the clock. There is nothing more exhausting, but nothing more fulfilling.