Letter to my baby daddy: AKA “Papa”

You are a father.  You are the father of my child.  There are no words to express how this makes me feel.  Oh, there are some words that come close: happy, lucky, in love.

We’ve never stood before our loved ones and friends and spoken vows like “for better or worse.”  But I’ve experienced something even better than hearing you say, “I do.”  I’ve watched you act out these words, these vows, this commitment.  I’ve watched you give them meaning.

As everybody knows by now, we wanted a home birth.  During the process of preparing for this, you became a wonderful father.  You played music for our baby, rubbed my back, read books, and went to appointments and classes with me.  You were prepared to catch the baby, our baby, cut the cord, and be the first one to tell me whether we had a boy or girl.  Watching you get ready to become a father, I thought I could never love you more.  I was wrong.

After my c-section you became more than Oscar’s father, you became his primary caretaker during the first day of his life.  While I was stuck in bed for that first twenty-four hours, you held him, bathed him, changed his diapers, and passed him around proudly to doctors, nurses, and visitors.  You also took care of me with patience and tenderness.  We will never be the same.  We are now a family.

Since then, I’ve watched in awe as you’ve developed a relationship with our son.  You are still the primary diaper changer, but you’ve also become the primary laundry doer, joke teller, baby airplane engine, and car-seat lifter.  Oscar looks like you in so many ways, but even more I hope he becomes like you: funny, creative, caring, strong, gentle, and brave.

Love, S.

Introducing Chuck

This is currently Oscar’s favorite toy.  I’ve been calling him a chicken, as in, “Where is Oscar’s chicken?” or (when I’m running out the door) “Let me grab the chicken.”

Yesterday, however, Darin pointed out that he thinks it’s a duck.  Now I’m not so sure.  He has webbed feet like a duck, but a pointy beak like a chicken.  He has a green striped turtle neck and he plays music when you stretch out his neck.

He also happens to be delicious.

Chicken or duck?  You decide!

Letter to Oscar: Month Four

Last week I woke up to find that someone had stolen my baby and replaced you with a little boy.  A little boy on a mission to get off of Mama and Papa’s laps (although I’m not sure you’ve really thought that one through) and put anything and everything into your mouth.  If you could slow down a little with the growing up, that would be nice, because I don’t have anything to wear to your wedding.

I’ll never forget buying your first stuffed animal, a frog from Ikea, and your first toy, a little cow from Target.  Since then, baby toys have taken over the house, multiplying like dandelions.  We have enough baby toys and baby equipment to furnish a daycare, and yet I can never seem to find a burp cloth when I need one.

Last week I set you on the floor for “tummy time” in a desperate attempt to get hair to grow on the back of your head.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t grow fast enough during the forty seconds you tolerate being on your stomach, so you still have a bald spot.  Tummy time began as normal, with me telling you that this time you will love being on your tummy, really you will.  I set you down and suddenly, before I could grab the camera or Twitter about it, you rolled over.  Just popped right over.  As if to say, “Thanks anyway, Mama, but I prefer being on my back.”  You have since obliged us by repeating the feat each time we get bored with what’s on tv.  I wanted to videotape you and put it on You Tube, because I’m convinced that it would go viral and get a million viewers, but I’ve since found out that this is what babies do.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!  Walking at six months?  Potty training at one year?  Piano playing at eighteen months?  I’m sure nobody has ever felt this way about their baby before, but I am pretty sure you are a genius.

Yesterday you turned four months old, and it was also the one-year anniversary of when your papa and I found out I was pregnant with you.  I will never forget that day, and the happiness and excitement we felt.  I also felt fear, because I knew having a baby would be a lot of work, and that you would take over our lives.  You have taken over (not to mention your stuff!).  I toss you on the bed, my roly poly boy, and take off your clothes, and smother your baby belly with kisses.  As you laugh and grab hold of handfuls of my hair, I realize that while our life has certainly become more cluttered (with bills, dust bunnies, and dirty diapers), it has also become more full.

 Love, Mama

Stop and Smell the Baby’s Head

I brought Oscar to work with me today, first to a meeting and then to my office so I could finish up some last minute paperwork (summer vacation is a little bit of a misnomer for teachers).  He was golden in the meeting, sitting on a colleague’s lap and chewing on his overalls.  He didn’t make a peep.

At one point back in my office I was feeding him and answering emails at the same time (how’s THAT for multitasking!) when I noticed that he had finished eating and was “talking,” his head tipped back on the boppy, looking at me, smiling, and cooing away.  It was such a sweet moment, I did what I had to do, turned off the computer and enjoyed a little face time with my son.  We discussed current events, and he shared his views, which he would like to keep private.

Life is short.  Happy baby time is even shorter.