Dear Josephine, dear dear Miss Josephine,
I am so tired.
Ok, no, I can write more, but seriously baby, Mama is tired.
When a woman is pregnant her body does some amazing things to prepare for her baby’s arrival. It stretches in ways you wouldn’t believe, it nourishes and protects the growing baby, and it prepares to produce milk when the baby arrives. There is one other little know miracle that the mother’s body performs while gestating though, her brain starts melting. It’s true, a part of the mother’s brain turns into a puddle that sloshes around for a while before leaking out of the tear ducts the next time she watches a commercial with a happy ending. It’s the part that remembers the difficult and horrible times of labor and also parenthood.
If a mother’s brain could remember how painful labor is she would never have more children, but a few weeks or months postpartum and she is looking back at labor like it was a stubbed toe. If a mother could recall every exhausting 2am, 3am, 3:30am, 4am…waking, and every tantrum at the grocery, and every hours long crying session then I think there would be a babies category on EBay.
This brain melting is so very important though, for survival and for sanity. Luckily the part of the brain that remembers the good times swells to fill the space of the puddle. I know that I’ve wanted nothing more than for you to please sleep one more hour, but when we get ready to go to bed the next night I’m not dreading waking up seven times, I’m looking forward to the morning when you’ll pull my face to yours and give me kisses to wake me up. That’s your new thing, kissing, you kiss everyone and everything. Even right now you are sitting on my lap as I type this and you are leaning back every few seconds to give me a kiss. I like this new game. A lot. It might not be the best idea to put your mouth on everything during cold season, but it’s awfully cute. You kiss the dog, your toys, even papa’s scruffy face, and when there’s nothing right near by you sometimes stop in your tracks, bend down, and kiss the carpet. I will really miss this when you stop.
When we get ready to run errands in town I’m not worried that you’ll throw another tantrum when I don’t let you run free and clean off the shelves at Target (even though you probably will). Instead, I smile thinking about how you love to sing as loud as you can while sitting in the cart and everyone in the store stops to tell me what a wonderful baby I have. They don’t even know how wonderful you really are.
There have been days when I would have given my right arm if I could get a babysitter for one hour. I just want to spend a little uninterrupted time organizing computer files or picking up our room without you following behind undoing everything I set straight. One day I got my “wish” and even got to keep my arm. Grandma watched you while I went to see the new James Bond movie. I spent most of the movie thinking about you and absolutely not relaxing. You may be exhausting but you are also so delightful and I miss you every moment you aren’t around.
You are quite rambunctious now. I have spent time with babies before and usually the boys are wilder than the girls. You break that stereotype, shatter it, you are only getting bandages and icepacks for Christmas. You really like to spin until you fall over, which is pretty funny to watch. Sometimes you don’t even bother to spin, you just belly flop right where you are standing. Then other times you try to run as fast as you can through the living room and crash into the couch or a pillow on the floor. You are really good on your feet but you still manage to trip every once in a while and knock your head on the coffee table.
You LOVE dancing to any and every beat. There are the obvious times to dance like when you push the buttons on one of your noisy toys or when mama is watching that Beyonce video again, and the less obvious, like the beat of the security alarm at the mall, which you’ve rocked out to in the shopping cart many times.
You can’t stay still for very long, nor do you even want to. You even walk around when you have a book open and are “reading” the page with the cat and dog on it over and over.
But it’s at night when you really show off your inability to slow down. Even in your sleep you keep going and going. I’ve witnessed you laugh and smile in your sleep for months now, but recently you’ve also lifted your head to give the air a kiss before lying back down. It was precious, as was the time you reached out one hand very deliberately, pinch two fingers together and bring them to your mouth. You were dreaming about having a snack and you gave a big smile “eating” your treat. It’s terribly cute how you dream, but oh how I wish you would just sleep through the night. Like I said before, I’m so veryzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…