Letters to Charlie: Month 1

To my adorable Charlie,

Today you turn one month old. There are moments when I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone by, and others where I feel like it’s been much longer (usually when you wake up at 5:30 a.m. and want to eat nonstop for the next three hours and sleep-deprived Mama can’t see straight).  I saw a picture of you from your first week of life and already you look so much bigger. You’ve begun to grow out of some clothes.

I don’t know what your father and I did to deserve such an incredible child. Besides being out-of-this-world cute, you are just so chill about everything. You only cry or fuss when you’re hungry or wet, and as soon as that’s taken care of, you are, as Dad calls you, “Placido Domingo.” We have taken you all over town and you just go with the flow, usually conking out.  We have friends and family who still have never seen you with your eyes open.

Speaking of eyes, yours right now are a gorgeous grey color. Both Dad and I have blue eyes, so I’m sure yours will turn eventually. But grey? So rad. When you’re awake, fed, and happy, your eyes are bright and inquisitive. You love looking at the skylight in our living room and the window in your nursery.  Our neighbor joked that you’ll probably be a photographer.

When you’re awake, we try to engage you as much as possible. We make funny faces, we sing to you, we have dance parties in our living room while your Dad plays rockin’ tunes, we read aloud (you’re really liking Valley of the Dolls). We’re told that your developing brain is analyzing and storing all of this activity.

We can definitely track your development. You stay awake for longer stretches of time. You’ve pretty much stopped crossing your eyes, and you’ve started following the light from our iPhones with your eyes. You are flailing your arms and legs much more, although you don’t know they’re your limbs yet. In the past few days, it seems you are mimicking some of our facial expressions.  During tummy time, you push out your legs like a frog and have started scooting your body up a few inches. Yesterday, for the first time, you held tightly onto my finger when you nursed.

I’ve dubbed my favorite facial expression of yours the “Mola Mola Face.”  When you’re just starting to get hungry, you push out your lips like a fish and stick your tongue through it. When you sleep, you suck on your left bottom lip. We get great joy out of triggering your Moro Reflex, which causes you to shoot out your arms and try to grab onto something when you’re startled or feel like you’re falling.

When your umbilical cord fell off, I felt like the proudest mother who ever lived.

You have an insatiable appetite. I love the fierce little grunts you make when you’re hungry. You go crazy when we interrupt a feeding to burp you. Dad and I call you “Bonker Sweets” at these times because you knock your head into our shoulders (all while grunting) or lunge to the side in search of a nipple. You’ll eat voraciously from anything – a boob, a bottle at room temperature, a cold bottle directly from the fridge. You don’t care as long as you get to eat. That’s my boy!

I really enjoy and treasure the times that I nurse you. I use the opportunity to kiss your shoulders, caress your hands, inhale your intoxicating scent, and listen to your little moans and sighs.

I love watching your father with you. Baby, he loves you so much. The other night he tried to read you a poem that his mother read to him as a child. He was overcome with emotion and just held you against his chest while he sobbed.

Your poop has been a pretty big deal in our house. Like all new parents, we overreacted when you hadn’t gone in a few days, and almost took you to the emergency room when you looked like you were in a lot of pain. When you finally let loose (and boy did you let loose), we cheered like you won the Super Bowl.

Let me tell you a funny poop story. The other day you were lounging on Dad’s stomach when you let go of a monstrous poop. We giggled a bit until I looked down and saw it seeping rapidly out of your diaper.  I called out to your Dad, who, while still holding you, caught the oozing poop with his hand (nice catch!). I burst out laughing, and then promptly began to pee my pants (Mama’s bladder is still weak from your birth).  I froze and tried to hold it in so I wouldn’t pee all over the couch, which made me laugh even harder. Dad was still trying to contain your oozing poop and was calling out for help, but I couldn’t move without peeing all over the place! I finally got it together enough to move you to the changing table. Dad began setting up your bath because there was no way that baby wipes could have cleaned your tush. As soon as I removed your diaper, you pooped again – all over the changing table. I cleaned that up, only to have you POOP AGAIN. When I cleaned that up, you decided to pee all over me. I carried you, dripping with pee, into your bath. As soon as we put you in the soapy, warm water, you proceeded to poop again. This was one of the funniest moments of my entire life.

You transfix me. I have stared at you for hours, and could probably spend all day doing this. I have a poor memory, so I’m desperately trying to record every single detail about you. But just like I can’t really remember ever being pregnant, I’m sure the exact memory of how it felt to hold your tiny body, the overpowering scent of the crook of your neck, the sound of your jarring newborn cry, the look on your face when you’re fast asleep in my arms…will all fade somewhat.

This makes me sad, because time goes too fast. But I am also excited; amazing adventures await us.

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3 Responses to Letters to Charlie: Month 1

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s really beautiful. I got choked up while you described Charlie and his dad and then laughed out loud at your description of the incident on the couch. Charlie is going to love these!

  2. Anna says:

    Jessica-you are amazing, I can’t wait to meet Charlie V!

  3. jamie says:

    What a gr8 idea! Almost peed myself reading your funny poop memory!

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