Well, your first Christmas has come and gone. You had a wonderful Christmas with my side of the family and cleaned up with gifts from all of your Auntie's and Uncles that you'll get to know in the coming years. Lucky girl.
With all of the extra help around this week - your aunts and grandparents came down to celebrate with us and give your daddy and I a much needed Date Night - it has given me time to reflect on what the last two months have meant to me.
I know that some of my previous posts may have led you and others who ultimately read the blog to believe that you're a "hard baby". This... this is not the case. In fact, I truly believe that you may just be the easiest baby in the world, and it's simply your parent's lack of knowledge about anything baby-related that has caused so much drama in our lives. And your mother's need to vent through the medium of the internet through dramatic humor have possibly made people think that you are not a good baby. When the truth of the matter is that you are. You ARE. And if people out there actually knew how good and easy you were, they'd probably slap me across the face, tell me that I should be so lucky... and then steal you for their own. FOR REAL.
When I think about the first two months, and in particular, the first five weeks of your life, I'm reminded of a line in a movie that was popular when I was growing up: Parenthood. Really, it wasn't that great of a movie and wasn't really that memorable... but for some reason, a line in that movie always stuck with me and it came roaring back at me all these years later when you came into our lives:
"You need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any a$$hole be a parent."
(insert finger pointing at myself here) ME. I'm the a$$hole, Hazel. The first five weeks of your life, your father and I were completely clueless and the only thing we knew FOR SURE, is that even with all of the excitement we had for you coming into our lives, even with all of the reading we did, even with everyone telling us that having a baby will change your life FOREVAH... seriously, we should never have been allowed to a) have a baby and b) if in the event we did have a baby, we shouldn't have been allowed to bring you home because WE. KNEW. NOTHING.
Can you imagine that? Two college educated people in their 30's... brought to their knees by a teeny-tiny baby and realizing that not only was that baby helpless, so were they?
Yea... those first five weeks were no bueno. Not from anything you did... rather from what your parents did and did not do. Based on what they did and did not know. And how they did and did not handle this new stress in their lives. Luckily, you made it out of those first five weeks relatively unscathed and I'm truly grateful that you'll never be able to remember all of those missteps in your handling and the mistakes we made as new parents.
The last few weeks of your life, Hazel, have been pure bliss. We feel like we're finally starting to figure you out (until the next curveball you throw at us, that is... and I suppose then, we'll eventually figure that out, as well), and have been enjoying you as a beautiful, sweet and easy baby. You really don't ask for much, you know? I'm starting to figure out the signs that you are hungry, wet and tired. We've stopped trying to get you on a schedule... we figure that when your brain gets a little more developed we'll try again... and until then we'll just do what you want and let you set your own schedule. Like the other night when you decided to take a nap from 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m., and we just decided that the Christmas party we were supposed to go to was not as important (or for that matter, adorable) as a baby sleeping soundly in a swing by the Christmas tree.
The only thing we know for sure now is that nothing is set in stone. You might wake up at 1:30 to feed, or you might wake up at 4 a.m. The last three days, you've woken up at 6:15 a.m. for a feeding and have gone back to sleep two out of those three days right after eating. The Daddy Special did not work AT ALL last week, but the last two days it's been gold. We just never know with you. But you know what? You don't cry a whole lot anymore. I've never had to put you in the car at 4 a.m. to get you to stop crying and go to sleep. I've never had to do anything more than feed you for that to happen. And when you do wake up for a feeding in the middle of the night, you just might be the happiest baby on the planet when you see me. The only thing you really demand from us is that during the days, your naps take place in your swing in the living room or while you're riding in the car with me when I just HAVE to get out of the house. But that doesn't bother me like it once did because you have no problem going to sleep at night in your crib. You're a GREAT traveler. You have really taken to our lifestyle of being out and about and we can take you just about anywhere without too much complaining on your end. Really, as long as you're not hungry, it only takes 10 minutes or so in the car before you pass out thanks to the vibration of the ride. You sleep when you're tired and we've given up trying to force you to go to sleep... because you usually only have a couple of hours of awake time in you before you exhaust yourself, and you usually go down after only 90 minutes of being awake. Which is good and bad. Good because a well-rested baby is a very. happy. baby. And bad because sometimes you sleep so long that your father and I actually miss you and wish you would wake up so we can see your smiling face and hear your coo's, oo's, ah's and yes... even your adorable hiney burps.
You've been resting comfortably when you nap for days now. Possibly because you know that your parents aren't going crazy anymore and that while it took a little longer than we expected, this is now our new "normal" and we love it. Your father and I love you more than anything and are so glad you came into our lives. And we love each other all the more for you... you are something that we made together and were able to give each other. How many Christmas gifts can you say that about?
You have to go to the doctor on Monday for your first round of immunizations. Thanks to advice from a friend, we postponed the appointment until after Christmas, so as to avoid a fevered and cranky baby. Can I just tell you how much I'm dreading your shots? First off... I hate needles going into MY body, I cannot handle the thought of one going into yours. I also don't want you to have any discomfort as a side-effect of the shots... which I know will likely occur. It scares me to think of you not feeling well and knowing that I was the cause of it. I know, I know... I'm doing this for your own good and for the good of those around you as you go to day care... but that doesn't mean it doesn't break my heart.