Meredith: 5 Months

Sweet Meredith,

I love you. I was trying to think of something else to start off with but that’s what I really wanted to say. I love you in such a different way from how I loved your brother as a baby and I’m learning that it’s not less it’s just different. Sometimes I worry that I don’t love you enough or don’t love you as much. But then I get a look at you and I know nothing could be farther from the truth. I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.

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You are beautiful. And I’ve never been able to see family resemblances well, and I’ve never seen them in Jacob or in you. Until now. Now I see your daddy when your eyes smile and I get more joy and satisfaction from drinking in that sight than all the grand vistas I can imagine. Those eyes! And when you smile it is your EYES that smile. It makes me want to write poetry, and I don’t write poetry.

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You are delightful, too. You are full of giggles and the littlest, easiest things tickle you. I love to make you laugh and it’s so easy to do.

There has been so much this month. You had your first Christmas and the big trip to Florida to see Grandma and Grandpa. You charmed everyone there, too. You got your first taste of a swimming pool and loved it as you ought to, for being my girl. You’ve changed so much this month.

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You still won’t roll over. You’ve done it once or twice but you would so much rather just yell until I come do it for you. But you’re so strong and you bend your back tight and twist all over. You swivel yourself around in a full circle if I leave you alone on the floor long enough.

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You grab everything and study it with such fascination. Your hands are amazing and I see so much skill and determination in them. You’ve always loved them, and they are serving you well.

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You suck your thumb often, especially when you sleep. I don’t mind because it is just so precious. And because it comforts you and soothes you. You have me wrapped around your finger, baby girl, and I don’t see that changing. Ever. Use it wisely.

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Some days I feel like I hardly see you, which is nonsense of course, but (forgive me for comparing you to your brother so much) that’s just how it feels up against my memory of all the time Jacob and I spent together last year. But you fight for my company more than he did and it makes me smile how you will fuss or throw a fit when I walk away and then stop the instant you hear my voice or see me come back. Someday you will know how good that feels.

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Speaking of fits, you are hilarious when you get crossed. You wind up for this cry that sounds like a semi-automatic going off at the start with all the “Eh-Heh-Eh-Heh-Eh-Heh” that happens before you get to the for real wailing. You lay it on fast and thick. Usually this happens when I set you down shortly after I’ve picked you up, like you haven’t gotten your fill yet. Almost always it happens when I get you ready for a nap, as your fist pokes through the arm of your zippered snuggly blanket; you know what that means and you don’t pull any punches telling me what you think of it.

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But you are a great napper and you rarely cry much anymore on your way to sleep. A minute or two often and sometimes you’ll even skip that and just stare off into sleepy land and suck your thumb.

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You have your own crib in the nursery now and you take most of your morning naps there and a few of your late afternoon ones too. Above the crib is the most fantastic mobile of little critters that Nanna sent you and it completely hypnotizes you. Hopefully next month you can start sleeping in there at night with your brother and I smile to think of all the fun you two have ahead of you sharing a room. And all the craziness I’m going to have to put up with!

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You still sleep in Daddy’s office at night, in your teeny-weeny bassinet. There are only a couple more inches before your head and feet will be pressing up against the ends so things will have to change soon. I’ve been waiting till you’d sleep through the night. You’ve been a very particular princess about that. After returning from Florida I decided it was time to get you to that point and you would have none of it. You’d oblige for a night or two and then be up several times for the next few. Last week I laid down the law and let you cry it out for about 5 nights straight. Everyone says it never takes more than 3 nights. You’d always wake, cry for 10-20 minutes, and then go back to sleep. I hated it more than you did, I can guarantee that. But I stuck to my principles until it became clear that you were just not ready so I fed you and we had two nights of that. You’ve been sleeping straight through ever since. What exactly were you trying to say? Probably I just managed to hit a growth spurt. Sorry about that! If you keep sleeping 6:30 to 7:00 consistently we’ll be all set to move you downstairs.

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I’m going to try taking it slow with foods, letting you hold pieces of ours and discover what they taste like before going straight to mushed everything. I want you to feel adventuresome and confident about foods, interested in trying everything. So that’s the plan and so far you’ve had a taste of carrot and apple. I’ll step it up in a couple more weeks but you are nursing so well and seem so content that I’m not feeling in any hurry.

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Well, my princess, I’ve rambled on long enough. I just have to tell you more of what I mean when I say I love you in a different way than I love your brother. With him my love has always felt so immediate, so present. But for some reason my imagination is constantly over-run with thoughts of what the future holds for you and me together in the next 20 years. We have so much fun and silliness and joy and beauty ahead of us and I am so thankful, so honored, so awed to get to be the mommy your beautiful heart needs in order to thrive. One thing I promise you, we are going to have a good time.

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