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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Daddy time

My dear Alice,

Today is your one-month birthday! It's hard to believe you've been with us for only a month now. It seems as though you have always been here -- always cooing and grunting from the bassinet, or arching your arms over your head at the slightest stimuli, or slowly opening your big brown eyes to begin to take in the world. And yet it's only been a few weeks.

So far, I think things are going well. You have a sweet and calm side that is almost unbearably endearing. I love it in the mornings when you are calm enough to lie on my chest peacefully, eyes open, rising and falling with my breath and staring at your mother a few feet away in the bed. It's so encouraging to see you awake and alert and quiet, observant, so that your mommy and I can show you the world and how we make our way in it, so you can begin to understand.

Since I have to spend much of the day at work, I always try to make sure I imprint on you well enough so that you'll know me. Most times when I pick you up I helpfully say, "It's DADDY! DADDY TIME!" to clarify what exactly my role is. I do not provide food (usually), but I am adept at changing diapers, and I will say that I am quite good at soothing you. Swaddle you up, shush aggressively, jiggle you to and fro, stick in a pacifier and you should be nice and quiet in a few minutes. Sometimes Mommy will be holding you and jiggling you, and I will be standing next to her, shushing loudly and bouncing up and down on my knees like an idiot. But do you know why I do it? Because I'm Daddy. And it's Daddy Time.

To be honest, there are challenging times as well: your tradition of unconquerable fussiness between, say, 8 and 10 p.m. is annoying, and I sometimes take it personally. It's also uncool when we change your diaper, and then moments later you release a massive poop. Do you understand that diapers cost money, and that you are wasting both? Frankly, Mommy and I are getting sick of your sense of entitlement.

Other than that, daughter of mine, you are wonderful. If I could rewind the clock back to one month ago, and spend all that time telling you every way and how much we love you, it wouldn't nearly be enough. On my desk at work I have a photo of your mother from our trip to Hanoi, in Vietnam, before we knew you (yet not before we dreamed of you) and right next to it is a picture of you, looking cute and beseeching and dignified on the changing table. You guys are my favorites.

Happy birthday, little blabe--

love,

Daddy

1 comment:

arab.navigator said...

I ask Allah to keep this beautiful girl