Thursday, May 15, 2008

Month 6

Dear Alli,

How is it possible that you keep getting more and more lovable and fun to be around? Every time I sit down to write one of these letters to you, I think, "It CAN'T get any better than this."

But it always does.

You blew my mind this month. Every week was something new -- the laughing, the rolling, forming new sounds, trying real food, the subsequent real diapers, sitting up on your own, and just a few days ago I felt your top two front teeth. Who cares that it was when you unexpectedly bit down on one of my knuckles? I'm wowed.

All of these new ways of interacting makes it next to impossible to prevent my lips from attacking your cheeks. Frankly, if I didn't know they were dimples, I'd think I had kissed a permanent dent on either side of your mouth.

And because you're not old enough yet to wipe your arm across your face and roll your eyes at me like, "Ma, you're EMBARRASSING me," I'm taking full advantage.

Besides, it's your fault. You're just so smoochable.


I'm not sure which new trick I love the most. Probably your crazy squeals of delight.

I'm proud to say that I earned the first one. We were sitting on the couch together, you facing me in my lap with your toes in the air. Then, completely by accident, you stuck your left foot in my mouth.

When I made a huge production of it and pretended to eat all your toes, your eyes opened wide and you smiled. Then you got really quiet, as if contemplating your next move, and you did it again to see if it would elicit a similar response.

When it did, I watched as the lightbulb of cause and effect came on in your head.

For the next few minutes, you continued to aim your toes for my mouth, squealing and laughing for the first time.

If your first words are "Holy shit," I take full responsibility. I couldn't help but say it to your dad, followed by "THIS IS AWESOME!"

It might be tough to explain to strangers in the grocery store why you would utter that phrase at such a young age, but, well, I stand by it. It really was that surprising.


You also allowed me to get a little more sleep the past few weeks. Not because you're sleeping longer, but because you FINALLY ROLLED OVER.

When your doctor asked us at your four-month appointment if you were rolling yet and we said no, he sort of huffed and added, "Well, certainly by six months."

So I did what any mother would do in that situation: I obsessed.

You're just so content all the time that you didn't have any motivation to do anything other than what you were already doing. On your back? Fine, no problem. On your tummy? Cool, whatever. Being held upsidown by your father? Wee!

When the deadline started nearing, I went into panic mode. I kept shoving your left arm under your nose and showed you how to kick over from your belly. Then we did it again. And again. And again. Until the drool had spattered all around the room.

And because you probably wanted to punish me for all that forced movement, the first time you initiated it on your own, you waited until I was out of the room. You were on the floor in between the bathroom and the closet. I popped out of sight to grab a shirt, and when I came out, you were on your back.

"You've GOT to be kidding me," I said.

I guess you inherited your father's sense of humor, too.


Maybe because that milestone was so excruciating, you've decided to go easy on me with sitting. A few days ago, I propped you up at your changing table and you just sort of took over from there. All of a sudden, you were sitting on your own, grabbing for your booger plunger and a nearby tube of Butt Paste.

Now you're happiest when I push you into that position so you can see the world from a new angle. The only problem is, you think it entitles you to the ability to crawl. You'll see something you want to inspect more closely, start to reach for it, realize your arms aren't strong enough to hold you for long, then take a nose-dive into the carpet.

I just pick you up and you try again.

I hope you always maintain that determination and tenacity. You've certainly reminded me to strive for it.


Kiddo, I can't tell you what a complete joy you are to be around. It's a ton of work, this parenting thing, but the rewards are many.

I spend hours every day trying to teach and show you new things, but much to my surprise, you've returned the favor. If I stop and pay attention, you offer little lessons about life that every adult needs to be reminded of once in awhile. Like never giving up when you try something new, falter and land face first. Like taking pleasure in the little things -- even if it's just a rubber spatula. Or telling the people you care about how much you love them.

I knew the day I met you that you were going to forever change the course of my life, but I had no idea how completely you would become a part of it. Some days I can't believe you've been with us for six months, and other times I can't remember what life was like without you.

It really can't get any better than this.




chelsea said...

I always look forward to your letters. I can't believe she is 6 months. She is adorable.

Shalini said...

What a delightful letter! You both are so lucky to have each other (and Jerry too)!

Anonymous said...

This letter I think is my favorite one to date.

I smiled, I laughed and I cried at the very end.

I wish you a lifetime of happiness and joy with Jerry and deserve every minute of it and then some.


Ray said...

I love all your letters to Allison. It's a beautiful thing you're doing for her. I also love your descriptions, on what you thinks going inside her little head. Like this one: "When it did, I watched as the lightbulb of cause and effect came on in your head."

That second photo of her with her eyes wide open and that half smile is absolutely adorable. And the one with her looking relaxed and baby-like with her pacifer, would melt anyone's heart. I know I've said (written) this before but, "GOD BLESS HER!" Really. <3

Take, care.

the plainsman said...

I read this the other day, and had the thought that the next installment of "Letters to Allison" can't get any better. Yet they seemingly do. Each one is a unique testament to the bond, the love that builds. In fact, I paused comment, and thought I'd come back for a re-read. My thoughts have not changed. An incredible gift for Allison, Jerry and all (including yourself!)

Rejina Jones said...

From the UK and love reading this, especially the mention of Butt Paste which we're just getting over here, marvelous, keep up the fab writing :)