January 17, 2009

three is the magic number

Little Zoë,

You are three months old today. According to veteran moms and baby books, this is a major milestone - the moment you transition from blobby infant into bubbly baby. There's some legitimacy to this. Just this week, you rolled over and giggled! Way to tackle your to-do list, baby.

I'm not so sure about the whole milestone concept, though. At three months, you have transitioned from a blobby infant into a bubbly baby. But it didn't happen today. It happened every moment of every day since you first came to be. You are changing constantly, and what I'm now realizing is that you will always be changing, unfolding slowly, one day at a time, for the rest of your life.

For now, you've grown increasingly aware of your surroundings and the curious beings which inhabit them (your dad and I included). Now, you follow us with your eyes and are quick to offer a dimpled grin when we talk to you. Yesterday saw our first ever game of peek-a-boo. Hard to know who enjoyed it more.

You have discovered your hands and use them to swat and grab the dangling elephants on your bouncy seat. You also pull your fists towards your mouth and slurp, slurp slurp until a) a digit finds its way in or b) you get frustrated and let out an exasperated cry. You're pretty obsessed with this, much to your dad's chagrin. He thinks it's unbecoming of you. Of course, he also refers to you affectionately as either "Stinky" or "Toaster," so what kind of refined lady could he possibly expect you to be?

When we put you down under your mobile or the crazy disco sunshine, your face lights up. You really get going, legs churning, arms punching, cooing and smiling. Then you give yourself the hiccups and we have to remove the source of overstimulation, pronto.

You're an easy baby. You eat well and sleep well. You love to be changed, to be upright, to fall asleep with your pacifier. You also love to watch television. We are trying to limit this, but it's tough these days, what with college hoops and NFL playoffs and your mom's recent discovery of The Food Network. Right at this very moment, you are sitting on your dad's lap, watching the Wildcats destroy Georgia Southern and chomping on your fists. Your dad is shaking his head, but I'm not sure if it's because of your fist-eating or because Steph is 1-11 from behind the arc.

I write all this because it's what I know about you. And in truth, it's not much.

Because while we know what you do, we don't really know who you are. Not yet, at least. This is one of the many beautiful things about parenthood, I think: Every day, as you discover your world, we discover you.

The other night, the three of us were in the kitchen just before dinner. I was holding you, and your dad was laughing. Suddenly, you laughed back, which made us laugh, which made you laugh again. We went back and forth, laughing at each other. It didn't last long, this little exchange, and ended with us in tears and you with the hiccups. But it was, for us, a magical moment. Just the three of us, laughing ourselves silly.

I have so many questions about who you are and who you'll become. A small part of me wants you to hurry and grow up, already, so I can know your favorite color and what words you'll mispronounce and how fast you can run. But the rest of me knows to sit, patiently, and watch you unfold, one day at a time, for the rest of my life.

I think I can handle that.



Mary Sue said...

Beautiful sentiments and great pics. I love the dimpled smile - wish I could reach out and pick her up.

Hurry up and get skype so Zoë can play peek a boo with Nana and Papa J!

Erin said...

Every word of this is just so beautiful. And the photos are tremendous. LOVE the ones of her below her mobile. She is perfect; definitely not deserving of the nickname TOASTER.