I kept meaning to write you a letter at two months, but we were traveling in the States and well, I guess I was more of a doer in those days than a reflector. So here we are, and just this past weekend you turned three months old. Three months young.
For five weeks during your second and third month of outside-womb life, we were traveling abroad. So at the tender age of seven weeks, you not only took your first transatlantic flight, but then proceeded to visit no less than five states in your homeland. Not that I am even remotely surprised, but you took it all like a champ. You didn’t care if it was a travel crib, real crib, swing or bouncy seat- you slept anywhere and for really long stretches at night. It was almost as though you preferred the vagabond lifestyle.
Just this week we moved you into your own room, which surprised me since Jonah was in our room until seven months. But I had the sense that you would sleep better in your own room. And after we had shuffled some things around, and while you were still asleep on our bed, I just sat on the futon sofa in your room with the lights out, immobilized. I kept looking around the room, thinking that it was about to be yours. Feeling the bittersweetness of it. Which is a daily occurrence for me as a mother. New thing to behold, old thing to mourn.
Of course, Simon, you have changed tremendously in the past two months. Once squishy and with the scrawny legs of a newborn, you are now fully filled out. Your face is full with the kind of cheeks people stop and comment on. Your legs are roly poly (which your brother says with a British accent) and you are so big that before you turned three months, at 16 lbs, you were wearing some nine month clothing. Other moms like to comment, almost aghast at how ginormous my child is. Obviously I feel sorry for all those moms of malnourished, sickly-looking children. I know you want to eat those other babies for dessert. But they wouldn’t be very filling, would they?
You are – of course – devastatingly gorgeous. You still have your beautiful dark brown hair (except for the balding strip horizontally in the middle) and a smile as big as your whole face. I am sure that is how all babies smile but I have amnesia and am convinced you smile the biggest in the whole wide world. And it feels really amazing when it is directed, as it most often is, at me.
You see, Simon, that’s the funny thing about being a second child. The first time around I didn’t know what to anticipate and each milestone for Jonah was one for me as well. But now I know that there comes a time when a child might choose to scream NO! or run away at my mentioning a particular thing, so I am going to hang on to all your adoring gazes and incessant desire to be held by me. And pretend that they will last forever.
You have begun to amass your own impressive new wardrobe. I thought you would be in hand-me-downs only, but your people have been good to you. You are already beginning to grab small toys and bat at things you see. You stare at your brother and I am already imagining the lifetime ahead you will have of looking up to him. And Jonah seems to be honored to rise to the challenge. I told him last night that you had to learn about teeth brushing from him and lo and behold, it was the first time I have ever seen him so vigorously brush his teeth, and for so long.
Jonah adores you. You are the first person he asks about after he has woken up and been retrieved from his crib, and you are the first person he asks about on the days when Melissa brings him home. He mentions your name in the imaginary play he does with his cars and tells me that you both live in our house. I think, Simon, that you have made it easy for your big brother to love you so much. You are very laid back when it comes to him. I don’t even know how many times a day you let him flop on top of you, smash a toy on to your face or head butt you.
I just noticed yesterday that you are trying to roll over. You love shoving your whole fist in your mouth and sucking on it in lieu of a pacifier. Apparently, a thumb alone will not do. You are still great in the bath. You giggle the hardest when I say “Jets, Jets, Jets!!” I imagine it’s my inflection and tone, and not the fact that they have lost their last three games. You were bored in the carrycot on the double buggy (oh, we are so British!) so I had to get rid of that, stat. Today I attached the car seat instead and it’s fun because now you face me while Jonah looks forward. Everybody gets a piece. Everybody’s happy.
I really didn’t think I was going to be the type to indulge in themes of any sort, but I couldn’t help myself after Jonah was born and loved every single thing that was whale-related, in honor of the biblical story of his name. For you, I now have a thing for penguins. We called you “pinguini” in utero because it has pretty much been my favorite word in the Italian language for years and years and sounds cute. You should know though that I only have ever known five Italian words. Pinguini is my favorite of the five. Before gelato, ciao, bella and spaghetti.
I like to sing Puff the Magic Dragon to you, but really only know the first two lines. So I usually wing the rest of the song and it goes something like this:
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee,
Simy Simy Soomy, Moomy Moomy Moo
Simy Simy Simy Soo, Moo Moo Moomy Moo.
Pretty creative, right? But that’s the beauty of a 3-month old. You think I’m awesome. You think I am the greatest lady in the whole world. You think I am almost perfect. You’ve given me only the most minor point reduction for all the times I make you sit in the bouncy seat because I am either:
- picking up blueberries off the kitchen floor
- trying to find a stroller adaptor and cursing your father
- microwaving Ikea swedish meatballs for your brother
- catching up on entertainment news on-line
It’s funny how you’re pretty happy as long as I am holding you, no matter what. On our last day in Manhattan last month, I was having lunch with a friend and her daughter near Grand Central Station, and daddy was already headed to Battery Park City to get our bags and we were supposed to meet at Penn Station to catch a train to Long Island. Now, your father thinks that I am always late and irresponsible with time management. I won’t say he doesn’t have a point (if you catch my double negative) so on this particular afternoon, I was pretty pleased with myself that I was leaving at the correct time to catch a cab to make it to him. But then, of course, I could not get a cab for the life of me. It was a gorgeous Friday afternoon in the busiest part of midtown and I was competing with hundreds of tourists and professionals for a cab. And I am pretty sure the stroller I was wielding with a toddler and the large baby strapped to my front in a bjorn was not enticing those jerks to stop. So there we were, running – literally RUNNING – through the streets of Manhattan. I was like the Mario Andretti of irresponsibly late moms. I jammed the stroller into the backs of at least three people’s ankles. I bobbed and weaved around people and curbs and cars stuck in traffic. I jaywalk-ran. I almost lost Jonah in oncoming traffic but reattached the stroller strap in time.
And you… you. You were bouncing -literally bouncing- off my chest the way any 16 pound object would when only moderately harnessed to a human sprinting through the urban jungle, also pushing 31 extra pounds. And nary a cry from you. Not over six avenues, nor nine streets of city blocks. Not a peep. No whiplash-induced anguish. And when we got to the station and I was yelling/crying into the phone, irate that daddy could not tell me the exact entrance for the LIRR, a nice older gentleman heard my conversation and offered to walk with me to the train, because he too was headed East on the Ronkonkoma line (and god bless New Yorkers because they will eavesdrop and get involved) and do he did. And we all sat down in our seats with minutes to spare. And true to form, I pretended like it was all no big deal. All in a day’s work of being a crazy human, a crazy mom. I just sat in my seat, making chit chat with dad, cooing at you and Jonah, while sweat poured off my body. POURED on that balmy September day. And you were happy. Because I was holding you the entire time. And didn’t we have that little adventure together? And aren’t I a scatterbrained, insane but always well-intentioned and smitten mom?And didn’t we make it there in the end? Let’s always do that, okay? Let’s always make it there, but always with a story to tell.
Simon, you are so tremendously loved by us. You are the fantastic wanted perfect complement to this family.
Happy three months plus some.
I love you,