08.08.08 :: 8:10 am

Letter to Tater, Month 1

Dear Oliver,

Today you turned 1 month old.
Four weeks ago, your dad and I were completely taken by surprise that you were ready to BE HERE NOW, twelve days before your actual due date. For a split second, I thought the box of Cheddar Cheese Nips I had devoured not ten minutes before were the cause of the utterly life-denying, horrific abdominal cramps.

You were pulled out of me, biting Dr. B’s finger, at 6:28pm on Tuesday, July 8th while James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” was playing on the O.R. stereo. They placed you on my chest a few minutes after that and you were so pink and foreign and “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” came on and as I felt my guts being painlessly lifted to the ceiling I thought, yeah pretty much…

Life in the hospital for 4 days was a stop-motion movie of scenes: endless trays of jell-o, painful attempts at breastfeeding, and your little newborn wail. All the nurses said you were headstrong right out of the gate. Our favorite, Mary, called you “Mister” and “Oh, Honey” and said that you had a big personality and were very particular, especially about allowing a dirty diaper to touch your butt, which incidentally is no longer than twenty seconds.

The first two weeks at home were spent absolutely sleepless. I think you maybe stopped crying once. OK, twice. Tops. We agonized over the possibility of colic so early. We pored over pages and pages of advice and articles on the internet. Good Lord, boy, you were TROUBLE.

Except at bath time or mealtime. Those two things seem to be your favorite activities. And clawing at my boobs. When you hassle me later on in life, I’m going to ask you why I should grant you any requests after the way you treated my boobs, mister.

2 weeks ago, it seems we turned a corner. You’re sleeping at night, for a change. (I have undoubtedly jinxed us). And we’ve gotten the hang of soothing you almost immediately with the help of white noise, some tiny speakers, and wrapping you tighter than can possibly be healthy. But you seem to love it. And it calms you and you get your drowsy face on, and it’s an absolute pleasure to see, so I apologize in advance if you have lost the use of your arms by the time you’re old enough to read this.

Speaking of faces, your poop faces are the best. And so is your hair, which we love to comb into “The Ivy League” or “The Businessman” hairdo. Also rocking our world is how pleasant you are with regards to diaper changes, Eskimo kisses, and car rides.

This is probably the only time in your life where you will not be embarrassed by us and the way we talk to you and play with you, and you aren’t mortified by being seen in public with us, so we’re totally enjoying every possible second.

You started smiling more this past week.
I know it’s still involuntary at this point, but it kills us to see and it makes the whole day completely saturated with happiness.

I thought the best and most incredible day of my life was when I married your dad. OK, paying off my Visa card was kind of super-excellent.
But this is vast nothingness compared to the day we met you, my Tater, my joy.

I won’t get into all the crazy hopes and dreams we have for you because they’re nothing that all brand new parents don’t wish for (except maybe your Dad, who has high hopes that you’ll love Star Trek with a white-hot intensity and yes, I’ll totally help you make your costumes for the conventions).
I’ll just say that in spite of the endless, tear-filled (yours and mine) nights that come part and parcel with an infant, it’s been an awesomely rewarding and happy month.

There’s not one single thing about you that I don’t adore to pieces, and not one single thing about you that isn’t awe-inspiring and wondrous. Remind me of this sentence when you’ve destroyed something later on in your life.

You’ve turned the hue, saturation, and luminosity on my life up a billion times over, my little man.

Bonus: the dog has shown no interest whatsoever in mauling/eating you!


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