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The Hardest Thing

06.11.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

In a couple of days you’re going to be four months old. On the whole, you’ve been an exceptionally well behaved kid; sleeping through the night and not fussing all that much except when you’re hungry or tired.

Bright Eyed and Looking for Trouble

Lately, however, you’ve become a lot more demanding. You are no longer content to simply be held, but instead want a lot more active attention. You always want to be standing as sitting or laying down is just too boring for you. You love having Daddy fly you around the room. SuperBaby is the cutest thing, ever.

You’re quite fun to play with, of course, but when your Mummy and Daddy decide that it’s time for you to go to sleep… Well, let’s just say that you’re somewhat reluctant.

Yes, you’re kicking up all sorts of fuss when we try to put you to sleep. I think you just really like being awake and takin in all the cool new stuff that’s going on around you. There’s too much to see, too much to do. And you don’t want to miss anything, even if that means you get do overtired that your eyes start to turn purple and get huge bags under them.

However, cry all you like, you still are a miniature person at this point and you need your sleep. And it’s Mummy and Daddy’s job to make sure that you get enough.

In my rather brief experience as a father to this point, the hardest thing I have ever had to do is to put you in your crib to have a nap and leave you while you’re crying. Your voice carries, my dear Dwarfling. It pierces through walls, and right into my gut.

Walking out of the room knowing that you are not happy and content is heartbreaking. Staying out of the room is damned near impossible.

Obviously, at four months you don’t know how to make words yet, and your cries are nothing more than noises made to express your emotional state. I know this, intellectually. However, what I hear is:

DADDY! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! COME AND FIX THINGS! CURSE YOUR SUDDEN BUT INEVITABLE BETRAYAL! JUST BECAUSE OF THIS I’M GOING TO RUN OFF AND MARRY A BIKER! DAAAAADDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEE!

How can anyone with a heart bear something like that?

I know that I can’t. I cave in like a traffic bridge made of wet cardboard: Quickly, quietly and completely. Your mother laughs at just how quickly I race back into your bedroom when you’re crying. It’s silly, really. I know that there is nothing wrong with you. I know that you will eventually tire yourself out and go to sleep. I know I should just invest in some earplugs and ignore it.

But I really don’t want you running off and marrying a Biker.

love,

daddy.

Go to sleep, little Dwarfling. Daddy loves you.

 

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A Modest Wiggling of Feet

05.24.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

You took a big step the other night.

Well, not really, it was a very small and unsure step. More of a wiggling of feet in succession than anything else.

Let me explain. You and your mother were sharing a little bit of Goo Goo Girl Talk after she was finished changing you, holding you under the arms and making you giggle and laugh like crazy. But at some point during the conversation you must have decided that you wanted to be somewhere else, so you tried to walk away.

Now, obviously you weren’t successful. Your balance, to put it frankly, sucks right now. It probably has something to do with your head being quite out of scale with your body. In fact, you oftentimes look remarkably like a bobble-head doll.

But you tried. You wiggled your feet in the appropriate sequence and seemed incredibly excited while doing it. Almost as excited as your mother was.

Watching you discover new things like this is very cool. Every day I can see you learning and getting stronger: Trying to sit up, trying to lift yourself up with your arms, trying to roll over or trying to go for a walk.

Hey, I’m your father. I’m allowed to get excited over relatively insignificant things.

Love,

daddy.

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The Picture of Perfect Perfection

05.15.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

Your mother took you to a doctor’s appointment this week, and we finally have medical proof of what I have suspected all along:

You’re completely perfect.

It’s official.

Our doctor has looked you over, poked you in every way possible – measured, weighed, prodded and did any other verb that she could think of to you. And after all of that you have been proclaimed to be in perfect health.

She also said you were adorable, but she gets no points for stating the blindingly obvious.

You now weigh just over 10 lbs and are 59cm long. You are growing at a good rate proportional to your size. Your head measures 38cm in circumference. I’m not sure why the doctor felt the need to measure that, but at least now I can order a hat for you and know that it’s going to fit.

The doctor also commented on how good your awareness is and how well you are engaging with the world around you.  That is no surprise. I can already tell that you aren’t happy just sitting around, and that you want to get moving and start doing stuff. I am quite sure that once you get your legs under you – and I think that you’ll skip the whole crawling thing – you’re going to be a rampaging beast who refuses to sit still. Just like Godzilla or King Kong, except our living room will be your Tokyo.

I am very glad that you’re in perfect health. It’s a relief, honestly.

Love,

daddy.

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Making Up For Lost Time

05.07.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

I'm sure she is contemplating a solution to world hunger. Or pooping.

I’m sorry that I haven’t written to you in a while. Well, it’s been more than a while, really – more like half of your life so far. Daddy promises to do better in the future. How about I try to write a letter to you every weekend?

These past six weeks have been amazing. You have transitioned from an intriguing, but docile ball of cuteness wrapped in a blanket to an engaging and interactive, yet incredibly tiny person. When you look up at me with your dark brown eyes, it’s very apparent that you know who your Daddy is, and that you’re very happy to see him.

It’s clear that you have become a lot more aware of your surroundings. You’ve started reaching out and wanting to touch things. When I’m feeding you with the bottle, you hold my hands so I don’t take the bottle away and occasionally grab my fingers with a Baby-Deathgrip that Spock could learn a thing or two from. And we have this multi-coloured ball hanging above your crib which you find batting around with your hand endlessly entertaining. You still haven’t really learned how to control your arms yet, though, so for a while your Mom and I weren’t sure if you were doing it on purpose or accidentally hitting it while flailing. You flail a lot. And you regularly whack yourself in the face, which is really funny.

It’s very cool to watch you discover the world around you, and I can’t wait until you can start exploring it for yourself. Although I dread the moment that you discover that breaking things is fun.

SQUEEEEEE!

And I’m not sure what you have against your mother, but it seems that the only way that you’ll fall asleep these days is if Daddy is holding and rocking you. Mommy can try for hours, but you spend five minutes in the rocking chair with me and you’re sleeping as soundly as if I had just made you watch fifteen hours of televised Golf. I know that you don’t know what that is yet, but trust me, it will put you to sleep like nothing else can – it certainly works for me.

Since I last wrote, you have turned from a all-night party baby to a kid who, once we get you to sleep, doesn’t wake up again until Daddy’s alarm clock goes off  - and sometimes not even then. You’ve become a champion sleeper at night, suddenly. I’m not sure what happened, but I’m sure it has something to do with the whisky that I’ve been slipping into your bottle at night.

Just kidding about that; I’m not going to resort to whisky until you start teething.

You’ve also developed the most adorable smile ever. It’s a smile that does not end at your lips, it’s a whole body smile that makes you squirm and squiggle like a tiny, dancing Bill Cosby, and it absolutely melts my heart every time that you do it. And you do it a lot and with very little provocation, so there is a lot of melted heart residue to scrape off the carpet.

I just gotta giggle like the Jell-o pudding pops

Love,

Daddy.

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Song

03.26.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

A lot of people who have read these letters to you have offered a lot of advice, and it’s so very nice to know that people care and are interested in your welfare, little one.  I hope that, like your daddy, that you are very grateful to be so adored.

Err… I mean, of course that you are adored and I am grateful. See? My mind isn’t working quite right.

But right now, this song pretty much sums up how I’m feeling.

Love,

daddy.

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Go to Sleep, Little Dwarfling

03.23.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

You are incredibly adorable when you sleep.  The way you can seem to get comfortable in any position, no matter how uncomfortable that it may look to someone who has never mastered the cat-like ability to sleep while upside-down.

You make all sorts of funny faces when you sleep, and do this weird eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-your-head thing that is incredibly cute at the same time as being completely disturbing.

You snore.  You whimper.  You flail your arms.  I’d love to know what you’re dreaming, but given your experiences to this point, it probably has something to do with boobs.

I wish you would sleep more often.

And I wish it wasn’t required that I hold you while you do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love you and I love holding you.  But damn, girl, it’s hard to do everything one-handed.  I’m coping well enough with eating and drinking.  Typing or playing on the computer is really hard.  Trying to take apart a computer or do any other chores is utterly impossible.

Also, what’s with not letting me sit down while holding you?  It seems that you need to be in motion all the time, and even sitting and rocking in a chair isn’t good enough, no, you need to be moving.  Do you have some pressing appointment or somewhere you need to be?

You were so great in the first while, but now that you’ve been around for five weeks a crib just doesn’t cut it anymore for you.  No, it’s much nicer in Daddy’s arms, isn’t it?

Daddy and Mommy are very tired, Teagan, darling.

Go to sleep.  We’ll be here when you wake up.

Love,

Daddy.

The Dwarfling, passed out in my arms.

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Ode to Normalcy

03.10.2011

Dear Dwarfling,

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all poetic on you.

Before you were born I admit that I was terrified.  Not of being a father, or of having my whole lifestyle turned upside-down, nor was I truly afraid of changing your diapers.  The thought of constant crying was a little on the scary side, but that’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about.

No, I was in mortal terror that you would arrive abnormal.

I’m not talking about the “Wearing hats that are 60 years out of style” abnormal, or the “being painfully shy” kind.  Not even the “being kinda weird looking” type of abnormal would have bothered me (and by the way, all of those could apply to your father at one point or another).  I’d be a little disappointed if you didn’t grow up to be a little odd… you’re your Daddy’s girl, after all.

Five fingers.  Five toes.  A brain that works properly.  A heart that pumps and eyes that can see the world.  Ears so that you can listen to me sing tunelessly to you.  That these things that I take for granted would be denied you is what was, deep down, scaring the hell out of me.

Of course, little Teagan, you are only three weeks old.  It is far too early to be proclaiming that this nightmare won’t come true, but so far so good.  You are the picture of newborn health; pooping and peeing like a trooper.  Thus far, everything works.

But I think about all the things that could potentially go wrong; Autism, MS, Leukemia, SIDS, Cystic Fibrosis or anything else that has a Telethon, and all I can do is crawl under my desk and stick my thumb in my mouth while rocking back and forth and humming with my eyes closed.

I am afraid – deeply afraid – that I wouldn’t be strong enough support you through something like that.

It keeps me up at night.

Love,

daddy.

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