Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Saturday
Feb212009

Newsletter: Month One

Dear Violet,

Today you are one month old. I have kept you alive for an entire month! Your arrival to our family has changed everything in the best possible way. Except for, perhaps, the sleep deprivation. You have yet to sleep more than three hours at a time at night. Once you slept for nearly four hours and, my God, the luxury! I awoke as if I'd just spent a week basking on a beach in the Bahamas. After sleeping any length of time I wake up and turn on the lamp just to make sure you're there (and breathing!) and that I didn't dream your existence. And even when I sleep, I never really sleep. My ears are constantly open for your little insect-like chirps, sighs and grunts. For the most part, I don't mind the lack of sleep. You're my little girl, my best pal, my confidante and I am well aware I'll never get this time back.



You couldn't be a better baby. You rarely cry except occasionally between nine and midnight, which seems to be your designated fussy time. Your doctor asked what I did between those hours before you were born and I'll be damned if it isn't the time when my adrenaline would get all pumped up before I'd produce a live evening newscast. Maybe your little body is all geared up for that adrenaline rush and when it doesn't happen you're pissed. Like, Come on Mom! What the hell am I supposed to do now that you're just lazing around on the couch yelling at the couples on House Hunters at nine o'clock? Usually you only cry for a half hour or so... but it feels like two or ten years and because you don't cry that much, the times you do just break my heart. I try to reason with you... As if you'll suddenly sit up and apologize for crying through the big decision on House Hunters. Did they choose house 1; the cozy craftsman? House 2 with the big backyard or House 3 the budget buster?



You and your Pop are already fast friends. He is the entertainer of the two of us, thank God, as I can only make so many funny faces and sing silly songs and then I'm at a loss. When he gets home from work he can't wait to hold you and chat with you and read you excerpts from what he swears is your favorite book so far: Aesops Fables. After each fable he'll discuss the moral of the story with you and why he thinks it's an important life lesson. He changes your diapers while simultaneously putting on a show. He sings and uses your stuffed animals to introduce you to all sorts of characters with various voices. I'll hear him in there going to town and although it's the one time I don't have to change your diaper I end up standing around the changing table for his big performance. You never cry when we change your diaper, just stare up at us with those big, beautiful eyes you got from your Pop.



Pop is also Bath Time Guy. He loves to give you your baths. It nearly brings me to tears to watch this scruffy dude with a beard and work-worn hands handle his little daughter so delicately. Again, you don't cry... just observe the goings on with those lovely peepers while I take about a thousand photographs. I just can't get enough of you and if you slightly adjust a finger or a little leg I feel like I MUST take fifty more photos to capture that specific moment in time. I am acutely aware of the passage of time and how each minute that ticks by is another moment gone... a minute closer to that time when you're a teenager who is, like, so totally over her old-fashioned Mom who is, like, SUCH an oldster who still hasn't bought an iPhone because she hates cell phones and refuses to let you ride your boyfriend's hover board or whatever in hell kids will be doing in those days.



Before we brought you home your Pop and I worried about how Max and Milo would deal with such a huge change in the house. We have been blown away by their reaction to you. Especially the little guy, Milo. When you cry he'll come right up to me and slide his little snooter right next to your head in what seems to be an attempt to comfort you! Max, who likes to believe he runs the roost, is a little more aloof but still stops by to give you a kiss every now and again. Throughout the day they follow me from room to room as I feed you or change you. Max doesn't like to be left out of the action and will often sidle right up to the changing table or peer into the bathtub to see what you're up to now.

I'm starting to see a bit more of your little personality shine through the fog of your newborn-ness. You're starting to smile what actually seems to be a real smile and you are already lifting your little head to look around in wonder, your tiny bird neck nearly buckling from the effort. Although when you're a teenager you, like, SO totally won't appreciate this next bit (omigod, Mo-om! how embarrassing!) I'm sharing it anyway because your Pop and I have such a laugh every time you do it. After eating you spend a good five minutes grunting and groaning and contorting your little body. You'll kick your legs harder than David Beckham, then go stiff as a board and grunt like you're working on the railroad all the live-long day. After a good minute or two of this we'll hear the resulting explosion in your diaper. And boy are you relieved! You let out a little sigh and go limp as if to inform us your work here is done. Even though it means another dirty diaper your Pop and I can't get enough of these antics.



Sometimes when you're sleeping you chuckle. The word giggle seems more appropriate to use when describing a baby girl - but this laugh, it's more like a chuckle. As if you're shooting the breeze with the gals around the water cooler and someone said something funny. You unleash this bemused little laugh and I wonder what's making you chuckle like that... a dream, gas... who knows?

When it's late at night I whisper to you how much I love you and what an amazing woman I hope you'll be and how I can't wait to spend our lives together. I am honored to be the mother of you... this beautiful, little flower of a daughter who I hope will be as feisty and fiery as her Mom and as tender and talented as her Pop. I am meant to learn so much from you. Likely much, much more than I can ever hope to teach you.



Love,
Mama