Letter to Camille: My Baby Burrito

Hello sweet Camille! You are snoozing soundly in your pack-n-play, giving me a little free time to write you this letter. I was thinking about some of the cute things you do, and wanted to write them down so we’d always remember them.
Whenever I feed you, your little hands just love to keep moving. My favorite is whenever the hand underneath you when you’re eating plays with my ribs. You’ll gently grab my side and wiggle your fingers repeatedly. Sometimes, if you are particularly hungry, you’ll stretch one hand toward me, palm up and fingers outstretched as if to say, “Back off, I’m busy here.” Occassionaly, you’ll just extend your pinky finger as if sipping on some nice earl gray tea. And every once in a while you’ll shoot me a bird, and I can imagine you saying, “Thanks for having the jalapenos mom. What were you thinking?” Sometimes when I feed you in bed, you’ll kick your little feet on my belly. It’s strange feeling you like that from the outside! I also LOVE IT when I’m burping you on my shoulder, and you turn your head toward my ear. You make all these cute baby sounds and it’s like you’re telling me a secret. Your sweet, warm baby breath is on my cheek, and sometimes, if you’re still hungry, you’ll even kiss me all over my cheek. I know you’re looking for food, but I can still enjoy your kisses, right?
You are growing so well, and so beautifully! Within the past week, you’ve moved up to the next size of diapers, and you’re now also wearing your 0-3 month clothes. I haven’t packed away your smallest newborn onesies yet, but I know I should. Soon. Just not yet. In a few days, I plan to introduce you to your first bottle, to help you get ready for when I go back to work.
Your growth makes me feel great, because it seems to be proof that somehow we’re doing okay at this parenting thing. I’ve decided it must be really hard to be a baby. I used to think it was easy – I mean, you get cuddled and fed and diapered and all you have to do is look cute.
But in reality, you spend almost 10 months in your own personal watery spa, never feeling cold or hot, hungry or thirsty or tired. Then suddenly, your entire universe is changed irreversibly, and you have to learn to breathe, sleep all alone, eat, and poop. And man, you do not like to poop. I never realized it’s a learned skill, but it is. Meanwhile, you must be wondering why your tummy hurts when you have to go and why turning red in the face and screaming doesn’t always do the trick.
I have discovered something that – I’m almost hesitant to say it – seems to really calm you down when you get upset. I’m hesitant to say it because I’ve only tried it a couple of times, and maybe the success has just been a fluke. We’ll know soon enough. I’m reading a book called “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” and the author endorses several strategies for calming babies when they get fussy. The first is swaddling. And we’re not talking about just tucking you under a blanket. This is a serious baby straight jacket, and I have felt a twinge of guilt both times I’ve wrapped you this way. It doesn’t look comfortable – it looks kind of mean. But both times, you have quieted down immediately and stayed calm for as long as you were wrapped. You’re wrapped up right now, looking like mommy’s sleepy baby burrito:
You also like white noise. I’m told both swaddling and white noise remind you of the comforts of being in my belly. I was downstairs today washing dishes, and I heard you upstairs getting very upset. Your daddy quieted you, and I wondered how. I got my answer when I went upstairs a few minutes later. He had the white noise blaring from his alarm clock, and you were laying on our bed, swaddled, sucking your pacifier, and looking very at peace with the world.
My biggest fear is that you’re too hot. It’s still so hot here, and our air conditioner can’t keep up in this old house. I don’t even want to tell you how bad our last electric bill was – I nearly got a heat stroke when I opened it. But I keep checking to see if you feel warm, and you seem fine, so for now I’m putting those fears aside.
Okay – time to go pick you up for some cuddles. I enjoy writing to you, but why spend more time on the computer when I can play with you live and in person right now?
I love you sweet burrito baby.