Dear Grayson –
Today you are a whole month old. You are 22 inches tall and weigh 9lbs. 14oz., and your baby acne is starting to subside.
The month has flown by and dragged by, all at the same time. You and Daddy and I have had some struggles, my little monkey, but we’re figuring it all out together. Over and over again.
You are the best thing we’ve ever done.
What’s happened this month
Nana and Papa were here when you were born, and they stayed to help us when we brought you home. Auntie Grace came to see you at the hospital when you were just one day old!
You’ve had your first doctor appointments and your first diaper rash. You’ve already been to Children’s Hospital for a minor procedure (frenotomy). You prefer, at this point in your young life, hummed lullabies and rudimentary vocal percussion exercises to, say, the greatest hits of the Indigo Girls.
I am okay with that. I don’t remember all the words, anyway.
You smile a lot when you’re calm or sleeping lightly, and I would cop to it just being gas if we didn’t know full well how you respond to gas. (Short answer: With gut-wrenching cries of pain and misery when awake and with jack-o-lantern expressions and whimpers when asleep. We’re managing. Gripe water helped, a little, and then it didn’t, and now we’re trying simethicone.) Your expressions are priceless. You have my mouth and your uncle Chris’s hairline and cowlick. Nana swears that you have my mom’s eyes, but you still look for all the world just like your father.
I think it’s because your face is so serious most of the time. You came out that way, and strangers remark upon it. You furrow your brow even in your sleep, as if you know more than you possibly could about the political climate into which you were born.
In spite of a rocky beginning, you eat like a champ and you have mostly been a good sleeper all along, with some exceptions. We no longer have to wake you to feed you, which means you’ll sleep a couple of hours at a clip two to three times a day and a good five hours at night, even if you really could use a dry diaper.
Awake, you find nothing more disagreeable than a wet diaper, but asleep? You’re all, “Meh. It’s cool.”
You do not like it when we swaddle you, but you are still much happier swaddled than not. You also do not like baths yet, and you’re not crazy about the car. Or the stroller.
These days, you wake up for your first meal of the day a little before daybreak. After you eat, you snooze on your own for about 30-60 minutes before starting to fuss through some gas (we burp you, but it doesn’t always help). I pick you up to snuggle with us in bed for an hour or so before getting ready to feed you again.
One morning, Rodney had come up to sleep between our pillows, as he used to do, and he stayed there, under your head, with your raised hand on his back, until it was time to get up.
You are his baby, too. He usually needs to know where you are, even if only because he would like to be somewhere else.
You’ve also hit a special Oakland milestone, Grayson: Baby’s First Burglary. We came home from the pediatrician appointment at which we got the all-clear for your weight gain — hooray! — to find OPD clearing our house after a classic smash-and-grab resulting in more damage than theft. You had just screamed yourself into a sound sleep in protest over a wet diaper (you’d gone through all the diapers in our bag during the appointment, you super pooper, you), and I had just stopped weeping silently over your discomfort when we turned into our street to see the front door open and a cop in the driveway with a weapon drawn.
Everyone was safe — Rodney seems to have stayed in the basement, where he graciously welcomed the police — and reasonably sound, but our little proto-routine went up in smoke that night. Once the best handyman in all the world (Aunt Alicia’s brother) helped us secure the house (after already working a full day), we…well, we started over a little bit.
We live in a city, son. These things happen, even on our quiet little street. Our security system did its job and I got nothing but praise for OPD these days.
Right now, today, one month in, we’re sitting in our family room. Daddy’s eating pretzels and reading something on his phone. Rodney is stretched out behind your bouncy seat. There’s a contractor installing our new front door. You’re lying next to me on the sofa-ton (a futon that looks more like a sofa), starting to rouse from a 2.5-hour nap, stretching your way free of your swaddle, blinking yourself awake, and filling your diaper with what I’m sure is an unholy mess.
We love you, little guy.
P.S. You’ve been here a month and I still haven’t posted your birth story. Some of it is as fuzzy as your wobbly little head, though, and I want to get the details down correctly so that I can look back and know how we got to where we are. I’ll get there.