16 December 2008

You look like a monkey...

but you smell like a sweet little baby girl.

Today, a little more than a year and an hour ago, a star shone in the east -- well, no, not quite, a snowstorm rose up in the middle of the night, which meant that my stubborn daughter decided it was the perfect time to make a slightly more dramatic than strictly necessary entrance into the world. This has become the modus operandi of one little Miss Lucy Joy.

Someone said to me last weekend, as we celebrated Lucy's birthday, that we had named our girl perfectly. Lucy means "bringer of light," and that is absolutely what she does.

My response? "She's pretty cute. I think we'll keep her."
Which is my trademark New Englander way of saying "My entire life has been reshaped around this tiny bundle of high powered energy, and I'm not sure what I would do if she were not here with me."

I can't believe the pictures I see of the day she was born, where she fit under my chin, and her feet were barely at the bottom of my breasts. Where she looked dwarfed by my (suddenly monstrously large) breasts as she smacked me around to get what she wanted.

I've been very clear with a lot of people over the past year; motherhood is not this golden fog of wonderfulness. Those daydreams you have of curling up with the baby for a gentle snooze completely skip the part where you haven't showered in days, your house is a mess, and you're so exhausted that even when you have the chance, you can't sleep. The part where the baby hates your favorite song; even hearing Glowworm tinkle out "Rockabye Baby" reduces her to hysterical tears. It sounds sweet to hear stories about moms singing themselves hoarse because it's the only way to stop the baby screaming -- until it's you.

There's so much about my girl that is completely inscrutable. I've survived phases and spells and situations which have a cause I can only guess at. There were the two weeks where baths caused screaming so loud I stopped hearing sound and started hearing vibration. The past two weeks, where going to sleep is JUST NOT ALLOWED. The sudden desire to bite my left nipple -- but only the left one.
The complete and total love of music, and dancing, and mama's good cooking (smart move there, kiddo). The way she goes completely still and silent to listen to "Lucy's song," aka that Bach lullaby that's on every kid's mobile ever made. The way she slowly got back to trusting that she was safe in the bath, even though it meant that I once climbed in mostly clothed, because I couldn't conceive of making her wait and cry while I got undressed. Every time I think that I can't survive another second, she snuggles into me, or gives me this sweet, desperate look that says that I am her world, and she trusts me, and she knows I can help.

And yet, there's this way she has. She's growing up already, and I'm so proud of her. She crawls away from me all the time, goes around a corner, and then panics because she can't see me. Puts herself to sleep, then wakes up in a tizzy because we're gone. Falls asleep as soon as we walk back into her room.

She's precious. I adore her.
I think we'll keep her.


AlisonH said...

Happy birthday, Lucy!

By the way--my Jennie slipped in the bath once and got a noseful of water and panicked in the tub after that. Screamed to high heaven every bathtime. Finally one day I put her in the dry tub with her favorite toys already in there for her. She screamed!...and then, hey, wait a minute. This is weird, but it's not bad. Mommy's totally paying attention to me, got my toys, life is good!

And she was never afraid of bathtime again. (I couldn't believe I got a happily-ever-after ending that easily, but I did.)

AlisonH said...

Oh, and, she was about a year old.

Shan said...

Oh, what a nice post. Truthful, but still nice.

Tammy said...

Wow, Lucy-girl, a year old already. And hats off to mom(and dad) for the good, the bad and the monkey days!

AlisonH said...

Pictures! We get pictures now, thank you! You guys are absolutely making my day with those proud smiles.

Sarah said...

Happy birthday, Lucy!
And I totally agree with you on the motherhood thing - it's the hardest job you'll ever love (like the Marines, only more so). I love the honesty - we don't have to sugarcoat the fact that it's hard work and not all sunshine and rainbows. Wouldn't trade it though (at least not right now, when she's napping!).

Sheila said...

Happy belated birthday, little Lucy and mom. What fun pictures.

AlisonH said...

Merry Christmas!