"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes-and ships-and sealing-wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

- The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carrol
(From Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dear Abbey, Seven Months

Dear Abbey,

You are seven months old. You are seven months old? How did that happen? A year ago I was just starting to look very pregnant with you. And now you are seven months old. Wow.

You are developing quite the personality, young lady. You are one goofball. A spirited girl, for sure. I like to think you get that from me. Although your Daddy has a pretty keen sense of humor, too. For a while there you were really looking like your Dad, although now I'm seeing more of myself in you. You crinkle your nose when you giggle. That's pretty signature Mommy, punkin. You also giggle with total abandonment - you love to laugh. We have that in common. I always know that when I get going, you can hear me laughing across a crowded room and down the hall. Sometimes I try to picture you twenty years from now doing the same thing. We make a good pair, you and me.

You are an expert sitter. You can literally sit for hours now all by yourself. You love to sit next to your toybox and slowly take each and every toy out individually until you are surrounded. That usually gets us to your next nap.

Speaking of, I am so glad that you have finally decided to give in to the joys of sleeping, my love. You seem so much happier now. Goodness knows Mom and Dad are happier, too. You are sleeping through the night in the real sense - 12 hours usually. You've also adopted this lovely habit of entertaining yourself quietly in your crib when you wake in the morning rather than screaming like a banshee. We like that. Way to mature, kiddo. And good on ya for finally mastering the art of napping. It is a skill that you will enjoy into adulthood, although few adults really get to practice it anymore.

I feel like we've arrived at this really magical, happy place together, sweetheart. It's pretty amazing to look back over the past six months and year and see how much we've changed and grown together as a family. It's such a great adventure - better than anything I have ever experienced before.

Love you, Punkin.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 12th Hour

I heard that it could happen, but refused to let myself believe it - to have hope - not wanting to be disappointed. It seemed such a fantasy. Unattainable. Unimaginable. Delicious.

But then, one day it just started happening.

And then it happened again.

And again.

And now, it seems a reality, though now I don't want to acknowledge it for fear I might jinx the whole thing and ruin everything.

Abbey is now sleeping 12 hours a night. TWELVE. Like, in a row. Consecutive. Without breaks. Without 4am feedings. Or 2am feedings. She goes to sleep at 6pm and wakes up at 6am.

Holy shit.

You know what this means, right? I'm getting to sleep, too! And once in a while, when neither the Yankees, or Hockey, or whatever shoot 'em up testosteroni video game is not being played, I get to snuggle up on the couch with my husband and watch a movie. Sometimes with cocktails!

I remember what this feels like - vaguely. It was a distant memory. I didn't know if I'd ever see these days again.

Can I just say that six months is a wonderful, magical age?

Friday, June 17, 2011

How Evil Is TV, Really?

The level of wickedness that resides within the soft glow of our flat screen television is something that I've struggled with ever since Abbey came home from the hospital and I started devouring information on baby/childhood brain development.

Everything I have read suggests it is bad, bad, bad to let your infant watch television. Most experts agree that the TV should be OFF - no exposure - for infants, and most seem to agree that TV adds no value for children under the age of 2.

Intellectually, I totally agree with them.

Here's the thing.

I grew up in a household where the television was on pretty much ALL THE TIME. Thus, in our house, the television is on almost ALL THE TIME. No, we aren't always watching it. Often - like now - it's on in the background turned to a news channel with the volume set lower. On the weekend, it's usually set to the Food Network, or a DIY channel. So, it's not like it's continuous gratuitous sex/violence being exhibited on the flashy screen. It's Eggs Benedict. And gardening. And the Today Show. And we NEVER plop Abbey in front of the television thinking that we WANT her to watch it. Heavens no! But she is, from time to time, drawn to the magical screen. Especially when there's something musical happening - a jingle, or a video, or Dancing With the Stars. But it's usually just for a second or two and she returns to playing with her toys, cooing happily.

So, how badly are we damaging our child here?

The television is by no means a "babysitter" in our house. Rather, a companion for the adults who are news junkies and like to check in with the adult world. So, I'm curious if any of you out there have read anything on passive TV viewing in children? Because I think I can attest that I definitely have some ADD and OCD tendencies, and maybe that's a product of growing up in a digital age. And if that's the case for me - in my Atari loving, MTV just came out, I loved Fraggle Rock childhood - what does the impact of so much technology mean for our daughter?