lkb-w = 6/12

10/17/05

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Darling sweet little Lucybug. You turned a whole half-year old this weekend, and I didn’t get you anything. Well, I got you several issues of In Style Magazine that you edited thoroughly, and there is my bottle of saline solution you like to gnaw on, and then there was the spoon we stole from Goode Company in Houston, but there’s nothing on earth I could give you that compares to how rich you have made our lives.

I used to read sentences like the above and roll my eyes, but being a parent to you has reminded how myopic I have been for so much of my life. Shit, I used to hate wedding rings because I said they were a showy reminder of “ownership,” but if I were being honest, it was mostly because I felt so far away from being in love. When I saw parents doting on their kids, I immediately wanted to take a road trip to Calgary, Canada and do tequila shots on top of their Space Needle – presumably because becoming a father meant the end of all spontaneity.

Man, spontaneity can suck balls for all I care. It’s such a shoddy drug in comparison to the opiate you provide by even a half-smile. Is it possible to still rock and/or roll and have a kid? I don’t know, but watching things through your eyes easily provides the same amount of glee that the “Xanadu” soundtrack did for me in 1980, and that’s saying something.

We haven’t kept strict documentation of your development, certainly not the way my mom did, but we figure we can always go back and look at the pictures with their time stamps. It’s much more accurate now: when I was a kid, there would occasionally be “OCT 71” or something printed on the back of pictures, but that would be the date the images were processed, not when they were taken, and if you knew how long certain rolls of film languished at the bottom of my mom’s purse, you’d know how off-base those could be.

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at 1 month (5/11/05), almost 3 months (7/1/05), and 6 months (10/14/05)

Here is where you are: as long as we’re not traveling, you go to sleep around 7:30pm, I “dream feed” you at midnight, and you wake up with your mom around 7:30am (or some variation therewith). You have 2-3 naps a day, and the longer they are, the happier you are, and the longer you sleep at night. Don’t ask me why this happens, it just does.

You are desperate to crawl, but can’t quite get it together. You like standing up almost as much as you like putting everything – including Chopes – into your mouth. We are going to start you on “solids” next week, but right now, there’s nothing you like better than a spoon, or the Mickey Mouse we got you at the Disney/ABC lot a few weeks ago. Something you find utterly fascinating: the way brown liquid called “coffee” seems to start in a cup, and then disappear into Mom and Dad’s face. You think this must surely be magic.

You’ve noticed that everyone else “talks,” so you are giving that a go, with varied success. You’ll stay quiet for hours, and then give us twenty solid minutes of what I can only guess to be Serbo-Croatian.

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editing In Style Magazine

But mostly, you smile. All day long. To strangers, to family. You stop people on the street, you light up long lines, the entire country wants to talk to you. I’m suddenly understanding what it must have been like to sit at the cheerleader’s table in junior high school. Your belly-laughs, usually occurring in the car or while naked waiting for the bath, should be bottled and sold as an antidepressant.

Mostly, what I have learned from you is this: you are so willing to be happy. You find no solace in misery. When you are done being tired or hungry, your natural state is delight. Me, I used to cling to my cynicism, sarcasm and negativity like rotting wood barely afloat in the ocean. But you ask: what if our resting state was always on the verge of giggles? Obviously, my writing would be pathetically twee, but I think of the many seasons I wasted on my precious indignation, and wonder why you didn’t come along to pull me out of the water a little sooner, my little pumpkin pie spice.

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0 thoughts on “lkb-w = 6/12

  1. chip

    Lucybug…
    what a wonderful little baby you are.
    Ian –
    I loved the “piece of paper” trick…it was amazing to see Lucy enraptured by a piece of yellow legal paper…

    Reply
  2. hilary

    what a beautiful post. i’m feeling ALL those things right along with you for stella. i must say i’m envious of your dedication to chronicling lucy’s life in, and now out of utero. we all know how busy life can make us, and it’s so easy to have the months/years race by, and to just get swept up in the action and exhaustion. what a lucky girl to have access to her young dad’s thoughts and feelings.

    Reply
  3. Anne D.

    Eloquent and beautiful.
    Yes, you can still rock and roll after the onset of parenthood. At almost age 54, I’ve spent the last several decades raising four kids and two stepkids. Since September 19 this fall I have seen — live — White Stripes (once) and Los Lonely Boys (four times). Love my kids *and* my music. :-)
    – Anne

    Reply
  4. Rebecca

    Doesn’t having Lucy around just make you think your wife is a total Goddess? Don’t you wonder how people with babies get divorced?
    Awesome post, beautiful girl, amazing family. Congratulations Ian! Life doesn’t get any better than this.

    Reply
  5. gina

    Very touching post.
    And, as a mother of a three year old, I agree you can rock. We saw the Foo Fighters last week, and are going to see U2 this week. The big stumbling block is available, trustworthy babysitters! With a three year old, most of the time spent at a concert is while he’s in bed (so I don’t feel too many pangs of “I should be/want to be with the kid instead…”). Granted, we don’t go to the movies or out to eat at nice restaurants, but we make the effort to get out and rock!

    Reply
  6. kjf

    The therapeutic value of babies – there’s nothing like it! I know you will find it hard to believe but the next six months of Lucydom will be even more amazing than the first! Just wait!

    Reply
  7. An anon 35-year-old woman

    “My ovaries are aching!” Claudia, don’t get me started.
    topic for another day. i could marry a guy who likes me and have a baby. i’m holding out for love. how much longer can a girl hold out?
    but enough on that, i love this board.

    Reply
  8. LFMD

    Gina — my husband and I are seeing U2 tomorrow in DC. Where are you seeing them?
    Rebecca — I just HAVE to respond to your comment below:
    “Doesn’t having Lucy around just make you think your wife is a total Goddess? Don’t you wonder how people with babies get divorced?”
    In my best moments, I agree with you, but in my worst moments, I have to admit that I wonder how people with babies REMAIN MARRIED. The first few years with a baby can be so stressful, and that is when you don’t have financial or health issues to worry about! My husband and I became roommates who existed to serve the Baby. It was like “Ernie and Bert Take Care of a Baby!” I think that my husband thinks of me as a Goddess occasionally, but during that first year, I was the Sleep-Deprived Nag. Actually, the Sleep-Deprived Nag who Never Felt Like Having Sex. Sounds fun, huh?
    Anyway, enough of that. I think that one of the best things about having a baby is that it makes you want to be a better person. And, it makes you appreciate your spouse in dark times — after all, without your mate, there would be no wonderful child, right?
    Ian, Lucy is so beautiful. Those eyes! That face! She is utterly precious.

    Reply
  9. Claudia

    Anon–your post reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut’s _The Sirens of Titan_. I read it many years ago and remember very little of it, but there is a passage in which a relatively desirable male character proposes to a relatively undesirable female character because he is able to look into the future, and he sees that life with her will be “at least bearable” at all times. Sure enough, they marry, have children, and have a perfectly bearable life. I was sixteen or so when I read that, and I found it to be a compelling notion.
    Just a casual observation, not meant to be offered as advice (not that you would necessarily take advice from a random person posting on a blog). The comparative and varying marital successes of those who marry for love and those who marry for practical reasons has been interesting to me ever since.
    That said, love rocks.

    Reply
  10. scruggs

    man, if U2 ever needs a cash infusion, they can offer childcare at their concerts. we’ve got tickets for nov18th.
    I have the wrong job. I should start babysitting for all these rockin’ and rollin’ parents and get $12/hr to eat their food and watch their tv while the kids sleep. That’s how it works with our sitter.

    Reply
  11. Andrew

    My daughter is about 7 months older than Lucy and I echo KJF’s comment that things get even better over the next 6 months. The stress does not necessarily reduce, but the fun of watching them learn, explore and have fun goes way up. Yesterday I told her to go to her room, get a book and bring it to me so I could read to her. You should have seen her smile when she walked back to me with a book. And you should have seen my face [my “holy s***, she actually did it” face].

    Reply
  12. Joanna

    Beautiful Lucy and beautiful entry.
    Will you ever divulge the methods which resulted in your enviable sleep situation? “Dream feed” sounds like the Baby Whisperer, if I recall. Anyway, I’m about to be back in the sleep-deprived state and am hoping for an allergy-free baby (unlike my chronically congested first) who can adapt to some gentle sleep program. Please share.

    Reply
  13. Greg T.

    LFMD – We’re (I’m Gina’s husband) seeing them in DC Thursday night… We had tix for Wed BUT (wait for it…) couldn’t find a sitter! Luckily we managed to sell the extra seats a couple of hours ago on Craigslist. Gina could also be known as “Gina from Ruffin Dorm” but GFRD just sounds wrong somehow.

    Reply
  14. LFMD

    Greg! Sorry to hear about the sitter situation. We imposed on my husband’s parents, and they will be our sitters tonight. I checked out your website. Quinn is a cutie pie, and Gina looks vaguely familiar. What year was she living in Ruffin Dorm? I was in Manly from 1986-1987. And, if you were from Mangum Dorm, we would have completed the four corners of our quad! Enjoy the U2 show. . .

    Reply
  15. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Greg! You are going to love the U2 show! It was wonderful. I want to quit my job and become a roadie for U2. So does my husband. My 6 year old too!
    I must have seen Gina around campus, especially if she was in Ruffin during those years. Please tell GFRD that LFMD says “hello” and that Quinn is adorable.

    Reply

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