dear nixon: volume 2

dear squishy sunshine—

Last weekend, I celebrated my very first mother’s day, which initially felt super weird… sort of like I was trying to steal someone else’s birthday and insist that it was mine, or like I’d shown up to a party & wasn’t entirely sure I was supposed to be there.

Like… have I even mama’ed enough yet to qualify to celebrate?

Have I been in the club long enough to be able to participate in events?

IT’S ALL VERY NEW.

But then we went out to eat, and when we stood up to leave, I realized I’d been wandering around all morning with a nice, colorful swath of your poo down the side of my shirt.

It wasn’t even subtle, dude;
it was solid, ribcage-to-hip, how-did-I-miss-this, what-is-my-life status.

And nothing quite affirms mamahood like having some form of your baby’s bodily fluids on you at all times.
(Today, for example, I’m wearing your dried post-breakfast hork on my left shoulder. Thank you.)

To further legitimize my mama status, I also scored my very-first-ever mother’s day craft from you.
Glitter was involved and I was appropriately proud.

JUST LOOK HOW FAT AND GLORIOUS YOU ARE, BABY
JUST LOOK AT YOU

In summation:
Glitter and your poo legitimized my participation in mother’s day.


Here is my current all-time-favorite picture of you:

That baby shade is real, bro.

It’s also really hilarious that someone with cheeks THAT WONDERFULLY SQUISHY could ever be so pissed off.


Your fourth month of life has been a big one, cutie cakes.

For starters, legitimately the second you swapped month three for four, you dove headfirst into The Four-Month Sleep Regression.
(It is a Thing.)

Did you know you can exist and NOT DIE on sleeping no more than two-hour stretches at a time?
YOU CAN
ASK HOW I KNOW

The thing is… your daddy and I? We signed up for this.
On purpose.

Bodily fluids, the minimal sleep, the diapers, the tiny laundry, all the way back through nine months of sleeping in a complicated pillow arrangement—
all of it.

& like so many other things in this parenting gig so far (you know, because we’re CLEARLY experts now, having kept you alive for almost five entire months), it’s all about perspective.

Yeah, so we’re not sleeping a whole lot these days.
We’re living on a super-weird timeline where your 7:30 p.m. bedtime reigns supreme, and OKAY WE HAVE TO PICK, DO YOU WANT TO MAKE DINNER OR GO OUT AND BUY TOILET PAPER BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY TIME FOR ONE.
We wash your daycare bottles & my pump parts & your diapers & your mini clothes, stuff your diapers, fold your tiny clothes, put them all away, and repeat.
We have to bail out early from parties & places at which we’d love to stay an extra hour or two, or three.
We don’t see as much of our friends, or attend as many events, or have the same time to devote to as much beyond our little three-person universe as we used to.

But.

It’s all simply part of the short, precious season we’re in right now.

Even the poop-covered parts.
Even the 2:30 a.m. parts.

Daddy & I high five in the mornings, celebrating another successful night of tag-teaming you back to sleep.
We stand over your crib, after you’ve baby-crashed in the Pack and Play down the hall, and Daddy separates out your diaper shells & inserts on one side while I stuff them and fold them together on the other.
Side by side, we fold your itty, fresh-washed onesies, your striped jammies and the pants with little embroidered animals on the butt, tucking them all into the dresser we painted for you before you arrived.
We sit in the living room after you’ve gone to bed, pulling up pictures & videos of you on our phones to show each other. (God, were you really that little just a couple of months ago? I miss those dinosaur jammies.)

We only ever get one baby Nixon—
one season of those baby chubber thighs,
of that gummy smile with the little tongue poking out,
of the downy, stand-up-straight hair at the back of your head that matches the color of afternoon sunlight.

I marvel over this fact all the time, like it’s some revolutionary thing that you’d grow and be not a baby someday.

And because of that, my love, you are the very greatest exercise in being present.

We’re smack-dab in the middle of living the days that we’re going to look back on and miss like hell when you’re older, and I fully intend to make the absolute most of them.

Including, and especially, by reading you books full of expletives you don’t know how to repeat yet.

Right now, your favorites list includes:

  • mirror baby
  • seeing Clementine, petting Clementine, watching Clementine intently any time she’s within your view because OMG COME OVER, PLEASE COME OVER I LOVE YOU
  • not wearing pants
  • sudden noises that would startle most other humans (see: daddy popping up over the side of your bed and growling)
  • yoga’ing your bare feet into your mouth
  • attempting to eat anything and everything you can grasp in your hands
  • running spontaneous 5K’s on your back, your little legs going a million miles an hour, the most concentrated look on your face

You’ve also fully discovered your ability to noise, which is amazing.
Your current library ranges from an assortment of short, one-note vowel sounds, to a delighted, variable-pitch chirp that sometimes takes you by surprise. You’ll occasionally hit new decibels with it and then stop to look around like, SWEET BABY JESUS WHO EVEN IS THAT

And also, oh my god, you giggle now.

If you thought daddy & I did intensely idiotic things before for your amusement, OH BRAH.
We have upped our game SO hard now that there’s the potential there of making you laugh.

Life is basically a series of events where the primary consideration is whether or not they’ll delight the hell out of you.
Current front-runners are “Watch as Mama Jumps Into the Air and Whips Her Hair Around,” “Daddy Can Make His Mouth Sound Like a Popping Cork” and “Mama’s Hands Are Also Weird Birds.


Absolutely are the stages yet to come going to hold their own magic, but there’s nothing in this whole world like baby you.

I’m so, so excited for all that’s yet to come; so, so thankful for all we’ve done together so far; and so, so delighted that this is only the very beginning.

Thanks for infusing our lives with so much awesome, squish.

Love you, love you so.

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About ashley!

in love, obnoxiously happy, and up to a lot of awesome.
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