I love singing to you. I'm not the best, but you don't know the difference yet. We have sung to you since day one. I don't remember the first song I sang to you, but I know I couldn't get through a single one without crying when you were under those lights for jaundice. I sang "I Need You" by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver, and "You Are My Sunshine." They are forever linked to you now.
As you've grown up, we have little rituals for singing. We sing silly songs in the car, like "Peter Pointer," and "Down by the Bay." We borrow songs from My Gym, because I don't remember tons of kids songs. We listen to Pandora stations like Toddler Radio and Disney, but we almost always default to Golden Oldies because those other ones get annoying real quick.
You're still nursing, but not often and not for much longer. I sing to you each night before bed while I nurse you. I sing "My Favorite Things," "Climb Every Mountain," "The Sound of Music," and "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music. I sing "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Sometimes we just chat, but the singing is nice for me, too.
I love making up songs for you, too. Your daddy makes fun of me for taking classic songs and making up my own lyrics. For example, this one is sung to the tune of "L-O-V-E":
M is for the way you make me feel
A is for all of the hearts you steal
R is really, really, incredibly silly
S is so much more than anyone that I adore
And H is hey, I really love this kid
A is for all the cute things you did
L(L) is look at how you're laughing, learning, loving now
And love was made for you and me!
Your daddy sings to you, too, though. Every night before bed he sings three songs: "Hushabye Mountain" while he rocks you, "Chim Chiminey" while he puts you down, and "Cups" as you fall asleep. Those songs, too, are forever yours.
Some phases have already come and quietly tiptoed out of our lives without warning. We no longer bounce you to sleep on the yoga ball. I can count the number of times you've fallen asleep on me lately on one hand. You haven't cuddled in bed with us in the morning in months. You love being held (thank goodness), but you don't need to be rocked and won't doze off in our arms anymore.
But of course some wonderful little moments have emerged, too:
You will pull your book The Pout Pout Fish off the shelf, open to a specific page, and give the fish a kiss.
You know when you've done something impressive, like stacking or figuring out where something goes. You look at your accomplishment with such pride and smile at your handiwork.
You love dogs, and we've conceded that "dog" ("dah") is officially your first word. On walks, you point at every dog and shout "dog!" If we say the word dog, you look around frantically trying to find one. Today at My Gym the puppet show was with a dog, and I think it was the highlight of your young life. Poor Scout did his best to make you a cat person, and you do love him, but dog is certainly easier to say!
I want to remember the goofy grin that spreads across your face when you see something or someone you want. And the way you plow forward, head down, arms and legs racing--you won't do that anymore when you learn to walk.
I hope I never forget how excited you get when you see me or daddy or Scout. You may have just seen us a second ago, but when we step back into the room or when we ask, "Where is Daddy?" you act as though you haven't seen us in weeks.
I love how comfortable you are around other people. You reach out to be held by almost anyone and seem perfectly happy to hang out with new folks. I hope you got your dad's social side!
Recently you've dared to stand on your own (if we're holding you and suddenly let go without your noticing), and you giggle like crazy when you realize what's happening. It's such a sweet excitement for all of us as we take our time watching you learn to stand and walk.
You have the most precious face when you concentrate on a task. You're learning how to place your shapes into the shape sorter, and you become mildly frustrated in the process, but I adore your sweet face. You furrow your eyebrows and exhale sharply a few times before finally lifting the whole lid off and throwing the shape into the box. More efficient anyway, I say.
You're a little more cuddly lately. You like to be tickled and you like to give us kisses, and you will sometimes hug me. You'll climb into my lap or up onto my leg and make me feel like the most important person in your world. I know I won't always be (and that's good!), but I want to hold on to this memory, when your dad and I are the center of your world. It's such a fun, innocent, sweet time, inside this little cocoon of being a tiny family. As time moves forward and our lives become busier, I hope we continue to build upon this foundation to create even richer, fuller memories.
Marshall, every day with you is a gift, and I am so grateful that your dad and I have been entrusted with your sweet little life. We are doing our very best to give you the life you deserve--one of joy and experiences and love. I hope we make good on that. You have no idea yet how much we love you, and a blog post certainly won't suffice, but capturing your little personality in these small time capsules makes me feel as though I will be able to look back someday and feel this feeling again--this feeling of my heart being so full that it will certainly burst if you hug me one more time. But I'll let you anyway.
Love you, Bug.