Dear Elsa: a letter at 8 months


I’ve said it before. It astounds me that I used to have to hold your head up, and now you are pulling yourself to standing, proudly holding onto the ottomans, standing for minutes on end. You are incapable of sitting still now, ever lunging forward, rocking on hands and knees, about to take off for the moon. You are a lady on the go, and I keep wondering where my tiny baby went.

Your newborn wails have been replaced by what will soon be words. You look at me and say bamamamabama (sometimes even just a simple mama!) and my heart shatters into 8,000 pieces. You are trying out other words too, giving us Sid-the-Sloth-like yish,yish,yish es before an encore of five minutes of raspberry lips that leaves the front of your shirt soaked.

You laugh to the point of hiccups all throughout the day, At Owen whenever he comes near you, almost exploding if he brings you a toy. At your dad as he twirls you around in a fast slow dance in the living room. At me when I munch on your belly or play This is the Way the Lady Rides over and over. You love to dance and any music and are totally enthralled by your dad’s guitar.

Possibly my favorite thing about you is how you move when I come near you. You are sitting up on the floor, surrounded by toys, and if I start to walk (or especially crawl) towards you, your entire body wiggles, arms and legs exploding with motion, telling me “yes! yes! this is what I’ve always wanted!” It is one of the most loving responses imaginable.

You are still a happy baby, though this past month has been rough. Your top two teeth finally came through after much agony, and you have been sick. For a month. Coughing with a runny nose and it has been mostly terrible. Your little lungs sound like gravel, and after a coughing fit, you look at us, pleading why with your eyes. The doctors keep telling us to wait, wait, these things take a while, but I’d do anything to help you over this hump.

With your sickness has come a total lack of sleep at nights. You are getting up 2-3 times a night regularly, and often these past few weeks, have ended up in bed with us in an attempt to not wake Owen up. Your dad and I hug the corners of the bed, our knees cradling you in the middle. Sometimes you lay on your belly, taking up all the space. Other times, you and I share a pillow, and I wake up to your face turned towards mine in a smile. You love to be cuddled, and truth be told, though my neck and shoulders and exhaustion plead otherwise, I love snuggling you at night too.

Your illness and teething have also led you into what is known around here as The Snarfie Phase. You open-mouth kiss us all the time, leaving a trail of saliva and snot on our cheeks, collar bones, necks, and shirts, not unlike a slimy snail trail. It is wet and gross and we just let you keep doing it.

Elsa, I love having a daughter. And what’s more, I love having you as my daughter. You are so full of life and happiness; I’d do anything to keep you from hurt or harm. I can’t wait to braid your hair. I can’t wait to have a sleepover full of your little girl friends and make them pink-frosted cookies. I can’t wait to teach you about nature and God and food and books. But I also mostly want you stay a baby forever because there has never been anything more snuggly than you in footie jammies.

You are my girl, and I love you always,


Things You Love: bath time, running water of any kind, Owen, being naked, standing, playing with toys, chewing on anything, teething biscuit bread sticks, chewing on your toes, playing outside, swings!, videos of any kind, computer screens, funny noises, music, dancing, burping

Things You Hate: getting out of the bath, diaper changes, being laid down to sleep, falling over, when Owen hurts you, when we take leaves away from you and out of your mouth, when you can’t burp,

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