Memo To Emmy: 10 Months


Ahoy matey! You've landed ashore in the land of DD's. DOUBLE DIGITS, HOMEGIRL! And you are such a Mama's girl, somewhat to Daddy's disappointment, because as he says, he does "all the parenting" and yet you still cling to me like a barnacle on the Black Pearl.

Did I ever tell you the story of how we spent days debating whether we were going to name you Pearl or Emerson? You were born on a Sunday and they had to write "Baby Girl Nguyen" on your ID tag because we didn't have a name for you. I thought it would be pertinent to meet you before labeling you but even after we met, your dad and I were still not sure who you would be. A hybrid exotic Tahitian Pearl who grow up and break out as the first Vietnamese American supermodel/Nobel Laureate/international humanitarian? Or Emerson, the Harvard business school wunderkind who would invent The Next Big Thing/establish a Foundation for Children/send her parents on exciting trips around the world? 

We went back and forth, trying out the names on you, as you slept and sucked and slept and sucked and sometimes pooped. Sunday to Monday to Tuesday, when the hospital lady came by the room with the yellow form for us to fill out your name so she could send it into whatever government agency to record. I wanted Pearl. Your dad wanted Emerson so we could call you Emmy. I took a deep breath and deferred. Which I only do pretty much once out of every 50 decisions or so. I'm generally not a deferrer. So we committed and wrote it down. In ink. Emerson. Pearl. Both names, or as Hannah Montana would say, the best of both worlds.

So Emerson Pearl, you are now 10 whole months. You took your first bottle of formula yesterday while I was running around in the rain looking for a disgruntled Toyota driver. Dad says you took one sip, spit out the nipple, raised an eyebrow, gave a mini baby shrug, and downed the rest. That's so my girl! In keeping with tradition, you have not met a food or drink you did not like. Except for that one Calabasas Stew when you were 7 months old. You thought that one tasted like puke.

You are now showing your true Year of the Ox colors. Stubborn and bull headed. It doesn't help that you are also an Aries, further hardening your sole belief that it's your way or no way. Naps are still your nemesis. And ours. Your dad has the highest success rate of putting you down for a nap with your crying lasting about 10 minutes or less. Asian Grandma is the worst. She still has to be cattle prodded out of the room because you so enjoy having someone in the room until you've completely passed out.

You're getting much better at crawling forward. You usually start very dramatically, with a downward dog yoga pose before commencing into the crawl. You skipped army crawling, you like to go full out. But your stamina is not so hot. You're good for about 5 feet before you need a sit break.

The pull up drills have paid off. You can definitely get onto your feet without help and even shimmy to the side a little. You use the wires on your wooden toy as handles and grunt and puff out your cheeks as you pull to a stand to play with the little beads on top.

You've lost 2 of your original 6 gray hairs, which now look blonder. We found a pacifier from when you were a baby baby and while Daddy said, "No don't do it."

Followed by: "I wouldn't do it."

Followed by: "You shouldn't do it."

Followed by: "DON'T DO IT!"

I did it. I gave it to you to see what would happen. You started chewing on it and looked a little too lovingly at your old friend so we freaked out, snatched it back, and threw it in the garbage. That was a close one.

Your biggest accomplishment yet: You've lost your unreasonable and certainly unwarranted fear of White Grandma. At your cousin Jason's party weekend, you were mostly charming and lovable and dare I say pleasant when being carried by White Grandma.

You love to wave and smile and reach out your hand all friendly like, even to strangers. Especially when Mommy's distracted and not paying attention and then she looks up to see you've been having a whole sign language conversation with somebody on the bus who is now making crazy faces back at you.

What a little turkey you're becoming. It's getting harder to wave goodbye to you everyday when I go to work. But someone has to save up for your Harvard business school costs.

We love you lots little Emmy Pearl,

Mom and Pop