Memo to Renley: 7 Months
Little Ren Ren
AKA Renbok or RenBAH or Renbakeedoh as you're often called by Odessa.
What happened to memos 2-6? See memos 2-6 for Emerson or Odessa. Sorry 3rd baby. Let's just look on the bright side, which is, you've made it this far!
What a delicious little chubby dumpling you've become. Always quick with a smile and a little tongue poking out of the corner of your mouth for anyone who calls out to you. You're still battling that baby bald spot on the back of your head but it's getting a little more manageable. Definitely a party in the back with some really long hair and some sadly broken strands that can't quite cover that one square inch of scalp.
Nothing a little baby Rogaine won't cure. Kidding. We only use all natural grapefruit skins like Asian Grandma and Asian Grandpa used on me when I was a baby. What I need to find out is what Janelle Wang's parents used. Hands down, best hair game in the television business.
But back to you little Ren baby. Your 6 month milestone was huge for you. We dismantled the crib, put you in your own room, and killed the pacifier. All on the same day, nevermind that looking back, it appeared you were about to sprout two bottom teeth and you seemed just a little bit stuffed up. It was time. We did this to Emerson. 6 month baby coming of age event. Like a baby bat mitzvah if you will. A seismeses-anera.
It was untenable. You were becoming too aware. Our noises were messing up your sleep, your noises had been messing up our sleep for 6 months. Actually 16 if you count the pregnancy. As with most moves in our household, this one was dramatic.
We agreed Daddy would begin the night by putting you down for bed. We anticipated some pushback.
Obviously you liked your paci and you wanted it. But it's never good to be too dependent on something Renley.
We're imbuing you with that lesson now. You're welcome.
As expected, you did not go quietly into the night. The crying. The wailing. The horrible sound of my baby unhappy. Daddy sat in the hallway reading on his phone and keeping an eye on the timer. It's a form of sleep training he did with Emmy too. Go back in every 5-10 minutes to pat the baby and calm her down without picking her back up. But I was not involved with Emmy's training because I correctly predicted I wouldn't be able to handle it. Odessa was just easy. She never needed the pacifier and we kicked her out around 3 months because she was such a light sleeper she preferred being her own room.
But you have always responded better to soothing from me, since your earliest days, so this time the agreement was that I would go in at the specified intervals to calm you down.
Me: Is it time yet? Daddy: No. Me: Is it time yet? Daddy: It's been 30 seconds. Me: Now? Daddy: 4 more minutes.
It was annoying.
Finally, after a bazillion rounds of these 5-10 minute intervals, I decided this was unacceptable.
You were crying. So. Loud.
I had to take matters into my own hands and pick you up. Sacrilege! Sleep trainers will tell you first rule of Sleep Club, you do not talk about Sleep Club. Second rule, you do not pick up the baby!
But mother knows best. Right? As long as I'm writing this, yes.
No sooner than I inch out in the hall as you're snuffling and quieting down (which is deeply primally maternally satisfying, of course) does your dad come into the hallway.
At this point it's like 10:30PM. Your sisters, God bless them, are sleeping through all the crying and wailing. But of course we don't want to wake them.
So a full on whisper fight ensues. Whisper yelling at the top of our whisper lungs.
Him: [[ what are you doing???????!!!!!! ]]
Me: [[ she needs to eat ]]
Him: [[ no she doesn't. she just ate an hour ago ]]
Me: [[ i'm her mother ]]
Him: [[ confused by the relevance of my argument ]]
Me: [[ she can't keep crying like this ]]
Him: [[ you need to put her back down!!! ]]
Me: [[ no! ]]
All of this whisper shouting is happening as I'm trying to walk and rock you down the hallway toward our room so I can get to my chair and feed you.
At this point, your father stretches to his full 6 feet 6 inches, Wonder Woman pose and BLOCKS ME FROM PASSING.
Which, naturally, ENRAGES me.
Few things enrage me, but when the teapot gets hot, the water is boiling. Whatever that means.
Whisper fight continues.
Me: [[ i need to feed her! move!!! ]]
Him: [[ no. put her down. you're RUINING EVERYTHING. do you want to RUIN EVERYTHING? YOU'RE RUINING EVERYTHING ]] "Everything" being a reference to his carefully orchestrated plan for sleep training.
Me, still trying to find ways around Daddy: [[ she needs to eat ]]
Him, physically and verball not budging: [[ no ]]
It was so aggravating, this ridiculous stand off.
I hugged you tighter, and fired my final angry salvo in a sputtering whisper shout:
[[ she's MY baby!!! ]]
Still, he would not move. I turned around and quietly stomped back to your room and put you down.
Then I went back into the hall and stormed past Daddy.
I later learned he was silently praying that you would soon fall asleep or it would have been Sleepocalypse in our home with me never letting go of that horrible night.
Fortunately for everyone, you passed out three minutes later.
And ever since, you've been pretty good about falling asleep on your own without a pacifier or being overly rocked to bed. Good baby.
Among your other notable achievements to date: pooping in the toilet. Multiple times. Asian Grandma gets the gold star on this one. She's really the Poop Whisperer and she's started younger with each of you. You're also a good little eater of pureed veggies. You did not understand food the first 3 feedings but then it clicked and now you're a gobbler. You also love to slurp water from a spoon. Asian Grandparents have always been so obsessed with giving you girls water from day one because they think you're thirsty and that's how they do things in Vietnam. "Babies need water." You definitely like it.
You're sitting and playing with toys, yowling, and laughing at everything your sisters do to entertain you.
It's so special. I love that they love you so much and that they haven't shown any signs of jealousy or inconvenience at your inclusion. Odessa doesn't love to have you drool on her stuffed animals so she's quick to do a toy switcheroo when you get your hands on something of hers, but otherwise they've taken to you seamlessly. They love to carry you like a sack of rice, grabbing you around your baby middle.
In your eyes, they can do no wrong.
We're savoring all the milestones with you in a way I didn't quite grasp before. With Emmy, everything was so new, so First Time. With Odessa, things were easy and she was easy. With you, even through the initial Hangry Mankey stages, I knew you'd be the last and I knew how quickly all of this would pass, that it never drained me of energy. So I made a point to inhale every bit of your babyness. And I'm still absorbing as much of you as I can with every kiss and sniff and hug. You make me laugh with your habit of burping in my face, often right into my mouth. Somehow you always turn to me when that gas bubble comes up. So endearing.
You do love your mama and dada though. You always wiggle and call for us when you see us after a long day away. You are a funny little baby with an easy grin and you love to play with everyone. I love your spirit and we're thankful for you every day. And every night that you sleep through until morning. May there be an increasing number of those.
Love you Renroo,