Dear Captain Crunch -
How are you? I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I played softball last weekend, and I wore my "Golden Touch" shirt. I know, wrong sport, but I think it really helped my game. I think about you starting your new school year, in a room full of new faces looking up at you, eyes bright and ready to learn. I think of a tiny baby, growing bigger and bigger inside of you and how sometimes it makes you feel giddy with excitement, and sometimes it makes you feel really really uncomfortable. I think about you planning your birthday next month, what? You haven't started making plans yet? I think about Ryan and wonder what he's been up to at work lately, and I wonder how Mocca is doing. I think about Nanners, and how lucky you are (and she is!) that you live so close to her. I think about your dad and wonder how he's taking to retirement, and I wonder if you told him about my beef with the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. What would he say to that, I'd like to know?
I think about what advice to give you, because you've asked me for advice twice now. Oh, I have lain awake many nights thinking about it. And every time I do, I feel very strongly: "Why does Stacy need my advice? She's going to be the best mother the world has ever seen, because, well, because Stacy has always been a mother. It's just more official now." And you know that's true. What is a mother, other than someone who cares, protects, guides, supports, teaches, encourages, and reprimands someone who is in need of such? Wasn't it you who taught me the importance of going to all of my classes? (A lesson which, admittedly, I may have only sort of learned.) Wasn't it you who taught me about boys? Wasn't it you who taught me that I really had to eat dinner every night, and not just sometimes? Wasn't it you who taught me that too much Lifetime television is bad for my health? So I guess my first piece of advice is: Remember that you can do this. And you can do it well.
But, if you want some concrete advice, here you go. I will spare you the: sleep whenever you can type advice because you'll be getting that from strangers in the grocery store.
1.) Like strangers in the grocery store, you will soon be (if you haven't already) inundated with advice: solicited and unsolicited. You will get it from your mother, from your doctor, from former college roommates (hi!), and possibly even from, say, Mike Cuzzone. What I want you to remember is that you are the mother here, and this is your baby. Take what you like from this advice, and discard the rest. Do what feels right and comfortable to you, and your baby will grow up healthy and happy. I guarantee it. (Although, I wouldn't permanently throw out all advice, just discard it to the back of your mind and then when you are desperate for new ideas, pull it out, dust it off, and consider giving it a try. You never know.)
2.) Each day does end, and so does each night. No matter how long the baby has been crying, it will stop eventually. No matter how many times they have thrown up on you they will get better eventually. Take a deep breath, close your eyes for a minute, and remind yourself that someday you will get all the sleep you want again. Someday you will wear clothes that stay clean for longer than twenty minutes. Someday you can shower whenever and however long you want to. On the flip side, remember that they will only be small enough that you can cuddle whenever you want for so long. They will only have those drooly gurgly smiles for so long, so enjoy those while they last.
3.) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Even if it is in the middle of the night, and you are exhausted, worn out, cranky, Ryan mumbled something and then passed out again, and the baby won't stop crying and you don't know what to do and you don't want to call your mom because you were on the phone with her for three hours last night discussing a funky looking rash on the baby's bottom, well. You have my phone number. I'm at the point right now where I'm completely disoriented in the morning if I have gotten a full night's uninterrupted sleep. And I don't like to be confused and disoriented. So give me a call, we'll talk it through. Put me on speakerphone, and I'll sing to the baby and you can rest your voice. I know hours worth of songs. Literally.
In summary (there will be a pop quiz tomorrow) my advice to you is:
Remember that you will be a good mother.
Remember that this is your baby, and you know what is best.
Remember that it doesn't last - the good times or the bad.
Remember to call me.
Love you Stace.