If you happen to see Mary Virginia anytime soon, make sure to compliment her on her newly erupted lower incisors. She’s been working on them for several agonizing weeks, and now that they’re here, they’re her greatest accomplishment.
Or maybe mine.
If you’ve ever read any of Mary Virginia’s updates, you can guess what I’m about to write. Here goes: Mary Virginia is a monster at night and a delight during the day.
How does she do it? How is she in such a great mood after so little sleep? This is not uncommon: we put her down at 7:30, she finally settles around 9, wakes up a few times, then is up for the day at 6 a.m. After that, it doesn’t make sense for her to be happy. It makes sense for her to be mumbling and running into the wall until 10 a.m. when her coffee finally hits her bloodstream. Like mama does.
But, somehow, she does it. And just when I thought she couldn’t get any sweeter, she proved me wrong by growing an adorable head of curls that I will never, ever cut, no not even for a million dollars, not overmydeadbody.
Mary Virginia loves, loves singing. She has an entire repertoire of songs she requests that David and I sing with her all day. At bedtime, we’re very strict about only singing three songs, but she’d be fine with Mama singing into the wee hours. Even before I finish singing, she asks, “Can you do again?” And, I’m not being humble here, but you should hear me sing. I’m terrible. Horrible. Especially when I’m exhausted and trying to sing hymns like the one she calls “her song” because I used it in her first birthday slideshow.
At first I was amazed at how many songs she could sing. But then, around 3 a.m. when I was singing “Hush Little Baby” again I realized it wasn’t impressive at all. She hears this song, literally, around the clock. She better know it by now.
Tom takes issue with “Hush Little Baby” because it teaches materialism — don’t like this? No problem! Mama will be back with something better! But I totally relate with the mom, who has been dealing with a fussy baby all day and now all night. Mama needs some relief, so what do you want, baby? A mockingbird? You got it. A diamond ring? SOUNDS REASONABLE TO ME! JUST GO TO SLEEP!
Mary Virginia is a cuddlebug, and loves when I play with her hair, scratch her back, rub her arms. Instead of her old method of raising her arms crying at my feet when I’m unable to hold her, now she sidles up to me, wraps her arm around my leg, and asks, “Mama, will you cuddle with me?”
Ahem, well-played, little one.
When I say yes, she starts getting excited, “Will you cuddle with me ON THE COUCH?”
Couch cuddling, it’s her all-time favorite.
And the other day we were cuddling on the couch and I asked her, “When the baby comes, who will cuddle with the new baby?” She loves babies, so I thought she’d volunteer, but without even stopping to think about it, she answered, “David will.”
In summary, not much has changed. Mary Virginia is insufferably sweet, shy around strangers (especially men), and a hopeless mama’s girl — sometimes she rests her head in my lap and just gazes at me. She also idolizes her brother, is obsessed with ducks, picky about food and clothes, and prances around on her tiptoes screaming, “MY FEET HURT!” anytime she’s outside without shoes on.
She’s our sweet, cuddly little Mary Monster.
Because of her incisors, and because she is so darn sweet, we’ll excuse another month of sleepless nights. And also because I feel completely prepared to be up with a newborn all night, because after nearly two years of multiple wake-up every night, I think my body would be more shocked if I actually got uninterrupted sleep.
Dear Mary Virginia,
Next month you will be two years old. And, even more incredible, you’ll be a big sister.
I have to be honest, I’m worried about you. And this isn’t just mama-who’s-about-to-go-into-labor anxiety. You are so, so attached to me. I’ve spent the last several months gently nudging you to the edge of the nest, and while you have certainly grown in confidence and independence, you’re still very, very reluctant to fly.
You’re very attached and very proprietary. This morning David fell and hurt his leg. When, crying, he came to me for a hug, you dropped your toy and ran across the room to us, screaming, “No, Davin! That’s MY MAMA!”
I don’t know what life will look like after the next few weeks — there are a lot of unknowns and there will be a lot of adjustments — but I do know that, I’ll be taking care of three kids under the age of four. And one of them will be a very needy, very teeny newborn. My arms will be even more occupied and my attention even more divided that ever before.
Here’s what I know, darling daughter. We’ll get through it and we’ll be just fine. Mama will have coffee in the morning, a glass of wine in the evening, and together we’ll pass our days asking Jesus for patience, joy, and an extra measure of His grace. Just like we have for the past 23 months.