It seems like every September since your mama and I got married has been extremely busy, and this September is no different. This particular September is one that we have been both looking forward to and dreading for quite some time: your first international trip.
Even before you were born, we knew that we would be taking the trip to Prague to see your mamas best friend Tasci get married. We had plenty of time to get prepared for the trip, but I don't think any amount of time could have fully prepared us for the ups and downs, the highs and lows, of traveling with an eight month old.
Fortunately, we got most of the "lows" out of the way in the first 48 hours. And really, none of it was your fault. For an eight month old you really handled things about as well as you could. Unfortunatley, air travel just isn't the mode of transportation best suited for any kids, even ones much older than you. Our flights to the Czech Republic met us with delay after delay after delay. Fortunately, we never missed a connection, but all that waiting definitely took its toll on your limited patience.
Gadgets to keep the adults entertained, Owl Pacino to keep Lucy entertained.
Jet lag has never been much of a problem for me in my limited travel experience, so I naively assumed getting you on schedule would be a simple matter of keeping you awake for that first day, exhausting you thoroughly, and then putting you down to sleep when your "new evening" came. That first day in Prague, however, was quite an adventure. You simpley refused -- refused! -- to sleep. Even after having been awake for 36 hours with no more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time between, any attempts to put you to bed were met with resolute defiance and screaming. Around midnight, we officially gave up; You spent the following six hours in a carrier, bouncing up in down in the dark living room of a house in the suburbs of Prague, as your papa listened to all of the mix albums loaded up on his iPod.
Apparently, that one night of unrest was all you needed. The following day, and the subsequent two weeks, you were an absolute delight and put up with all of our travels. From Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge to Wenceslas Square and the metro, you were happy just about anywhere we went and were content to just sit and look at everything there was to see. And I think the attention that everyone in the restaurants and shops paid you didn't hurt, either. There's nothing European shopowners love more than a cute baby!
The trip back went a little smoother -- I think we learned a lot on the trip out there, but I'm also sure you learned to be a lot more patient with us as we continued our travels. After our flight landed in New York, we were approached by many of the other passengers on the plane who complimented us on what a sweet little girl we had! Usually, being stuck with a baby on an international flight would be considered one of the worst things in the world, but you somehow managed to charm everyone on that flight.
Slowly but surely, your incoherant babbling is transitioning into what sounds like real words, and it's kind of amazing. People talk about babies "first words," but I have no idea in the world how we're supposed to know exactly when you've gotten that first word out. We can tell that with you, it's going to be something of a continuum, continually practicing until you officially get it perfect. You're just about there with "mama." Whenever you see your mama, you start whispering "ma" with varying degrees of silence between them. With a little coaxing, we can get you to string a couple together to get it closer to an actual "mama."
You've got a little ways to go with my name, though. I have no complaints -- there's nothing more amazing than walking into a room, seeing a little eight month old girl turn to you and with a big smile yell "bopbop!"
I have to be honest, though, this past month hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows. Each day, we can see you getting closer and closer to full-on crawling, and I think that nearly realized freedom has awakened a strong desire in you to explore. Putting you down to sleep used to be a simple matter of turning on your musical lamb, setting you down in your crib, and closing the curtains. This past month, though, things have gotten a lot more complex. Getting you to admit defeat and shut your eyes at the end of the day often requires giving you a bottle to sleep with and many, many butt pats while you mumble and squirm. Really, though, once you do get to sleep we can usually count on you to sleep soundly until at least 5am, which is about all we can ask. Even when you refuse to go back to sleep at 5 or 6 in the morning, you're pretty happy and cheerful. How you do that without coffee is beyond me.
Keep it up, little one. Soon you'll be crawling, and then walking, and then there will be no stopping you.
All my love,