Hi, Baby. This is me.

As a small birthday present to myself, I ordered Bebe’s baby book last week. Since her nursery is essentially just as bare as it was a week ago when I waxed poetic about the few things we have already stocked it with, I suppose I should have been buying something more “useful” for her and amusing for me – like a ridiculous frou-frou outfit she’ll wear only once before destroying but we’ll thoroughly enjoy seeing her in.

But it was her baby book that I wanted so it was the baby book that I got. Even though I am officially developing stretch marks and uber-dry skin, I’d prefer to get her baby book over getting any cream to alleviate my pregnant skin.

I love my own baby book and always have. My mom and (occasionally) dad diligently filled it up with every milestone and minor quirk I exhibited prior to the second grade. From it I learned that when I was a baby, my favorite characters on Sesame Street were Ernie and Bert and I liked to go to restaurants and order kitty cat fish and puppy dogs (translation: hush puppies). An envelope in the book holds a specimen of my fifteen-month-old hair: soft ringlets of light brown I chopped when I acquired some safety scissors. Tiny, soft hair. So strange.

There’s very little I can do with Bebe’s book as of yet since she’s, well, as-of-yet. She kicks and she stretches but there are no blanks in her book to record that minutiae. There is a spot for her first ultrasound – something ohsodifferent from my baby book from 1982. B and I agree that the images of our lima bean-sized baby from several months ago are a relic of those first few months of her incubation and can now be safety transplanted from the fridge door to the archives of the book. We’ve memorized those pictures, and as much as we cherish them, we can’t help but think that they are outdated memoirs of a tiny baby that is now massive by comparison. Hopefully, once she’s old enough to be curious about what she looked like as a tiny mass of cells, she’ll glean as much joy from looking at those pictures as we did, despite the fact that my name scrolls across the top of  them, not hers.

What I can do is fill out our respective family trees in the book. That took about eighteen seconds and in an effort to use my absolute best penmanship, I made some embarrassing misspellings that will now need to be whited-out. Note to self: use a pencil whenever possible.

The book also contains “parent pages”, places where B and I are obliged to record our own favorite memories of childhood, how we personally felt when we learned of Bebe’s coming, our birthplaces, and our birthdates and astrological signs.* After providing these details, we are invited to affix a photo of ourselves on the next page.

*It annoys me that the book wastes two lines on both birthday AND astrological signs when they could just as easily be combined, but I supposed you have to sacrifice a few things when you find a really cute non-pink baby book.

I keep asking myself what kind of picture I should choose to represent myself in Bebe’s baby book. Should I screen it? Despite the fact that I look probably as happy and relaxed as I could possibly be in the photos of me taken at pubs in Korea, I don’t think I’m ironic enough to include one of those pictures.

She will always know what we look like based on the countless pictures we have of ourselves and hopefully by knowing us long into her own adulthood, but it seems as though we need to find baby-book appropriate photos of ourselves now to capture who we were at the time of her coming. The soft, babyish colors of the book set the tone for our photos to be just as soft, pensive, and playful as her own babyhood will doubtlessly be if the design scheme of the book is to be trusted. However, we’re not quite there yet. We are still essentially childless and completely unaware of the changes she will bring to our life. Trying to choose a picture that perfectly represents who we are at this transitional time in our lives is next to impossible.

Just like her first ultrasounds, these pictures should capture who we are now but may not have a lot of carry-over into the future except for the fact that we know that it’s us. However, just as I would probably never honestly hold it against her for growing out of her bean-state and into the person she’s going to become, I don’t think she’s going to hold it against us for not being the people we were just prior to her being born. We’re all going to grow up together.

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27 comments

  1. So sweet. I think just about every picture of you I’ve ever seen captures your joy, your light, and your intelligence. Bebe is a lucky girl:)

    1. You are way too sweet to me :) I love you!

  2. I’m so glad you love looking at your baby book as much as I love looking at mine! Zach always laughs when I get all hardcore focused in on completing Sonia’s baby book because he thinks it’s more important to us than it is to her and she won’t really care about it all that much. Beg to differ, Mr. Husband. It’s fun to look back at who you were before you can remember being!

    1. YES, it is fun! If no other reason that looking at the headlines from the day I was born! But even if the baby doesn’t love looking at it as much as I enjoy looking at mine, I still think it’s going to be really fun filling it up and then looking at it years later.

  3. Include a little collage of several pictures. I would have loved something like that in my baby book.

    Even more critical than the baby book is my blue notebook. It’s where I write down all the zingers the kids pop out with. Things I swore I would remember but know I probably won’t.

    1. I know I’m going to have to have a designated book just for the awesomely bizarre things she’ll do and say! I had one for my students in Korea and it’s got to be my best souvenir!

  4. You could print out all your blog posts about her into a book of their own! Little does she know she has a web history before she’s even arrived.

    1. Although I think I’d have to do some serious editing, I’ve really thought about doing that! Kind of my own variation on “letters to baby”.

      Thanks for commenting! Love your blog.

  5. I used to love looking at my baby book, too! Great post – inspired me to start looking for a book so I can do the same!

    1. Whatever you can get done in advance, do it! We chose “Baby’s Record Book” by Amy Nebens. I ordered it off amazon and it was really affordable; saved like $7 off the cover price of $19.99.

  6. What a lovely post! And I was super excited about EB’s baby book, too. I have all of these things I need to put in it securely – but for now, the box the book came in houses every scrap I’m trying to save. It was fun filling out. I missed a few milestones, though, and I’m kicking myself for waiting to enter it in!

    1. I guess you could say that you’ll sleep – AND finish their baby books – when they’re grown :) Sorry, that was too easy. I apologize. Thanks for your kind comment.

  7. Hello, You must be an oldest child, lol. I was just cleaning out some stuff today and found my three children’s baby books. Time to pass them along. I wish I had been better at filling them out.
    With their baby books was mine. My mother has been gone for a few years, and looking through that book brings back fond memories of her. I didn’t remember anything that happened while the book was being made, but looking through it shows me a lot about how loved I was. Thanks for sharing :) Angie

    1. Hahaha! How did you know?! It’s kind of funny to me (and me only) when I compare my baby book to my younger brother’s. Mine is very complete and his is, well, not so much.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Welcome!

  8. Ah the baby book. I wish I would have gotten around to starting those when my boys were actually babies. I have a gift bag for each child stuffed to the brim with cards, little footprint cards from the hospital, and other precious things that I have to organize in some fashion. Good for you for being on the baby book ball! :-)

    1. You know, from reading your and other people’s comments, it’s occurred to me that moms may feel kind if bummed when they don’t get the baby book all put together right away. I know it’s easy for me to talk about getting Bebe’s book all put together now because she’s not even here; it will be very different once she arrives. I think the fact that you’ve got a big container filled with keepsakes from their childhoods is a testament to your organization and love for where they are right now. When you get around to it, you’ll get around to it. If anything, your blog is there baby book ;)

  9. My mum loves the baby books but they make her feel guilty. Somehow the first kid’s book is so much detailed than the second kid’s.

    1. Yes! You have to monitor the first baby’s every breath and step to make sure they don’t drop dead but you’ll let all subsequent babies juggle knives. Love it!

  10. I need to get a baby book still. On one hand, I also liked reading mine and for the past few weeks it has been cool to have my mom read me excerpts from it. On the other hand, I have been avoiding getting one because they seem sad somehow. Silly, they should be happy books, right?

    1. I think anything nostalgic has a bit of sadness to it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.

  11. cho chweeeeet

    1. YOU are cho chweet!

  12. I agree with Cameron, every picture of you is filled with joy ! This is beautiful…

    1. Well, now that we actually have pictures of you, I can say the same of you! So glad you had all those pics printed up; they are gorgeous!

  13. Ok, the picture of the “baby” in the pink fluffy pants is really kind of creepy when you realize there is no way that model is a baby. Good for you for doing the baby book. My sister did and her kids love them. I have cardboard boxes filled with stuff in no particular order. Sigh.

    1. YES! Thank you for noticing that too! The Internet is a strange place filled with bizarre pics!

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