Big blue eyes. Dark hair with a cute little cowlick over her right eye. Nine pounds five ounces of lovable, snuggle-able sweetness. Our best Christmas present this year didn't come wrapped in pretty paper and bows; she came swaddled in a blanket.
We named our new baby girl Daphne Helen, but she already goes by Sweet Pea. For some reason, each of our children has picked up a nickname before they left the hospital.
Dan Henry was nicknamed Hank by my uncle, to avoid confusing him with my dad, who's name is Danny. Monika Jean is still known as Tootsie, although I don't remember how she got that nickname.
I found myself calling Daphne by Monika's nickname in the hospital, so I substituted Sweet Pea instead. I don't know if Sweet Pea will stick as Daphne's nickname, but I knew we couldn't have another Tootsie - that would be way too confusing.
And there's already enough confusion. Because our first born is a boy, a lot of our baby gear, including our carseat cover, is blue. Because we didn't know if Dan was going to be a girl or a boy, most of our newborn clothes are green and yellow. So, unless I put a pink hat on Daphne, I get questions like the one from Dan's classmate when I brought Daphne in for Dan to show-and-tell: "Is your baby a girl or a boy?"
We didn't know if Daphne was going to be a girl or a boy before her arrival, either. Dan wanted our baby to be a boy. Monika wanted our baby to be a girl, but when the ultrasound technician asked Monika what gender she wanted at our 20-week scan, Monika told her she wanted our baby to be a boy. From then on, Monika wanted a boy.
Glen hypothesized Monika wanted our baby to be a boy so that Daddy's little princess wouldn't have to share her daddy with another little girl. I figured Monika was simply mirroring her brother's vote.
A week before Daphne was born, though, Dan told me, "It doesn't matter if the baby is a boy or a girl."
I thought that was pretty mature of Dan. I was relieved, too, because I was afraid Dan would be disappointed if the baby was a girl.
When Dan and Monika met Daphne for the first time, both of them instantly forgot that they wanted our baby to be a boy.
"I wanted your baby to be a girl," Monika said excitedly after seeing Daphne.
And it's clear that Dan and Monika love their little sister dearly. They tell her so all the time and frequently lavish her with kisses and hugs.
So, now Glen has two little princesses, and he'll have to figure out how one dad can be wrapped around two little fingers.
Glen came in from the barn a week after Daphne's birth and said with a big smile, "I realized in the barn tonight that we just doubled our odds of one day having a dairy princess."
We also just doubled our chances for little girl troubles.
For now, though, it's hard to imagine Daphne being fussy about which pajamas she wears or wanting to put her shoes on by herself. For now, Daphne is a mellow, content little girl. Every time I say that, I think I should knock on wood because I know little people's personalities can change like the weather.
During the first couple days, I thought Daphne acted a lot like Dan did when he was a newborn, which made me think she might have a personality like Dan's. Now that she's mellowed out, I'm back to wondering.
We're also always trying to figure out who Daphne looks like. Some people think she looks like Dan, some like Monika. Some say she's got Glen's eyes, but my nose. Regardless of who they think Daphne looks like, everyone always asks where her dark hair comes from. That comes from us. Both Dan and Monika were born with dark hair, which fell out and was replaced with the bright blond they have now. I'm guessing the same thing will happen with Daphne's hair.
While it's fun to wonder about who Daphne looks or acts like, all we really want is for Daphne to grow up to look like Daphne, have Daphne's personality and for her to continue to be happy and healthy. It would be nice, too, if she would continue to get along with her brother and sister.
Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 70 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have three children - Dan, 5, Monika, 3 and Daphne, infant. Sadie also writes a blog for the Dairy Star at http://dairystar.blogspot.com. She can be reached at gsfrericks@meltel.net.