I mean it, I really do. Time needs to stop now! This month, this month has been just the greatest times of our lives. I don’t even know where to begin, you’ve made so many changes, had so many new things happen, and grown up so much.
I think the biggest thing is that what I talked about last month, the face planting that you were doing while you were sitting up has now developed into a fully deliberate lunge forward. You purposefully fall over your feet to get anything and everything within your reach. You can also get your feet out from under you, which leads to a whole new world of exploration! You dig your toes into the carpet or try to get a grip on the hardwood floors and with everything in your little body, push off. Sometimes, on the floor, this means you go flying! You certainly can make a lot more progress than we think, as we’ve learned from leaving you sitting up in the center of the bed, only to turn our backs, then turn around and see you on your tummy coming way too close to the edge!
Another change this month is that you are really becoming toy motivated. I was beginning to wonder if you’d ever really want to play. Some of your little friends can roll all over the floor to get things they want and you’ve just shown no interest in doing that. Now though, you just love your toys and love playing with them. Another huge development has been that you’ve gotten very good at self play. We can happily pass an hour sitting next to each other, you playing and me knitting. Speaking of knitting, your most favorite toy in the world is discarded small balls of yarn I give you! It’s amazing how long you can amuse yourself with just some string. You chew on it, move it around, unwind it, get tangled up in it, use your little fingers to pinch it, and did I mention chew on it? Everything, absolutely everything goes in the mouth now. Maybe that’s why your toys are so interesting now, because they actually serve a purpose as chew toys.
Speaking of chewing, we’re finally beginning to see the start of some teeth! Over Easter it became very clear where your two front teeth are coming in. There are still no big bumps or whiteness, but even your Papaw noticed it. You’ll be so cute with two bottom teeth! The amount of drool you produce is amazing; your face seems to be constantly shiny. Which is not really funny, until you start to blow raspberries and spit on us! Now we wish we’d never taught you that trick.
You also had your first Easter this past month! Which meant another trip to Papaw and Marme’s house, but this time, we went by plane! We normally drive, but Daddy and I decided that you and I should just go over a few days early for some extra visiting time and to go on and get your first plane ride over. I have to say Marion, you made me so proud. Not just on the plane ride, but the whole visit. You were just outstanding. I was scared to death about the plane ride since it was just the two of us, but you exceeded my expectations. We had to wake you up early since we caught the early flight out, but you were so interested in all the going ons that it didn’t bother you at all. I wore you in our mei tai through security and I’m happy to say you passed your first security scan. 🙂 When we got to our gate, I spread out your blanket and just let you play. We took your favorite Mr Brown Dog and yall just had the best time watching the planes come and go. The big floor to ceiling windows were a big hit – I think you wished we had them here in the house! I switched over to the Moby before we began boarding because that is still your most favorite carrier. As we started boarding, you started yawning. By the time we reached cruising altitude, you were sound asleep! You took a nice little nap and didn’t wake up until we started our descent. You never indicated that the altitude change bothered you one bit as you didn’t even take your bottle as we landed. You were so good over the whole trip, I was just amazed. I was thankful (for more than the obvious reasons) because I was nervous about solo parenting you until Daddy came over on Friday. But you were such a champ! You just loved being the center of attention (and are we ever paying for it now!) and you were just such a joy to be around. Nana, Grandad and Uncle were staying at Papaw and Marme’s so that made five people to dote on you! You just fell in love with Nana and Grandad too. I think you especially loved Nana’s British accent and Grandad’s booming deep South voice. You loved Nana so much you gave her all your kisses!
You’ve added giving kisses to your repertoire of tricks this month – it’s so cute. I think what’s even cuter is that you really pick and chose who you give them too. I hate to say it, but you’re very stingy about giving them to Daddy! Momma is lucky and gets them all day long (or most of the time at least.) You try to give them to the puppies as well, but they aren’t as receptive. I think it’s so cool that you show choices like that. It’s just fascinating to us to see you develop this aspect of your personality. I mean, as a tiny baby when you snuggled us, it was like “awwwwwww, she’s so sweet.” But the reality is that you were a baby and it was just pretty instinctual. Now though, when you do it, it’s even more special because you chose to do it.
I think it means so much to me because it’s a kind of positive reinforcement that I’m doing okay with you. I guess in the most basic sense, since you’re breathing, gaining weight and hitting milestones, I haven’t screwed up too much, but I’d kind of like more positive feed back than just the fact that you’re still alive! 🙂 Daily, I still struggle with the fact that we weren’t able to keep nursing and that somehow I’m still not doing enough. Maybe we don’t play enough or you don’t sleep enough or we don’t do enough social things with you or we are on the go too much or we are at home too much – these and a hundred other questions crowd my mind daily. But when you give me kisses, or reach up your arms for me or give me a big smile when I walk back into the room, for a moment, all those negative and questioning voices in my head are quiet and I know you love me and I’m doing okay.
I’ve felt inadequate and questioning and a little more doubtful this month because you’ve started sleeping in your crib. Normally, this is an exciting event that brings parents a sense of joy, but it just brings me a sense of loss. Since we don’t/can’t nurse, I’ve felt that co-sleeping was a way of making up that intimacy we lost by not breast feeding. There are few things more intimate in the world than sharing sleep with someone. Being able to offer you that comfort and that security and that closeness really met a need for me. Unfortunately, it was beginning to become what wasn’t best for you. Another example (like I needed reminding) that what is best for baby isn’t always the vision that the parents had in mind. The plain and simple truth is just that Daddy and I were waking you up when we’d come to bed. We got tired of tiptoeing into a dark bedroom and being afraid to whisper “good night” and you got tired of being woken up every night at 10:30. So in to your crib you went, and you’ve done marvelously. I wouldn’t say that I’m doing as marvelous, but I am adjusting and I even have to admit it’s nice to be able to sit in bed and read without fear of waking you up. It’s not that Daddy and I were playing soccer with elephants or anything like that, but true to your nature, you aren’t a very deep sleeper. Just the slightest noise would wake you up. So now, you go down in your crib with little to no fuss. Daddy still puts you to sleep every night and stays with you until you are sound asleep. If it’s a rough night and you just don’t want to go to bed, I’ve been known to come in and rock you to sleep or use the Magic Momma Tummy Touch (patent pending) to calm you down. You’ve done really well in your crib; most nights you just are up once for a feeding (what a change from the every two hour wake ups we were having last month!) And if you don’t want to go back down in your crib, it’s not a big deal; we just bring you to bed with us. To say that you’ve taught us flexibility would be an understatement! I’m not sure what it is, maybe you miss sleeping with us or just need a little something extra, but there is no feeling in the world that can come close to explaining how much my heart fills with love when I pick you up, whimpering and whining from your crib, bring you to bed, tuck you in close to my heart, and fell the heaviness of your body that only comes from deep sleep. It makes me feel like I can do miracles.
I can’t wait for you to be able to say that you love me. I’d settle for a mere “mama” at this point, but still no go on that one. “Dada” is your favorite word still and you’ve even come up with a few variations on it. “Ha Da” we think means “Hi Daddy!” as it appears to be a baby greeting of some sort. You seem to say it the most when the puppies walk into the room. We’ll settle for that as I think “Nanuq” isn’t going to be a word you get very easily. You also say “Wa Da” which we take to mean either “what’s that” or “where’s daddy?” The closest we’ve gotten to “mama” is “mmmmmmmmmmmmm” followed by spitting at me (also called a raspberry.) One of these days I guess it will happen. Of course, your inability (or refusal) to say “mama” has led to a super fun game where I say “SAY MAMA” and you reply with “DADA!” Sometimes I just ask for a mere “ma” and you, naturally, reply with “da.” Silly goose.
Please time, just stop already.