Musings of a Mum: 10 months old
What is happening behind those bright eyes of yours? What synapses are connecting and rearranging and organizing thoughts in your baby brain? Though remarkable change has occurred over the last ten months, I feel that the most noticeable changes happened in the last eight weeks. I find myself stopping in the middle of a chore or book or bite of hastily eaten food just to stare at you as you take in your new world, a world that is about to explode right before you...your very own big bang! The world of movement is at hand!
Weekend mornings are bliss. Daddy and I will each take a morning to let the other get a bit more sleep, and when the other does wake to join us, we will often sit in the sun room all together but independently playing. Dad is staring out the window with his cup of Assam. I am tucked up tightly in my bathrobe, sipping coffee as I leaf through a book. You will play quietly on the floor with your books or sock monkey. This bliss may last only a few minutes, but once in awhile the moment freezes in my mind and I will look at your Dad and then look back at you and then look back at the words on my page, suddenly unable to see them through my blinding happiness.
When I imagined myself as a mother, I never imagined this. I saw the difficulty; I saw the frustration, the confusion, the inevitable ways I would seriously mess you up and make you incapable of loving yourself and of receiving love. I saw myself angry and manipulative and always internally struggling to love you more than I love myself. I saw myself as lonely, frustrated, and always lacking in emotional resilience. I saw that I had a lot of things to fix about myself before I became a mother.
But now, I worry that you will know very little of true struggle. Though I had it less than ideal, I wouldn't change it for anything. I like how being raised by a single-parent toughened me up, made me independent and hearty. I like that the lack of fathering made me learn to see men clearly - and I could spot the good and bad ones a mile away. I like that the emptiness I was born into forced me to find my own means of filling it, never expecting anyone else to own the responsibility of my personal happiness.
You, my first-born, you have such a lovely life. All of our resources are bestowed upon your worthy soul. Our keen sight of you, our quiet pace, our educated awareness, our incessant quest to be more and better...all of these things I had to find on my own. But you, you will receive them in full.
This is not to say that we won't make serious mistakes and have to apologize over and over for hurting your little spirit as it grows. But I continually mark the stark contrast between your childhood and mine, and I wonder how to help you learn the lessons I learned - but learn them through love instead of abandonment.
I catch myself in spaces of utterly uncontainable happiness these days. It makes me want to bury myself in a hole underground for the shame of it - for the knowing well of other humans' misery and oppression, for the arbitrary dumb-luckness of it, for the fear of judgement and invalidation, and for the loss of my hard-won identity as a sad woman, made beautiful with suffering. But more than anything, chicken...more than any of those prideful reasons, I want to hide from my unhappiness because I don't want the universe to see me shouting it from the highest peak of my soul and decide to smite me from above because of my bragging. So for now, let it suffice to say that you - YOU - you have made Joel and I happier than we ever imagined humans could be walking the surface of this magnificent blue planet.
Yes, we are learning to co-exist quite nicely.
PERSONALITY and DEVELOPMENT
Dear me, dear me. I am sensing your will coming forth, though I cannot yet tell if it is a strong will or just a normal-person will - specifically if you are more Whitney or more Morris. I am strong-willed. So here's the thing about it...when someone comes up against my will, logical or not, I fight back. I will have to struggle hard to maintain a perspective concerning you - if the battle houses a lesson imperative for you or if I am just battling one will against another.
You are funny with a keen understanding of comedic timing and subtle facial expressions. You love to laugh and do it heartily and boisterously - it makes the room laugh. Nothing makes you laugh quite like your dog and cat. You love to be tickled, laughing at the anticipation. You love songs and conversation and pieces of paper. You are making sounds that imitate natural inflection, though the words themselves are babble. You have a lot more consonants, B, Y, M, N, W, D, P, H. You love to study objects with concentration and then love to bash them around.
Your favorite songs are Itsy-Bitsy Spider, Patty-Cake, and Bramberry Cross. Your face lights up when Daddy comes home from work and whenever you see Grandpa. You like to play Peek-A-Boo. You still love the bath and cry when I take you out.
You are rocking back and forth on all fours and can pull yourself up on things occasionally. I've begun to remove our breakables from your precious chubby grasp. Twice now I have seen you go from all fours back to sitting, and I know the full cruising is just around the bend. For now, you steam-roll around the room happily, but screaming in frustration if you get stuck or bored.
And such a lovely scream it is. Not so much a soft complaint of "Mummy dear, I seem to be in a jam. When you find a moment, could you please assist me?" No, it's more of a WWF wrestler bellowing, "AHHHHHH! EFFING HELP ME NOW LADY BEFORE I DIE A SLOW DEATH OF IMMOBILITY."
I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate you on saving the apperances of all six of your first teeth for one month. What fortitude! What pain tolerance! What drooooooool. Now you are in the habit of grinding them together, and I never imagined anything sounding so horrible.
Which brings me to the word NO. You are certainly getting accustomed to hearing it. When you initially saw my serious face married to an equally serious word, you laughed at me. Which would of course made me laugh and there you have it, Mommy is a joke. Nonetheless, we will continue to work on your boundaries - though I do suspect you will benefit more from validation and redirection than from rigidity...if I've learned anything about caged birds, it's not to restrict them...or at least to make their bars invisible.
You are a good, good eater. I've still not encountered something you won't eat. This month I added yogurt and grains and meat to your diet, which you love. For lack of time and creativity, I've given up on making a lot of the food and have been buying baby food, which I feel good about too.
I began to wean you from breastfeeding a few weeks ago, and you've take quite nicely to it. Your last nursing was five days ago, and you don't seem to know the difference. I made a deal with myself that I would go 6 months with breastfeeding, so these last 4 have been a bonus. I draw the line at teeth and awareness. But I loved it, and would do it again if I had the opportunity.
You are still sleeping really well despite those aforementioned six teeth as well as your body's desire to practice crawling at all times of day. If you wake up, it's usually because you have turned onto your stomach and can't turn over. I'll go in, readjust you, tuck you in tight, then you'll put yourself right back to sleep with that trusty old thumb of yours. There have been a few harder nights now that you aren't nursing (which means I stick to the plan more of not feeding you during sleep hours, since it's SO inconvenient to make a bottle), but you still get a consistent 10-12 hours of sleep/night. Glory, glory, glory BE.
Additionally, your naps have become more predictable Most commonly, you will sleep for 1.5 hours twice per day.
OUTINGS AND EVENTS
- Met baby Anders and saw Ruby and Courtney again.
- Had special one-on-one play time with Aunt Jenae, Aunt Erin, and Aunt Jess.
- Attended Mommy and Me yoga classes, and loved it!
- Met up with Cousin Amy and Kenya for a baby sing-a-long.
- Enjoyed a sleep-over at Gma's so Momma could get away for a weekend.
I've been trying to let us lay low on Fridays, but to get out of the house to go to a public place for 4 days of the week, including another outing of a walk around the neighborhood. You have been doing so well in the Ergo and really do love the distraction of being out and about, despite being somewhat cautious at first. I love this about you!
For this and many more reasons, I adore you, my babushka.