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I never was what you would call a “baby person.” I mean, I loved kids, but babies just never did much for me. Small, yes. Cute, most of the time. But they just don’t do much. So while I was desperate for Mouse and thrilled when he arrived, I pretty much couldn’t wait for him to hit some of those milestones.
I really had no idea how hard it would be to care for a newborn. It seemed like kind of a no-brainer, albeit a no-brainer with no-sleep, but boy, it turned out to be a brainer. And I remember those early days thinking, “Things will be so much better after he can hold his head up.” You know, so you want walk around and not worry about accidentally swinging his lolling head into the door frame or something. I had some complications after Mouse’s birth that left me pretty physically weak, and it seemed so onerous having to use both hands to walk around. Plus he just kind of laid there with a rather dazed and confused look on his face.
The first smiles were, indeed, amazing. Finally, he seemed to be interacting with the world other than needing to eat, sleep, or be changed. Boy, wouldn’t it be great if he could actually play with toys though? We’ve got tons of toys but he just stares at them. Money well spent, I guess.
Oh cool! He plays with toys now! And having mastered the head thing, I couldn’t wait for him to be able to sit on his own. I mean the head thing helped, but he was still kind of this lump who needed to be propped up or he’d keel over like a frat boy on a Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday night. It sure would be a lot easier to carry him if he could sit up properly.
He sits! You know what would be really cute? Crawling! And washing all these bottles is getting old. How about some solid food?
He eats! But it’s getting seriously boring sitting here with the spoon the whole time. How about some finger food? And excellent crawling! Wanna give walking a try? Oh, and isn’t it time you started to make cute baby noises? Pins and needles for that first word, kiddo.
Dada! Dada! Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first word. Also, we really need to dump the bottle. I know the sippy cup looks and feels weird, but you suck on it just like a bottle. I promise. Let’s drink something else.
Well, we’ve got crawling down to a science, and that’s all fine and dandy when we’re someplace where the floors are, for the most part, clean. But when you take a vacation to Europe and you can’t walk yet, you get very cooped up in your stroller and very fussy and petulant, and very very very much in need of blowing off some physical energy. And while the floor of the restaurant section of a pub over here in the corner actually looks very clean (for a pub floor), it’s not my first choice. It is, however, my second. Ask me how I know. And lesson learned on that one–travel to Europe is fine, but it’s a lot easier when everyone in the family can walk.
Which bring us to now. We’ve been stuck on the walking issue for several months. Mouse is a very efficient crawler, and to be completely honest, he has zero reason to walk when crawling works so much better. And while I know that walking, and by walking I mean running, holds an entirely new set of challenges, and I’m not particularly a germophobe, it would be nice to get his hands off the ground.
So at this point in the post I know you’re expecting me to say something like, “in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been so anxious to move forward. I miss those days of the tiny baby who was so easy to cuddle. They went by so fast. I was so busy concentrating on the future that I didn’t appreciate those precious moments and now I wish I could go back in time and experience them again, and savor each small step.”
But I’m not.
The fact is, I’m just not a baby person. You know, life with Mouse has gotten more fun every day. Now we’re seeing his little personality and watching the little gears in his brain work as he solves problems. He sits without assistance, refuses to eat from a parent-controlled spoon (freeing me up to get some dishes done while I can just keep an eye on him in the high chair), and moves himself from room to room. He plays with toys–really plays with them–and babbles to us in his own language. It’s this that I’m loving, and I wouldn’t go back a year, even if I could.
I can’t wait until he talks with more than a handful of words, walks on his own, and stops putting everything in his mouth. If the past is any indication, the future is just going to get better and better.