Monday, May 26, 2008

Seven Months

As I am typing this, I am sitting in my nice, big comfortable reclining rocking chair, my feet up on the footrest, and my elbows on the armrests, that are just a tad bit too high to be comfortable. That is, because this is our nursing chair and those armrests are designed to comfortably cradle a baby while holding it to the boob, but that is besides the point. YOU, on the other hand, are in your bed beside me, and you are supposed to SLEEP. Instead, you prefer moving around all over your bed, peering through the bars and making cute faces at me, trying to get my attention. And when you do get it, you crack into a wide smile. You also seem to think that this is a good time to practice your newly acquired skill of standing on all fours and wiggling back and forth, so whenever I look over to you I either see you smiling brightly at me, or I see your big diapered butt wiggling around. Your Daddy, who has been bringing you to bed lately almost exclusively, claims that this new method of just sitting next to you and letting you monkey around until you get tired enough to fall asleep is actually working. "No sense in fighting her to sleep", he said. I suppose he is right with that, but right now I can't quite imagine you suddenly knocking out, either. In fact, I am a bit annoyed, because after you were done with your bottle and I successfully burped you, you fell asleep in my arms immediately, just as if I had switched you off. As soon as I had then put you down into your bed you were right awake again, gearing up to turn sleepy time into a big ol' party - which pretty much sums up this last month of your life:

Sleep has become your new enemy, that one big thing that has to be avoided and fought off at all costs. You haven't napped in your room a single time this month, because every time I carried you there after you have fallen asleep, your mattress-sensor must have switched on, telling you to WAKE! UP! once you have made contact with the bed. So I have switched to just letting you nap on the couch as you were, lest you wouldn't get any daytime sleep at all - a circumstance which this month has become MY new enemy, the one big thing that has to be avoided and fought off at all costs. Combine a TIRED baby with one that's going through the discovery that Mommy can actually walk away, and will scream and holler when Mommy does so for more than 3 steps, you can imagine how part of this month went over for me. I am sorry to say, but you can have quite a temper, and you have been quite a handful this month. I think it was a combination of a growing spurt, the realization that I could, theoretically, leave you and never come back when I go to the bathroom, and your immense frustration at wanting more than you can do.

The latter tapered off quite a bit towards the end of the month, though. The two big things that happened were that you were suddenly able to hold yourself in a sitting position all by yourself (for a brief period of time), and that you figured out how to push yourself up on all fours! This actually started to happen about a week ago. You started to work on pushing yourself up with your hands, and it only worked when you had your feet against the wall, against which you could push. And once you had this figured out without your arms giving way beneath you again, you suddenly (and to me it seems like it was only 2 days later) you did it without needing the wall to support your knees from sliding away. And yet another day or two later suddenly you were up on all fours even on the slippery hardwood floor, not just on your rubber play mat! It's so amazing to watch you figuring things out, and watching you practice so determinedly until you have mastered something. The next step, I guess, will be you figuring out how to actually move forward from this position, because right now you seem stuck, kind of unsure what to do next when you are up - so you just wiggle back and forth, giggle, and then slide back on your tummy again, only to do it all over again!

That's not to say you are still immobile, though. You haven't covered a lot of ground yet, but everytime I put you down somewhere and I look back on you a minute later, you are about a meter away from where I actually had you, and I still haven't really seen how you do it. You are not quite army-style crawling yet, so I guess you just turn over and over until you have rolled and wiggled to where you want to be at.

And this rolling and wiggling business? It's driving me nuts, because you also keep it up while you sleep. Not only are you refusing to sleep properly, and wake up in the middle of the night again way before you SHOULD, but when your Daddy gets you to come spend the rest of the night with us, you wiggle and move and kick and push, all the while whimpering discontentedly, like you cannot find a position that suits you. To me it seems that only when you lay in a 90° angle between your Daddy and I, kicking one of us in the chest while pinching the other one into their nipple, you are satisfied. Opposable thumbs are a great thing, aren't they, Baby Girl? Especially after having mastered control over them... the uses to which you put them HURT more often that not, especially while being assaulted by them in the middle of the night, deeply asleep. Pinching seems to be your newest favorite thing to do. Almost everytime you touch us now it is such that you deliberately find the smallest amount of skin possible to put between your thumb and index finger and then to execute the most amount of pressure that you are capable of on that small fold of skin. Either that, or you go at it all out with your whole palm and then just squeeze. It's outright painful, it's highly annoying, and I have no way to make it clear to you that this HURTS and for you to STOP doing this. My loud "OWWWW"s don't really impress you at all, you either give me a bewildered look or a friendly smile, and then just keep right at it. I hope that this, like everything else, is just a PHASE...

And speaking of favorite new things to do... your grandpa has taught you how to pick up your own things after you have gleefully tossed them down on the floor. He's holding you by the hips while lowering you to the floor, where you eagerly grab for your fallen toy and when he lifts you up again you have the biggest grin on your face. So you do it again. And again. And again. And you never get tired of it. Unfortunately for us, you do not limit this game to your grandpa, but now everybody gets to have their turn. I guess I shouldn't complain about the exercise?

In other big news, you have eaten your first green veggies, and later on your first meat. So far, you still like everything I am putting into your mouth, and so I have finally started to give you a portion of fruit in the afternoon. Apples and bananas. And whenever you are done, you are asking for more. Sadly for me, you do not seem too interested in the boob anymore. That is to say, you still cry for it and make all the motions, but you do not latch on for very long anymore, take a few sips, and then get distracted by something - and I am talking about such exciting things like a handkerchief that's lying on the couch next to me, or a speck of dust. It feels to me like you only want to nurse for comfort and contact anymore, but you get all your nutritial needs out of the solids that I am feeding you, and that one time that you are nursing in the middle of the night. It makes me sad, I hope that our nursing times are not quite over just yet.

So, your Daddy had his 29th birthday this month, and to celebrate, him and I went out by ourselves for the first time since your birth. Your grandparents stayed to babysit you for the first time - a HUGE milestone! It was very weird to leave you behind, a bit awkward to be just your Dad and I for a while, and I was very worried that you might cry for me and I wasn't able to come for you and comfort you. Don't get me wrong - I was completely comfortable in the knowledge that my parents were watching over you, they have brought ME up after all, so who would be better suited? But still, a mother leaving her baby behind for the first time, that's a worrisome experience as a whole. We went to watch a movie, a rather mediocre one at that, and that dreaded phone call never came. We made it home around 11:30PM, to my parents watching TV and you being peacefully asleep in your room. What a success! The week after we had to repeat it, because your Daddy and I had to attend to the vernissage of an exhibition that he and I have designed and organised for the Mexican Embassy. I was comfortable, knowing how well it went the other night. This time it was just your grandma, as grandpa accompanied us to the vernissage. Well, let's just say that just after the opening ceremony that phone call came after all: you were crying, inconsolably, and refusing your bottle from your grandma's hands. We were never home faster - and we found your disshevelled desperate grandmother and a completely soaked-in-tears you, who broke into the biggest relieved smile at the sight of us! It melted my heart!

It is really amazing how you are responding to us now. Your Daddy coming home from work? You go into a smiling and kicking frenzy at his sight. Me telling you that you are about to get food and tieing your bib around your neck? You get all excited and slap the table with your hands. I move my wiggling fingers from high above my head down towards you chanting "tickle spider", and you start thrashing about and grinning expectantly until I tickle you and you start giggling. You smile when somebody is looking at you, yet you already are very specific in who gets to see your beautiful smile and who doesn't. When you managed to sit by yourself for the first time and when you managed to get up on all fours for the first time, you were making sure you were stable, then looked at me and the smile on your face was nothing short of prideful. The look on your face clearly said: "LOOK, MOMMY! SEE WHAT I CAN DO???" You have even started to "sing" along: when one of your music toys goes off, you start excited and loud "wa-wa-wa"-ing as long as the music is playing, and you stop when it is over. It is simply amazing to see your reactions and responses!

I fall in love with you more and more every day, and even though I must admit that this month has been a bit difficult, I also have to say that you have learned so much and have turned into such a big little character, that this makes more than up for the bad times, my immense sleep deprivation, and all that damn pinching. I could just sit there and watch you endlessly when you play all by yourself on the floor, when you have moved yourself away from all your toys enough so that you can't reach them anymore, and then just settle yourself without toys, just laying there and babbling and talking to yourself. Watching you lay there almost motionlessly, only to see you breaking into a smile for no apparent reason at all, as if some funny thought has suddenly crossed your mind, or watching you watching your own reflection in the glass front of a cabinet in the living room, telling yourself what sounds like entire stories. There are not enough words in neither language I know that could describe properly how much I love you, and how much I enjoy my time with you, am looking forward to every day to see what new thing you will have learned and mastered.

And you have mastered a few more things this month, too. Banging toys together to figure out what sounds they make is one of them. Putting your pacifier back into your mouth all by yourself is another. I have upgraded to the next size pacifiers, and since I did, you were suddenly able to do this. To me that's a huge relief, because I don't always have to be there to do this for you. Only when we are in the car (our NEW car, imagine!), where you are now deemed to sit on the backseat, you scream up a storm when you lose the paci, just as if you have NO CLUE how to ever put this back into your mouth, so that I have to stop the car, turn around and give it back to you, only to have you spit it out not a minute later and start the screaming all over again.

I have also introduced the sippy cup, since you refused to drink water out of your bottle, and actually managed to take a few sips out of a real cup with my help. So I figured it was time for the sippy, and you have figured out the use of the handles immediately. Only the different opening was and is still giving you a bit of figuring out to do.

In terms of celebrating, this month has also seen my first Mother's Day, and your Great-Grandpa's 85th birthday. 85 years! You were so good at he big family celebration, I couldn't believe how patiently you were standing both the heat in the humid and stuffy restaurant and the hugs and kisses and touches from all those relatives, some of whom have never seen you before, or maybe only once yet. When we came home, I put you into the bathtub immediately: you were so grubby and dingy from all those people getting their hands on you, and the sweat drenching your clothes, but you were a real trooper, and everybody complimented your Daddy and I on our sweet and good little baby. And Mother's Day? Your Daddy got me a beautiful bracelet of which he said that you actually picked it out for me. Thank you, Baby Girl, you picked it well, I love it very much! :)

But there is nothing in this world that I love more than YOU.



Anonymous Andria and Co. said...

Happy 7 months pretty girl!

3:20 AM  
Blogger imagoii said...

What a wonderful ride! I'm so glad that things are going well for you and baby girl ... it's amazing how intense they can be when they are concentrating ... and then how quickly they learn the next thing! I love your monthly updates!

3:31 AM  

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