I have been sitting here for 5 minutes contemplating how I want to start this post. So much has happened this past month that it’s difficult for me to find a jumping off point. You have grown leaps and bounds from a month ago that there are times I look at you closely to make sure you’re my child – that I didn’t accidentally push the wrong stroller in the store in my attempt to find the most perfect toy that will occupy you for more than 15 minutes.
One of your biggest milestones this past month is learning to crawl. I am slightly conflicted with this. I am thrilled that you achieved this milestone (it was bound to happen eventually) but a part of me was also terrified of this moment. Now that you’re in constant motion and I actually have to keep an eye on you, I feel like all of a sudden this is all real – I now have to turn on “parent.” I almost feel like these past months have been autopilot in comparison. As you crawl from one room to the next going after each electrical cable, dog bone/ball, magazines on low shelves, all of a sudden it dawns on me – I HAVE A BABY AND I’M FREAKING OUT! Where the hell has my mind been these past months. Is this some kind of horrible coping-mechanism to get you started and then all of a sudden your brain dumps you on the side of the road with no clothes and the word loser written across your forehead.
The speed at which you learn things is frightening. Don’t get me wrong you little over-achiever you but we need some time to digest these milestones. The second day you learned to crawl, you were already making your way up the couch. All of a sudden those life-size cages don’t sound like such a bad idea. One blessing on our side is you are starting to sleep thru the night – hallelujah, praise Jesus. This day couldn’t come any faster and although it probably won’t last, I am sleeping mighty comfy at night. Even the dogs are happy – they no longer give me the glare of death in the am when I roll out of bed.
Many things are changing this month and you will quickly learn, I don’t do changes. I like routine – always have most likely, always will. So far, I’ve had the pleasure of just keeping you in your car seat and plopping it into the stroller. I do just about all my errands with you in your stroller – even grocery shopping! I’ve had this notion all along that I can’t keep you in your stroller forever when running errands – eventually you will need to sit the proper way in your stroller and actually sit in the shopping cart. Your dad says, “Aren’t you going to do it already – she’s 8 months for crying out loud.” I guess I should but then that means I have to open a whole slew of potential issues: what if while you’re in the shopping cart you get tired and cranky and start throwing toys? You can do that now in your stroller but I’ve always had the luxury of pulling the shade down on you. I guess technically speaking if you have a tantrum in the stoller, I can just throw a blank or sheet on you- “There’s nothing to see here people – move right along.” I know all of these things are inevitable but I’m trying to avoid them for as long as possible – again, I like routine.
Since you’re getting the hang of solid food and your doctor recommended we started offering small amounts of table food, we now get to play the game called “What Can We Put In Your Mouth and Can You Keep It Down Without Choking.” Forget Yahtzee, this is the game that provides hours of fun! My favorite part is when you hate something so much, you have the ability to spit it out clear across the room. That’s skill my dear. The funniest thing is watching you learn how to pick up food and try to deliver the tiny morsel into your mouth. You look just like a tiny drunk person who found a rice kernel on the table and is determined to devour it. It takes you a good dozen or so trys and by the time you get it to your mouth, it pretty much resembles regurgitated food – mmmmm, I bet you love that. It’s enought to make me lose my appetite that’s for sure.
Despite the new chaos you bring me each day, I still look forward to seeing you each morning. You have this wonderful swollen face sleepy eye thing going on each morning and you always bare a huge smile that’s enough to send me over the edge and hand you over my wallet. I get frustrated with you at times and I really get upset with myself when I do because you’re this tiny vulnerable little squirrel who is still taking this all in and you’ll deal with enough bad moods during the course of your life and I don’t want to expose you to that just yet. I’m not promising I won’t because I would put money down that I will but it’s not necessary yet. I have to remember that you’re not deliberately going out of your way to make my life difficult or if you are, you’re very skilled and scrappy and you’re even more awesome for picking up on that at the ripe old age of 8 months.
I love you Liv and I have never been more scared in my life than I am at this very moment – the culmination of all that is yet to come is building and the unknown is what scares the crap out of me but I’m ecstatic at the same time. Conflicted is a mere description of what I’m feeling but I look forward to the rollercoaster. As I said frequently during a rare drunk evening at a friend’s wedding – “I’m a new mom, let me drink- I’m not embarrassed” Get familiar with those words darling – if you play nice, I play nice – capiche?