Adventures in Parenting…

It’s hard to believe my baby girl is now four months old. Life looks nothing like it did four and a half months ago and don’t even get me started on six months or a year ago. Who can remember that far back?

4 months

To say I am a changed person since having a child wouldn’t do it justice. There have been plenty of bumps along the way and maybe even a mountain or two to climb but we seem to have finally plateaued. In a good way. Here are a few reflections from the first few months of my sweet girl’s life.

The good stuff…

  • This girl is a charmer. Her smile lights up the room.
  • She is just now learning how to sit up on her own. Her upper body can be likened to that of a bobble head but she gives it all she’s got. What more could a mommy want?
  • She has just discovered laughter. The sound bears a striking resemblance to the noises Beavis and Butthead used to make, but I could listen to it all day. (I may have recorded it on my phone and I may actually listen to it several times a day).
  • Every so often she will stare at me. It feels like we are having a staring contest. The girl wins every time. She doesn’t blink! I have to remind myself when things get awkward and I want to look away that this is her way of bonding with me and one day she may not want to talk to me, let alone gaze lovingly in my eyes. I have never cherished a staring contest more.

The hard stuff…

  • The beginning epitomized the concept of “hard stuff.” The first month of new parenthood felt like being stranded on an island. I felt isolated. People helped and brought meals but the anxiety was constant and the loneliness that accompanied the late night feedings was palpable. The thought of being alone – me and the baby – was almost unbearable. I wondered if I would know what to do if something went wrong. And how I would interact with this tiny human who had no means of communicating other than through tears.  Although I couldn’t imagine it at the time, God threw me a bone and life did get easier.
  • I have to admit, sometimes the whiny crying gets to me. I am all about building a strong attachment and meeting her needs by empathizing and creating a safe, secure foundation for her. But when the whiny crying drones on for hours I want to pull my hair out. If I am being honest with myself though, she is not the problem. The crying is not even the problem. The problem is my own frustration and helplessness in not knowing what’s wrong or how to help her. That is definitely going to be a challenge for me through the years when I either don’t know how or am unable to heal my baby’s wounds.

Some learnings along the way…

  • Babies lack object permanence so if you leave their line of sight for one second, they freak out and think you have abandoned them forever. Note to self: angle babies so they can view you at all times, even if you are two feet away.
  • When burping a baby mid-feeding they forget that mid-feeding burps occur at least five times a day and there is ALWAYS more milk left in the bottle. While in this state of amnesia, they cry and cry imagining a future without sustenance, until you bring the bottle back, reminding them that there is still milk left and the meal is not yet finished. Promptly, said crying stops and gulping resumes.
  • There can never be too many headbands. But when the flower on the headband is the same size or larger than the child’s face, it’s too big.

Who knows what will be in store the next four months. My guess is… more laughter, more crying, hopefully more napping, somewhat of a schedule, an earlier bedtime, more playing and many more family adventures.

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