Every 10th of the month, I sit there and look back and think “What was I doing, x months ago?”. The answer’s always the same – trying to sleep between contractions in a pain-and-G&A-induced stupor, wondering how much longer this labour business is going to take.
This month is a really strange one. I can’t quite explain why, but I’ll give it a shot.
Eight months seems like such a long time. As I didn’t actually make it to nine months, I think it’s strange that by next month, SB will have been alive for longer than I was pregnant with her, and my pregnancy seemed to last so long (although in hindsight, it passed in the blink of an eye), and eight months seems so close to a year that I’m starting to see my tiny little baby as more of a toddler-in-the-making, rather than a tiny, helpless newborn.
It helps that she’s growing up so fast, I can barely keep up with her. We have not one, but two teeth, and all the fussing and whining and desperate chewing that comes with it. She looks so sweet with her bright red cheeks, and these two little pegs poking out of her gums. She’s commando-crawling at such a rate that I think she’ll be full-on crawling by the end of the week – we can’t turn our backs for a second now before she’s getting up to mischief – she sits on her own like a pro, she’s babbling away (we’ve had ‘dada’ and ‘baba’, but we’re still chasing that elusive ‘mama’ – so far it seems that I’ve been christened ‘Yaya’, as it’s what she always babbles when she sees me). I look at her now and I see a little person, full of life and spark and personality, rather than a little baby who relied on us for everything. She’s so fiercely independent that it saddens me at times – of course I want her to be my tiny infant forever! – but I’m proud of her, and I know that independence will serve her well if it continues into the future.
Weaning is going well; she has three meals a day (still not home-made purees, but I’m working on it). Finger foods are a bit trickier – not for SB, who’ll chew on them all day, but for us as parents. Every time she manages to gnaw a little bit off, we’re panicking to get it out of her mouth before she chokes. I think it’s confirmed that baby-led weaning definitely wouldn’t have been for us.
Something scary happened yesterday; she rolled over and onto a little star-shaped ‘cookie’ toy. It pressed into her face quite hard and sharp, and immediately she was crying – not sniffly baby snuffling, like she usually does, but a full-on “Help me, I’m hurt!” cry. It was like a call to action; almost immediately D and I were trying to comfort her. With some snuggles and kisses, she quietened down very quickly – it lifted my heart a little to see that she really does get so much comfort from being around us.
Her first Christmas is looming, and I’m very excited. She’s been absolutely spoilt rotten by us, and will definitely be more interested in the paper and the labels than the toys themselves, but that’s all part of the fun. It’ll be our first Christmas as a family – before, I’ve always gone to my parents, and D has always gone to his – and while I know it’ll be strange to be “alone”, with SB around there won’t be time to feel lonely – no sooner do you start drifting into some kind of melancholy daze than she’s chewing a laptop cable or trying to pull a scarf over her face, or crawling for the closest contraband food or bottle of alcohol (what can I say; the girl’s inherited my radar for anything unhealthy or immoral!), and you’re jerked out of it to go and plonk her back on the mat, only for the same to happen again minutes later. There’s definitely no time or cause for loneliness with SB around.