Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Adventures in Parenting: Living in the Moment

Everyone tells you the first three months are the hardest: "The Fourth Trimester", when your baby doesn't really know how to function in the outside world and would rather still be hanging out inside your belly (and after dealing with their crying, you'd sort of prefer that too at times).

Sometimes you think the rough patches are getting better...and then your baby decides not to go to sleep until midnight, even though you first started trying to put him down around 9pm.  Two nights in a row.

It's really easy to spend those rough days wishing for this period to speed by, to rush this time and just "hurry up and hold up your head/eat real food/tell me what you want!!!"  But the other day, while I was on the phone with my mom (with Baby J crying in the background), my mother told me "just take it one day at a time."  Because really, that's all you can do.  You can't rush the rough patches.  And when you think about it, would you want to?  Look at that amazing miracle in your lap.  Even when he's crying, just in the last 8 weeks, his crying has evolved.  He has learned to babble, so that his fussing and sobs mimic the rhythm of words--a skill he learned from YOU.  Every day, he's more and more alert, taking in everything around him.  Every day, you get more smiles--again, something he learned from you.  He gets slightly bigger every day--one day he no longer fits in that newborn outfit, or he stretches all the way across your lap in the glider, barely fits on the Boppy, can't lay facing you on your lap without his legs curled up on your chest.  His tiny legs and feet now barely fit inside that newborn SleepSack that could almost wrap around him twice 8 weeks ago.
If you fast forwarded through these times, you'd miss seeing this transformation.  So, when he refuses to go to sleep even after the 4th time you've tried to put him down and you're about ready to pull your hair out, look down at that face as he drifts in and out of consciousness and remember that someday, he will be 13 years old, and won't fit on your lap, let alone want you to rock him.  As the top of his head gets closer and closer to the top of his swing, his bouncer, his car seat--every day he's growing about an ounce ounce closer to going off to daycare, school, college, getting his driver's license...

And even though the days feel long and the night's feel like they won't end--they will.  This will pass.  You will not be changing diapers or getting up for midnight feedings & fussings in just a few years.  You will only be nursing for a short period of his life. The days feel long--but think back on your life, to the last major event.  Where did those 9 months of pregnancy go?  It doesn't feel like I've been married to my husband for 4.5 years, but I have.  It feels like I only moved away from Louisiana last year, but it was 6 years ago.  This too shall pass as quickly, and time will compress, and tomorrow you'll be sitting in line at the school drop-off, wondering how your tiny human grew up so fast.
At least...that's what I'm hoping. :)

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