Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lest You Think...

This world of caring for a 7 month old is all fun, games, & smiles...

In looking back through my posts, I realize that the honest accounts of some of the less-than-pretty sides of caring for baby have trickled off since those first weeks/months. I find it's easy to fall into the "life is beautiful" storytelling mode and forget to also share some of the bumps (literally & figuratively). While the happy stuff is certainly what we chose to focus on, I find encouragement in knowing others are going through tough stuff too AND I hate to suggest that we've got it all together.

So, here I'll share a few of the bumps we've experienced lately. They don't seem nearly as all-consuming as the challenges (remember the sleeping in the crib saga...) we faced early on. But they are challenges, all the same.

1. Where's My Mommy? We've officially entered into the Mommy attachment phase. It peeked out a few weeks back and it's really reared it's ugly head in the past week. What this looks like is Elynor is happy as long as she can see or sense I'm within a reasonable distance. But as soon as she can't see or sense me, then out come the screams. As you've probably sensed, I really value her developing a sense of independence. I don't hold her a ton throughout the day and I don't think I've done other things to encourage this. From what I hear, it's just a phase. And actually, it highlights a pretty significant developmental milestone called "Object Permanence". Simply, this means the kid is learning things still exist even when she can't see them. While I guess we could celebrate this milestone each time the screams come out, we don't. It's really pretty annoying to hear her screaming when I leave her at the babysitters or when I step out of the room at home. She's okay with others, even strangers, holding or playing with her... just as long as she knows I'm around too. It was actually kind of funny when I was volunteering at the church nursery last weekend. Elynor sat playing in the middle of a large pack of babies, surrounded by adults. As I walked around this scene holding an upset baby, I watched Elynor periodically peek up to find me, then go right back to playing. If I was behind her or in a not-so-obvious spot, she would twist, turn & crane her neck to make the sighting.

2. BANG! I officially entered the ranks of careless mommy this past Monday morning. While getting dressed I sat Elynor on our bed, like I've done almost every day for the past several months. I sit her in the very middle and give her a fun "toy" (one of my scarves or belts). On this particular day, while I gazed into my armoire, I heard a thud... and turned around to find Elynor lying face-up on the floor. I don't know if her scream or my mommy instincts kicked into gear first. I swept her up while she screamed. While my instinct said she was not seriously injured, my guilt over my carelessness came pouring out. Just days before Rye & I had watched her rolling around and commented the days of her hanging out on the bed were nearly over. On Monday they came to a crashing halt. Praise God she is okay. After about 10 minutes of screaming/crying (I think mostly from shock), our little girl was back to smiling & laughing and showed now visible signs of the fall. What's crazy to think is this was likely only the first of many childhood accidents. I'd like to think this experience will cause me to always be a diligent, careful mommy. But the truth of the matter is, as Elynor becomes part of our everyday life, careless accidents are inevitable. Hopefully they'll all be as simple as some screaming and minor bumps!

3. Spit up, spit up, when will you stop? Honestly, I'm over the endless stream of spit-up! I think I spent 30 minutes last night stain-treating Elynor's clothes. For some reason I thought it would have slowed down by now. But it really hasn't. And now that she's eating solids, it's much more colorful (and noticeable) than milk. It's also making it a little tricky to keep the house in order for visits from potential home buyers. Inevitably, she decides a great spit-up spot is the middle of the living room area rug (just off of the blanket laid down to prevent such events) or on the clean wood floor as you enter the condo.

I could probably continue, but I've gotta run for now. Hopefully these not-so-pretty anecdotes balance out the picture of our life with a 7 month old!

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