Here comes that familiar refrain of HOW IS MY KID THIS OLD?! In another month we’re travelling down south. After that it’s our anniversary. Then I’m back to work. Then she’s a whole year old. I’m not counting the days away or anything, but – eight months has flown by in a snap.
Somehow she has become one of the older babies in the playgroup setting – there has been an influx of teeny tiny babies and all of a sudden M is this hyper mobile baby tromping her way over to the newborns. We’ve come a long way!
At her most recent doctor’s appointment, mid-month, she was pushing 19 lbs. – she has actually jumped back up on the growth charts, and she’s essentially on the track she was when she was born, in the 70-somethingth percentile (she dropped down below the 50th during our breastfeeding problems and leveled out around the 50th after that). Go M! She also has five teeth all the way in and a sixth that is poking around in her gums.
Monkey, Buddy, Bug
She is super social! She loves other people, adults and children alike. When I take her out everyone always remarks on what a happy baby she is. That being said, she puts the grins away at home, sometimes.
Mostly she’s cheerful, though, and she’s more consistently happy these days. She finally has the ability to move herself around to where she wants to go, so she’s not frustrated by being immobile anymore. She’s also easier to understand – the things that make her happy and the things that upset her are obvious based on her more developed cues – so it’s much less difficult to keep her smiling!
She’s getting ever braver when it comes to moving. Yesterday I watched her bulldoze her way off of an air mattress headfirst. She squats and pulls herself up carefully now rather than throwing herself down, and rarely takes a spill. Recently she’s started moving around with an object in her hand (or mouth!) so she can bring her toys with her, wherever she goes. When she’s crawling she’s super fast, but luckily she’s really loud about it, slapping her hands off the floor, so we know if she’s going after something!
One neat skill this month – Matt taught her how to use a straw while she was freaking out in a restaurant, and she caught on immediately. She doesn’t necessarily drink all the water; mostly she sucks it into her mouth and lets it roll down her shirt, but she MUST have her cup with her at dinner now or she gets upset.
Totally off the wall, which I am used to and dealing with, as best as I can. The last few days she has been sleeping through the night or getting up once and going back down in her own bed, but just as frequently she needs Matt to go in and cuddle with her on the floor or in the Poang before she’ll give in. Naps are unpredictable – sometimes long, in her crib, sometimes short, on me, sometimes non-existent.
There is so much development going on in her world that I don’t see sleep working itself out for a long time. I’m happy when we are all rested, and I try to be understanding when we aren’t.
This month she seems to be backing off on nursing. If I try to offer with the frequency she used to upkeep she bites me or just isn’t interested (I much prefer disinterest to biting!) so I’m letting her set the schedule. Mostly she wants to nurse when she wakes up, before naps, sometimes after naps, and before bed.
In terms of solids she’s doing a great job of feeding herself. We still haven’t fully implemented breakfast but if I’m snacking in the morning I give her bits of what I have.
Interestingly, she’s developing food preferences! She used to love cucumbers no matter what but now if she has the choice between cukes or something else she usually picks the other thing. Matt has taken to offering her plate to her, to see what she grabs, and she’ll feel around the dish, sometimes picking food up and putting it down a few times, before bringing something to her mouth.
She’s into her 6-9/6-12 month clothing completely, and it’s one of my favourite wardrobe sets yet! This time I opted for a lot of classic separates – cotton tank tops, gingham shorts, vintage rompers, breezy dresses. Summer is awesome when you have a baby girl.
The cats. Animals in general, actually – she met a dog during her first visit with her babysitter and I thought she was going to explode from happiness. Lunch time, dinner time, her straw cup (which sits in her lap all through dinner), playing with bouncy balls, eating paper, swinging at the park.
Diaper changes, being put down, going to sleep, if I stop to talk to her while she’s in her stroller and then move back behind it, going in the lake.
Mom & Dad:
Struggling with the realities of maternity leave coming to an end in a few months – Matt already feels bad when he leaves for work and he’s not excited about dropping her off at daycare, and I’m not sure what this whole transition is going to feel like for me. But, we know that it’s ultimately good for her and good for our family, so I imagine it’ll just be that initial transition that will be a challenge.
Things to Remember:
Her joy at seeing fireworks for Canada Day! We kept her up late and I wasn’t sure how she’d react, even though we were in the car, far away from the immediate action. She was enthralled, but sleepy, and after watching for 10 minutes or so she put her head down on my chest and started to drift off. We also had fun visiting Winnipeg, and she went all the way up to Pickle Lake, too!
Looking Forward To:
Family visits, as usual! More good weather, more new baby skills, more adventures and fun before summer ends. We have a community festival upcoming in early August and I’m particularly excited about bringing her along to a few of those events.
In these last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how much you’ve grown. I catch a glimpse of you, sitting tall in your high chair feeding yourself a fistful of cherries, or hanging off of the coffee table confidently, one hand steadying yourself as you wave at a cat, and I wonder how you got so big, so fast.
And oh, how my heart contorts. A couple of nights ago, after I spent a bit of time scrolling through photos and videos of tiny week-old you with your dinosaur noises and squishy little face, I cried to your dad – “I don’t want her to grow up so fast!”
He listed all of the wonderful reasons for you to get older – the love you’ll experience, the places you’ll travel, the dreams you’ll dream and the joy you will bring to the world, and the world will bring to you. “We do want her to grow up,” he reminded me.
And I do. As much as I want to freeze time now – now, when you still cuddle up to me, when you still grin adoringly at us for something as simple as saying “Hi!”, when you and I are spending all our days with one another. But that wouldn’t be fair to you. You need to shine your light into this world, and I need to share you.
It doesn’t make it easier for me to think about how it’s going to feel to drop you off at your babysitter’s house every morning, come fall. It doesn’t make it easier for me to think about how, one day, you won’t need me to help you get to sleep at night. How one day, you’re going to tell me to go away, to leave you alone.
I don’t want you to grow up so fast, but you are, and you’ll keep growing, and you have lots of great reasons to grow and learn and become who you’re destined to be. In the meantime, I will do my best to slow down and absorb these baby days, to map the planes of your eight-month-old face, to feel the heft of your body in my arms as you drift off, and know that it will not last forever.
All my love,