(Photo courtesy www.cafepress.com)
My baby is 5 months old! Can you believe it?!?! Just yesterday I found out I was pregnant and I felt like my pregnancy took forever but now I look back and it’s a little over a year later. How can that be?
Did you know that at 5 months babies start to make this beautiful noise that sounds like “mama” and it melts your heart? They also think crawling is ridiculous and prefer to stand and try to walk but somehow always end up stepping on their own feet. And forget about balance, they’re all too drunk on milk or formula.
They’re also in on the jokes now. Last night my Mom offered my husband a taste of the green peppers and onions we were having with dinner. He didn’t blow on them and got a nice little surprise when his mouth nearly caught fire. We all laughed and so did Emmie! She look right at him and laughed like she totally understood that food is hot when you don’t blow on it and he burned his mouth for it. I felt like the mom of the smartest kid in the world at that moment. That tiny little brain is starting to put it all together. Babies are geniuses!
Blowing raspberries and watching drool hit your mom’s face as you balance yourself on her chest is also prime laughing material. Nothing says I love you like a mouth full of drool.
I think they should do a study and see how people’s brains react when a baby smiles at them. When I get home from work or walk into a room and my girl sees me, the smile on her face makes my heart explode. Who knew I could give someone that much joy? My simple presence makes her happy. You can’t get any greater acknowledgement than that. I sound like a completely sap right? Who cares, this kid loves me.
She’s got two tiny teeth in her mouth I’m pretty sure are razor blades disguised as teeth. At least that’s the way it feels when she grabs my finger, shoves it in her mouth and bites down like the little zombie that she is and seriously people babies have insane jaw power.
They also have monster strength! When I’m feeding her some fruits or veggies and she doesn’t want the spoon removed from her mouth just yet she grabs hold and the vice grip she has is no joke! I’m pretty sure she could arm wrestle a bodybuilder and win. I’m struggling to pull it from her hand and she’s staring at the funny pictures on TV (that’s right my kid watches TV, shoot me) and is oblivious to my struggle.
I know many times that the focus of the first year with a new baby is on the parents. I know this because I stalk parenting sites on google and it’s always about how to cope for parents more often than not. I think it’s easy to forget that this first year is hard on the baby as well. They’re brought into this bright, loud environment and exposed to all these new things every day that we take for granted. We just assume that the kid should be used to bright lights, yelling, talking, laughing, day, night, light, dark, happy, sad, etc. They have to learn these things and they learn them from us. When to express what emotion, when to go to sleep, when to eat, when to play, etc.
They also get to grow teeth, can’t talk, can’t walk and can’t use the bathroom alone. Do any of you remember what that was like? I think we’re lucky we don’t or we might never have children of our own. I know for some kids it’s all very easy but I’ll tell you, for my daughter it’s not always easy at all.
Teething was extremely painful for her. I know they say babies feel pain differently but how do we really know that? We don’t remember growing teeth.
Napping is also an issue. She hates naps. She knows she’s tired. Her eyes are red, she rubs her face, pulls her ear but refuses to sleep until she’s exhausted. I mean, sure she has some good days where she doesn’t fight it but that never last long. On the other hand she goes to bed at night between 6:30pm -7:30pm and can sleep until 3:30am before she wakes for a bottle and goes back to bed for another few hours. What does that mean? Is it her getting herself used to a new schedule and moving farther and farther from newborn and becoming toddler or as sites have suggested, that it’s my fault because I won’t put her down drowsy but still awake?
I spent so much time during her first 6 weeks of life measuring myself against these sites and the sanctimommies of the internet that I felt like a failure to my own daughter. Thankfully my husband and mother told me to shut those pages down and just learn from the baby in front of me. It was the best advice I could have received. Granted I sometimes still get sucked into some article or debate of parenting but I’m now able to be confident in myself and I walk away. I don’t need to explain my parenting to a stranger on the internet that thinks they’re a leading expert. It must be nice for them to be so perfect but I’m ok with just being human and I want my daughter to learn that lesson starting now.
I guess my point is that there’s so much going on this first year for both parents and baby. Hell, I’m only 5 month’s into it and some days I wonder when we’ll catch a break. When will be girl have a moments peace without being in a “growth spurt”, “regression”, “teething”, “transitioning”, whatever. The list goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, Emmie is a pretty happy baby, she laughs and giggles when she sees something funny or we yell out OUCH as she bites the tips of our fingers off. She’s good natured and enjoys meeting new people. She’s always got a smile for strangers in the store. She’s got this warrior cry that she does randomly, no matter where we are that makes me smile. Each day she learns and grows so I know somehow between her father, her Gigi and I we’re doing something right.