07 March 2008

I like me a self-serve baby

As M- gets older, I'm taken back to the glorious days before I was able to take for granted how many things D- could do for himself. Each day I was amazed by some new thing he mastered. You see, as a parent, and as a human, my goal in all areas is to be as lazy as legally allowed, and this stretch of self-sufficiency for the kiddos is a big part of that effort.

Of course, I will never take for granted that D- can use the toilet completely by himself (and it is absolutely still the high point of this cycle), but all the other little things just kind of fade into distant memories as you take on new challenges. You can never be fully prepared for all the little things you have to do for a baby (including pre-chewing their food, for some-- thankfully that's not so common in this country...), and when you're hit with all of them at once, they just kind of blur together. Once the kid grows up, those little things all disappear together and you get spoiled. This is how people end up with more than one child.

Granted, that helpless baby phase does not end all at once, but in some children, it certainly seems to. For example, as I discussed yesterday, M- has suddenly burst forward in her speaking abilities, and she seems in it to win it. Similarly, back in December, before she was 1, she just began walking outright all of a sudden after a select few test steps in the week or so before that. There was no middle ground, no real learning phase. And around the same time, she popped out one, two, four, then six teeth total, all in the span of a week or two.

I really can't fully describe all the things she can do and understand versus a month ago, but I think I can pretty much sum it up in one anecdote:

Through much of her first year, M- had to be held while sleeping, or she would wake up and scream, and almost literally never sleep. This was not for lack of trying on J-'s and my part-- I think you all must realize by now that I can be a "terrible father" with the best of them. I mean, God made earplugs for a few reasons, and one of those was to show your children you really, really aren't listening and they just have to deal with whatever they're screaming about.

Now, M-'s a cosmopolitan baby that will sleep anywhere you lay her down (at the right time, of course) and when she wakes up, she merely calls patiently for her entertainment committee (D-) to dance a jig in front of her crib till Daddy comes to get her. But what's more, now that she has harnessed the power of speech, at exactly 10:40 this morning, she put down her toy, looked up at me, and said "nigh-nighhhhh" several times until I picked her up and confirmed the message was received. Nap 1 went down like clockwork, then she did the same thing again about 2 hours later.
"And I think to myself, what a wonderful world."


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a change. Yes, always remember how grateful you are for everything she learns that means you don't have to do it. Get her to button the buttons, zip the zippers, change the diaper...

SherE1 said...

I can't wait! Jacob also likes to be held when he sleeps. My MIL babysits him part time during the week and that's just something she likes to do - hold her grandkids as they sleep. So he expects the same treatment at home. "my goal in all areas is to be as lazy as legally allowed" - yes! I'm with ya!

LiteralDan said...

My mom also likes to hold the baby-o at nap time, but she generally resists for all of our sanity.

SherE1, if you want some tips, just let me know, cause we sure welcomed them after a year of forced insomnia.

Good luck!