The Other Side: Notes on the Tenth Month

Wee Cee 10MOSomething happened over the course of the last month that I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around. I think it must have been around the second week of January that I looked at Wee Cee and noticed that she was turning into a little girl. She is just as much child now as she is baby, which is cool and terrifying.  I woke up one morning and in the crib sat a kid who resembles a person and not just a human hamburger. Her little limbs are getting longer and her head isn’t the perfect circle it used to be. Her bright little eyes say things and she’s not just a prop in our parental charade. I call her my daughter and the word doesn’t seem forced. She is a daughter, my daughter. She’s not just a human with girl parts anymore.

For one, she can communicate. Her babbles mean things and aren’t arbitrary, although they are a lot of fun. A couple weeks ago, B and I were lazing around one Saturday morning in bed when we heard a loud MA-MA come from her room. Normally, she wakes up and babbles around for awhile just for practice, but that Mama had force around it. It meant something. We got up and peeked into her room, where we found her proudly standing up in her crib. Standing in the crib while holding onto the rail was a new feat for her. She knew she had accomplished something and she just wanted us to see! Of course she called my name! She was hitting milestones all over the place that morning. And I cried, obvs. My standing up baby had called me.

And just like that, I’m welling up again.

Source http://www.tovekjellmark.com/otherness/2011/09/animal_human/

Yep. Source

Moving on. Let’s talk about crawling. Get it? Nevermind. Crawling is transitioning into what will soon be walking. She recently started elevating her entire body off the ground when she crawls, placing her weight on her feet instead of her knees. She looks a lot like Mowgli from The Jungle Book when she’s doing it, especially since her dipe covers are very Mowgli-esque. Disney didn’t even pay me to say that.

Side note: Those covers are expensive, so should you actually want to pay me to say something, gimme a holla.

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Redecorating.

Her toys are her friends. She’s got so much personality that she had to give some of it to her stuffed toys, which she loves the most. She nuzzles them and hugs them with an amorous “mmmmmm!”

What else? Oh yes, for those of you who were keeping score, breastfeeding is over. Done and done. I was reluctant to wean her since breastfeeding is highly encouraged for their entire first year and also because it would mark the end of a special, intimate part of our relationship, but she had shown pretty much no interest in it since she was five months old. I had been pumping 100% of her milk for months and I still wasn’t making enough where we could avoid supplementing with formula. So we fought the good fight and when my pump broke three weeks ago, I took it as a sign that we could just stop. Even though I feared the end of breastfeeding, I couldn’t be happier that it’s now over. Not being hooked up to that pump is really freeing.

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Sharing is caring. Notice the Totoro in the left corner. We had to move it into our room because it is apparently the scariest thing in her life right now.

All of a sudden, C is someone who I actually want to be around. She’s my little buddy. It’s like the guesswork is over in her life, at least for now. This is probably more of a reflection on me as a mom and not necessarily her as a baby, but now we can take her out in public and completely relax because we are pretty certain she won’t implode. Even if she did, we’d handle it. She usually eats when we give her food, and if she doesn’t then it’s no big deal because we’ll just try again later.  Now was the time everyone was referring to super early in her life when they told me it would get easier. At this very instant, she’s hanging out in her crib. She’s supposed to be napping, but instead she’s just lying there chatting with her stuffed lion. And do you know what? It’s OK if she skips her nap. I’m all for setting boundaries for her and coaxing her in the right direction when she does dangerous and impractical things, but when it comes to things like naps and the amount of food she eats, she largely knows what’s best for herself.

Wee Cee 10MO2Our daily life is changing. Gone are the nights when she’d fall asleep in my arms and then I’d carefully carry her to her swing or crib while trying not to rouse her. But I’m not crying, at least, not anymore. Now, instead, I hold her close and sing her lullabies. She snuggles back and nuzzles me with the same fervor that she used to nurse. We still have that touch. That touch that makes me her Mama and her my sweet Bebe.

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49 comments

  1. Sweet ~ I’m glad you didn’t say you wanted her to remain a baby forever – I always think it’s so amazing when children reach milestones (on their timeline not ours), change, develop etc…

    I’m pretty sure having a sick baby made me appreciate the changes that come and all the positive things they are doing b/c if they were not – it would be a struggle for the child as he/she grows but doesn’t go beyond being a baby.

    1. Sometimes I do want her to stay a baby, but then the instant I say that she does something completely new and charming that she couldn’t have done even a day earlier. I simply cannot get over how incredible it is to watch her grow up!

      I love that baby smell she still has, so before she grows up, I am going to take one of her blankets and put it in a Ziploc bag without washing it so I can still smell her when she gets bigger. Memories are really tied up in scents for me and her personal smell is something I have to preserve somehow.

  2. What a sweet age is your CeCe! Martin also crawled on his hands and feet- we called it “spidering.” And he was fast! It is so fun, and easier, when they start entertaining themselves. In case you don’t know, walking is next. WALKING IS NEXT? And what is a Tartaro?

    1. Walking!?!?! I’m bracing myself! Totoro is the little gray stuffed animal in the picture. It scares the heck out of her. I think its wide grin is creepy to her.

  3. It’s so much fun to watch them progress every day. Each day they learn something new and they become a new little person with their own personality. It’s amazing to watch and to be a part of it.

    1. It really is! They progress so much in their first year and it’s amazing and heartbreaking all at once. I can definitely see why people warn you that if you blink, you’ll miss something.

  4. Never thought babies resembled little hamburgers. Now that’s all I can see when I look at babies.

    Now I am getting hungry.

    1. They look like burritos too when they’re really little. Basically any unhealthy food, they are it.

  5. Oh, this was so much fun to read. I am SOOOO looking forward to the “Holy Shit! She’s walking!” post.

    1. The fact that I will eventually have to write about that absolutely astounds me.

  6. I love these posts so much, and I get so excited when I see a new one! She is precious, precious, precious, and I am so glad you guys are having fun! Love you!

    1. We are having SO MUCH FUN! But you know that :) Love you!

  7. That last picture is great. I’m noticing with my friends kids who are getting to toddler years, that I don’t carry them hardly at all anymore. I didn’t really notice it when I was doing it a lot and I suddenly notice now, the lack of cuddliness or touching and I realise they’re growing up and don’t need carrying. Sniffle sniffle…

    1. It breaks my heart! She still needs a lot of carrying when we’re out and about, but I now realize that those days are limited. It kills me.

  8. You’ve melted my heart, Emily.
    C is one lucky little gal – who won’t be little for much longer – and I can’t imagine a better human being to guide her through life than you,

    1. You are so kind to say so. I’m pretty lucky to have such a sweet girl teach me how to be a mom.

  9. I remember Doodle’s Mowgli crawl! :) And ninja-walking over an obstacle course of toys trying to keep him asleep after he passed out on my chest. Ah, he hasn’t done that in *so* long, I’d give almost anything for just one more of those snuggles. Now I’m welling up over here…

    1. Why does it have to go by so fast? It kills me that just when I was getting used to her falling asleep on me, she is growing out of it.

  10. The fun is just starting. Once she start walking and talking the party will never end. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I get home and Baby C sees me. He throws his arms up and yells, “Daddy!!” and comes over to give me a big hug. Then he goes back to watching Elmo….

    1. That Elmo is a sneaky monster. Right when we think they actually want to play peekaboo, Elmo comes on and they’re like “Peace out, homes.”

  11. Em, you’re right. I can see it in her pics. How sweet that she has her little magical world where she talks to her “babies.” I think the sweet and innocent see things we don’t. I’ve often thought the reason they gurgle and coo and sometimes look at something — air — they’re seeing little fairies or magical things that we, as adults, don’t see. Puppies see it too. Baby anything really. But that’s just my theory. You know when teeny tiny babies just break out in a smile and everybody thinks it’s just gas. No it’s those fairies dancing around.

    I just bet little Cee has plenty surrounding her. Sweet little girl.

    1. That is perhaps the sweetest thing I have heard all day, Brig! I don’t write barely any fiction, but I think you inspired me to write something about C and the fairies. I’ll of course give you credit ;)

  12. “All of a sudden, C is someone who I actually want to be around.”

    For some reason that really struck me as hilariously honest.

    Looks like you’re raising a good kid. I know I was never a problem when I was younger and I’m a decent human being, right? My sister was always a bad kid and now as an adult she’s very manipulative and trash talks a ton. Or maybe I am bad because I’m dissing her on a blog she’ll never read. At least I’m passive about it.

    Anyway, glad you “finally” like your kid.

    1. Haha I’m glad someone caught that. For I second I thought I would delete that line about actually liking her but I decided against it because it’s the truth. Little bitty babies, as cute as they are, are not fun people to be around all the time. They are high-maintenance and take a tremendous amount of getting used to. Plus they don’t have a lot of personality to latch on to. But now that she’s become a real person with a real demeanor about her, she’s so much more authentically fun to be around. I like her. A lot. I think I’d be friends with her if I were a baby too.

      1. You have a much nicer way than Louis CK at expressing the relationship you have with your child.

        1. Everything he says is basically true though.

  13. I feel so honored to get to watch this little hamburger grow up through your eyes.

    1. You’ll know her when she is finally a foot long sub.

      1. Sounds delicious.

  14. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww, Emily, your little bambino is growing more into herself and she looks so adorable! It seems to me that you’re raising a very content and happy child — now that you’ve read the memo to move the Totoro out of the room.

    1. Her fear of Totoro is kind of hilarious. He now lives in our bedroom with his face to the wall, but he still scares her. This morning she was in there and spotted his outline and still freaked out. Poor babs.

  15. They turn in to people so fast. One minute you are at the hospital and the next minute they are telling you they are so funny that they crack themselves up.

    Here’s to the next ten amazing months!

    1. Ten more months! Ten more months!

  16. I am still shocked every morning when Thomas wakes up and comes out of his room. WHO IS THIS MAN IN MY HOUSE?!?! They just can’t stop changing all the time :)

    1. I know! I am just biding my time until C is just as mobile. As for now, we can still keep her choraled in her crib and playpen.

  17. She is getting so big! Oh my gosh. She looks like a grown-up. Baby, that is. A grown-up baby.

    I remember 10 months. It was such a fun time. The best part is, it just continually gets better. I know people always talk about wanting their baby to stay a baby, but seriously, they just start doing so many cool things. I love watching them grow and learn new stuff. I can’t believe C is almost a year old. Blows my mind. I can’t wait for her to full on start walking!

    1. Oh! Almost forgot: I’m pretty sure I posted a Mowgli picture on my blog around 10 months, too. I swear: they’re all the same!! haha

      1. Yes! This is a good example for why it’s so hard to come up with good, new material when you’re mommy blogging.

    2. I can’t wait for her to start walking too. That is, my back can’t wait until she starts walking. I am having to take aspirin every morning now because my back is so stiff from carrying her!

  18. harperfaulkner · · Reply

    I learn so much from you. Dads at work miss so much. Give your daughter real books and always have plenty of paper and pencils at hand when she starts to write. Don’t give her an etch-a-sketch. I wasted too many days of my youth trying to blacken an entire etch-a-sketch screen. All joy in raising the perfect child (in your eyes)! HF

    1. I simply cannot wait until she gets to the point when she wants to write an color. Watching a little one acquire those skills is pretty incredible. When I was teaching kindergarten in Korea, watching my students master control of the pencil and write in English was one of the most rewarding things about my job.

  19. Hard to say who is having more fun, Wee C or Mama. Good job with it all. Kids love to look back at themselves as they get older; these blog posts will be a gold mine of memories.

    1. That’s really what I hope for. It’s crazy how quickly they change so I’m glad I’m writing all this down or I’d surely forget.

  20. On another note, isn’t the 10th month about the time when nosy family members start asking when the next little bambino is going to come around?

    1. Very, very true. Fortunately (or unfortunately, it’s hard to tell) we don’t live within a day’s drive of any of our relatives, so we have LOTS of Skype dates.

  21. That’s great! She’s an adorable little girl.

  22. […] The Other Side: Notes on the Tenth Month […]

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