Something 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.
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.
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.
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.
Our 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.