Today, as I was chasing my astoundingly fast crawling 8 month old, I chuckled to myself. The things I could not wait for her to do are so amazing, but what I wouldn’t give to have my sleepy, calm, baby back at times. And then it hit me….I am going to always be excited for her next achievement, but still long for the time she was innocent of that next great feat. Suddenly, a flood of moments that have come and gone in her short 8 months of life rushed into my memory. And a twinge of pain pinged my heart.
I couldn’t remember the exact moment she stopped falling asleep snuggled up on my chest, but I fondly remember how that was the only way she would fall asleep. No one else would soothe her, and no other spot would do. It was all about me, a fluffy green chenille robe, and her cuddled up perfectly. And now, she doesn’t do that. She also no longer gazes at me like I am her whole world right before she falls asleep. Now, she has a million other things to look at that are far more interesting than dear old mom.
She doesn’t stare mesmerized at her mobile anymore. In fact, it has been removed from her bed because she was trying to swing on it like Tarzan. Her infant baby blankets are gone from her bed because they no longer cover her growing body, and a few of her first toys are gone because she doesn’t even acknowledge them. She’s growing….and changing….and I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I couldn’t wait for her to fit into some of her big girl outfits that I had waiting for her. But, she grew so quickly she didn’t even get to wear some of them. I remember as I folded away the cutest, tiniest, newborn clothes she had, a tear fell from my eye because I thought I would be folding those clothes for much longer than I had to. Now, it’s an endless shopping fiasco because she moves in and out of sizes at the craziest rate of speed.
I yearned for the moment she could sit up on her own so I didn’t have to hold her endlessly. I remember thinking how awesome it would be to have her sit up like a big girl, so we worked for days and days on it. Then one day, I don’t even remember when, she could sit up on her own, and the days of me holding her instantly shortened. Now, she wiggles for freedom when I go to hold her. Our cuddle time is solely reserved for naptime, bedtime, or ouchies. And I know that one day I won’t be needed for those moments either.
I wanted her to crawl so badly to allow her independence to start soaring. No one told me she would crawl at the speed of light. Some days, I wish she couldn’t crawl so I could have some control over where she went, and when she went there. She loves her new mobility, and I love watching her explore, but I miss the days of her staying put so I could actually get more than one thing accomplished during the day.
I longed for her to say mama. She did for about 10 minutes, and then moved on to dada. I do look forward to having her vocabulary to flourish, and our conversational banter to mature, but I know at some point, probably when I have had a long day, I am going to wish she would just be quiet.
This vicious cycle will continue as she learns to walk, stops breastfeeding, goes to school, and continues to grow into her own person that doesn’t really need me anymore. I will look forward to her moments of growth, but miss the moments of my little baby needing me.
This is the most perplexing and confusing reality I am in. I have zero control over what is occurring. All I can do is help her grow and guide her into a life of needing me less and less. She is evolving right before my eyes so quickly it’s unsettling. She is growing, the moments are fleeting, and the times I thought felt like they would never end have done so without me even noticing.