Sunday, February 13, 2011
It's a new year and Ben is over six months old! He's truly in a renaissance phase right now, as he's laughing and babbling all day long, knocking down milestones left and right, learning and discovering with every passing second. It's exciting and fun, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't at all sad.
I'm beginning to understand what people mean when they say that motherhood is bittersweet. Every achievement, every new accomplishment, is another day away from my squishy newborn. Every first is the last time I'll see it as a first. His first Christmas -- gone. His first roll-over -- gone, too. The first smiles, the first laughs, they've come and gone and they were celebrated; there have been many smiles and laughs since then, and they all give me a kind of heart-stabbing joy, but they're not the same as the first. Even the pregnancy firsts -- the belly movements, to be sure, but also the swollen ankles, the stretch marks -- I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm sad that they're gone too. (Oh wait, the stretch marks are still there. Lucky me.) If I'm fortunate enough to be pregnant again some time, these same things won't be firsts anymore. They'll just be there.
We've already put a big box of clothes in storage. He no longer naps in his swing, and so it's been put away too. Before it went into storage, I turned it on one last time, and listened to the soothing music, and remembered the hot summer days when my tiny baby would swing away to the strains of tiny flutes and perhaps an accordion, with the faint creaking of the swing apparatus in the background. He was so small that his legs didn't even pass through the harness straps; we could strap him in, swaddle and all. I'd never heard that melody before we had this swing, and now I will never forget it.
He has been sleeping in his own room, in his crib, for over a month now. He used to sleep in our bed, and then he slept right next to me in his bassinet. I loved to hear his snoring next to me, and the sound of his fingernails scratching on the sides when he woke up. He moved into his room with no protest at all, and doesn't seem to miss us at all, even though I miss him like crazy.
These days he bounces in his Exersaucer. He bounces in his Jolly Jumper. He bounces at our Lullabies and Lap Rhymes class. He bounces when we read stories. He sits up and grabs things, scratches the mat with his fingernails to feel the texture. He's got two teeth. He eats (some) real food, throws the rest of it on the floor. He screams when he's frustrated, when he's angry, and when he's had Quite Enough. I put him in his crib to nap or for night time and when he wakes up he's on his stomach and has rotated 180 degrees. The other day he picked his Bumbo up off the floor and held it in the air over his head. Amazing.
He's charming and disarming, with a ready laugh and a quick smile. His eyes sparkle when he's happy, and he flirts with the ladies in the grocery line.
He also wakes up many, many times a night (as do I), pinches and bites me when he's nursing, and did I mention that he wakes up several times a night?
I wish I didn't have to go back to work, but I miss my friends. I want to spend every waking minute with my amazing son, but then again I like not wearing stretchy pants every day. Every day with Benjamin is a joy, but it would be nice to spend time with people that don't drool on me continuously.