Growing Pains

SleepSprawl

I just celebrated my first official Mother’s Day. It was a wonderful day. I went out with my mom and my mother-in-law while my husband watched the baby. I found myself reflecting back on the time I’ve spent as a mom, and it made me realize how fast time is going.

I spend every day with my daughter. I’ve never been away from her for more than a few hours at a time. Still, sometimes I have to wonder where all the time has gone. My newborn has disappeared, and left an almost-toddler in her place. It’s absolutely amazing how much she has grown in such a short period.

Not only has she gained over ten pounds and more than six inches since her birth, she’s developing physically and mentally. It wasn’t that long ago that all she could do was drink milk, sleep, and mess her diapers. Now she sits like a champ, and is quickly learning to stand. She’s moving past purees and on to more solid foods, making good use of the few teeth she has. She’ll even pick them up off her high chair’s tray and put them in her mouth by herself. She’s getting the hang of a sippy cup too. She’s even learned how to drink from my CamelBak water bottle!

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She has real interests now as well, which is exciting to see. She’s fascinated by anything to do with animals or outer space. Her favorite TV shows are Cosmos and Doctor Who. When she hears the introduction to either show, she sits bold upright and scrambles to get the best view she can from wherever she is. She loves to read. Her personality is starting to show plainly. She’s both curious and goofy.

Most astounding of all, she’s learning words at an incredibly rapid rate. Her first word was “Dada.” My husband had gone back to work after taking a week off, so he wasn’t home when she woke up from her morning nap. She looked around, seemingly concerned, then looked at me and asked “Dada?” It was both adorable and a little bit heartbreaking. She also knows the words “Mama,” “hi,” “bye-bye,” and “yum.” It always surprises me when a new word arises, and it just keeps happening.

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It’s hard to believe that I’m already planning her first birthday party (it’s going to be space themed). It seems like it was just last week that my husband and I were planning our first drive with her in the car, heading home from the hospital. At that point, I already loved her more than I ever thought I could, but the feeling becomes even more overwhelming by the day. All the time, I’m learning more about who she is as a person as she is discovering the same for herself, and it’s fascinating to watch.

Sometimes I miss the tiny little thing she used to be. When I lie down with her on my chest now, she doesn’t just lie there and stare at me. She wants to play all the time. I can’t just sit still with her and stare into her eyes. A little over a week ago, I began packing away the clothes she’s outgrown, and it almost brought tears to my eyes. She’s outgrown a lot of her infant toys, too.

It’s not that I’m unhappy about this new phase that she’s entered, it’s just that it’s different than it used to be. Change is always hard, especially when it happens so quickly. She’s amazing, and I wouldn’t change anything for the world, but I am hoping to experience the newborn phase again in the future when she has a sibling. I don’t know when that will happen, but it will someday, and I’ll be eagerly anticipating it then.

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