My kids have been putting me through the wringer lately, what with that Growing Up Thing they all seem hell-bent on; despite being clearly instructed on several occasions to Stop It.
My firstborn, The Hair, up and Went Away To College. He checked in via text on the first weekend ….. I think he was bored. Then I texted him on Friday with a “how you doing?” And got in reply a selfie of him grinning on the beach, eating a hot dog. Oh yes, he is attending school near a beach. I didn’t mention that? Silly me, I don’t know why I thought he’d ever come back…….And THEN, last week, The Drama hit six foot. Yep, all of 14 years old, long and lanky and disturbingly charming, and SIX FEET TALL. It’s just wrong.
And now, while I’m reeling from THAT, The Kicker is up on her hands and knees at 5 months old, rocking back and forth and giggling loudly about it. As all parents know, the hands-and-knees-rocking is the immediate precursor to CRAWLING; the giggling I can only assume is smugness.
The Canadian is apparently suffering brain damage from rapid caffeine withdrawal*, because he is encouraging her.
“Ooh, that’s so GOOD!!” He coos at her. “You’re a GOOD baby! CRAWL FOR DADDY!! You want to run free and wild!!!”**
“No,” I tell him, patiently, “not good. It’s NOT good. When she crawls, we will have to clean the floor.”
That’s not to even mention the assorted stairs and things she can bump her head on and awkward floor plan that doesn’t lend itself well to the judicious use of baby gates………. The Drama walked at 10 months, and my mother informs me I did the same. And I’ve heard enough stories from The Canadian’s childhood to terrify me into considering padding every single household surface, including the ceiling. I’m OLD. A baby is one thing, but a toddler? There is not enough caffeine in the WORLD ***
So I went online today and ordered a playpen, one carefully researched to be as difficult to climb out of as possible. Because this is not mama’s first rodeo, and I’m predicting a climber. And I’m already exhausted, because apart from all the unsanctioned Growing Up going on around here, what really has Leonard clutching the gin bottle more tightly with all four hooves, is that The Kicker has stopped sleeping through the night.
For the last week or so she’s been waking up every couple of hours to eat, and then she wakes up properly in the morning with a big smile and eyes sparkling and dimples twinkling……..and starts YELLING. Not crying, not screaming – YELLING.
She’s five months old so it’s entirely unintelligible, but I KNOW she’s saying stuff, and as far as I can tell the morning monologue goes something like this:
“HI! HI MOMMY!! HI!! IT’S MORNING MOMMY! I CAN TELL IT IS BY THE DAYLIGHT AND THE EXPRESSION OF EXHAUSTED RESIGNATION ON YOUR FACE! YAY MORNING!! YAY!!!!!!! OH HEY, IS DADDY AWAKE?? LET’S WAKE HIM UP! DADDY! DADDY!! GUESS WHAT DADDY IT’S MORNING! TIME TO PLAY DADDY! WAKE UP AND PLAY WITH ME DADDY!!! YAY DADDY! YAY PLAYTIME!! LOOK MOMMY I CAN NEARLY CRAWL, MAYBE I’LL CRAWL TODAY MOMMY!! I CAN WRIGGLE FOR SURE, LOOK AT ME WRIGGLING!! I’M GONNA WRIGGLE ON MY TUMMY OVER TO YOU NOW AND DROOL ON YOUR FACE! YAY BABY DROOL! YAAAAAY WRIGGLING!!! AND I CAN ROLL OVER, LOOK AT ME ROLLING OVER, I’M GETTING SOOOOOO GOOD AT ROLLING OVER, AND I CAN ALMOST PUT MY WHOLE FIST IN MY MOUTH!!! LOOK! I THINK I’M GONNA GET THE WHOLE THING IN TODAY AND YAY! I CAN STILL YELL WITH MY FIST IN MY MOUTH!!! I’M SO CLEVER!! YAY ME!!!!
And I just smile back at her because my weary mama heart is melting, and say “Hello Darling. You are just adorable”.
Because raising babies is a scary rollercoaster that’s giving me temporal whiplash, but dammit if I’m not going to enjoy every minute. Possibly with gin. Definitely with coffee. ****
* you’d better believe there’s a post about our adventures with coffee coming.
** this is an exact quote
*** yep, definitely a post about coffee. It’s happening.
**** coffee post. ANY day now…….