I've been thinking a lot lately about how different this whole baby thing has been from what I expected. Mostly different-good. A short list of my surprises:
Co-sleeping: I was really excited about this. Something about snuggling with my baby all night sounded glorious. And everyone I had talked to said that their baby refused to be put down, or separated, for an instant. She lasted in our room for one night. Then I put her in her crib. She sleeps gloriously there (10 hours or more, thank you very much). I sleep gloriously. We smile and coo at each other in the morning.
Baby wearing: Again, the idea of snuggling with my baby all the time made me warm and fuzzy inside. I expected her to never want to be put down, and this seemed like a great way to get things done. Turns out, she's only mildly tolerant of this. Starting at about 4 weeks she refused to be worn facing inwards, she had to see what was going on. She prefers to be put in her Bumbo in the middle of the kitchen while I clean. She is way too independent for her own good. She's going to expect a private entrance by the time she's 10 and her own 401 K by the time she's 15.
A difficult child/my own incompetence: I thought early motherhood would be hell. I thought I'd have a screaming child and no clue what to do for at least the first 7 years. For the next 7 she would be self sufficient enough to make her own peanut butter sandwiches, and after that she would be making peanut butter sandwiches for me. I was excited about having an older child, but babies just never appealed to me much. They're so helpless! They just sit there! But, it turns out, my baby is different (yah, right, you say.) She is all knowing, you can see it in here eyes. She does fascinating things, like puke on herself, and coo during diaper changes. The voracious reading I did during pregnancy definitely helped. Once I had her, I felt like I was pretty well prepared despite never having been around babies. I could name all the growth spurts. What is the 4 month wakeful, you say? Just ask the bump.
Marital strife: Everyone said how having a baby made them feel distant from their husband. I feel extremely lucky to say that I think it has only brought us closer. We always seem to get along best when we have a difficult task that we are facing together. This time, that difficult task is MJ. Maybe this means we'll have 18 years of marital bliss, and that we better find something hella-difficult to focus on when she leaves the house.