I have now done more parenting outside the womb than within it. More of MJ's development has occurred since I first met her than before I met her. I frequently think of last year at this time. Last year at this time I was busy getting the nursery ready. I was huge, and pregnancy was very real. I thought I had connected with the child within, but I was wrong. I didn't imagine... the personality that was in there. I could picture the smiles, and the hugs, and the cries. But not this little ball of person and non-stop cuteness. I guess that's it: I could conceptualize that I was growing a baby, but not that I was growing a person. And she becomes more of a person every day. If I smile at something she does she loves it, and so she keeps doing it, just so I'll smile more. She is into everything, a roaming ball of curiosity. Sitting still is IMPOSSIBLE. She laughs uncontrollably when I tell her "no", which means I laugh; the idea of "no" is definitely not getting across. At least, not the part that I want to get across.
Within the past week one good friend told us she was pregnant, and a new friend gave birth. The circle of life doesn't get old: it's fascinating, exciting and terrifying. I have such fear, sympathy, envy and joy for what they're going through. The fear and sympathy aren't for anything they're doing, just memories of my own feelings at those points in time. And within one short year it seems MJ and I have become resident experts on all things baby. I've also started to realize that some people classify one year and up as toddler.... I am not ready for that. Despite the fact that MJ is thinking about walking, and is already "toddling" her way through the day, she's still a baby, right? Do babies only last a year? How did I let it go by?
I feel like I'm recovering from a terrifying rollercoaster (which I know I am still very much on) and now have the "again! again!" feeling of a 7 year old.
MJ is wonderful. Our sleep issues are (mostly) getting ironed out. The tradeoff is that she must be in her bed at bedtime. There is no flexibility, and some nights I feel like a prisoner in my own life. But she sleeps well, wakes up happy and is an utter joy to be around. So I guess that's a pretty fair trade. From the moment she wakes at 5:30 it is go time. As someone who is most definitely not a morning person, it's been hard for me to adjust to that. But now that the house is largely childproofed (or, more specifically, MJ proofed, because there's still a lot that a baby could get into) I can sit back a little bit, particularly because she's pretty good at entertaining herself. Which is fascinating to watch. The kid LOVES to dance. Tonight I had GLEE on and she held onto the speaker and shook her booty. She has more moves than I do, which doesn't really give her due credit.
We've started the back carry with the Beco Butterfly and it's amazing. While I'm still a die hard Moby fan, she's getting heavy and the front carry was doing a number on my back. This is SO much more comfortable, and she seems plenty happy. The downside? I can't actually see her (which mainly just makes me sad) and she loves to pull my hair. So I'm rocking the high half-pony tail.
Anyway, that's many of the mundance details of our life as we enter into her 10th month. I NEVER imagined I would love being a mom so much. I credit my love of being a mom to having such an amazing kid, but regardless. The outside baby is much better than the inside one. Nine months from this point she'll be a year and a half. Most definitely a toddler. Probably more frustrating. More fascinating. And more of a person.