Now don’t get me wrong – I certainly won’t be writing these every month! As much as I love documenting Gwen’s growth (as well as my own – and not in a literal sense , I was hoping to be done with that when I gave birth!), I have my limits. Well… they’re mostly time constraints. And I don’t want to write “she’s so cute” every month and leave it at that (although she most definitely is).
Gwendolyn has become more adept at grasping objects (mostly small rattles and link toys) and holding them. When I place her on her play mat, I put her near low-hanging toys; she reaches for them with one hand while bringing the other to meet it. It’s fascinating! You watch her expressions, and the concentration plays out on her face; you can tell she’s trying to figure it all out.
This thought process is especially noticeable when you put her in front of a mirror – she studies her face, looks at my reflection and gives me a grin, then looks back at herself. I think she thinks she has two mommies who look alike, and that there’s another baby in the house!
It has been hard for me to let her “cry it out” when it’s time for her to sleep. Her little tired cries are SO sad and pathetic – sometimes she puts so much inflection into the cries that it’s almost humorous, but she’s so upset! There are times when only Mommy can calm her down – when I want to go to sleep myself, it can be discouraging; mostly it melts my heart to be The One she needs. She has gotten better at self-soothing, and sometimes I don’t need to calm her down at all. She has even slept all night on a few occasions!
One evening I was rocking in my glider, feeding Gwen, rubbing her back, reading a magazine, while “petting” the cat with my unoccupied foot. I thought, “now this is multi-tasking!”
I had a… an “incident” to share, which in my mind exemplifies why I haven’t run very many errands solo lately. The other day, I went to the grocery store. I fed Gwen first so she would be content. Well… I ended up sitting in the car for about fifteen minutes until she stopped crying and fell asleep. I had her in a sling, and was bending myself in all different directions while putting things in the cart so as not to wake her. The whole time I was peeking at her sleeping face, making sure her eyes were closed, pacifier still in her mouth, that she wasn’t about to cry. I kept readjusting the sling, since it was putting straing on my neck – then had to check again to make sure I hadn’t jostled her awake. Finally… I get to the checkout lane, and that’s when she decided to wake up. She started fussing, then screaming – the kind where she starts choking and can’t catch a breath – and I’m trying to soothe her while “calmy” unloading my items and paying. To make matters worse, I got the bagger who bags all of one item the whole time, so I have to wait for the cashier to assist. There’s a line forming behind me, and the cashier tries to sympathize with me… but I just want to get out of there! I make my way out of the store, screaming baby attached, and throw the bags into the trunk. I put both of us into the back seat, take her out of the sling – and find that she’s pooped through her outfit. GREAT! There’s not much room on the seat what with me and her carseat back there, so I attempt a diaper change with the changing pad on my lap (which, of course, is not a smooth surface). I’m holding onto Gwen’s legs, lifting her bum while her head slides off the other side, trying to contain the mess. I put the dirty diaper in one bag, the soiled clothes in another, and halfway through she’s screaming so hard I hug a half-naked baby to me, trying to calm her. That works for a bit. I finally get her undressed, and then ensues the attempt to put a clean diaper on a baby who’s scrunched up into almost a sitting position. This is followed by the Putting On of a Clean Onesie (which I have to dig out of the diaper bag, along with some clean pants), then into her bunting and – finally – the carseat. Phew!
Let’s not think of unloading everything when we get home…*sigh* That’s just one errand, and now you understand why I don’t have as much food on hand these days!
I go back to part-time work next week, and am sad at the thought of Gwen waking up to Someone Who Isn’t Mommy, missing her gummy grins, hearing a new “word” she may utter… just not being there.